public displays of affirmation

Note: After Forrest and I shared our thoughts about being “Forever Newlyweds” last month, we received so much positive feedback and response that we decided to share in this same manner more frequently. 

As it turns out, this humble food blog’s most popular post to date was not really about food at all! We took this as a sign, so here we are!

And, just to clear the air again. We are well aware of our young age and slight inexperience compared to many marriages. We are not perfect, but see zero harm in putting our thoughts out there. If we help one person, it was well worth our time.

We wanted to take a few minutes to talk about PDA…

Not the PDA you’re thinking of, which typically consists of a couple who has decided the world’s standards regarding appropriate physical contact does not readily apply to them.

We’re talking about a new kind of PDA, and we’re calling it “Public Displays of Affirmation.”

Affirming your spouse, fiancé, girlfriend, or boyfriend in public situations – whether they’re there or not – is something we read about in every book we went through during premarital counseling, and after.

We now understand why.

Whether we’re at work, at a party, or just getting together with a group of friends, we can be faced with situations where we could easily whine, complain, or pick at each other. After all, it can seem like that is what everyone else expects us to do!

These situations have presented themselves differently for Forrest than they have for me, so we will explain what we’ve learned so far as both a husband (Forrest) and as a wife (Courtney).

But, for both of us, we’ve come to realize how important the following are:

  1. Speak Positively About Each Other
  2. Be Your Spouse’s Biggest Fan
  3. Defend Your Spouse
Forrest won the coin toss, so he’ll explain how these play out for him:

As guys, we want to be cool…I am no exception.

Going against the grain in any way can seriously hurt my chances at achieving “coolness,” and I have been in many situations where assimilating to those around me would sound something like,

Yeah, my wife won’t ever stop taking about her emotions. Plus, she drags me around to all these boring stores.*

*Not True!

All kidding aside, guys have a nasty habit of painting poor portraits of their wives and girlfriends amongst other guys. This helps no one.

I’ll be honest and say that, for me, having other men complain to me about their wives has always made me feel very uncomfortable. I never have anything to say back, and normally the conversation either doesn’t involve me, or just simply ends.

What really got me thinking about being an affirming husband in public was a challenge I read a few months before we got married. It came from Steven Crowder, who 1. Was the voice of Brain on Arthur (amazing) and 2. is not related to David Crowder, sorry.

He wrote about why he will never badmouth his wife, and says this:

To the real men out there — if you have a good marriage, talk about it.

Here’s what I’m getting at…All married men chose to be married, and if our wedding vows are true, then we should be affirming our wives as much as possible – especially around other men. PDA!

If you think your wife or girlfriend is half as amazing as I think Courtney is, you should be singing her praises in front of your buddies as much as you can.

When she accomplishes something that I know she’s proud of, you can bet it gets brought up a couple times a day. Being your spouse’s biggest fan means no one raves about her, or knows about her, more than you. Guy’s will take notice of all of this positive chatter, and they will hopefully fall in line. This is good!

And it should go without saying, but no one should be able to speak negatively about your wife or girlfriend around you, whether she’s present or not. We’re meant to stand up for them no matter what.

To summarize, I believe showing public displays of affirmation helps the man as much as it helps the woman he’s bragging about. It will improve your marriage, keep your spouse smiling, and encourage even more wonderful behavior from the both of you.

Now, its time for a wife’s perspective!

I don’t even know where to begin where I write this, because truthfully, I LOVE singing Forrest’s praises!

I don’t know if it is just me being a newlywed, or the fact that I am always so proud and excited for anything and everything Forrest is up to, whether it be with his job, or his new bench press record…haha just kidding. 

Whenever there is an opportunity to do some bragging on my hubby’s behalf, you better believe that I am always the first one to jump right in.

I think it is so incredibly important to be your husband’s biggest fan. Only good things will come from doing so.

Being a little defensive about your spouse is never a bad idea either. And just as giving positive words is a great form of our “new PDA,” correcting negative words of others shows your support too. Forrest and I have an ongoing joke about how I can sometimes be a bit too defensive of him, and I occasionally speak up when I perhaps shouldn’t. Just remember, you want people to realize you’re always fighting for your spouse, not against them.

It is no secret that words are powerful. In a healthy and loving marriage, our words should be used and spoken to build our husbands up. And I think we, as wives, need to be careful what we say about our husbands in public. Remember, words can either be used to create or destroy an image of our husband.

As wives, we are called to love and respect our husbands. With that job we were so wonderfully granted, comes a lot of responsibility.

It is our job to speak positive and encouraging words that build our sweet hubbies up!! When people notice you speaking so kindly about your husband, they will grow to trust and respect that you will speak such a way about them as well.

I don’t know about you and yours, but I see it as such an honor to be able to call Forrest my husband. And yes, I am well aware that we are young, and absolutely crazy in love – I will shout it from the roof tops because I see no need to hide or be ashamed of showing some PDA! 🙂

In conclusion,

never be afraid of a little PDA (public displays of affirmation)!

public displays of affirmation