I attended a class with a group of women recently. Throughout the presentation the teacher’s wife sat by his side, beaming at him. Every insight made her glow with joy, every joke (which I’m sure she’s heard many times before!) elicited laughter. Married many years, she seemed like an infatuated newlywed.

In fact, the last time I looked at my husband like that might have been on my wedding day!

While the class was fascinating, I think the real learning came from watching this woman. It was so beautiful! Everyone noticed. Everyone commented. Everyone reflected.

Everyone said, “I need to be better at this.” “I need to look at my husband the way she looks at hers.”

Many women confessed to opposite behaviors - eye-rolling, criticism, dismissal, a whole gamut of negative reactions.

It’s not that the positive isn’t there too. It’s not that we don’t love our husbands. It’s not that we don’t feel the same way as the woman in our story.

But we don’t show it. And if we don’t show it, chances are we don’t say it either. So how is he supposed to know? We all want admiration and respect, and our husbands want that most of all. Why are we denying them this simple pleasure? Why are we focused on what isn’t there instead of what is? Why don’t we look at our husband that way after 5, 10, 25, 40 years?

Because we’ve stopped trying. We’ve stopped making the effort. We aren’t making him our priority.

The experience of this class was a wake-up call, an opportunity to change, a small insight that can revolutionize all of our marriages. It’s a small action with big consequences.

Yes there were some Torah insights. Yes they made us think and stretch our minds and uncover new ideas.

But the most powerful idea of all lay in the simple, pure and innocent reaction of our teacher’s long-time wife. Her adoration, her pleasure, her support were palpable. And we all learned from it. We all made commitments to change our own relationships. We all recognized the need to behave differently. We all understood that we had to up our game.