No. Don’t try to look that up. You won’t find that acronym on any webpage; except maybe this one.

This story comes from me and Steve and has been going on for a while. I can’t tell you the date it started; it has just always been. But I do hope that you take on the challenge of adopting it into your relationship.

TMAS stands for “Tell Me A Secret.” Every woman, going back in time to the first woman herself—Eve—has longed for secrets from her lover. It’s a way to keep the relationship fresh. It helps make her man a confidant. It brings them closer. It is something for just them. So of course, I’ve always asked Steve for secrets.

Steve Nancy Camping
I can tell by my hair, that this was back in 1992–Still honeymooners!

At first it was really easy for him to tell me secrets. Every story was something new. Every secret brought us closer together. We would stay up for hours just sharing secrets—remember the poem from Butterflies at the Swimmin’ Hole? “The color of the grass we used to lie in watching for the stars staying up real late. When we were learning of each other as I come to love her so.” Secrets helped to build our love.

As we grew together over the years, it became harder to come up with a secret. And it wasn’t just Steve who struggled. He often asked me for secrets too! It’s a great conversation starter.

About 10 or so years ago we had an in-depth conversation about TMAS. “I don’t have any secrets from you,” Steve said. “You know all my secrets and I know all yours.” I put on my best pouty face and replied, in a sulky voice, “But I need a secret.”

Steve let out an exasperated sigh, pressed his lips together hard, and furrowed his brows in concentration. After a minute or so his eyes lightened as a grin spread across his face. “Ok,” he began. “How about instead of a secret I come up with something wonderful to tell you every day?” My heart leaped!  “All I really want you to do is to tell me you love me.” “Alright then,” he continued, nodding ever so pleased with himself. “From now on, if I can’t think of a secret right away I will instead tell you something about today that has made me love you more. But you also have to tell me things that made you love me more.” Instead of my heart leaping, I jumped into to arms and planted a juicy kiss right on his lips.

As the years continued to pass, each night I would look over at him, usually from Big Brown (our double recliner where we spent most nights chatting, while watching our favorite TV shows or while each surfing the net on our tablets) and I’d ask, “TMAS Steven?” And each night I’d hear things like:

  • That meal was perfectly cooked.
  • I like you in that color.
  • I was surprised by your text this morning.
  • I couldn’t wait to get home to you today.
  • You’re a wonderful mom.
  • Your sense of humor is always spot on.

And my favorite: “I love you, Nancy.”

Steve Nancy Photo by Gid
This photo, of me in Steve’s arms, was taken by Gideon back in 1999. He was only 4-years-old.

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