Don’t worry… you don’t need to do all 50 :). And some of these ideas won’t apply to your situation in life. But, I hope this list inspires you to just try ONE and re-focus on the person you love! I think it’s so easy, with the stresses of parenting or working or life, to neglect giving daily love and attention to our most important relationship on earth. In marriage, we are completely known for who we are and our spouses get our best and our very worst. Luckily we can continually learn and grow as a person and a couple. Being married to my very best friend is the biggest blessing in life!!
If you ever feel that your marriage could be stronger or you feel your relationship needs a re-charge (which is always does), pick one that works for you and have fun!! I so believe that discovering ways to show love in YOUR SPOUSE’S LANGUAGE and re-discovering your FRIENDSHIP over and over again is what builds a strong marriage! So I hope one idea may help…
Surprise her with a fun gift that she would really enjoy. Or save the money and don’t buy anything, if that’s his love language!
26. Find some sanity at home.
No matter how much we all work together on cleaning and organizing our house, it usually feels so overwhelming. I do care about the environment of our home because it does affect everyone, especially me and my ability to focus more on relationships. I’ve also found that cleaning together as a couple can also be a good time to chat.
27. Encourage his hobbies.
It will make a huge difference, and help him to feel more balanced, and to be his best self. I sure need this, and I know he does too.
28. Take a hike or walk, while holding hands.
29. Eat an ice cream cone together.
Buy one large cone and eat it together at the same time.
30. Pray together each night.
Recently I attended a wedding ceremony where I heard some of the best marriage advice, it was this, “As you are praying together, express 1) something you love/appreciate about your spouse and 2) what you personally want to work on (to improve yourself).” If you’re not a praying couple, you could just verbalize this to each other.
31. Have a wrestling match.
32. Exercise together.
One time, while doing a P90x workout, my husband caught me drinking milk during a “water break”… and dunking Oreos.
33. Cuddle while watching a movie.
34. Make his favorite treat.
35. Play a game together.
I kind of pride myself on being undefeated in Settler’s…
36. Look in her eyes.
Try looking your wife straight in the eyes when she talks to you, to show her that she is your number one at that moment. Walking over to her and being close helps you be more focused on her, and helps to show you care.
37. Stick to the budget the two of you have worked out.
38. Let her sleep in.
Your wife probably seems to be the one who is always getting up with the kids, or getting up before you do. Let her sleep in from time to time. She will love you for it.
Sometimes we are so bombarded with what we are doing we forget to smile. When your spouse is around or walks in the room, try smiling more.
40. Cook her favorite meal.
Even if you don’t know how to cook very well. Do a little research, call your mom, and surprise her with a special meal. It will mean a lot to her.
41. Say, “I love you,” in creative ways.
It’s easy to say the words “I love you,” but it is way more fun to leave those words for your spouse to find in creative ways. Spell it out with cereal, with lipstick on the bathroom mirror, or little game pieces while you’re playing a board game.
42. Offer to help.
Your husband or wife has a kajillion things going on and it never hurts to take him or her by the shoulders and just say, “What can I do to help?”
(#43-#45 come from the book “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” by Dr. John Gottman, who has revolutionized the study of marriage.)
43. Soften your startup.
John Gottman wrote “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work,” and hisresearch shows that “discussions invariably end on the same note they begin. … If you start an argument harshly – meaning you attack your spouse verbally – you’ll end up with at least as much tension as you began. But if you use a softened startup – meaning you complain but don’t criticize or otherwise attack your spouse – the discussion is likely to be productive.”
44. Enhance your “love map.”
Dr. Gottman describes how couples need a “richly detailed love map,” which means continually seeking to understand your spouse’s current needs, stresses, worries, friends, thoughts, hopes, and dreams. We need to better understand how our spouses really perceive love. Here’s the link to take the 5 Love Languages Quiz. It also goes deeper and more personalized than that, so keep exploring what helps you feel most connected and loved!
45. Nurture your fondness & admiration.
Every now and then, stop yourself and just dwell on all the things you spouse does do, and all the little things you do admire about him/her. As you do this, your tender appreciation grows, and these inner feelings affect how you interact and treat your spouse. Just as people choose to dwell on their frustrations, “nurturing fondness,” is also a choice.
46. Sometimes just go to bed!
We don’t always believe in the adage to “never go to bed angry.” Our kids sure struggle when they are overtired, and so do we. In a moment of frustration, when tired and cranky, sometimes it is best just to go to bed. You’ll likely wake up in the morning with a renewed perspective!
47. Turn towards each other rather than away.
48. Inspire the best in each other.
Choose to see the immense good in the other and treat each other as such. You are your spouses greatest supporter, and as you believe in him/her, they will aspire to really become that. Tell him or her today one great attribute you see!
49. Hold your wife close.
Sometimes just hold your wife close, let her cry to you, let you unload all her feelings, tell her that your love for her and your relationship is more important than any problem to be solved. If you spouse is inwardly hurt and being hurtful, sometime hold him and show an outpouring of love.
50. See your spouse as a person.
Sometimes we can view those closest to us as objects to blame or criticize. Remember that your spouse is a person, a part of you, that has real concerns and needs just as legitimate and important as your own!
I hope we all can be filled with hope and charity and seek to just make ONE small step and change for the better!
Thanks. I hope this was helpful. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this piece.
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