Hello, friends! It’s Friday! Do you have any fun plans for the weekend? All the snow we had finally melted away, and the past few days have been unusually warm. It was almost 60 degrees on Wednesday! Not that I’m complaining. I’m all for warm temps and sunshine! Is it summer yet? 🙂
Today’s post is kind of random and nothing DIY or craft related whatsoever. To be honest, I even feel a little bit silly posting something like this. But, in lieu of a new year starting and Valentine’s day coming up, I thought it’d be fun to share some little things David and I try to do (and maybe you already do all of them!) to help strengthen our marriage. I know many couples make new years resolutions together regarding their marriage and how to grow closer to each other, so I thought this might help. But, before I jump into anything, I just have to throw out a couple of disclaimers: 1. I am not a marriage expert. At all. In fact, I could definitely use a couple marriage classes and more tips myself (and hence why I feel silly posting this!)! 2. David and I do NOT have a perfect marriage. We are human, and have our good days and bad days, ups and downs, and struggles just like everyone else. I really don’t think there is anyone who has a completely perfect marriage (and if you do, I’d LOVE to meet you and find out your secrets! ;)).
However. I do know that David and I love each other more than any other person on this planet (besides Jade, of course!), and we will always do our best each day to serve, love, and be there for each other in any way we need. That being said, we try really hard to do the following 5 things often, but we don’t always do them. Sometimes life gets in the way, we just had an off day, or we forget. It happens to us all!
Though I’m writing this from my perspective; men, these all go both ways! 🙂
1. Leave Them a Note
Ever since we’ve been married (or at least I think so?), I’ve made David’s lunch. Not because he’s asked me to, but because I want to. We also really try to save money, so David loves bringing his own lunch to work so he doesn’t have to worry about taking time to go buy lunch somewhere. Since I’m the one making it, sometimes I sneak in a little note for him. It could be anything from just an, “I love you!” to “I hope you’re having a great day!” to a longer love note, letting him know how much I appreciate him working so hard. Whatever you write, it shows you took the time to think about and show your love for them. I know he appreciates them because he never throws them away. He keeps a little stack in the bottom of his lunch box of my notes so he can read them when he’s having a bad day. If your spouse doesn’t take a lunch, you can always leave them a note on the seat of their car, in their briefcase, or in their jacket pocket. Get creative! This isn’t something I do all the time. I might do it once every few weeks, or when the mood strikes. Sometimes if he had a really rough day, I’ll leave him a note for the following day, just to encourage and let him know I love him.
2. Say Goodbye/Greet Them
This may sound silly or obvious, but we both make it a point to say goodbye in the morning before he leaves for work, and hello when he gets home. It’s so simple! After David says his goodbyes to Jade before he goes to work, we always say goodbye to each other with a hug and kiss. I think it starts the day off on the right foot! As soon as David gets home and Jade gets over her “daddy’s home!!” excitement, we also always say hello to each other with a hug and kiss. Something as simple as this can totally melt away my stress if it’s been a crazy or chaotic day! It takes literally 10 seconds, but it really conveys that we’re important enough to stop what we’re doing to acknowledge each other’s presence.
3. Say “Hi” During the Day
When David and I first started dating, I remember getting in a few fights over this. And by getting in fights, I mean me being the one upset and giving the silent treatment and him having NO idea why. Silly, yes, but I just didn’t understand why it was SO hard for him to just send me a quick text and say “hi!” All I wanted was to just know he was thinking about me even a little bit during his day. He didn’t get it. But, finally after a few discussions, he understood. He said he thought about me all the time, but just didn’t THINK about telling me. Does any guy? 🙂 Now that we’re a few years into our marriage, this is just a normal daily check-in. Usually around lunchtime, one of us will text the other and ask how each other’s day is going. Sometimes during a random time of the day we’ll text each other with an, “I love you!” or “just wanted you to know I’m thinking about you!” I gotta say, even though it’s something routine, it still is so nice knowing he’s thinking of me during his busy day, and is taking the time to let me know. And vice versa. So, my point is, don’t underestimate a simple “hello” during the day. Whether it be a quick text message, phone call, or e-mail, it’s always nice to be told you’re being thought of!
4. Say Thank You
I don’t mean saying “thank you” after the normal things you’d thank someone for. I’m talking about random things. Genuinely showing your appreciation for one another, unexpectedly. In a marriage, we are constantly giving. Spouses give a lot to each other to make a marriage work, but sometimes, that giving feels futile because we don’t feel appreciated. Things we do for each other may become expected, rather than being an act of love. In our marriage, we really try to be thankful for the things we do for each other, and not take them for granted. Because I’m home with Jade all day, I generally do most of the cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc. Instead of feeling like I HAVE to do it all and have resentment toward David, I do it willingly with love, because I know he genuinely appreciates it. When I forget to wash a specific work shirt or pants, he never gets upset; instead, in the midst of me feeling terrible that I forgot, he thanks me for washing his clothes in the first place. He thanks me for staying home and raising our daughter during the day. I thank him for working so hard so I CAN stay home with Jade. We don’t have expectations. While we mayvhave different roles within our marriage, we still are a team. When I apologize because I didn’t get to the vacuuming one day, he thinks I’m ridiculous and gladly does it for me. We appreciate. We love giving and doing things for each other, because that’s what makes a marriage work!
5. Pray Together
While this is probably the most important way to strengthen a marriage, we definitely don’t do it as often as we should. I know when we do pray together though, I always feel closer to David. We vowed to keep God at the center of our marriage and family when we got married. Keeping Him at the center takes work in today’s world, and being diligent in prayer is important. Even if it’s a simple and quick prayer together at the start of the day or the end, take the time to ask God for guidance and protection in any and all family decisions (we definitely will be taking my own advice here a little more often…). Prayer is so powerful!
As I said above; our marriage is nowhere near anything resembling perfect. These are little things that work for us, but by no means are they the recipe for EVERYONE’s marriage. Marriages always need work to grow, and a new year is a good time to try something new!
Do you have any tips that have strengthened your marriage? I’d love to hear them!
Wedding photos credit: We heart Photography
Engagement photos credit: Stott Shots Photography
I link up at these fun parties!