February 11th is the hub’s and I’s 6th anniversary.
6 years of wedded bliss, 1 daughter, 2 moves, about 8 jobs between the two of us, and much, much more.
Because our anniversary is so close to Valentine’s Day (what were we thinking when we eloped??) it makes sense that the entire month of February gets us thinking about love, marriage, and how we can learn to lift each other up, rather than tearing each other down.
Especially after a few years of marriage.
I’m not going to lie: year 5 was HARD. Even though we finally felt like we had “arrived” as far as our jobs, parenting skills, finances, and health were concerned, we continued to find things to fight about, constantly tearing each other down, almost as if we were looking for ways to give each other a hard time.
Maybe its how long we’ve been married, maybe we’re just not ready to be adults, or maybe it’s because we’re selfish individuals at heart who have to constantly work to commit to each other every day – whether we want to or not – but we are committed to taking time for our marriage. With our daughter or without, at home or away, in year 6 we’re making our marriage a priority no matter how hard life gets, what curveballs it throw us, or how mad we get.
In 2016 we’re working on our marriage.
In reality, we should all be working on our marriages all of the time, but if you, like us, haven’t been vigilant in protecting your love like we have: don’t worry, I’m not judging you. In an effort to form a few habits, I’m bringing you this series: 10 Days To a Better Marriage.
Each day will be focused on two things: remembering something you love about your spouse, and then doing something to make them feel loved that doesn’t cost much money.
Let’s dive into Day 1: A Random Act of Kindness
What Do You Love About Your Spouse?
Deep in the trenches of marriage, remembering the little things you loved about your spouse while you were dating gets hard. Like “We’re being fired upon and can barely think let alone remember why we love each other.”
Yeah, it’s that bad.
You can have the perfect marriage and still feel like you’re drowning.
And marriage wasn’t mean to be that whay.
So that’s why I’m asking you to think, for just a moment, and remember one small thing that you love about your spouse. Was it the way he cleaned his car (and he NEVER cleaned his car) before a date? The late-night phone calls? The way he hugs you?
The thing you remember can be extremely small or huge, it doesn’t matter as long as you can think of something.
Then, as you move on to the next step, keep that in mind.
A Random Act of Kindness
Each and every relationship is unique, so I won’t presume to tell you what Random Act of Kindness (RAOK) is right for you.
What I WILL tell you is that there is nothing like seeing your special someone’s face light up after a special surprise. Serving your spouse is one of the keys to happy marriage, and even though you won’t want to all the time, pushing through during a tough season can be the key to making or breaking your marriage.
If you can, take your hubs’ Love Language into account. If you don’t know his Love Language, think about what he likes the most: Gifts, Quality Time, Physical Touch, Acts of Service, or Words of Affirmation? The one you seem to remember him appreciating the most is most likely his love language. And, if you can’t decide between two, that’s ok too because people can have more than one Love Language.
Based on that Love Language, here are some ideas for RAOK’s:
- Surprise him with something on his Amazon wish list
- Buy him his favorite candy
- Bake his favorite dessert
- Buy him a little surprise when you’re at the grocery store
- Buy his favorite cut of steak (or whatever he’s into)
- Offer to play video games with him
- Watch sports with him
- Start a meaningful conversation with him
- Set a date to do his favorite hobby with him
- Bubble bath & candles
- A surprise massage after a hard day at work
- Kiss him, just because
- Hold his hand in public
- Cuddle on the couch
- Give him a hug
Acts of Service
- Do one of his chores for him (take out the trash??)
- Make his favorite meal for him
- Surprise him at work with coffee or lunch
- Breakfast in Bed
- Let him pick the movie
- Let him pick the restaurant
- Ask him what he would like you to do
- Wash that one piece of clothing that never gets washed (workout shirts, jeans, etc)
Words of Affirmation
- Tell him how much you appreciate him
- Put a love note in his lunch, or a card
- Leave an “I Love You” post-it on the bathroom mirror
- Send him a sweet text while he’s at work
- Brag about him to friends
- Pray for him
- Pay him a compliment
There are so many ways to show your spouse that you’re thinking of them and love them that this list is just the tip of the iceberg. And, while some of these may seem chessy to you, to another couple they’re perfect. By the same token, those RAOK’s that make sense for your marriage don’t make sense in others.
But no matter how broke you are, how frustrated you are, and how beseiged your marriage feels in this moment, you CAN do a Random Act of Kindness and start working on your marriage today!
How do you recognize your spouse? Leave your suggestions in the comments!
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Thanks for posting this! It’s so important to remember not to neglect the person who is supposed to be the most important! Your blog is so inspiring and helpful.
Josefin Björnberg says
I love your better managing blog. I like your idea of sharing good feeling of our partner with others. Moreover, We can also give some special attention to partners which feel special to her.