5 Things to Start Doing Today!
I have a secret. Ready?
Marriage requires consistent effort from both individuals to keep it afloat. Yep. Marriage is not easy, in fact, it’s one of the hardest relationships to maintain. We all know that though. Marriage is hard work. No one tells you how hard it is when you first get married. Well, maybe they do. But at that point you’re still in the honeymoon phase and think that everyone must be full of it because your relationship is so easy- and it is. Then you get a few years in, add a few kids, and realize how tough it is.
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Here are 5 things you can do today to improve your marriage:
Laughter is so important. Seems too simple, right? Share a meme, laugh at a joke, laugh at your kids, I don’t care what it is, laugh together at least once a day. Finding that joy, that happiness about something together will make you both feel better and bring you closer. Bedtime is rough for everyone. You’re pretty much out of patience and everything is infuriating. At least that’s what it’s like at our house. Last night my husband had one-liner during the bedtime rituals and his delivery, tone, and statement were hilarious. We laughed for a good five minutes and it completely changed the tone of our evening. Never underestimate the power of laughing.
Put Down Your Phones
Cell phones are a huge distraction from your family. I’m guilty of scrolling through Facebook instead of listening to a story my husband is sharing. When he does that to me, I feel like I’m not important, like what I’m saying isn’t a priority to him. You have two choices, put down the phones when you’re talking to each other, or carve out 30 minutes a day where you silence your phones and put them away. Pick one that fits best with your life. If 30 minutes is too much, start by putting your phone down when you’re talking to each other. It seems insignificant, but listening to each other without distractions is important. It reminds your spouse they’re important and their words are worth hearing.
Eat Dinner Together
This is hard when you have kids and you’re super busy. If you can eat together at the dinner table every day, that’s great! If you can do it once a week, thats great too! We have a rule, no phones at the dinner table. It’s our dedicated no phone zone and our time to reconnect as a family. Truthfully, this wasn’t ever a priority of ours. We used to eat in front of the TV for almost every single meal. After our second child was born, we realized that we needed to have some family time and eating together was an easy way to achieve that. I am amazed at the changes in our relationship since we started eating together. Connecting in such a simple way is vital to feeling like a committed partnership.
Holding hands reminds you of a simpler time in your relationship. It brings back memories of those early years when all you wanted to was each other. That feeling goes away pretty quickly once you have kids. Your relationship is no longer centered around the two of you and often the needs of your marriage may feel like they take a back seat to raising kids. So, hold hands. Hold them when you’re watching TV or before you go to bed. It’s a simple way to remind each other that you’re in this together and you’re still lovebirds at heart.
Speak Each Other’s Love Language
If this sounds like a foreign language, check out the book 5 Love Languages (affiliate) by Gary Chapman. It’ll revolutionize your marriage. No time to read? That’s ok. Take this quick quiz to see what your love language is and then have your spouse take it too. My husband and I listened to the audiobook together a few summers ago when we were driving from Virginia to West Virginia. We realized that we were doing things for each other that we considered acts of love, but that the other wasn’t recognizing. Turns out, we have different love languages! Mine are words of affirmation and acts of service. My husband’s is physical touch. Speaking each other’s love language has completely shifted the dynamic of our relationship.
When you’re raising kids, sometimes it feels like your spouse becomes a teammate and you lose that person you were so smitten with. Even the best marriages require constant attention. Striving to do better for each other will bring you closer and strengthen your foundation. By implementing these 5, simple strategies you’ll start to see an improvement in how you feel toward your spouse. So, what are you waiting for? Try one (or all) today!