Tomorrow, September 25, puts Nate and I at number sixteen for our anniversary years so I thought it’d be fun to create a blog post offering sixteen marriage tips or pieces of advice. And I got Nate in on it too!!
Newlyweds, kids or no kids, empty nesters — hope these tips are helpful!
They’re listed in no specific order by the way.
1. Discuss your own love language with one another and speak each other’s as well. Super important!!!
Which of these makes you feel loved by your spouse and which one makes your spouse feel loved — Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, or Physical Touch
2. Do projects together.
Whether it’s just hanging up shelves or building a she-shed for your lady, create and work alongside one another. It’s awesome to be able to step back and admire your work later on.
3. Put your spouse’s needs before kiddos.
I know this is a hard one but if you think about it you and your lovey came before your kids…
So (for example) when entering the house from work greet each other with a hello and kiss first and foremost and then move on to the kids. From this one act your kiddos will see that your marriage is healthy, in order, and that you two are the bosses. It will also help them feel that they’re in a safe zone and well taken care of. Kids thrive off of peace and orderly conduct.
‘Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.￼’ — Ephesians 5:22-24
4. Laugh. Don’t be too serious.
This was a text between Nate and I one time which isn’t out of the normal. We can be serious but I’m 40% sure that we’re silly a majority of the time.
5. Have date nights. (copyrighted by Nate)
Seriously your children need to know and witness that mom and dad are happily married, healthy, and in love. Set an example by doing little dates, even if those dates can only happen at home.
Drink a cup of coffee in the mornings, workout, take a walk, rub each other’s feet (I “stink” at doing this one)
Make little points to be connecting with one another so your children can see this happening.
6. Take care of one another in helpful ways.
Examples: Whoever has time be the one to make breakfasts, help with dish duty, wash or vacuum the other one’s car, switch laundry over or fold clothes, sweep/mop, etc.
I promise if you make a habit of chiming in on these little chores your spouse will notice!
7. Encourage with notes or texts. Give compliments.
Recently one morning I went into the bathroom and found this sweet note Nate had hung on the mirror. He came up with the idea on his own…and I probably skipped putting on blush that day!!
8. Thank your spouse.
When you notice or appreciate the good they do (or them helping out) don’t take those moments for granted. Let your spouse know your appreciation.
*Side-note: Nate and I attended a marriage conference last year and the couple who were speaking told us that after doing a recent study it showed that ‘men actually feel most loved and appreciated when their spouse simply and genuinely acknowledges their good work and then thanks them.’
9. Team work.
Make the bed together, cook/bake together, clean together, do yard work together, budget together, etc.
Don’t miss that word — “together”.
10. Respect one another so you both feel loved.
Value one another’s opinions/advice. Be supportive of emotions and concerns.
Nate suggested to remember “happy wife, happy life” …I’m gonna rename this though because I think it needs to be two-way so I’m going with “happy spouse, happy house”.
11. Communicate well.
Listen to each other. Ask questions. Seek marriage counseling if needed.
12. Entertain one another’s interests.
They say opposites attract. If your spouse enjoys things that don’t quite appeal to you do them anyway!! …garage saleing, hunting, golfing, shopping, etc.
13. Start a new hobby TOGETHER.
…frisbee golf, Nate said clogging (where you do some folk dancing, I think he’s just being a nerd but now he’s google searching it as I’m writing) learn an instrument, etc.
14. For the Christian couple do a Bible study, just the two of you alone or in a small group through a church setting.
And if you’re not Christians go check it out, you won’t be disappointed.
15. Always say I love you before bed or when leaving each other for work or wherever.
16. And yes I’m gonna go here — I don’t care if physical touch is a love language of yours or not — MAKE LOVE!!
No extra commentary needed for this one.
Well except that the Bible even says to:
“Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” — 1 Corinthians 7:5
All of these tips take patience and practice. This list is not exhaustive and definitely not perfected by us, but it’s things Nate and I strive to accomplish. By doing these things we build our relationship and also help our three attentive mockers know what to look for one day in a future spouse.
I love you Nathan! Thank you for encouraging me as a writer, wife, and mother! You (and our faith in Jesus) are my favorite piece to sixteen years of marriage!!