A strong marriage, like all the important things in our lives, takes some work from all parties. You cannot just “will yourself” toward a strong marriage. One must be willing to put in substantial effort – and do a lot of listening – to make the marriage work.
There are many ways to show your partner that they are indispensable in your life. In the piece ahead, discover some little steps you can take to ensure that your marriage is an all-season marriage. This list is not exhaustive. Continue to ponder ways you can help your marriage deepen over time. Make the list of “Gratitude Gifts” your list.
1. Write Notes
Writing notes is a terrific well to infuse a relationship with intimacy and vigor. Start writing about the weather, your day, your joys, your commitment to the marriage bond. If you feel so inclined, write poetry or short stories to your beloved. You do not have to be Shakespeare to dazzled your partner with signs of intimacy and appreciation.
2. Make Time
We live frenetic lives. The busy pace of work, family, church, and other obligations leaves little time for our intimate relationships. But perhaps the intimate relationships should be at the top of our lists. Make time to pamper your partner with a quiet afternoon, a romantic getaway, or a succulent meal. We do not get the moments back, friends. Use the moments of the day wisely.
3. Flowers, Flowers
Males and females alike appreciate a nice bouquet of flowers. You do not have to spend hundreds of dollars on orchards or roses, either. A simple spray with loving intention is all you need to demonstrate to your partner that they are deeply loved and appreciated. By the way, do not wait until times are tough to send the flowers. Shower your partner in color and variety today.
No one signs up to clean toilets, dispose of kitty litter, or iron a gargantuan pile of clothes. However, these important tasks must be completed in a healthy family. Do your part, friend, and exceed your spouse’s expectations of your contributions to the dirty jobs around the house. Scrub, rinse, and dry as often as you are able, so that you can alleviate some of your partner’s daily routines. For extra credit, dispose of the dog poop in the backyard also.
5. Wash the Car
We all depend on the family cruiser to get us to work, school, the kid’s soccer games and the like. Over time, this necessary, albeit depreciating asset, can be walloped by overuse and rough conditions. Pamper your partner’s vehicle, friends, and you’ll be pampering your partner. Vacuuming, washing, waxing, and the like improve the car’s appearance and bring additional piece-of-mind to your sweet darlin’. A little elbow grease on a Saturday morning will bring joy to your partner all week long.
6. The Gift of Massage
Yes, this one may sound risky at first if you are not well-versed in the power of the massage. But, here’s the thing… a massage can do wonders in enhancing one’s physical and spiritual well-being. Massages are a relatively inexpensive way to pamper your partner. This “Oasis/Retreat” will communicate to your beloved that they are so incredibly important to you.
7. A Little Bit of Praise
It may seem a bit counterintuitive, but words are more valuable that things. Our ability – and willingness – to offer our beloved one some daily words of affirmation will make him/her feel valued and heard. Thank your partner for a good meal, a warm smile, daily companionships, good memories and the like. Nothing could be finer than a little bit of praise.
8. Overnight Surprise
Spontaneity is always appreciated. Pick a location that is special to you and your beloved and set sail on a weekend adventure. Take along a bottle of wine and a picnic basket to help raise the “wow factor.” A trip to the mountains or the coast will let your partner know that there’s still a hearty spark left in your relationship.
9. Chicken Soup and the Works
When your partner is under the weather, you have ample opportunity to show that you know how to provide exquisite care. A good soup, a clean, crisp bed and a steady supply of tissues will communicate compassion. If your partner is pregnant, do not hesitate to make the 2 am donut run if it will provide her with an extra dose of comfort.
10. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Giving your partner plenty of space to claim some grace when mistakes arise is vital to a healthy relationship. Practice forgiveness daily, and be willing to embrace your loved one when they come to you seeking release in the aftermath of misstep. Relationships they are built to see beyond the potholes, are relationships that will endure the test of time.
No marriage is perfect. However, many marriages can grow closer to actualization over the years as couples hone in on the attitudes and actions that deepen the bonds. First and foremost, we must listen to our loved ones. All of these little “Gratitude Gifts” presuppose we’re listening intently to our beloved ones, and the overall “pulse” of the marriage. If you feel the marriage needs more than an infusion of gratitude, do not hesitate to reach beyond your circle for good counsel and good examples. As always, healthy communication is the key to long-term health and stability.