Now that the holidays are in full swing, everyone is definitely feeling a little more festive, merrier, and happier. Let’s be honest, it’s a LOT easier to show gratitude and appreciation during this time of year, right? (It’s OK – a lot of people feel the same way!) What I want to talk to you about in today’s blog is how to carry on that warm, appreciative state of mind within your marriage for the other remaining 10 months of the year. Fight getting lost in life’s daily routine by actively choosing to express gratitude for your spouse. Take the time to truly value your marriage. Here are a few ideas to change things up, go the extra mile, and keep the heat going in the fireplace of your marriage… not just during the holiday season, but in EVERY season.
EXPRESS THANKS WITH YOUR BODY
We all appreciate nice words, but backing those words up with action could prove to be fun for the both of you. Pick a day this week to be physically intimate with your spouse. Decide ahead of time, do a little bit of planning, and surprise them. Ladies, shave your legs. Men, shave your face the way your wife likes it. Wear clothing your spouse loves you in. Whatever the “norm” is in your bedroom, find a way to step it up. Set the mood by lighting candles, playing music, offering a nice back rub, or fixing up the bed. Physical interactions that are intentional are absolutely more pleasurable.
WRITE A LOVE NOTE
Written notes will never go out of style – specially in today’s society, where more and more of our communication is happening over text and social media. Never underestimate the power of a sweet message on a sticky note tucked into your spouse’s lunchbox. (I always make sure to do this during my husband’s busy month-end close week at work!) Bonus points if you go the extra distance to write a card. Write out the reasons you’re grateful for your spouse. Start with, “I’m grateful for you and our marriage because…” Find the words to say thanks!
DO SOMETHING YOUR SPOUSE ENJOYS
Chances are, you and your spouse won’t always like the same things or have the same tastes. Maybe it’s movies genres, a particular type of food, or a certain activity. Now is the time to zip your lips on the negativity, plan something you know your spouse will enjoy, and decide to enjoy it as well. Speak your spouse’s language and participate in something they love. They will appreciate the sacrifice you’re making.
DO WHAT IS ASKED OF YOU WITH A SMILE
I know this one doesn’t sound very fun or sexy. But think about it for a minute, how pleased are you when you ask something of your spouse and they do it immediately with a smile? It makes such a difference when you do tasks intentionally and out of love for your spouse. Own your role as wife or husband and be the best one you can be.
DEDICATE TIME TO RECONNECT
At the end of a long day, we’re all looking forward to unwinding and relaxing at home. Make coming home to your spouse another big thing to look forward when you get home. Schedule a few minutes of “reconnection time” when you both get home to talk about each other’s days, share your wins and challenges, thank each other for support, etc. If anything, use that time to look into each other’s eyes, share a hug, and bask in each other’s presence.
As we exit the holiday season and move into the rest of the year, it can be easy to lose sight of the warmth and gratitude we felt towards our loved ones and fall back into a monotonous routine. You have got to choose to stand against it. Choosing gratitude in marriage will turn your heart towards your spouse to bring you closer together – not just during the holiday season, but in every season of life. If you are ready to talk to a Counselor, please reach out to Amy Wine Counseling Center at 832.421.8714.