10 Things I’m Doing to Make My Marriage Sing

… after 10+ years.

 

An elderly lady once smiled at me as I walked past her, holding my husband’s hand.   She told me, “It makes me so happy to see couples your age enjoying one another.  It’s easy at the very beginning… and it’s easy now, when we’ve all the time in the world.  But it was hardest when we were in the throes of it– when life was so busy and the children needed so much.  Keep it up!”

 

I smiled and thanked her, but inwardly blushed.  Because, to be honest, we didn’t really often hold hands.  I don’t even know exactly why we were.  It had gotten to the point where our hands were most frequently full of LITTLE hands and no longer available for interwining closeness.  While, I appreciated the wise woman’s words, I also knew I could do better…

 

I want to tell you all something.  I have been SO HAPPY lately.  And it’s not because I’m making more money or wearing a smaller size or enjoying perfectly behaved children.  Nope.  It’s because my marriage is better and richer.

 

Here are ten little things I’m doing that are making my okay marriage positively electrifying (<– not exaggerating with that word- really):

 

  1. I’m wearing more dresses and skirts.  I’m not on a campaign to get women out of pants (bring on the jeans!), nor do I have extreme modesty standards (some of my favorite skirts hit above the knee).  But dresses and skirts are fun, flirty, and make me happy.  I hold myself differently when I feel cute and not frumpy.
  2. I’m saving one of my cups of coffee for the PM.  I generally drink decaf, but, if I do choose to indulge in some caffeine, I’ve been saving it for mid-afternoon.  It gives me the perkiness I need to smile through the evening hours and still sleep well at night.
  3. I’m cutting cable.  Well, we decided– together– to cut the cable.  We still watch shows together, but we’re more intentional about it.  We only seek out the ones we REALLY like.  There’s no mindless channel surfing and we’re able to really dig into a series together.
  4. I’m showing some leg.  Well, okay, this goes along with the whole skirt thing.  But I’ve pulled out my pretty tights and hose and they’re back in regular rotation.  What am I saving them for?  If they get runs or tears, so be it.  At least they’re being appreciated.
  5. I’m playing.  “Santa” brought the family Just Dance 3 this year and we love it.  Hubby and I have such a blast dancing together.  (What does it say that I am always “in rhythm” on Promiscuous Girl???  Ha!)  He out-scores me every darn time, but I don’t care.  Getting active together, and laughing in the process, is fantastic for our marriage.
  6. I’m wearing lip gloss.  My husband?  HATES eye liner or heavy shadow or mascara.  But he likes shiny lips.  Done.  How easy was that?
  7. I’m letting him indulge me.  I went through a horrible phase of frugality when I would say things like, “I’d rather you not buy me flowers, because it’s SUCH a wasteful extravagance.”  Okay.  True… but, really, I was kind of a Scrooge!  He’s not spending money we can’t spare so, if he wants to grab a bottle of champagne, I’m going to say “thank you!” and not “you shouldn’t have.”
  8. I rediscovered dangly earrings.  I love my classic hoops and studs.  I still wear them a lot.  But I dug out some long sparklers and they’ve added a fun twist to things.  They’re flirty and silly there’s nothing at all wrong with that!
  9. I’m sending subtly suggestive emails.  And receiving them.  And you know what?  I get the same giddy butterflies in my belly that I did when I’d watch him walk across campus when we were in college together.  That’s a beautiful thing!
  10. I am sitting next to him.  My husband and I used to always sit on separate pieces of furniture… and I don’t think that’s uncommon!  Many couples seem to have “Daddy’s chair” or the loveseat where she relaxes or whatever.  We don’t do that anymore.  I sit beside him on the couch.  And you know what?  I fall asleep less frequently that way!  The one night I did happen to doze off?  I slept on his leg.  And he left me there.  It was actually super sweet.

 

Those are just a few simple little things that are making a huge difference in the quality of our marriage and, as a result, in my total happiness.  What are some things you do to make your marriage sing? 

 

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23 comments to 10 Things I’m Doing to Make My Marriage Sing

  • Shirnell

    Thank you so very much for this. My husband and I have been going through a rough patch and this woke me up a bit. Our one year anniversary is coming up and it won’t hurt a darn thing to start doing the little things he enjoys, like putting on a skirt or a bit of make up. So thank you again for this simple reminder.

    • Said a little prayer for you just now, Shirnell. Those rough patches can serve to strengthen and build in beautiful ways, but it’s so hard when you’re in the midst of it. Happy anniversary, a bit early, and many, many happy years to you both!

  • I admire you for wearing skirts, dresses, and tights! I don’t unless I can’t avoid it!

    Here are some things I do for my husband (we’ve been married for 13 years, and I’ve learned the importance of doing these things in just the last three or four years):

    I text him during the day when he’s at work – lots of “I love you” and sometimes suggestive messages.

    I have a collection of “nighttime” apparel that I wear just for him, and I add to it for special occasions like anniversaries and birthdays. One of the reasons I don’t wear dresses and skirts and tights is I HATE uncomfortable clothing (at least, that type of clothing is uncomfortable to me), but I can endure wearing uncomfortable things for a short while at night when it makes my husband happy.

    I try to offer to be intimate with him at least once a week.

    I only wear clothes that he likes. Whenever I buy something new, I show it to him and he gets to help me decide whether I’ll keep it or not. I want to know that I’m dressing attractively for him. If he doesn’t like something, it goes. Fortunately for me, he’s not very picky; he likes me in jeans that fit and doesn’t mind that I like to wear vests in the winter time. But he really appreciates having the opportunity to veto clothes he doesn’t like.

    I try to give my husband lots of affirming words. He’s a words of affirmation guy, so I often tell him how much I appreciate him and think he’s awesome and smart and strong and sexy, etc.

    We do something fun together pretty much every night we’re both home (we try to have no less than three week nights at home together). We read together, play video games together, watch movies together, and play board games together.

    I try not to be controlling. I naturally tend toward being a controlling person, but I’ve learned that my husband needs some freedom, so I don’t make a fuss when he wants to go out with friends on occasion, and I try to be open to doing what he wants to do even when I may not want to do it. Recently he went to the funeral of one of his grade school teachers on my birthday. I didn’t want him to go because we had planned a special evening together, but I could see it was really important to him, so I didn’t make a fuss. He was so appreciative.

    Thanks for this post. It’s a good reminder to me to keep up with doing these things and not get lazy about them.

    • This is a fantastic list, Mandy– thanks for sharing! I totally agree about the uncomfortable stuff. Blech. I tend to wear long, flowy things or short, flippy things and those are comfy to me. And I really like patterned/lacy kinds of tights because my legs get air! ;) I think we ladies could all use a little encouragement (and reminder) from one another in this area. None of it is “hard”, but it can be too easy to forget!

  • Jessie, last night I “went to the trouble” of shaving my legs, in the winter, just because I knew it would be appreciated. Thanks for bringing attention to all the little things that we do to try to keep our relationships blooming!

  • Those things are super sweet! We are getting ready to have our 3rd child, and I’ve been thinking that I hope our marriage still is going well when we are so busy and tired with 3 kids! It gets harder to keep up the romance with each new kid and life, but you know what…I still love him a ton and want things to be great! Thanks for the tips!

    • Congratulations, Stephanie! Adding a third child to our marriage was one of the greatest things we did… but it definitely was a busy, demanding season. And, trust me, I wasn’t getting all dolled up in skirts and lip gloss in those early days. ;) But little notes, inside jokes, and snuggles on the couch can still happen! I do think it’s a great reminder that “to everything there is a season” and “making a marriage sing” is certainly going to look different at different times. Be sure to let me know when #3 arrives… baby news is the very best kind! :)

  • Wow. I needed this. My marriage is fine. We have our fights but mostly we are fine. But… It’s always a good thing to work on your marriage even when all seems fine. In fact, I think it’s crucial. We get into this rut… come home from work, eat supper, watch tv, dishes, work in garage (him), go to sleep. It’s hard to get excited when everything feels so routine. I’m taking your advice and adding some spice! ;)

    • Ah, the dreaded rut. We’ve spent our time in the rut, too. Truthfully? Ruts are comfy places. ;) The best thing I ever decided to do was realize that, while I absolutely crave and thrive on routine, it doesn’t have to be a rut. Redefining that “routine” to include giggles and hand-holding and candle lighting and skirt-wearing pleases both my “comfortable routine”-loving side and my “wants more for my marriage” side. :)

  • Great ideas! We’ve been married ten years, too, and I feel like we’re more in love now than ever. We both write each other notes (handwritten and e-mails), we goof off and give ourselves permission to be silly, “take advantage” of the kiddos’ naptime if we’re both home, snuggle on the couch and watch a movie when the kids go to bed.

  • Good list. You know the number one thing I do for my husband that I think he loves the most…I am being quiet. Truly. Just shutting my mouth more. Giving him time to speak his mind and not “nag” so much. I am always tryto to touch more. Smile more. Be all aound more plesant. I also keep my hair longer and lighter for him. And a nice smelling lotion is also nice!

    • Oh, I love this with big hearts, Theresa! Quiet can be so powerful and so loving. And I hear you on the touch thing. I sometimes have to work at that. I think it’s super low on my “love languages”… but I know it ranks higher for him. :)

  • Love these! After 20+ years I’ve learned to met him at the door when he gets home with a kiss, a hug, a smile and the words “this is the best part of my day!” He smiles when he walks up the step and in the winter even unzips his coat and holds it open for me to get closer. Aw..gee..I think I’m blushing! ;)

  • Katie

    I’m embarrassed to admit but sometimes I get complacent in my marriage and don’t put in the extra effort that my husband really deserves. Thank you for the reminder to make my marriage a priority.

    • Don’t be embarrassed, Katie! We ALL get complacent sometimes. I most definitely have. But it absolutely delights me that it is SO easy to toss some sparkle back into our relationship… and I hope that that came through in this list. I’m just so happy that it really is little stuff that’s making a big difference around here. :)

  • [...] week, I shared ten little (really– they’re so simple) things I’ve been doing that have m….  I actually have at least ten more equally easy ideas to share with you all but, for now, I [...]

  • Houseofmen

    Like Stephanie we’re getting ready to hatch our third baby and TBH I needed this reminder. I have very difficult pregnancies and its easy for me to become very self-centered and focus too much on all the things that are hard in my day. I don’t think theres a list of things I could even put together like this ATM lol thats abit sad but I’m inspired now ;) I have been making him a special lunch once a week with deli-style sandwiches, special fruit and little chocolate-y treats tucked in there so I’m going to build on that. I think I’ve greeted him in tears 2 out of the last 3 evenings this week and while I expect I’ll still do that I may cut it back to one in 5 :P The clothing bit is abit of a mission but it is summer here and we have some huge sales going on so I might go grab a couple of floaty little skirts that I usually wear when not preg and haven’t worn for fear of stretching them. Exciting! He’ll be stoked :D Thankyou for these posts – I’ve just found your blog and I’m hooked!!

  • [...] mentioned the candle.  I also try to dress a little cute on date nights.  Sometimes?  This means I’m whipping out the skirts and pretty stockings.  Other nights?  It’s well-fitting jeans and a flattering knit top.  It’s never [...]

  • [...] … wore a skirt for anything other than church.  Skirts make most us of FEEL different and that can be a fun change! [...]

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