Don’t think you have time for 15 daily things? You may be surprised to learn you are already doing simple activities that strengthen your marriage. Some of these other suggestions might involve small changes that can yield stronger love. Take a moment and consider these quick tips to help improve your marriage everyday!
Cultivate love daily. If love is like a garden, then it needs food to grow. Think of these simple actions as the water and sunlight your marriage needs to keep love blooming.
1. Pray for your spouse.
2. Only say kind things about your spouse to your children, family, and friends. Even if your spouse never knows what you’ve said, doing so will strengthen your feelings for him or her.
3. Be loyal in your thoughts. Merillee Boyack explains in her book Strangling Your Husband Is Not an Option, the dangers of “wistfully thinking of prior flames or comparing. . . spouses to other [people] and constantly finding them wanting. Both are disloyal. Both are dangerous.”
Bring your best self to the marriage every day. When we feel our best physically, it helps our mental and emotional well-being. It also facilitates positive interaction with others, including spouses.
4. Exercise. Think of the benefits to marriage when partners have increased serotonin levels, good muscle tone, more energy, less stress, and greater self-confidence! In an article for Livestrong.com, dietitian Michele Turcote states that “Aerobic exercise, including walking, running, biking, swimming (among others) seem to be the most effective at increasing serotonin synthesis in the brain. The optimal amount of exercise needed to enhance serotonin synthesis in the brain is 3 hours weekly, or 30 minutes most days of the week.”
5. Eat nutritious food. A balanced diet contributes to better moods and helps you maintain a healthy weight.
6. Get adequate sleep. In an article for Health.com, Ella Quittner reports that, “When wives have trouble falling asleep, the quality of their relationship with their husband suffers. The longer it [takes for]women to drift off. . . the more likely both partners were to report negative interactions with their spouse—such as feeling ignored or criticized—the following day.”
7. Take responsibility for your own emotions. It’s easy to blame bad moods on those around us, but the fact is, no one can ever make you feel something. If you find yourself feeling down, make a conscious effort to cheer yourself up. You’ll be happier, and your marriage will benefit.
Prevent daily disagreements. Husbands and wives can look to simple tasks that trigger arguments, and take action to stop them before they start.
8. Do the laundry.
9. Pay the bills on time.
10. Associate with friends who value marriage. Adults aren’t too different from teenagers when it comes to being influenced by peers. If a husband spends his lunch hour with buddies that berate marriage, wives, or women in general, chances are those attitudes are impacting his feelings about his own companion. If a wife maintains friendships with women who engage in husband-bashing for sport, the habit of finding fault with her own husband may develop.
Demonstrate love daily. What do you do with all that love you’ve cultivated? Show it! Find what speaks the most love to your spouse and be generous.
11. Pray with your spouse.
12. Make the bed together. If your morning schedule allows, take two minutes and make the bed! Think of your bed as a symbol of unity, and making it together as representative of the dedication you both have to your relationship. Or, if that’s too deep, think of it as one chore off the list!
13. Talk. Be conscious of your spouse and make an effort to say “I love you,” or ask, “How are you today?”
14. Touch. When affectionate touch is absent from a relationship, a husband or wife can feel isolated. Let your spouse know that you know he or she is there!
15. Be a team. Remember you are on the same side, each working for the success of the partnership. Work together, and you’ll be enjoying a stronger marriage in no time.
Tamara Passey lives with her husband and three children in Arizona. Visit her blog at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact her at email@example.com.