Living with gratitude is a game changer for an unhappy existence or miserable day. The truth is that it is truly better to give than to receive, and this goes for marriages as well. Psychotherapist and Relationship Expert Dr. John Gottman says positivity is a predictor of marital success and positive comments and behaviours outweigh the negative ones 20:1 in a relationship. So to keep and create positive, why not give back to your marriage?
Here is a handy printable list to keep your marriage a priority during the hustle and bustle of life. Do one, do some, or do them all in whatever order you fancy and see if it doesn't add some connection and fun. Take a photo a day to capture the moment and tag us on Instagram - we'll gracefully decline any boudoir shots - or accompany the acts with a gratitude journal of what you are most thankful for that day and how your thanking went. Most of the suggestions cost little time or money so It is essentially gratis gratitude with lots of pay off.
The list covers all of your partner's Love Languages with items including touch, gift giving, verbal affirmation, acts of service, and quality time. You can keep the calendar out in the open to inspire or, conspire with or keep it tucked away to watch and enjoy the reaction. With all of life's demands it is hard to keep building and growing in our relationships, but it is important - for you, for your kids, and for your family life.
1. Breakfast + Bed = Awesome. Channel your inner Mr. Belvedere... or French maid for that matter, and get ready for suggestion #2.
2. Make time to make love. (And do the stuff they, um, like. You know; that thing.) This likely involves farming the kids out instead of setting up obstacles and hoping they don't figure out how to unlock the door.
3. Perform a chore that your partner does but hates and get it done without mentioning it.
4. Warm up and clear off their car in the morning.
5. Reminisce and find out each other's best gifts ever as kids. Note: if you can find and present them with a related gift for this year, all the better!
6. Have a date night in, buy ingredients for a zillion appetizers, rent a fun movie you will both like, and have a nice evening in when the kids go to bed.
7. Email an early fun photo of the two of you to your partner.
8. Give the gift of listening and ask about their day. Do all things heavenly possible to give them your undivided attention.
9. After the kids go to bed celebrate your “inner” children and make snow angels or have a snowball fight.
10. Something with Chocolate. Anything chocolate is going to be good.
12. June Cleaver him one night, (or be a modern-day Ward Cleaver for her). Have the house clean, the roast in the oven, and the pearls on. Don't worry, all can be back to normal tomorrow.
13. Crack out that dusty massage oil you have in the back of the bathroom cupboard; it's massage night!
14. Write a love letter and stick it in their computer bag.
15. Sext. Seductive emoji's are now available if that helps.
16. “I respect you because...” note. This one word can mean a lot, try using it and introducing it regularly into your conversations.
17. Compliment your partner in the spur of the moment. How often do we think of nice things to say but don't always say them?
18. Go for a walk and talk, bonus points if you can do it while the kids are supervised elsewhere.
19. Have a date, lunch, breakfast or dinner, whatever you can squeeze in.
20. Write "I love you" on their dirty car.
21. Buy something that your partner enjoys and you despise. My husband thinks Cheese Whiz is horrific and I have fond memories of eating it on toast as a kid. When he buys it for me I know it is selfless.
22. Have a slow dance in the living room to a nostalgia infused song.
23. Make Margaritas and dream of being somewhere tropical.
24. Foot rub: big ask if you think feet are gross, indulgent ask if you have a foot fetish.
25. Make a mid-day call to your partner just to say I love you.
27. Hollywood Kiss. Like, a real one.
28. Make their favourite meal.
29. Create a jar full of pieces of paper with reasons why you love and respect your partner and give it to them.
30. Make them a mixed playlist with all their favourites and weather a night of Jethro Tull and AC/DC
Print this list out and keep it in a handy spot. Have fun with it; pick random numbers to try, or follow calendar dates. Keep track of which ones hit home, and file them away for future reference. We challenge you to try all of these suggestions, and then get back to us with the results!
Want to read more about relationships? See How Not To Have An Affair, Part One and Two, and Conscious Uncoupling: Why the Phrase is Making a Comeback.
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