A simple way to make your relationship happier

29 January 2018

Friends, today is our 13th dativersary! Lucky 13 :) And wow, do I feel lucky. John is my best friend, my most trusted confidante, a man of great integrity, and the other half of an unbeatable board game duo (ha!).

I am so lucky that HE’S the person I get to do life with. Because of that, I’m always looking for ways to remind him that that’s how I feel – ways to make our marriage even sweeter. I thought of a pretty simple one a few months ago, and I thought I’d share it with y’all in celebration of 13 years!

One of our engagement photos by Gina Zeidler!

I have the privilege of arriving home before John on weekdays. The hour and a half or so before he joins us can be a busy one – playing outside, getting dinner on the table, placating a hungry June, etc. – but there’s one thing I’ve started doing that makes a big difference in how the rest of our evenings together go.

What is it? It’s one thing! :) I try to do one thing every afternoon that will make his re-entry calmer, more pleasant, less stressful, and/or more joyful. Home should be the best place to be, and I want him to feel that as soon as he walks in the door. Sometimes the one thing is tidying the foyer. Sometimes it’s processing the mail so it’s not cluttering the table. Sometimes it’s waiting by the door with June when we hear his car so he has an extra-enthusiastic welcoming committee. (Is there anything better than that?!)

I find that perhaps even more than the “one thing,” the simple act of focusing on someone else’s needs at the end of the day instead of my own moves me to a more generous, patient, and lighthearted head space, and that is definitely a recipe for a happy evening.

As we so often talk about, the big things are usually the little things. It’s a million small actions that add up to a joyful marriage, not a few grand gestures every once in a while. (Though those are, of course, nice, too!)

I’d love to hear one of the small-but-significant ways you love your spouse, if you’d like to share! I learn so much from y’all!

P.S. A few more marriage posts:
Growing together
Lessons from a wedding homily
Marrying the kind one

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January 29, 2018 7:37 am

Happy dateiversary! This is such a good idea! Just focusing on one thing before my husband gets home. That is doable when having a perfectly clean house is not! Haha

January 29, 2018 8:08 am

Love this so much, friend. I agree that so often just ONE thing can have massive pay off. Our one thing is to always try and greet Dad with a big hug/kiss/’Welcome home!’ when he comes in the door. The garage is loud when it opens so we are able to prepare well for his actual entry into our home. Also, happy anniversary! Our 12 year dating anniversary was a few weeks ago too. How fun!

January 29, 2018 9:35 am

Happy dating anniversary! This is great! I’ve been thinking about this too when I welcome my boyfriend home. I’m still trying to figure what he enjoys best based upon the day he had. Sometimes is the extra enthusiastic welcome home, or having his water cup prepared for dinner. Can’t wait to read what everyone else does. :)

January 29, 2018 10:00 am

This is so awesome, and such a great reminder for me – I always try and making things easier for my hubs with things tidy, his admin done, dinner not he table but maybe more attention or affection is what he would like too – its our 12 years dating anniversary this year x

January 29, 2018 11:30 am

Such truth! My mom gave me this advice when we got married and it really makes the world of difference. Stop what you’re doing when your husband comes home and go greet him with a hug and a kiss. It really sets the tone for the rest of your evening and makes the other person feel important and loved. It’s so simple, but I’ve definitely caught myself barely looking up from whatever I’m in the middle of, but it really makes a difference!!

January 29, 2018 11:37 am

Well done! I’m a mom of 3 girls, now 22/20/16 and when they were wee, we used to make a big deal of daddy’s homecoming: hugs, kisses, and “welcome home, daddy!”. Now, they still do it! It warms his heart (and mine) to see them loving him in this unselfish way. Keep it going!!

January 30, 2018 8:00 pm

This is lovely Em! John is so lucky. I feel like my treat to my husband is plannung fun into our lives – on the weekend or in a bigger sense, with trips. Do you tell John about the little things you do? I worry I’d want credit ;)

February 1, 2018 6:08 pm

This is such simple, great advice! I’ll definitely take this with me into marriage life. It makes so much sense!

February 2, 2018 2:50 pm

My husband works really long hours in the film industry, so we don’t get a lot of together time in the evenings. It was easy to slip into the “eat on the sofa while watching a show” routine, and I knew I wanted to get out of that, because our limited time together wasn’t the quality time we wanted. We started making sure to eat dinner at the table, and really talk about our days, focusing just on each other. Even if the meal only takes 10 minutes, we’ve focused that time on each other, and it’s so nice. Just asking “what was your win for today?” or “What are you excited about for tomorrow?” leads to such great conversations. And then we can go snuggle on the sofa for a show, knowing we put the effort into our relationship first.