Long-term committed relationships can be challenging. In the midst of busy schedules and crazy work lives and our kids’ school and sports, it can be all too easy to take your spouse for granted. Or when he hurts you, it can be hard to recognize that there’s unresolved bitterness blocking you from really showing that you love your spouse. When my husband and I hit the two-year mark of our marriage, we realized we hadn’t been spending enough time being intentional with one another. We weren’t getting much out of our relationship because we weren’t putting much into it. This led us to build an app for couples called iHeartUs to strengthen their relationships.
You don’t necessarily have to build an app to love your spouse better; in fact, sometimes all it takes is some initiative. Here are 5 ways to love your husband better.
If you know your spouse’s love languages, make a concerted effort to do one thing each day to speak your spouse’s love language. If his love language is words of affirmation, slip a note into his pocket before he leaves for work, or send him a text. Or just tell him one thing you love about him before bed each night. Set a reminder on your phone each day at the same time reminding you to do one practical thing to let him know you value him.
If you know your spouse’s love languages, make a concerted effort to do one thing each day to speak your spouse’s love language.
2. Be mindful of your partner’s wants and feelings (not just me, me, me).
In our society, it’s so easy to become self-absorbed. I realize it the minute I set foot in a developing country how used to having what I want when I want it I am. And in those situations where I’m serving those in need, it’s really good for me to learn more patience and to intentionally focus on others. Ask yourself: What does he want? What does he need? How can you help him? How can you see things a little more from his perspective?
3. Tell him what you need.
As women, it’s especially easy for us to become caretakers and give too much. Sometimes we don’t even know what we need because we focus too much on taking care of everyone else. Ask yourself what you need. What do you really need? Then be brave, and use your voice.
4. Feel the feeling but do the right thing.
Don’t react out of emotion or anger. (Be the person you want to be in your relationship).
5. Say thank you.
There are so many things we can say thank you for each day. Find one of them, and be intentional. The difference between a great relationship and an okay one is so often just intentionality.
Tell us! What are some practical ways you intentionally love your souse?
Cassandra Soars has published various national magazine articles on a wide range of topics, including life in Mozambique, Africa, where she lived for five years. Her first book Love Like Fire: The Story of Heidi Baker is available on Amazon.