Written by Aaron & April Jacob
Let's face it. You are full of good intentions.
Really, you are.
You want to nurture your marriage.
You want to be a better person for your spouse.
You want to change, improve, progress, and be better, am I right?
...but then life happens.
Sometimes you let life happen to you instead of choosing to take the reins and decide who and what you'll be and what kind of effort you are willing to put into that beautiful marriage of yours.
Take a minute and think about what choices you made to intentionally nurture your marriage this past week.
We know, it's sometimes kind of painful to go back and review, but you are doing better than you think, and you can get even better at this whole "nurturing" thing! We're confident of that.
We are marriage coaches, and we often succumb to the hurry of life and let life happen to us and our marriage, instead of choosing what we want our marriage to look like, feel like, and become like.
Renowned marriage expert, John Gottman, found that the secret to a happy marriage is by doing the small things - on the daily - to show your spouse that YOU CARE about them.
READ: 50 WAYS TO SHOW LOVE
One thing that may help you at least begin to think about your desire to nurture your marriage is to create some reminders for yourself. Sort of like a marriage to-do list, or to-be list.
Remembering is a powerful thing.
Here are a few different kinds of reminders that may help you remember how much you want to nurture your marriage this week.
Recently I put up a powerful quote on our bedroom wall about successful relationships. Having a visual reminder daily - something you look at without even thinking about it - can be just the nudge you need to keep your marriage at the forefront of your mind.
I was using my friend's phone the other day and saw that her wallpaper was a picture of her spouse. I loved that visual reminder she gave herself multiple times a day to remember her spouse and how much she loved him.
Sticky notes can also be visual reminders of things you want to do to improve, or to express love and support to your spouse throughout the day/week.
You may want to set daily, weekly, or monthly reminders on your phone to help you get your nurturing game on.
Reminders that may work for you may include the following:
Questions of Evaluation
- What is something I can do for Ryan to help him feel loved?
- What does Erin really need from me today? DO IT!
- How can I show Phil that I'm trying to support him in his new job?
- What effort am I going to put into my marriage today?
- Call Shelly during lunch - ask her how she is doing and listen.
- Initiate sex tonight.
- Be patient.
- Get home on time!
- Rub his back for 5 minutes.
- Plan anniversary date night.
- Mark loves spearmint gum, specifically the Orbit brand!
- Lunch with Kathy Thursday!
- Check the sink and if there are dishes, do them!
- Kiss Mike when he gets home.
Or perhaps your reminders are for things you know you need to work on in order to be a better person, and a better spouse:
- No Taco Bell this week!
- Watch your words - no nagging!
- Look up from your phone!
- Read for 10 minutes.
- Don't bring it up (You know what "it" is!).
- Ask him how he is doing and listen.
- Drink your water!
- Remember your three goals (You will know what they are and maybe you need a more vague reminder!).
- SHOW UP!
Now, reminders won't solve all of your problems or even help you go from good intentions to actions and habits, but they will help you get these goals on your mind.
And that, friends, is a very good start.
You've got to start somewhere.
Just start with deciding what you want to do to nurture your marriage, and then remind yourself to do it.
We could talk about the doing, tracking, and rewarding part of behavior too, but for today - let's just work on putting some reminders in place to help us move closer to the goals we have for a healthy, happy, thriving relationship with our spouses. Deal?
Oh, and finally, in all of this remembering, try often to remind yourself of the promises you made so long ago!
Good things are headed your way.
Small and simple things daily, friends, and happily & healthily ever after is yours.
"You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly."
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