I have been with my husband, Andrew, for five years. We have been married for two years. We don’t have any children and there are none on the horizon. I tell people who ask for relationship advice, I don’t have the same issues. Often times long term relationship care takes effort beyond measure. It’s not as simple as a to-do list on Pinterest. Love is messy. Love takes work. There are remedies for working on a relationship. That’s what I wanted to share with you in this post. I have seen a lot of relationships fade and lose passion. That doesn’t have to be every relationship. I’ve heard the phrase that never makes sense to me: “Happy wife, happy life.” I would say: “Happy spouse, happy house.”
#1 Make a list of things he/she loves that you do and do those things more often. They can be simple or extra but never complicate it and never expect a super happy reaction. Anything you do that makes them smile or laugh or you know it’s good for them.
- He loves when I have a Good Meme for him. #MemeQueen. Takes about 30 seconds to find one but he could laugh and maybe we have an inside joke later.
- He loves when I cook his favorite tasty food. Especially recipes from when he was a kid. Thanks Mom for taco salad and Chinese food <:
- Find music BOTH of us enjoy and create a playlist. Doesn’t have to be mushy. Like ours is ICP, Up Church, and Tech9.
- When I let him sleep in on days off instead of going out to get things done right away.
- He likes to see that I am working out and taking charge of my own health
- He loves when I wear makeup or a stylish outfit.
If you make this list, be personal about it. It took years of studying his reactions. Like when I make him food he makes yummay noises. Or he actually notices changes if I workout targeting legs or arms.
#2 Give him/her the same amount of slack.
I mean this is a big one. Notice your actions and make sure you’re not allowing a one-way street. If you wake up in a bad mood…spend the day in a bad mood and he comes home in a bad mood. Don’t point out his bad mood if you woke up with one. If you stay at home and he works, he should be able to play games when he comes home. If you don’t want him going out with friends, he should be able to choose what he wants to do to relax at home. Basically, reflect on how much control you’re trying to have and let your partner do their thing. Real relationships are not built on control. It’s simply about co-existing and remaining individuals with personal goals and interests.
#3 Work on listening skills
Andrew could go on all day about cars, computers, and other such things I know nothing about. But he’s passionate about it so I listen. But do I though?
This is something I need to work on myself. It’s in the body language. You can nod your head. You should ask questions. You should make facial reactions. *Mind you, this can come off sarcastic. Like eyebrow raises are cool but don’t over do it.* Like on big bang theory when Amy was trying to ask for butter and Sheldon was going on about the new Xbox. I also notice my Grandmas listening skills are perfect. Looking directly at the person while their talking. She nods. And asks questions. I was mesmerized by how good of a listener she is when when someone is speaking. It makes them feel valued. It’s in general a decent habit.
#4 Put in effort for your looks
- Shower, blow dry hair, brush teeth, put on makeup, curl hair, make a different style. It really should take an hour for a woman to get ready hwew.
- Exercise can get blood flowing and for about 24 hours creates a glow from lactic acid
- Pick a cute outfit…maybe a sundress
It’s nice to care about your looks even for yourself. It boosts confidence. Put on Good as Hell while blow drying your hair. Works every time I swear.
Nothing is broken beyond repair. It’s persistant effort that heals. Effort to know the other person better. Effort to care for the other person. Not belittling them. Recognizing what you need to change.