There is only one person who is foremost in your mind. The one you want to spend the rest of your life with, share your dreams with and care about. The one you are proud to talk about with your friends and family. The one who compliments you, challenges you and sometimes provides you with the constructive feedback you need to hear.
As you know, life gets busy. And like many, we can easily forget to make our spouse feel loved every day. But if you are intentional, you can change that by doing thse 7 simple things.
1. Smile, hug and kiss your spouse
Smiling alone can brighten up not only your spouse's day but yours too. Smiling is proven to help reduce stress and increase productivity.
Smiling is contagious, so why not smile with your partner every day? Even babies smile while in the womb.
In addition, you can give your spouse a passionate hug and kiss every day. It's the last thing l do before l leave home and the first thing I do when l get back.
You'd be surprised at how much good a 1-minute hug, kiss and smile can do for your spouse, yourself and your marriage.
2. Compliment your spouse
Tell her she is beautiful. Tell him he is handsome. Compliment his character or things you can see she is making an effort in. For example, when I come home from work and see how tired my wife is from taking care of our 2 toddlers all day, I say, "Thank you for taking care of the kids all day."
Sometimes the compliment can be in the form of a thank you: "Thank you for remembering what I asked you to do. I really appreciate it." "Thank you for trying to change this habit. It means a lot to me." "Thank you for working so hard for us."
Or simply say something like, " You are so good at cooking/social situations/making me feel loved."
As someone who struggles with giving and receiving compliments, I can definitely say this has been a game changer for our marriage. My wife loves compliments, so complimenting her on even the littlest of things she does boosts her confidence. It helps her to know l see the little and big things she does. She also feels appreciated and loved.
Thank your spouse for choosing to be with you. Being with someone is a choice we make every day. We choose that person every day over the temporary pleasures, over our selfishness; and our spouse does the same. Your spouse chose YOU out of the billions of people in this world. Be thankful!
4. Listen to your spouse
Listening is a skill that requires intentional effort from you. Listening means you give your full and undivided attention to what your spouse says. Never "listen" while thinking about your response.
Your spouse will be able to communicate better with you if he/she knows you listen. When you listen to your spouse, you will be able to provide constructive feedback on questions, ideas or discussions.
5. Spend time together
It could be cooking, playing a game at home or going to an event. This is the time you get to connect with each other on a different level. You get to ask your spouse about his/her day and tell him/her about yours. During this time, you can talk about your goals as individuals as well as a couple. Share what you are learning. Have great conversations, laugh and be happy in each other's presence.
When it comes to spending time together, my wife and I spend an hour together every day after we put our kids to bed. We are very intentional about spending time together every day because it helps us to connect with each other. We even have it set as reminders on our calendars.
Choose whatever time fits your schedule, and commit to spending that time together with your spouse.
6. Encourage your spouse to achieve goals
We all have dreams. I have some big ones, and l am sure you do too. Your spouse also has some big dreams.
Despite how well we plan and act on our dreams, there are days when you feel like giving up. When the hindrances and roadblocks seem unending.
However, a little encouragement from your spouse could be all you need to overcome the obstacles and achieve your dreams.
Together with my amazing wife, I help newlyweds adjust to married life, inspire married couples to improve their marriage and co-authored "Communication in Marriage" to help couples communicate better. Visit us on our website.