Just like a lot of you probably did, I made resolutions this month about making it to the gym more, eating healthier, and finally reading an entire book (you know, the usual stuff). But this year I’m also adding my marriage to the list. Just like my health and career, my marriage takes upkeep and adjustments to keep it running smoothly. So I’m doing these things:
#1: More sweet
It’s easy for my marriage to get caught up in the mundane management of daily life. Some days, it seems like all my conversations with my husband are about who’s picking up the kids and are we almost out of milk and are your parents coming for dinner this Friday or next? These things may be necessary, but if they dominate your marriage, it will end up looking more like a business arrangement than a lifelong bond with one of your besties. This year I’m making it a goal to be more mindful about being sweet to my husband. To put aside the honey-dos and calendar conversations (or at least not lead with them) and remember to look in his gorgeous eyes, ask him about his day, thank him for fixing that loose door, and tell him I appreciate him.
#2: More sex
Based on what I’m hearing at playdates and school picks-up, the biggest hurdle to more sex for many marriages isn’t a lack of interest or desire. It’s time and tiredness! Kids, jobs, errands, and the house all take up my time and make me tired. And in the middle of that tiredness, I can forget that sex is fun! It feels fabulous! It’s good for my health! It brings me closer to my spouse! There really is no downside to more sex. So instead of thinking about the sleep it will cost me or that laundry that I neglected to fold again, I’m going to remind myself to focus on all the benefits more sex will bring. Good for him, good for me, good for us. Can I get an O-men?!
#3: More together
As a parent of three boys, I do a lot of divide-and-conquer with my husband. You take son #1 to soccer and son #2 can hang out with me at the gym until you come and then and I’ll leave to pick up son #3 from taekwando and head home to start dinner. Sound familiar? Partly it’s a beautiful thing because I know not everyone has a spouse who is willing to do the divide-and-conquer. But this can also lead us to doing lots of life separately. This year, I’m trying to be more deliberate about finding ways for us to do more of life together — even if it’s the mundane things of life like hitting the gym, walking the dog, or going grocery shopping. It’s those moments together that can build closeness, add in time for playful banter, and provide opportunities for more of that sweetness in goal #1.
#4: More magic buttons
No, this is not that kind of magic button. Over the course of my marriage, I’ve found that there are certain acts that carry more weight for my husband – some of which were surprises for me to find out. For example, he really loves it when our kitchen bar is clear of clutter. For me, yeah, it’s nice if it’s clean, but for him, it plays a BIG role in how he feels when he walks in the door from work. Or take my gorgeous brown locks. While he loves these locks on my head, he gets a little irked when they end up in his bathroom sink. For me, eh, a part of life. For him, a big deal. The key is, once we sat down one night and talked about all these seemingly little things that are actually BIG things for one of us (don’t worry — I made a list for him too), it made it so much easier to push those specific “magic buttons”. Now, if the house is a mess and the hubs is coming home soon, I might skip the vacuuming but will make sure that bar is clear. And after blow drying, I’ll double-check to make sure his sink isn’t decorated with my stray hairs. Small acts with a big impact. This year, I’m going to try to find a few more of these “magic buttons”.
Want to join me and set some goals for your marriage? Share in the comments section!