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8 Little Things I’m Doing to Make My Marriage Better

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My husband usually takes the kids on Sunday morning. Our son has religious school, our daughter has gymnastics, and I have yoga. As benevolent as it is that he’s always on duty on Sundays, it’s also for the good of the family. I’m in a much better mood after my yoga class and everyone in the house benefits from my happiness. This past Sunday, my typical yoga bliss turned into marital nirvana when I discovered that my husband had taken my car (which he was driving that day) to be washed. It wasn’t just that he had saved me precious time. It was that he thought of me and took care of something that he knew would make me happy. For weeks I had been trying to find time for a car wash, but it kept getting pushed to the back of my to-do list.

My husband’s thoughtfulness made me think about the fact that we married folks spend a lot of time thinking of the big marriage picture, but maybe the key to a happy union is as simple as a car wash. Maybe all we need to stay happy is to do a series of little things for one another that add up to something big, a happy relationship.

I don’t know if little things are the key to happiness at home, but I know they can’t hurt. So honey watch out! I’m going to wash your car, cook your favorite food, and do lots of other little things to keep us happy, like these things…

1. Call him more often
My husband calls me from work to check in, and I act like it’s a major inconvenience. That’s because I’m busy. I’m always busy, but that doesn’t mean the hubs should feel like an inconvenience. So I’m going to be nicer when he calls (and even call him sometimes, too).

2. Have more sex
Before I had kids, I’d be horrified to hear a friend say she and her husband were only having sex once a week and now I’ve joined them — if I’m lucky. But sex is an important part of a healthy marriage, so it’s important to me. And let’s face it: None of us is married to Tantric-sex Sting. Sex doesn’t take that long. There’s always time.

3. Stop being so critical
In my mind, I’m the nicest, most supportive wife in the world. In reality, I often remind my husband what he didn’t do well or how he could help out more at home. Time to quit that.

4. Listen when he talks about work
My husband’s job can be very intense, but he always wants to talk about it at the time of day when my brain is ready to check out. I’m sure my eye rolls and multitasking don’t exactly make him feel great. So I’m going to be a better listener from now on.

5. Watch action movies with him
Okay, not all the time. But there’s probably a lot of things my husband does with me that he doesn’t want to do, so I can watch action movies with him or go to that burger place he loves (even though I don’t).

6. Be more spontaneous
I find it very hard to be spontaneous with my husband because of my work schedule and because of our kids’ schedules, but I know that he really likes surprises and the occasional unplanned event.

7. Stop complaining about hanging with his friends
I can be a bit of a bad sport when asked to spend time with people who aren’t my favorites, but it really shouldn’t be a big deal. Maybe some of my friends bore my husband, too. So I’ll be a better sport…well, mostly!

8. Cook more (I guess) 
The worst three words a mother can hear is, “What’s for dinner?” But food can be a great way to show love, and to give love. My family always has good food to eat, I just don’t always have time to cook it. But I think my husband would appreciate eating some of his favorite foods more often, so I can probably find the time to cook them.

So now that my husband is eating the food he loves and I’m actually listening when he talks, I wonder what he’ll do for me? That car won’t stay clean forever!

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Photo: Getty