I’m back! I didn’t spend much time on the computer last week because my friend was visiting, but now that she’s gone and my daughter is at Day Camp all week, I can finish my Making Marriage Work Tips!
Today is #5 – Date Your Spouse!
That’s right, date them! Woo them! It doesn’t matter if you’ve been married for 1 month, 1 year, 10 years or 50! It is important to continue to let your spouse know that you want to be with them…and only them. Hubby and I love our daughter immeasurably and we adore spending family time together, but we also need couple time that is just for the two of us. To be able to look into each other’s eyes and have an adult conversation, to discuss our hopes & dreams, to make each other laugh, to fall in love with each other over and over again.
Care about how you look
I think that sometimes we can get comfortable with our spouse, and then it’s easy to let ourselves go a bit. I am guilty of this myself. I know that he likes me without makeup, so then sometimes I don’t even fix my hair (good thing he likes ponytails too!). We sometimes go too many days without shaving because he says it doesn’t bother him. We wear our favorite comfy t-shirt day after day instead of putting on a cute new shirt.
I’m not saying that we should always be at our best with hair done, makeup on, and new clothes – sometimes we’ve been working in the yard or cleaning up after a baby – but we should put forth some effort and think about how we are presenting ourselves to him. Think about what you would have done when you were dating. If your date had called and invited you out for coffee, how would you have dressed? We should think about how we look when we go out – would you be proud to have YOU on your arm?
This is for the guys as well as the girls!
It’s the little things
When Hubby and I were dating, we once went an entire year and always had fresh flowers around! One week he would buy some for me, and the next I would buy some for him. We even had an account with a specific florist! Of course, that was when we both worked in the IT field and made good money. Now, finances are much tighter, but that doesn’t mean we can’t buy flowers. They have some beautiful selections at the grocery store in the “3 bunches for $12” section. It doesn’t have to be HUGE in size to be a GRAND gesture! Pick up a bunch of flowers, a bottle of wine, or your spouse’s favorite candy bar – just because.
Make the most of your season
We go through seasons in life. Some of you are in a season without kids, so you have more flexibility. If this is you – Take a weekend trip, or go stay in a hotel in your own city and pretend you are miles away from home. Go on a road trip with your favorite junk food and music CDs.
Others of you are parents with young kids at home, so going out for a date can be a bit more complicated. Paying for a babysitter, dinner and a movie can add up quickly so going out for a date gets put off – but it doesn’t have to! Just change it up! If you have good friends that also have kids, have a babysitting swap! You watch their kids one night while they go on a date, and then switch. We’ve done this before and it works out nicely. Do the babysitting at the house of the couple going out for a date. That way you can put their kids to bed, and they can continue their date when they get home.
If you don’t know anyone in your area well enough for a babysitting swap, then have a late night date with your spouse. One thing we did when Lovebug was younger was sit at the table and have “dinner” with her (only she would eat dinner, and we would have just enough of a snack for her to think we were still eating with her). Then, put the kids to bed a little early & have your date at home! You can have a candlelight dinner at the table with soft music playing while you talk. Or, you might want to throw a blanket on the floor in the living room and have a picnic. If you like to dance, turn on some music, dim the lights and go for it! If you prefer to play games, then do a puzzle together or play a board game. I think it’s also great to just cuddle up on the sofa with a bowl of popcorn and watch a movie together. Don’t do a movie every time though, or else you never get to talk!
Take the time to fall in love with your spouse again. Of course we want our marriage to be based on friendship, and I think your spouse should be your best friend. I don’t want us to be just friends though.