Ever since my husband and I became parents , our marriage has definitely changed. I’m not saying that it’s been terrible or anything, it’s just more work. Life is busier than it used to be and we both have a lot more on our plates, so it can be easy to let the daily maintenance of our marriage fall by the wayside. But, it is the daily maintenance that keeps a marriage (or any relationship really) healthy and thriving. If a relationship isn’t tended to regularly, it can slowly fall apart over time which is something we endeavor to avoid. It is the goal of my husband and I to make sure we do everything we can to keep our marriage solid, because we consider it a gift to be able to model a healthy and loving relationship for our daughter as she grows up. Obviously we’re not perfect and we fail sometimes, but the goal is to be in it together and learn as we go and to make sure we keep up all the little things that really are big things in the end. Here are a few of those little things that keep our marriage strong…
12 Little Things We Do To Keep Our Marriage Strong 1 of 13When it comes to marriage, it truly is all the little things that add up to make a good relationship. Click to see how we keep things solid around these parts!
Little rituals 2 of 13Every single morning, without fail, Craig makes me a mocha before he leaves for work and I make him a lunch. Even though it has become a part of our routines, it is something that I know we both appreciate and depend upon.
I Love You Because… 3 of 13We have a little "I Love You Because..." board at hanging in our kitchen and we take turns writing the little things we love about each other on it. It's not a daily thing - just a random surprise to find a note there. Usually they're silly little things, but it's a nice way to remember to acknowledge one another regularly.
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Nap time shenanigans 4 of 13Some of my favorite times to spend with my husband are when Fern is napping. Often we're both busy doing this, that, or the other during her naps, but every so often we'll partake in some nap time shenanigans just to keep things fun. He recently taught me how to smoke a pipe during Fern's nap...and a little afternoon delight is never a bad idea. There's just something about doing such things during nap time that feels illicit and fun.
Try something new 5 of 13My man is quite the lover-of-whiskey and even though it's not really my jam, we recently tried a whiskey flight while we were out to dinner and it was a lot of fun trying something new together and I enjoyed hearing him talk about the various notes in the whiskey and all of its finer points - it was fun partaking in something that he really enjoys with him and trying something new together is always a good way to bond as a couple.
Consider each other 6 of 13All the little, seemingly insignificant things, are what really makes a marriage keep on ticking. Simply considering the other person is such an important thing to remember. Sometimes I get caught up in doing things for our daughter and can easily forget to spend any of my time or attention on Craig, so I have made a conscious effort to find little ways to show that I consider him. Something simple, like picking up his favorite candy when I pass by a candy store (see photo) or even so basic as refilling his water bottle and popping it in the fridge so he'll have cold water in the morning. It truly is the little things.
Post-Its 7 of 13Before having a kid we used to get a little more creative and leave each other cool card's we'd made, but nowadays I don't have as much free time, but post-it notes have all the same intent without as much prep. Recently when I went on a work trip, I left little notes with various sentiments scattered throughout the house for my husband to find. One said "You're hot" and was left on the bathroom mirror. He left it up and when I got back we spent the next week hiding that note in various places throughout the house for each other. It was something totally small, but a fun way to keep things fresh.
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Have a night cap 8 of 13I'm not much of a drinker, but every now and then the husband will whip us up cocktails after Fern goes to bed. It's a nice time for us to do something grown-up and reconnect at the end of the day. This doesn't have to be done with cocktails though. You could always drink hot chocolate too!
Always go to bed together 9 of 13Occasionally I'll have a pressing deadline that will negate this, but in general, we have set the precedent that we always go to bed at the same time. Lying in bed and talking at the end of the day is often our best time of connecting in the midst of a busy day and going to bed at the same time also increases your chances of a little boot knocking action, which is always a good strengthener for a marriage.
Tooth Brush Time 10 of 13Every night, without fail one of us (usually my husband) brings the other person their pre-pasted toothbrush before bed. It's a not so subtle hint that it's time to go to bed. A good reminder for those evenings when I'm plugging away relentlessly on a blog post.
Date night 11 of 13We try to have regular date nights together. It isn't always weekly, but we just make sure that we are taking time to regularly reconnect by getting away together. We have some friends who do this weekly, but ours is usually only once a month, but we still appreciate it when it comes around.
Surprise each other just because 12 of 13Recently Craig surprised me with this beautiful vintage record player console. It was just before Valentine's Day so I totally didn't expect it. It was a "just because" gift that he knew I would appreciate. I love that it wasn't something expected, but rather something unique that he put thought and effort into finding for me.
Hug and kiss daily 13 of 13A few months ago we realized that we would sometimes go a couple of days without really touching. It sounds weird, but life just gets busy sometimes. Once we realized this, we instituted a daily hug and kiss rule. Every morning before Craig leaves for work and every evening when he gets home, we hug and kiss. I've heard from many couples who had failed relationships that touching is one of the first things to go, so these daily hugs and kisses are a good way for us to stay connected.
Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble. More from Lauren:
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