Thursday, February 9, 2012

50 WAYS to Show Your Husband You LOVE HIM



Don't worry... you don't need to do all 50 :).  I hope this list inspires you to just try ONE and re-focus on the man you love!  I think it's so easy, with the stresses of mothering or working or life, to neglect giving daily love and attention to our most important relationship on earth.   In marriage, we are completely known for who we are and our spouses get our best and our very worst.  Luckily we can continually learn and grow as a person and a couple.  Being married to my very best friend is the biggest blessing in life, and I'm so grateful for his continual patience with me and his gift at somehow seeing the good in me :)

If you ever feel that your marriage could be stronger or you feel your relationship needs a re-charge (which is always does), pick one that works for you and have fun!!  I so believe that discovering ways to show love in YOUR SPOUSE'S LANGUAGE and re-discovering your FRIENDSHIP over and over again is what builds a strong marriage!  So I hope one idea may help...

  1. CHOOSE TO ACT NOT RE-ACT.  Isn't it so natural to react to others - to become offended when someone is offensive?!  To mentally blow up your spouses' faults to justify your "better" standing?To reflect shortness to someone's being short or irritable?   You cannot ever change others, but you have the power to choose how you act and love.  Experiment with showing more love in the moment rather than just merely mirroring how they treat you - this is one of the hardest things for us humans to do. CLICK HERE to read more!
  2. MIRROR & TOLIET MESSAGES.  Write a little love note on your bathroom mirror with lipstick or a dry erase marker.  Or if you really feel like being crazy and doing something totally-out-of-the-ordinary, write on toilet paper with a permanent marker and lay out message on top of the toilet water :)
  3. SAY YOU'RE SORRY, before he does.  I love the quote by Ruth Bell Graham: "A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers."
  4. TELL YOUR CHILDREN WHAT YOU LOVE ABOUT THEIR DAD.  A lot.
  5. DROP EVERYTHING.  Try putting aside your eternal to-do lists just for a moment, and give your husband your sincere, undivided attention.
  6. INITIATE.   Researchers report that sexual intimacy is the #1 need of Men in marriage - or the #1 way that they feel loved.  In marriage therapist Dr. Harley's book "His Needs, Her Needs" he explains that "sexual fulfillment" (which his male clients usually report as their top need) doesn't necessarily mean mere quantity, but instead quality.  Interestingly, men feel most fulfilled and loved only when they feel their spouse is eager and also fulfilled.  So make it fun, try new things, initiate.
  7. TEXT HIM Surprise him with a spontaneous, flirty text or a sentence about why you are so grateful for him.  Finding your own ways to connect during the day makes a difference.
  8. START A HOBBY TOGETHER.  Ok, so with our babies asleep at home one night, we decided to write a “bucket list” of fun things we wanted to do together.  We LOVE rockclimbing, so we've started buying the gear.  Find something you both would enjoy!
  9. PLAN A DATE NIGHT even it is in your own home when the kiddos are asleep (but I love it when we actually leave the house!).  Here are  some date night ideas.  It’s so important to have that time to fall in love all over again - just the two of you.  We usually keep it super simple and lots of times it doesn't officially happen - but any time together (without kids)  makes a huge difference.
  10. START A “LOVE JOURNAL” where you can write letters to each other, paste in notes you’ve both written, special memories, and such.  Here are some examples.
  11.   KEEP YOURSELF ATTRACTIVE Maybe I'm the only one here, but I find it difficult to actually find time to shower and feel pretty each day- especially when I'm meeting the continual demands of my children!  Whether it's throwing on some makeup, or finding some cute clothes that are actually clean :), or getting your hair done - it doesn't always happen but it does wonders for how we feel about ourselves.  
  12. BREAKFAST IN BED One website I researched suggested to make heart-shaped pancakes.  Click Here for a super yummy and healthy pancake mix... it's life changing :).  I've never actually made heart shaped - maybe just for Valentine's :)  But, I guess a surprise breakfast in bed, that could be fun.
  13. FLIRT WITH HIM It's funny how we totally flirt while dating, but once we're married we can easily forget to be FUN!  Just because you've snagged him, don't stop flirting.  Try to bring it back. 
  14.  DON'T TRY TO BE HIS MOM Remember you are his wife, not his mother. Don't jump him every time he does something differently than you’d like.  We likely all need this reminder often. 
  15.  TOUCH  Physical touch can translate into love for a lot of men.  So as you talk with him or pass by him.. think to touch him in someway. 
  16. WRITE A FUN "LOVE NOTE".  One time I'm pasted "Top 10 Things I Love about My Husband" on our bedroom door.  Or, just leave a note somewhere where he'll find it.  One time Steve was really cute to leave random, funny post it notes around the house.  
  17. GIVE HIM A MASSAGE.  I bet he would love a spontaneous head rub or go all out and give him a back rub with lotion.  So Steve has introduced me to the wonders of back scratches... I will never be the same!
  18. GRAB A KISS WHILE YOU WAIT Kiss your husband while you're waiting at the stoplight or in the food drive-through.
  19. BE AWARE OF EXITS & ENTRANCES  As you and your husband say goodbyes and reunite again after a long day, be aware of how you show love during these important cross roads.  Click Here to read about "Exits and Entrances"!
  20. TALK ABOUT HIS INTERESTS Bring up a subject that interests him and listen to him talk. Even if the subject doesn't interest you, enjoy watching him as he gets stirred up over the topic.
  21. SLOW DANCE in the kitchen when the kids go to bed. Actually, maybe dance in front of your kids!
  22. VERBALLY SHOW APPRECIATION IN FRONT OF HIS FAMILY.  When with his family, for example, share sincere appreciation for what your husband does or who he is.  
  23. SURPRISE GIFT.  Surprise him with a fun gift of some kind that he’d really enjoy.
  24. CALM DOWN FIRST, THEN TALK.  When you are in a moment of frustration, try taking some deep breathes, perhaps hold your tongue momentarily, and discuss it as soon as you feel more able to talk kindly.  It's easy for humans to say hurtful, non-helpful things if they just react instantly in a heated moment.
  25. FIND SOME SANITY AT HOME. With two little kids and being pregnant, our house usually feels out of control :).  And I need loads of help to keep things somewhat clean and organized!   I do care about the environment of our home because it does affect EVERYONE, especially me and my ability to focus more on relationships.  HERE's more about how to "streamline" and organize your home.
  26.  ENCOURAGE HIS HOBBIES, even if you’re perhaps not fond of some.  Encourage him, even help make it happen!  It will make a huge difference and help him tremendously to feel more balanced and to be his best self.  I sure need this, and I know he does too.
  27. LAUGH MORE!  Nothing bonds people closer together than when they laugh together.  
  28. TAKE A HIKE OR WALK TOGETHER. It's hard to hold hands while pushing a stroller, but at least you can talk!
  29. EAT AN ICE CREAM CONE TOGETHER Buy one, large cone, and eat it together at the same time.
  30. PRAY TOGETHER EACH NIGHT. Recently I attended a wedding ceremony where I heard some of the best marriage advice! As you are praying together, express 1) something you love/appreciate about your spouse 2) what you personally want to work on (to improve yourself)
  31. ENCOURAGE HIM TO BUY THAT TOY he's been wanting so badly. Better yet, put some of your own things off, save the money and buy it for him yourself!
  32.  POWER OF TOUCH Whether it's a touch on his shoulder or knee or snuggling on the couch, he likely will see love that way.
  33. HAVE A WRESTLING MATCH This will get you both laughing, and it will remind you not to be so serious.
  34. SEEK HIS ADVICE Ask for your husband's input and advice on anything from children to what he might like to eat. This will let him know he's needed and that his thoughts are important.
  35.  LOOK OUT FOR HIS HEALTH Encourage your husband to get plenty of sleep and exercise. Physical exercise seems to be a HUGE deal for many men and women to be able to face the challenges of each day.  We happen to be P90X fans, but find whatever works for you!  
  36.  MAKE HIM A COUPON BOOK  Give him coupons to redeem—maybe for a back scratch or a shoulder rub or things that would mean much to him.
  37. CUDDLE WHILE WATCHING A MOVIE.  Maybe you could even pick out a movie you know he would really like and have a yummy treat!
  38. DON'T BE A PESSIMIST Try not to focus too much on the negative. Try to have a positive outlook in your marriage and on life.  There’s a difference between having real and honest talks (which is completely necessary) and just having a sour outlook on everything.
  39. MAKE HIS FAVORITE TREAT I just discovered after several years of marriage that my husband loves more than anything peanut butter cookies with hershey kisses.  So, I picked up the ingredients for us to make together sometime.  We often, probably more often than we should, enjoy "oreo parties."  It has become our nightly ritual to dunk oreos and chat :)
  40. PLAY A GAME TOGETHER.  Ok, I kind of pride myself on being undefeated in Settlers.
  41. LOOK HIM IN THE EYES Look your husband straight in the eyes when he talks to you to show that he is your #1 at that moment.
  42. DON'T PUSH THE BUDGET If you can't afford certain things, don't buy them.  Try not to complain about your standard of living or whine about the things that you don't have. 
  43.  HELP HIM SHAVE This is a fun way to be close and to get you both laughing.  ps. Don't let your husband try to take an electric razor to your own eyebrows.. bad experience :)  Love you babe!  And yeah, I've only cute my husband's hair once... also bad experience.
  44.  LOVE YOURSELF Many times we as women hold back on our husbands because of our own insecurities. Learn to let it go. The things that we're so worried about, usually don't even bother him... whether it's physically or personality-wise, etc. I know you have SO many incredible and beautiful gifts just because you are a woman!!
  45. DEFEND HIM Don't let others disrespect your husband. Even just a snide comment can hurt. Stick up for the most important person in your life.
  46.  JUST GO TO BED!  I don’t always believe in the adage to never go to bed angry.  Our kids sure struggle when they are over tired, and so do we.  In a moment of frustration when tired and cranky, sometimes just go to bed. You'll likely wake up in the morning with a renewed perspective! :)  
  47.  PRAISE and SHOW APPRECIATION When your husband works hard, or does something for you, let him know you appreciate him!  Interestingly, researchers have found that praise and admiration is actually on men’s top 5 needs in marriage.  CLICK HERE to see the top 5 needs of men vs. women.
  48. DON'T COMPARE.  Be careful not to compare your husband to others - your dad, brothers, or other men.  They may be great, but remember your husband is too.  Likewise we should avoid comparing ourselves to other wives and moms - which us women are SO guilty of.   
  49. ENCOURAGE MAN TIME.  Enthusiastically support your husband in having time to hang out with guys he is close to.  Women really need other women, and that "man" time can be important for some husbands. 
  50. KEEP LEARNING AND BEING CURIOUS.  It can take some real effort and creativity to expand your intellect while tending lots of littles, but it will make you a more beautiful and interesting wife and mother!  Maybe listen to interesting podcasts as you attack the piles of dishes, always carry a good book with you, or quickly research one new topic especially if it’s something your husband would also find interesting!

*Have fun finding ways to show your husband you love him in ways that are meaningful to him!
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