Surprising your spouse with love messages, notes, and actions is one of the best tips for a successful marriage! Here are six ways to keep your marriage happy, healthy, and whole.
Before the tips, a quip:
“For a long and happy marriage
Drink deep of the loving cup
And whenever you’re wrong, admit it
And whenever you’re right, shut up.”
~ from Suite101 Contributing Writer Cathy Anne Smith.
Admitting when you’re wrong and not rubbing it in when you’re right isn’t just a tip for a successful marriage, it’s a great way to keep your friendships, work relationships, and family relationships strong.
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One of my favorite books on marriage – and an Amazon bestseller – is The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert. Reading and discussing it as a married couple is a great way to strengthen your relationship.
And, here are six tips for married life…
6 Tips for Successful Marriage – Surprise Your Spouse With Love
These six ways to surprise your spouse with love notes, messages, and actions are from writers who are happily married…
1. Plant love notes in unexpected places. “I write “I Love You, Teddy Bear” on sticky notes sometimes and put it on my husband’s steering wheel so he sees it before he goes to work.” ~ Suite101 Contributing Writer Karyl Anderson. I did something similar: when I went on a girls’ vacation to Maui, I planted love notes all over the house. He was still finding them after I returned. It was a fun, easy way to love my spouse – and it could help you revive your stale marriage.
2. Surprise your spouse with a forgotten wish. “Remember something that she wants to do, and then surprise her a year or two later, when she doesn’t expect it.” ~ John Arthur, writer and band member of The Deafening Colors. “My girlfriend mentioned she had never seen Beauty and the Beast on Broadway, but she always wanted to. I pretended I wasn’t paying attention, but thought ‘I need to remember this and surprise her later.’ When I surprised her with it a year later, she was extremely happy. It turned out to be the best date we ever went on!”
3. Focus on what you love about your spouse. One of my best tips for a successful marriage is to stay focused on the personality traits, character strengths, and other things that made you fall in love in the first place. Whatever you think about grows bigger and stronger, so don’t focus on what you wish was different. An easy way to love your spouse is to think and talk about what he does right, what he does well, and why you are so glad you married him.
4. Remember that a successful marriage is about the little things you do every day. “When you put the needs of your spouse ahead of your own, you say ‘I Love You’ louder than any note or gift could ever do,” says Suite101 Contributing Writer Diane Watkins. “The simple things are the everyday language of love. After 30 years, I know my husband loves me when he brings me a glass of tea that I didn’t ask for. When he asks if I need anything when he gets up for any reason. When he creeps out of bed in the morning and lets me sleep in or when he gets up and makes me breakfast on a Saturday morning. When he goes to the grocery store and buys the ingredients, then makes my favorite dishes out of the blue. The attitude and caring that you show for your partner says “I love you” every day.”
5. Think of a successful marriage like a bank account. Here is Suite101 International Trade Feature Writer Daniel Workman’s tip for loving your spouse: “A loving relationship is like a bank account. You get credit for nice things you do for your partner. But here’s the rub: if you do something negative, that will cost you five times each of those good turns. And that’s just to break even. For example, I get credit for vacuuming, doing the dishes, shopping for groceries or buying a nice present. If I say something hurtful or otherwise out of place, that can cost me five days of vacuuming.” If you think about your marriage relationship this way, you’re probably less likely to let those careless words or actions fly!
6. Make the “for better or worse” wedding vow meaningful and real. “It’s not so much the shooting stars of courtship, as fun as they are — it’s what lasts years down the line,” says Suite101 Contributing Writer Sally Powrie. “When I had a horrible experience to go through, my husband of 29 years insisted on coming along to wait for ages in the waiting room, just to be there for me. When you feel so alone and you would never wish this pain on anyone, and then you feel your spouse’s outreaching hand, his arm pulling you close. When you know that many spouses would never have stayed true through what has turned into years of hell…then you know you have found the treasure called love.”
Wow. A successful marriage isn’t flowers, chocolate, roses, and romantic dinners (though those are handy dandy things!). A successful marriage is being there when life is tired, dusty, and diseased…and it’s not always about finding easy ways to love your spouse.
Sometimes (often? mostly?) love isn’t easy.
If you’re struggling to build a successful marriage, read my article about solving a marriage crisis.