After you’ve been married several years, it’s easy to settle into a comfortable routine. Wake up, make breakfast, pack lunches, drive the kids to school or drive to work, do… whatever you do most days, make dinner, Netflix and chill.
Your spouse knows you love them and you have a relatively happy marriage, but recently you feel like you should do something here and there just to remind them what they mean to you.
If that’s the case, you’re in the right place. Below, I list eight super easy ways you can show your spouse love and appreciation.
1. A kind note or text
I’m going to go out on a limb and say you probably wrote your husband or wife way more notes when you were dating than you do now. That’s ok. As couples grow together, they not need all the symbolic love gestures that they did when they were first starting to get to know each other.
But—that doesn’t mean the art of writing notes is dead. Your note can be as heartfelt as telling them how they make you feel or as simple as telling them they have a nice butt. Your choice. The point is to make your spouse feel noticed, appreciated, and loved.
2. Keeping up with an interest of theirs
Ok, so your spouse might look at your funny if you out of nowhere mention how one of their favorite players got traded to a new team. BUT you can make an effort to watch their favorite sport with them, participate in one of their hobbies with them, or even ask if they’d like to join you in your hobby.
3. Making a food they love
Simple, but a really sweet gesture. If there’s a dish your spouse loves that they don’t get to eat very often, try making it yourself every couple of months. They’ll be sure to appreciate the gesture and the fact that you were thinking of them.
Josh and I have pretty different tastes in foods. He loves fish and I could pass on fish altogether. Still, I like to try to make his favorite salmon dish or have us go to a great seafood restaurant a few times a year and he always really appreciate that.
4. Make time to just ~ be ~ with them
Everyone feels love in different ways. I’m definitely acts of service whereas Josh, on the other hand is definitely quality time. Which sometimes bites us in the behind because after the kids go to bed, he’ll sit down to start spending time with me and get sad that I’m spending too much time cleaning up and I get sad that he’s not up and helping me clean. But, we’ve more or less learned to ask for what we need and meet in the middle.
No matter what makes you and your spouse feel loved, quality time is really important. Sometimes it can be hard to strike up a good conversation when you’re just staring at each other, so I find that doing even the simplest activities helps foster good conversation. Things like going on a walk, cooking a meal together, listening to a podcast together, etc. Find what kind of quality time you like spending together and make room for it during your day.
5. Say thank you
Sure, sounds obvious. But if anyone’s been married for at least a few years, you’ve probably assumed certain roles and responsibilities. For example, Josh typically mows the lawn and I do the laundry. But, just because something is more or less expected of you, doesn’t mean it isn’t nice to get thanked for it once in a while.
So next time your spouse does something helpful, simply say, “Hey, thanks for doing that.” It doesn’t need to be made a big deal and you don’t need to give them a bouquet of flowers. They’d probably freak them out anyway. But a simple “thank you” can go a long way in making someone feel noticed and appreciated.
6. Pick one of their smaller responsibilities and do it for them
Ok, so aboe we talked about saying thank you even for responsibilities your spouse typically take care of on their own. But what if, once in a while, you took it upon yourself to take care of that for them?
I feel like this would work best on people whose love language is acts of service or gift-giving, but who doesn’t like having less to do?
7. Remind them of their strengths
Maybe I was just naive, but it took me a long time to figure out that I wasn’t the only one in our relationship that had insecurities. Since Josh was a lot less emotionally driven than I was, I assumed he just didn’t have many insecurities, if any at all.
Boy was I wrong! Everyone has insecurities. I think by now we know that we can’t be good at everything. But everyone has those seasons where it feels like we’re not good at much of anything. And we all need to be reminded of what we’re good at from time to time. It could be something as little as being organized and helping the family stay organized. Or as big as having the strength to advocate for you or your family in a situation where they needed it.
Whatever the case, take time to remind your spouse of their strengths in case they could be going through a bout of insecurity.
8. Have fun
Now, I’m the type of person who always felt a lot of pressure when I read or heard advice like this. I’m on the quiet side and don’t consider myself that funny. But, even if you’re the same, you can still find ways to have fun. One way is to simply not take yourself too seriously. Poke fun at your spouse, and also poke fun at yourself.
Another way you could show this is to, if you can, plan spontaneous nights out, plan a date where you do an activity rather than the tried and true dinner and a movie.