Easy Steps for Nurturing Your Marriage

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Looking for simple ideas to strengthen your relationship? Try these bite-sized yet powerful ways we can show our mates we love them. You may be surprised how effective even a small gesture can be!

Admit it. You’ve done it before and you’ll do it again. You may even be doing it right now as you’re reading this article. The “it” I’m talking about? Ignoring your husband! You remember him—that guy who schleps off to work every day, checks the fluids in your car, and has a key to your house?

I confess, as a busy woman, I too am guilty of this offense. Just last night my husband asked me to do him a small favor, and I sarcastically told him I’d “get right on it,” as if I had nothing else on my schedule. So without a conscious effort, I made sure he knew just where he fell on my list of priorities. You guessed it—right at the bottom. After paying some bills, checking my email, and wiping down the kitchen counters, I was exhausted and ready to end my day. I eventually got around to helping my husband the next morning, and that’s what’s important, right?

Well, not quite. I know I could have handled the situation better by giving my husband the help he needed when he needed it—or at least avoided the sarcastic tone and bad attitude when I told him it would have to wait. How many other moms have found themselves in similar situations?

Busy women, I have a challenge for us all! A proposal that we resume paying some attention to those men who were once, however briefly, the focal point of our existence.

So how can we care for our husbands more when our daily lives are already crammed full of to-dos? My solution comes in the form of a little list I compiled and hung on my refrigerator. It suggests small yet powerful ways that we can show love to our mates:

  • Put your arm around your husband. Hug him and kiss him for no reason at all—he may wonder what you’re up to!
  • Hold his hand when you go places together. Did you know touch is one of the most powerful expressions of love and can actually alter our physical and emotional states?
  • Show extra compassion when he is sick. Fluff his pillow and tuck him in bed. Offer to make him tea or run a bath for him. Warm his towel in the dryer when he’s ready to get out of the water.
  • Write him a note or buy him a card and leave it in his shirt pocket, his briefcase, his lunchbox, or on the dashboard in his car. My husband loves this one!
  • Don’t forget to spend some time alone together. Plan a date night! Make the dinner reservations, buy tickets to the game, hire the babysitter, and enjoy time as a couple.
  • Massage his back, neck, or feet for 20 minutes. What a simple way to help him relax and show you care. (And while you’re doing this unselfishly, there’s always a chance he’ll return the favor some time!)
  • Without mentioning it to your husband, do a household chore that is normally his responsibility.
  • The next time you start to spend five dollars on yourself, spend it on him instead. He’ll enjoy the gift and the realization that you were thinking about him.
  • Make it a point to say something kind about your husband to someone else. He probably won’t even know you’ve done this, but it will make you feel good and can change the way you look at him. You may be surprised at how well this works!
  • Thank him for the everyday things: being a good provider, a good husband, taking out the trash, or making dinner after a busy day.
  • Surprise him with his favorite meal for no reason.
  • Talk to him about current events (yes, even sports!) that interest him, even if they don’t interest you.
  • If you pray together, be sure to vocalize thanks for him in your prayers. It will mean a lot to him to hear your gratefulness. You’ll be amazed at the closeness this can create between two people.
  • You and your husband probably work hard to earn money. Spend that money wisely. Excessive debt and shortage of money puts unnecessary strain on a marriage and will stress you both out, making everyone grouchy.
  • When you run errands, be sure to ask him if he needs or wants anything. In other words, be thoughtful.
  • Be sociable and friendly with his friends, work associates, and family, no matter how you really feel about them.
  • Be polite. Say “please,” “thank you,” and “you’re welcome.” We often have a tendency to be more polite to strangers and mere acquaintances than we are to the ones we love most.
  • Praise him sincerely for a job well done. Tell him how great the newly painted nursery looks or that the landscaping he put in is terrific.
  • Spend time talking about his dreams and goals—and yours. Communication is key to a healthy marriage.
  • Say “I love you!”

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