More often than not, success in marriage comes down to the little things. The simple things. The things that are all too easily overlooked!
Leah Heffner from Life Around the Coffee Cup writes such great, accessible stuff on marriage, and today she joins us with this challenge to remember the importance of those little things! Here’s Leah:
Do you ever feel so forgetful?
I am definitely forgetful.
And call it mom brain or mental fog or any other name and the reality is – it’s easy for me to forget.
Forget where I put my phone. Forget to call my mother-in-law for her birthday (sorry, Dana). Forget to pay the water bill on time (thanks, Honey for running that into town).
And more than daily tasks, I forget the little things that build up my marriage.
I forget the little things that just came so naturally when we first got married and had just two people living in our house. I forget the little things that made his face light up and the butterflies take flight in my stomach. I forget the simple power of being thoughtful and intentional.
None of us mean to forget. But as life gets fuller the things that were so second nature take a back seat and then they become something we have to remember to do. And then it’s easy to forget.
When I get to be especially forgetful, I start giving myself reminders. Notes on the whiteboard or calendar. A home for my phone. Habits and routines that help me build muscle memory and remember things.
We can use this in our marriages, too. We can start small and build habits that have big impact in our day to day and moment to moment parts of marriage.
And like my phone, it’s sometimes the easily forgotten things that make the biggest impact.
Here are 3 important (yet simple) things you’re forgetting in your marriage…
1. Look him in the eyes
I used to spend hours just soaking in my husband when we were dating.
Then last year we went out for our anniversary and I saw new lines around his eyes and more grey at his temples and in his beard.
How had I missed this?!
I know we get interrupted a lot. Dinner looks a bit differently with 4 little ones at the table. And we’re tired.
But I can look up when he comes into the house or into a room. I can give him my attention with my whole self when he’s talking. I can put down my phone or turn off the TV to invite deeper conversation.
We all want so badly to feel seen and heard. Looking each other in the eyes is a great way to start growing this.
2. Touch Him
I know at the end of the day that many of us are feeling touched out or tired or both.
And for many of us, the physical aspects of our relationship feel harder when we aren’t in the habit of touching in small ways.
Hold his hand while you fall asleep. Give him a 10 second kiss when he comes home at night. Put your hand on his arm while he’s talking to you.
None of these have to lead to anything specifically.
But touching is one habit that definitely grows the more you do it. And the less you do it, the easier it is to not do it.
3. Be Thoughtful
Think of something your husband does every morning before work. Does he make coffee? Go for a run? Read or watch the news?
Now think of a way you can show him that you care through that normal, day-to-day task.
Get the coffee pot ready?
Put a note on his running shoes?
Hand him the paper while he eats breakfast?
A little thoughtfulness goes a long way in a marriage and will definitely brighten his day.
It’s the little habits!
So often when we look back over a lifetime together, it’s the big things we remember. The anniversaries and birthdays, the vacations and special events.
But what makes each of those big events so special? The relationships and people we share them with.
And relationships, specifically our marriages, simply cannot be built on big moments alone.
Think of something being built out of rocks. Big, beautiful stones coming together to create color and texture and pattern. But the rocks by themselves aren’t air or water tight. And it’s more likely they’ll fall.
To make the building stand for a long time, it needs something to fill in the cracks. The mortar makes the wall and structure stronger.
The mortar in our marriages is the little things – the moment to moment choices that solidify the structure.
It can be easy to forget how impactful these little things are. How much they build into our lives and our relationships.
And I think that can be especially true in our marriages. My husband, my closest neighbor, often gets what’s left over from me after kids and work and household chores suck so much out of me.
That’s why building habits is so important to me. I want to build strong walls and a lifetime of love and thoughtfulness that we can look back on.
It’s the little things in each day that have the biggest impact in our marriages.
If this is an area you want to grow in your marriage, and you’re ready to jump in, check out our new companion books called Intentional Love.
In Intentional Love: 31 Ways to Love Your Husband with Purpose and Intentional Love: 31 Ways to Love Your Wife with Purpose, my husband and I encourage you to build the simple habits that will have a lifetime of impact in your marriage.
Whether you’re in the thick of it, trying to figure out how to come up for air in a challenging season of marriage or you’re wanting to grow more in your already good season, Intentional Love walks you through building and maintaining thoughtful habits that will build into your marriage.
We’re also giving away 3 sets of Intentional Love this week! Just click here to enter the giveaway!
If you’re ready to build small habits to grow your marriage, Intentional Love will encourage and walk with you as you work on and implement these habits.
Which of the three things do you find yourself forgetting most easily? Let me know in the comments!