I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day.
I think it puts more focus on the appearance of having a loving relationship versus the real-life experience of manifesting one. It also seems to create a sense of lack for women who are fabulously single. But, that’s just me.
If you love Valentine’s Day, this blog post will not rain on your parade. What it will do is give you some action-oriented tips for loving your spouse or significant every day of the year.
I wrote this blog post to challenge us as women, to move beyond needing to always feel in love with our spouse, prior to acting on our love.
Let me explain. I love my husband and he loves me, but we may not always feel “loving” toward each other. We may not always behave in lovable ways, but that does not have to negate the action of love that we show each other each day. In fact, by committing to making our love an action, we can keep the loving feelings alive.
As you look forward to the weekend, don’t stress or put pressure on your relationship about a day ear-marked to celebrate love. Instead, focus on how to make all the other days of your marriage more rich and enjoyable.
Today I want to share 6 tips for loving your spouse in ACTION. In fact, I’m going to use ACTION as an acronym to make it even easier for you to remember.
A | Affirm your spouse. Let him know that he matters and how much he means to you. Don’t assume that he already knows, and if he does, confirm it anyway.
The words that we speak to our spouse matter. They will either build him up or tear him down. They will either show appreciation or display our judgment. We get to decide what rolls off of our tongue and into the ears, heart, and mind of our spouse.
Words of affirmation for our spouse doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as:
“Thank you honey for cooking dinner. I really appreciate it!”
“I love being your wife.”
“You are such a kind man. I’m so blessed to have you as my husband.”
“I noticed how hard you’ve been working. How can I help you?”
C | Communicate effectively. Without healthy ways to communicate your thoughts and feelings, your relationship will struggle. Communication is the key to starting, nurturing, and maintaining healthy relationships. If you are struggling to communicate with your spouse, consider working together to be better in marriage counseling, by speaking to your pastor, or attending marriage conferences. Just because communication is important, doesn’t mean it comes easy. Be willing to get help.
T | Time is necessary to stay connected in marriage. What that time looks like for you and your spouse is unique. If you don’t have a lot of time to spend together, focus on the quality and not the quantity. Make sure that the time you have is spent on the things that really matter.
Making time for each other may mean:
Eating dinner together each night.
Snuggling while watching a moving before bed.
Talking on the phone on your lunch break.
Scheduling a date night (even if it’s at home) each week.
Whatever you and your spouse decide, just commit to the time.
I | Intimacy in relationships involves opening yourself up to being vulnerable and experiencing each other at deeper levels. Intimacy is not just about the physical. It also includes mental, spiritual, and emotional intimacy. Here are a few examples of each:
Physical intimacy: Holding hands, kissing, hugging, or sexual touch.
Mental intimacy: Having meaningful conversations, discussing what’s important to you, learning something new together.
Emotional intimacy: Affirming each other, expressing how you feel, talking about your life experiences.
Spiritual intimacy: Going to church together, discussing your spiritual beliefs, or having a bible study together.
O | Own your mistakes. When you do something wrong, don’t be afraid to make a u-turn and make amends with your spouse. This is not always easy, but necessary to move your relationship forward. This step may mean apologizing first, asking for forgiveness, or asking your spouse what you can do to help remedy the mistake that was made.
If you have a hard time in this area, start small and work your way up. It’s often easier to apologize for the small things first and grow from there.
N | Nurture yourself. I can’t stress this tip enough! If you are not healthy, whole, confident, and living as your best self, it will affect your relationships. Take care of yourself with self-care practices that work.
This may mean getting enough sleep each night, exercising more often, reading for 30-minutes a day, or soaking in the bath. Whatever works for you, allocate time to do it.
Act on self-care practices each day that brings you rest, relaxation, recharge, or renewal. Taking care of yourself is taking care of your marriage. When you are better, so are your relationships.
Well, I hope these tips will jumpstart your lovey-dovey weekend or help you feel empowered to improve your relationship by improving you.
Don’t forget to check out the Me Myself and HER podcast version of this blog post. If you haven’t done so already, follow me on Instagram @livelikeher2 and on Facebook @livelikeher for daily encouragement and mental fitness tips.
Enjoy your weekend!