Do you ever feel stuck in your relationship? As though you and your partner are more like roomies than cherished spouses? Any couple that stays together long enough will hit bumps in the road or get stuck in a stalemate. Life happens! The demands of daily life devour your time and energy, often leaving very little left over for quality time as a couple or loving one another mindfully.
Yet, love is a choice, too. You can dim and turn off the love light or turn up its brightness in your relationship. It’s up to you. Making understanding, laughter, and light-hearted interactions a way of life in your relationship is key. Just like a magnifying glass held over paper can start a fire, you can magnify kindness and playfulness through mindful responses.
In Love, Small Is Big
It’s easy to think that the daily interactions with our partner don’t count. After all, your attention gets pulled in a thousand different ways in just a day: unpaid bills, stress at work, a friend needing consoling, undone dishes, kids bugging you for attention, emails filling up your inbox, a sister who just got divorced calling for support—and the list goes on … and on … and on.
However, when it comes to love, small is big—for better or worse. On the one hand, many small but careless words and actions can be devastating to your relationship. One sharp remark can send a verbal dart toward your spouse that breaks down trust and replaces closeness with a gulf of emotional distance. Fortunately, on the other hand, small but loving deposits into your spouse’s emotional bank account create high dividends. The trick is to be conscious and deliberate in our run-of-the-mill daily interactions.
When life is hectic, take comfort in knowing that the small things count BIG. When you make tiny gestures of love a habit, your actions will automatically promote a healthier relationship.
It only takes a minute to pick a flower and hand it to your spouse, to send a loving text or write a quick note of appreciation, to ask nicely instead of nagging. Everyone has at least three minutes to spare. The trick is training your mind to cooperate when you feel like an avalanche of to-dos is bearing down on you.
Light Up Your Marriage with These Amazing Tips
TIP #1 – Support Your Love by Attentive Listening
What actions would make your partner feel more heard, valued, and loved when they’re talking with you? (Hint: It’s not dividing your attention between your spouse and reading a text or watching TV.)
Feeling heard is a basic human need; in marriage, it is the lifeline of connection. Pay attention when your spouse mentions they felt blown-off by you or unimportant. Ask yourself, “How could I have responded differently to help my partner feel my love?” As you focus your attention on supporting love with attentive listening, it will translate into nurturing each other. You’ll become a better person and partner because now love is visible through your actions.
TIP #2 – Replace Snark with Authenticity
Think up playful or empathetic responses in advance to help you avoid a typical grumble or sarcastic remark that you might otherwise make, especially when frustrated or tired. Designing authentic responses ahead of time increases the likelihood of success.
Remember to check-in with how you’re supporting yourself through self-care whenever you sound snarky. We’re at our best when we take good care of ourselves. Self-care will help naturally soften your responses.
Related reading: “How to Use Empathy to Strengthen Your Marriage“
TIP #3 – Sprinkle in Sweet Gestures
Take small, positive steps to better love your partner. Scatter them throughout the week. Sure, spontaneity can keep a relationship fresh, but a little planning can prime the pump of love and be a bridge to more fun and connection. Small, thoughtful gestures are guaranteed to bring more love into your relationship.
- Leave a loving note on the dash of your partner’s car, so they find it when they hop in first thing in the morning.
- Secretly capture an endearing picture of them and make it into a cartoon or a love note.
- Turn the bed down for them with a flower or their favorite chocolate on their pillow.
- Book a day at your favorite lake or schedule an overnight couple’s massage to pamper yourselves.
Imagine what it will feel like to receive gifts of daily thoughtfulness. Pretty amazing, right? Spark more love in your marriage with unexpected loving-kindness!
TIP #4 – Voice Your Thoughts
Say out loud the positive things you only think silently about your partner. How often do you forget to tell him or her how you appreciated their help? Their joyous greeting? Or their tender touch when unsolicited and really needed?
Much of what we feel, we neglect to share. Even if your partner isn’t hungry for validation, complimenting them and sharing your thoughts are ways of saying, “I love you.” Sharing is crucial for connection, understanding, and closeness. And sharing isn’t just relegated to gratitude; share your deeper dreams and hopes as well. As the quality of what you share grows, so will the strength of your bond.
TIP #5 – Be Curious During Conflicts
Turn conflict into closeness by getting curious about your partner’s perspective rather than defending your position. Kindling a mindset of understanding opens enormous gateways to helping your marriage feel like a cheerful stream gliding effortlessly downhill. Getting curious lights up the joy in your marriage and creates tremendous ease.
Which of the tips above resonated with you? Try it on for size and watch how it lights up your marriage. Although these tips may seem simple, each small shift helps your partner feel more heard, valued, and loved. And if you find you need a romantic adventure to rekindle the fires of your love, then check out the many options at Truly Experiences. Cheers to love!
Jennifer Williams is the Founder of Heartmanity, a business dedicated to transforming lives. Her passion is helping people create thriving relationships. Jennifer has been conducting premarital coaching and mentored couples for nearly two decades, teaching critical skills needed to cultivate loving connection and authentic communication. With an emphasis on emotional intelligence and brain science, her unique process accelerates change. Jennifer is happily married with three children and a delightful granddaughter.