Last week, my husband and I had the worst fight we’ve had in a long, loooong time.
It wasn’t over money. Or inlaws. Or how to raise our kids.
It was over tape.
Like, literally, tape.
Long story short, I can only take so much of the mess my family makes in our home and when they start to get into the things that I strategically put away so that they can’t find it but I can, and then lose or destroy said item, I can really blow a gasket. So while my complaint was valid, my approach was not, and what ensued was an epic battle over yes…tape.
After we finally calmed down, made up, and moved on with our day, we were out in the kitchen getting lunch ready.
In walks Theo.
“Um, guys. I’m making a robot. I need tape.”
I looked at Mike and just started dying with laughter. I was like, of course this kid needs tape. Life is funny like that.
Theo had no idea what was so funny so he just walked out, probably thinking he has the weirdest parents ever.
Life has felt a tad, much, lately: The kids have really been needy and overwhelming; Mike has been working a ton, but from home, which adds its own level of difficulty; and I can’t seem to complete a task (or return a phone call, or text, or email) to save my life. I would cry, but honestly I don’t think I have the energy.
I’m 100% not complaining, and I 100% know that we all go through these seasons. But all this leads up to me saying this: When life gets crazy and busy, that’s when we need to get extra intentional about our relationships, especially our spouse.
So today, I thought of 7 things I can do to intentionally build up my marriage. I chose 7 because I thought I could try and do one thing a day because, let’s be honest, one is enough. It only takes one loving act, one loving word, one loving moment, to totally set the tone for the day – or redirect it! – in a positive way.
Here is what I came up with:
1. Look at my husband when he speaks to me or when I address him. This means putting down my phone or whatever I’m working on, and being present for the conversation.
2. Ask “What can I do to help you today?”
3. Speak without sarcasm.
4. Kiss hello and goodbye, every time. (This could be a fun one since I’m seeing him more often throughout my day with him working from home!)
5. Be intentional about noticing the things my husband does for me or my family. Thank him for those things!
6. Remember that my husband is not a mind reader. Be up front about all my plans (both the ones I have and the ones I want to have), and have honest communication about scheduling. Respond honestly to his questions in the moment, rather than hoping he will guess my thoughts/feelings. (Intuitive these guys, are not).
7. Remember that my priorities are not his priorities. I need to just take the wet towels back to the bathroom myself, rather than continuing to be a grumpy-gus that he leaves them on the bed. (Ok, this one is awfully specific to me, but you get the gist. I’m sure we all have our own”wet towel” in our marriages.)
As a bonus, I’ve also been trying to pray more for my husband. I find it just helps me feel more grateful, gracious, and over all loving towards him. It’s a whole lot harder to pray for your husband and then turn around and yell at him. I mean, it still happens, don’t get me wrong. But it’s a step in the right direction.
What about you? What tips and tricks do you have for building and maintaining a healthy relationship with your spouse or loved one?