Most couples would agree that life can be pretty chaotic, whether you’re raising kids or nurturing a little fur family.
It’s enough to get the household chores done, make sure the kids are fed, pets are walked, and everyone makes it to school and extracurricular activities on schedule.
Who has time to worry about minor slights between you?
But it can be so easy to let things between the two of you slide. When that starts to happen, trouble can start. The seeds of neglect and unhappiness can sprout in the smallest of moments, where you or your partner feels overlooked, ignored, or unneeded.
Your partner doesn’t feel loved, valued, or cherished; your partner begins to feel like simply a cog in the machine. Not a good way to keep a love alive, that’s for sure…
Making the time to enrich your marriage is essential for long-term happiness and security.
That sounds like a big responsibility.
And it is!
But while that might also sound complicated or time-consuming, it’s really just taking tiny actions that have a big impact.
Even with the smallest budget, or in the busiest household, each of these 25 ideas can help rekindle a romance, spark a new shared interest, or simply strengthen the ties that bind you together.
1. Learn how to do something new together.
Whether it’s going kayaking or studying up on the tax rules to file your own income tax return, educate yourselves as a team.
2. Take turns doing a house task.
Nothing will enhance your ability to cooperate with your spouse like learning to take turns. When he does the laundry, he does it on his own schedule. When she washes the car, she can use whatever method she wants.
3. Complete an unsavory task together.
So the house really is a mess and neither one of you has four hours to devote to it. What if you were to tag-team it and get it done in 2 hours?
4. Take an afternoon oﬀ just to spend time together.
Show each other how important you are by planning a half-day to just enjoy each other’s company.
5. Arrange a weekend getaway.
Twice a year at least, take a car trip or short train journey together just for the fun of it. If there are some places in your own state you’d love to visit, why not talk to your partner about doing it together?
One of the common challenges that couples have is really hearing what the other person is saying. Indirectly, listening better will make your relationship less stressful and therefore, more enjoyable.
7. Be sensitive to your partner’s needs.
If you sense your partner is overwhelmed about his busy work schedule, think of ways to make things easier on him at home for the short-term. For example, you could say, “I know you’ve been really working hard. Let’s just stay home this weekend, if it’s okay with you.”
8. Vow to demonstrate your love each day.
No matter how hectic your schedule, take a couple of minutes during your day to show your love. A long hug, a kiss, or holding hands across the breakfast table will do. Consider showing your love as tops on your daily “to do” list.
9. Take time for having dinner together.
Work schedules and running the kids back and forth to their activities can get chaotic. Make special efforts to eat dinner together as often as possible. Make it fun — take sandwiches to the park when it’s her turn to coach the baseball team.
10. Post a “Reasons I Appreciate You” list on the refrigerator.
Then, each day, write one item on the list. It could be something like, “You vacuumed for me when I was tired” or “Thanks for picking up the kids yesterday after school.”
11. Tell your partner how important she is to you.
Recognize how powerful the words, “You’re the most important person in my life” are. Try it and you’ll see.
12. Write love notes.
Use your skill with words to express your undying affection. Explain how you’d go to the ends of the earth for him. You get the idea. You’ll enjoy writing these notes and he’ll enjoy reading them.
13. Hide a love note in her purse or his briefcase or car.
This makes receiving the love note even more effective. To have written proof of someone’s love for you is a very nice feeling. And to discover it when you least expect it makes it so much fun.
14. Send her a greeting card.
A lot of people like to receive snail mail. Wouldn’t it be fun for your partner to get a lovely card from you “just because?”
15. Cook together.
Many couples find cooking together to be an incredibly entertaining activity. You’ll have opportunities to practice patience, kindness, cooperation, encouragement, and acceptance of one another when you prepare a meal together.
16. Carve out time daily to go for a jog or take a walk with your partner.
Taking a jog together shows you both believe your health is important. Plus, you have each other to encourage exercising on days the other doesn’t feel like it. Walking has its own special characteristics — you’ll be able to discuss whatever you want or just hold hands and enjoy.
17. Talk about the kids together when they’re not around.
One way to share the joys and disappointments of parenting is to discuss what’s going on with each of the kids. As individuals, you can support each other. As a couple, you’ll feel closer.
18. Throw a party.
Have friends over for dinner or enjoy a good old-fashioned party. Put your heads together and come up with a theme you both love and let your imaginations run wild. It’ll be great fun.
19. Play games.
It’s good to be playful with one another. If you both loved Scrabble a long time ago, dig out that old Scrabble board game and have at it. If you used to play canasta when you were dating, bring on the playing cards. Play something amusing together.
20. Send the kids to grandma’s this weekend.
Even one 24 hour period with the children away will give you the time to do some things you’ve wanted to do together.
21. Have dinner and a movie out.
Sometimes a date-night can be just what you need to re-kindle those memories and the excitement you felt when you were dating.
22. Consider engaging in an intellectual pursuit together.
Get involved in a topic of great interest to both of you. Do you love to read? Join a book discussion group. Interested in other cultures? Take a 6 week class at your local cultural center or church to learn about other cultures. Expand your minds together.
23. Tell your partner you want to spend more time together.
If you feel like you haven’t spent as much quality time together as you’d like, let her know. She’ll probably appreciate hearing it as she might be feeling the same way.
24. Share how you feel.
When you share genuine feelings like, “I’m scared about…” or “I’m very pleased that…” or “I want to…” your partner will feel closer to you and you to him. If this sharing is done on an ongoing basis, your relationship will be consistently renewed.
25. Show your manners.
A common thing that couples do is “forget” their manners when it comes to their partner. Remember to say, “Please” and “Thank you” and use non-threatening language and tone when asking a question or requesting she do something for you.
Feel free to take these steps in order, or jump around and choose the ones that really speak to you. And this list is by no means complete – use it as a jumping off point to get your creativity going.
Come up with your own list of ideas that are special to just the two of you.
Consider re-creating your first date, for example!
The point is, doing things with and for your partner can enrich your marriage and relationship in ways you never imagined, even if your relationship is pretty good already. This is the person you love – make sure they know it!