Photo by  Andrew Welch

Photo by Andrew Welch

How Many of These 10 Ways to Connect With Your Spouse Have You Tried This Month? (Note, 16 words)

Hey, we’ve all been there. The washer blew up. One of the kids is sick. You’re boss is transforming into a monster and demanding extra work. When you finally flop on the couch at 9:15 pm, you look over at your spouse and wonder “who are you? Wait, who am I? I’m so tired. What do we even talk about.”

When you’ve hit the wall physically and emotionally, it’s still vital to find a way to connect to the one you said “I do” to. Bookmark this list on your phone for when you need it, and make the most of the small moments…even during the most exhausting weeks. (Note: not a lot of creativity is required here….just set up the topic. 122 words…10% of the minimum.)

1. Daily Touch (note: make it scannable w/subheadlines)

Don't let the sun set on the day before you at least touch your spouse. Whether it be a kiss, a high-five, holding hands, a hug, or a back scratch — humans need physical contact, it's one of our most basic needs! No matter the type of touch, make it last for 30 seconds. Any kiss over five seconds has wonderful possibilities. (Psychology Today) (Note: link original source material to keep it legal.

2. Be Curious

Ditch the obligatory "How was your day?" and replace it with unique, thought provoking, open-ended questions. Demonstrating genuine interest in your partner and opening dialogue shows that you C.A.R.E. and enhances one of the joys of marriage — the sharing of lives. (Psychology Today)

3. Side With Your Partner

Nothing is worse than complaining about a stressful moment than to have your one true love see "eye-to-eye" with the enemy! Increase trust, partnership and the likelihood that your mate will confide in you in the future by taking his or her side during a vent-fest. Even if you agree with the "enemy" (such as your spouse always being late), save your honest feedback for another time. (Psychology Today)

4. Express Gratitude: At times, it's all too easy to make a laundry list of ways your spouse annoyed you. Chances are, your mate has contributed in at least one way that made your day a little easier or more enjoyable. Let them know how you appreciated him or her today. (Psychology Today)

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5. Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About.  

Although the great Bonnie Raitt was singing about giving other folks something to talk about in this song, I’m referring to giving your spouse something to talk about?

What is something your spouse loves to do; something he loves to talk about.  Engage him in that subject and then take joy in hearing his excitement in that particular thing. Especially, if it’s a topic you could ordinarily care less to hear about. Showing your interest builds connection. (Happy Wives Club)

6. Give Your Marriage a Healthy Dose of Vitamin F2.  

When the fabulous Maggie Reyes at ModernMarried.com introduced us to this new vitamin for the first time, I literally started clapping when reading her post, “Yes, yes, yes!”  Just like our bodies need vitamin A, B, C, D and a ton of others, our marriage needs a daily dose of F2.  What is Vitamin F2 you ask?  It stands for Flirt and fun and there are may, many ways to achieve that. (Happy Wives Club)

7. Disconnect the Cable.  

Okay, well maybe you don’t have to turn it off completely but I can’t tell you how much the connection between my husband and I increased after we decided to disconnect the cable box.  For more than two years, we were without television (with the exception of DVDs and Netflix) and it was one of the greatest experiments in connection ever.  Now, we also connect through a show we love on Netflix (we’re still several seasons behind the current one). We call it “Reagan Family Dinner,” but the rest of the world calls it Blue Bloods. We snuggle on the couch and connect with each while enjoying their Sunday family dinner ritual that happens during every episode. Even when I travel, we’ll watch an episode together remotely and then talk about it. Watching a loving family play out on TV reminds us how blessed we are to have such a loving family in real life.(Happy Wives Club)

8. Surprise Your Spouse for No Reason.  

Have you noticed how the smallest thing becomes that much more significant once you offer it as a surprise?  For instance, if I call my husband on my way home and ask him if he’d like me to pick up his favorite dessert, he’s always extremely grateful for my thoughtfulness and will express his pleasure in that.  But if I pick up his favorite dessert and surprise him with it, he’s like a 7-year old on Christmas eve all over again.  There’s just something about those small, sweet surprises. (Happy Wives Club)

9. Take a Walk…Even If Only in Your Backyard.

 When was the last time you grabbed your spouse by the hand and held it thereon for 30 minutes?  I haven’t researched why holding hands increases connection at such a staggering rate but it’s something about having your palm over another’s that is like having two hearts beat against one another.  There is a lifeblood there that cannot be explained; only felt.(Happy Wives Club)

10. Read a book together. 

Keith and I just finished reading two books together: Slowing Down to the Speed of Life and Tyranny of the Urgent. And I have to say, I’m so glad we spent a portion of our holiday vacation reading these books because they’ve given us such perspective to begin in 2016. The first book reminded us why slowing down is the most wise thing we can do for our health, business and our marriage. And the second book, a tiny pamphlet really, gave us quick tools to immediately put what we’d just read into practice. These books may be for you, maybe not, but either way, finding one you can both love will give you something great to talk about.

Looking for more ways to strengthen your marriage? (Note: finish each post with something else to do).

Here are three practical ideas.

  1. Take time for yourself. Join us for Ladies Day on April 13th, featuring Annie F. Downs, Sherri from Shine Mornings, Laura Story and Julie Bushtenkirk. A refreshed you means a stronger marriage!

  2. Check out the Momcast, hosted by Heather from Shine Mid-days. And subscribe to the Shine.FM Podcast Network for more shows on music, faith and family!

TOTAL WORD COUNT: 1,110. BUILD TIME? 20 MINUTES