I'm no marriage expert- trust me. AJ and I have had our up's and down's typical of any couple, but in my two years and two months of marriage, I've learned the importance of making sure your spouse feels valued. And the importance of feeling valued.
I've never been the hugest fan of Valentine's day (when I was single we used to call it Singles Awareness day...) but now that I'm married I can appreciate the extra effort people put in to make their spouses feel loved. Don't let it take the place of showing them love every day of the year, but one special day to celebrate the two of you never hurts.
No matter your "love language" (mine are gifts of time and physical touch- what are yours?) it's just as important to ensure that you're making your spouse feel important and needed, even if their love languages are different than yours.
Here are a few simple things you can do that go beyond "flowers and chocolate".
1 || Listen to them:
It doesn't even really need to be said, I know, but in another sense it totally needs to be said. When you're married it's easy to assume you know everything about the other person. Their needs, routines and tastes become almost second nature- but listening to them during an argument, conversation or even just reading their "unspoken" cues like body language and actions will speak volumes.
2 || Give them space:
One of my ridiculous expectations of marriage was that we would do everything together. And while we definitely hang out with each other and enjoying spending time together, we both need our alone time to recharge and focus on caring for ourselves.
3 || Do little things for them:
Did he mention that he really wants something done around the house? Do it for him. Make his favorite dessert as a surprise. Watch his show with him instead of insisting on your own. A happy marriage is less giant displays of affection and more day to day acts of sacrifice and love.
4 || Don't Dwell on the Negative:
When you live with someone, it can feel like their flaws are constantly in your face. Remembering their heart can help you move on from past arguments or mistakes.
5 || Don't Expect Too Much:
I mentioned my ridiculous expectations already, but since I didn't date (at all) before I met AJ, my head was full of crazy ideals that I expected him to fulfill. And while he definitely does an amazing job at taking care of us and loving me, it wasn't fair of me to expect him to be everything to me.
6 || Don't Let Stress Steal The Romance:
Real life is messy- bills, jobs, kids, exhaustion...all of that can make romance the last thing on your mind. But it's important to keep the spark, even in the hard moments. Go on a drive together, eat at your favorite restaurant while you were dating, light a few candles....you know the drill.
7 || Support Them:
One of the biggest ways AJ shows me that I matter to him is by supporting me and my crazy ideas. Blogging takes up a lot of my time (though I try to work on it mostly while he's at work...) and I have big dreams for this space- including a BIG announcement next month!! His support means the world to me and so I try my best to support him with his dreams as well.
How do you make sure your spouse feels the love? What things make YOU feel most valued?