Husband and Wife, by Shawni Pothier

Marriage is the keystone for everything else in a family to fit together.  If we don’t put our spouse first, it is really difficult to do all the other family stuff in the proclamation.

Here is a list of ideas to strengthen marriage. Some of these things Dave and I do great. Others are things we are really working on.

Here you go:

Go to bed at the same time. (I know this doesn’t work for everyone, but it makes a world of difference for us.)

If you go to bed at the same time, you get to have “pillow talk” which leads to belly laughs, which make me happy. (I feel so much more connected to Dave when we make time to really talk about how our day went and what’s coming up the next day.)

Find at least a few of the same things to be interested in together. (We’re always working on that one because we are so different, but I think it’s so important.)

Learn what his “love language” is from this book (I know this may sound cheesy, but seriously, it is a pretty cool concept).

Never underestimate the power of touch. Even just a touch on the shoulder or a on his knee at dinner.

Tell your kids how excited you are to go on a date together with stars in your eyes.

Hug in front of your kids.

Tell your kids what you love about their dad. All the time.

Say you’re sorry before he does.

Continue “dating” regularly forever, even if it’s an “at-home date” after the kids are in bed.

Drop everything you’re trying to juggle some evenings and just snuggle on the couch.

Watch a show you like together while sitting in front of him on the floor…he rubs your back while you rub his feet. (or visa-versa)

Text him love-notes in the middle of the day.

Tuck love-notes in his suitcase when he goes on a business trip.

Make dinner for him.

Dave and I decided right when we got married to keep any complaints or things we were bugged about between us. We promised each other that we would discuss those things and work them out just the two of us, not with our friends or neighbors. We figured it would make us stronger to work through things together and to keep that relationship sacred. And we were right. That’s one of the best things about our marriage as far as I’m concerned.

Show that you value his opinion by giving in more often. (Hmmm…I need to work on that one…)
Let him beat you at Quordy here and there :) (that’s a Boggle game on the iPhone)

Make an effort to give him a sincere compliment before you go to bed each night…something you noticed during the day. Be looking for the good instead of for opportunities to nag.

Talk about your budget often and make sure you’re on the same page with how you spend.

If you’re not on the same page with how you spend, re-evaluate. And give-in a little. Make compromises. Finances are one of the biggest stress-inducing things in marriages.

Forgive. And then Forget. Don’t hold on to grudges.

If something is important to him, make it important to you. No matter how silly it may seem in your view at first. (That’s my favorite one from my Mom and I think about it ALL THE TIME.)

Laugh. A lot. Keep a sense of humor.

Ok, and just to keep it real, here’s what NOT to do to make your husband feel like you really care about him:

Chop your hair off in a moment of mid-life crisis even though you know he loves long hair. But if he’s really nice like Dave is he’ll still love you anyway. :)

Cough all night long with allergies.

Back into your in-laws’ car.

Forget to warn him about five different conflicts you have in one night early enough that he can brace himself for it.

Text when you’re on a date.

But hey, I’m working on those, and hair grows, right? :)

Strong marriages make strong families, but they take work.

What are some things that you and your spouse do for each other that strengthens your marriage?

Shawni lives with her husband and five children in Arizona.  She takes her job as a Mother very seriously and strives to promote joy in the journey of Motherhood on her blog. Shawni’s youngest daughter (Lucy) was born with a rare genetic syndrome which causes blindness (amidst a myriad of other health problems).  Because of this, Shawni and her mother started the “I Love Lucy Project” and have become heavily involved with the Foundation Fighting Blindness. Aside from being an advocate for her daughter and relishing in motherhood, Shawni enjoys speaking at Time Out for Women and recently published her first book, A Mother’s Book of Secrets.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

Click here to read a complete version of The Family: A Proclamation to the World. The celebration will continue from Sept 17-30.

Remember that during the world-wide-web Family Proclamation Celebration, you can read more posts every day at We Talk of Christ, at Chocolate on My Cranium, and at Middle-Aged Mormon Man.

Every time you leave a comment on any of the Proclamation posts or participate in any of the Blog Hops, you are entered in a drawing to win a giveaway prize.

The giveaway this week is a Dream Big Family Rules Subway Art sign from Landee on Etsy. “One of the reasons we love to create things for our homes is because our favorite people live there! We love our families and want them to be in a happy & healthy environment. We always try to create products that are positive, motivating and uplifting. Stop by our shop and find that special detail for your home that you’ve been looking for!

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21 thoughts on “Husband and Wife, by Shawni Pothier

  1. My husband and I decided to start going to bed at the same time a couple of years ago, and it really does make the world of difference! That’s when we have some of our best conversations, and I treasure those moments. And I’m right with you on working out your differences between yourselves – I think it shows you have a huge amount of respect for one another to not go talking to others about your problems.

    Great post, Shawni. Thank you! :-)

  2. I need to try better to fall asleep at the same time as my wife. Even though we are both in bed at the same time, I typically stay up longer and read. I am excited to give it a try. Thanks for the ideas.

  3. Thanks for sharing this Shawni! It’s a great list, its always helpful to hear that other couples have the same kind of challenges. My favorite part of your list was Hug often in front of your children. I would take that a step further and say make it a family hug, especially if your kids are young. Letting kids see that affection and feel and know that their parents love and respect one another is a beautiful and priceless thing, and experience that only we can create for them in our own homes and something that will stick with them forever and they will take into their own homes when they get married. My daughter is partially blind and it makes the whole notion of touch, including her in that more important. I hope that makes sense…anyway, great post! I am so loving this Family Proclamation celebration!

  4. I love all of your ideas! One of the things my husband and I do is to make sure we get a girls night out or a guys night out once or twice a month. We both come home feeling refreshed and ready to face life with a better attitude.

  5. Thank you for a great reminder that I need to concentrate on being a spouse my husband would want to spend eternity with. I just might work on one of these ideas a week! Thanks Shawni :)

  6. This is one of my favorite parts of the proclomation. It reminds so much of hearing President Hinkley talking about his sweet wife, and how much it hurt him after she died. You could tell how much they cared for one another.

  7. Pfft – short hair is THE BEST!

    I love love love your ideas, especially the first two. I don’t think I’ve ever see a “love your spouse” list that says you should go to bed at the same time and that is such a huge deal! It’s kind of weird but life is much better when you fall asleep with your love.

    And that love languages book is so cheesy it’s painful but dang if it didn’t hit my husband’s love language right on the nose (I can’t remember mine but it is NOT touch and that’s what DH’s is.)

  8. What a great post! I would also recommend the book, “Behind Every Good Man,” by John Bytheway. It’s a short read but full of great insight on how to tale care of our men.

  9. Oh how I wish I could go to bed at the same time as my husband but he works nights and has for 6 out of our 7 years of marriage. But we have made an effort to on his nights off or on the rare occasion when he works days and it does make a difference. We do find other times to have that connection time through the day. Being that it is just my husband and I (no children yet) we find ourselves getting wrapped up in our own individual projects or t.v. so we just made this jar of activites that we both enjoy and we have made a goal to draw one out daily so we are connecting daily.

  10. This has been my fav family post yet :) I love Shawni, and I love her simple yet powerful reminders of what can make a marriage better than good. Thanks for sharing!

  11. I just have to laugh…I so totally identify with the “Cut your hair off during a mid-life crisis” statement. Thankfully hair grows, because I really do like it longer too, and he still makes me beautiful. Even though we aren’t perfect, I could relate with the whole list and we do those things most of the time. He’s my best friend and I truly miss him when we’re not together. I tell my kids all the time how important it is to marry someone that they are and can be good friends with. The proclamation is inspired and will continue to touch hearts and bless lives.

  12. Thank you so much. This is a great list. Your family exudes happiness (yes, yes, I know it’s not all peaches and cream all the time), and it’s nice to see. Thanks for being willing to share.

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