Hello, hello OSSS readers! It’s Brooke from Blissful Roots. I have been a long time family fun contributor here with Mariel, and have felt very safe and comfortable with that. Well, a few months ago she asked if I could continue with that, but alternate my posts each month with family fun, and parenting/marriage. While I was completely up for what Mariel asked me to do, I was also a bit hesitant. Hesitant because I am no where near an expert on parenting or marriage! I know there are many of you out there who are. But, the more I got thinking, the more I realized how much I have appreciated the simple tips, advice, and guidance given to me over the years from everyday mothers and wives. And that is what I feel I can offer you. A few of the lessons learned over my 14 years of marriage, and almost nine years of parenting. It’s a form of gratitude journal, but tailored to showing love for your spouse.
I’m going to start with marriage this month. I have a favorite quote (you can click here to print one for yourself) that I pretty much repeat to myself on a daily basis, especially when it comes to my marriage (and parenting as well).
You’ve probably heard something similar to this before, and I think I have even mentioned it before in a post here at OSSS. But, it’s worth hearing again!! I believe in this quote 110%, and I have seen the tremendous impact it can have. The positive impact when you choose to focus on the good, and the reverse, is also true.
So, a few years ago I found myself being a bit too nit picky with my husband day in and day out. I realized I needed to change, and stop acting like a nagging mother. I needed a reason to find the good. And let me tell you, there are thousands of really great things about my husband, but I was so busy focusing on the few things that bothered me, that I was missing all of his wonderful qualities, kind gestures, and efforts made. I decided to start a daily journal (I’m a big of a journal junkie) for him. Somewhat of a gratitude journal, which I’m sure you’re all familiar with, but focusing strictly on my husband each day. I wanted to make it simple, and not too time consuming or overwhelming. I bought a small notebook, kept it by my bedside, and started writing one positive thing about my husband each night before I went to bed. Things like this:
I came to love those few minutes each night reflecting on what my husband had done that day. I loved writing something each day because so many of the small, simple acts of goodness go unnoticed, or even big acts of kindness can go unforgotten if not written down.
I made sure to limit myself to one or two sentences a night, just to keep it simple. Some nights, I had several things I could have written about him. Other nights, I had to think kind of hard! But looking back, I liked those nights the best because it made me dig a bit and realize even on our hardest days, there was always something good he did! Maybe even just thanking him for not snoring at night, or for showering every day and smelling good!! And I promise, the more you look for the good in your spouse, the more you see it’s there EVERY SINGLE DAY! And the more you see it, the more you’ll appreciate it, and hopefully express your gratitude more. You’ll also discover, it’s kind of contagious! Your spouse will probably end up doing the same. Maybe he (or she) won’t put it in writing, but the overall feeling of love and appreciation will grow between you.
I did make it an entire year, and I gave the journal to my husband on his birthday the following year. I think he kind of knew what I’d been doing all year, but he hadn’t been able to read the journal until that day. I remember him sitting down and reading page after page after page. It was a good walk down memory lane for him, but more than that, it was a year full of positive, loving comments all for him!
What do you do to express your love and appreciation for your spouse? How do you keep the good in your marriage in the forefront? I know there are many of you out there with great ideas! I’d love to hear them. I do have to say texting can be a great way to do this same idea in this techie world of ours. I’m not quite sure I love it as much as the journal, but at least it’s something!
For more posts on love and marriage, you might like these:
And for more ideas for the man in your life, check out the category on the blog dedicated to gifts for men!