When you first get married, you shower your spouse with expensive gifts. Sure, doing the little things to express your love is good, too, but you focus more on cruises, buying jewelry, and even doing a weekend getaway twice a month. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long to realize how expensive everything is getting, right? So you stop — or at least slow down a lot. The question now becomes, “what have you been doing instead to express your love?
If your answer is nothing or not a lot, you’re overlooking all those little things that make us feel loved every day.
Admit it … it’s the little things that make you feel loved!!!
You can’t go on vacation every week. And even if you can, that’s not enough to show someone how important they are to you. What I have found is those different, small actions deeply matter to the opposite sex but tend to fall to the wayside. That’s because we don’t recognize how important they are, or we get overwhelmed with life and stop doing them. Little things like:
- A simple text message during the day to say, “I love you.”
- Finding a sticky note on your steering wheel to wish you a fabulous day
- A simple hello or goodbye kiss
- That long hug you get as soon as you walk in the front door after a long day at work
- Holding hands while walking through the mall
- Unsolicited compliments about what you’re wearing or how you look
The little things to express your love may seem so simple or minor that it is easy to discount them — but don’t. They are so powerful that they can transform a relationship even if only one person does them! Why? Because they signal how you feel in a way that your spouse will actually understand and absorb. Doing little things to express your love builds confidence in their heart that, “Wow! My spouse really loves me!”
The Marital Love Bank — it’s time to fill it up!
We wrote about this in a previous blog, but Dr. Willard Harley wrote about what he calls The Love Bank. Inside all of us is a Love Bank with accounts in the names of everyone we know. When these people are associated with our good feelings, “love units” are deposited into their accounts, and when they are associated with our bad feelings, love units are withdrawn. We are emotionally attracted to people with positive balances and repulsed by those with negative balances.
Our own Love Bank is the way our emotions encourage us to be with people who seem to treat us well and avoid those who hurt us. This is why spouses need to focus on the little things that show how much we love and appreciate each other. If you find that you’re not doing this, change patterns and habits of communication to reflect your love better.
- Directly communicate your love in a way that your partner can understand.
- Communicate the aspects of your relationship that you value — the positive parts.
- Listen to each other with respect.
- Share your experience: information, thoughts, needs and desires, feelings, and values.
- Make time and opportunities for good communication.
When it comes down to using the little things to express your love, an exercise I frequently offer to clients is this: Write a list of 10 things that you could do for your partner or could say to them that you feel might please them. This could be acts of kindness, sacrifice, or considerate conversations. Do not consult with each other, but put them into practice several times within a week. Be aware of the other’s “bids” toward you.
Remember … those little things start to add up quickly.
What little thing can you add to your daily routine to make your spouse feel care for and loved?
Our heart is devoted to caring about people and marriages!
Our heart is and always will be devoted to caring about people. We want to ensure you have the tools to express your love, gratitude, and appreciation toward your spouse — even if it’s with a few dozen “little things” each week. Plus, we want to help other couples just like you. The best way we know how to do that is by spreading the word to more people and let them know that we are here. Join us on social. IG – MikeandSusanDawson Co. FB – MikeandSusanDawson
What do you think? Did we leave anything out? What works for you in your marriage? Please send us a quick email and help us keep this conversation going. mike@MikeandSusanDawson.com