So I came across this article today (from the San Francisco Globe about 10 Habits of Happy Couples) and thought I would send my thanks today to Matt. I know such a cliche to be thankful for my husband but someday I think we both get so caught up in our daily routines that we just start to let the little things slip away a little … so today I am saying thank you. Thank you for always loving me (even at my worst) or days I don’t deserve it.
1. Go to bed at the same time
“Remember the beginning of your relationship, when you couldn’t wait to go to bed with each other to make love? (Really? We must have missed this one – we are tired hence why we go to bed) Happy couples resist the temptation to go to bed at different times. They go to bed at the same time, even if one partner wakes up later to do things while their partner sleeps. And when their skins touch it still causes each of them to tingle and unless one or both are completely exhausted to feel sexually excited (that would be us).”
2. Cultivate common interests
“After the passion settles down, it’s common to realize that you have few interests in common. But don’t minimize the importance of activities you can do together that you both enjoy. If common interests are not present, happy couples develop them. At the same time, be sure to cultivate interests of your own; this will make you more interesting to your mate and prevent you from appearing too dependent.”
Ironically, the saying goes “opposites attract” but from personal experience I’ve always found sharing hobbies is more fun and exciting. Ideally, it’s best these hobbies come naturally to you, so you don’t feel like you are doing it just for the other person. Recently, golf has become “our” new hobby although I am not good at trying to hit a stationary ball hundreds of yards at a time, Matt has so much patience with me. I am still learning but I enjoy any chance we get to go to the driving range or golf course. This will be a hobby that we can play even as grandparents someday 🙂
3. Walk hand in hand or side by side
“Rather than one partner lagging or dragging behind the other, happy couples walk comfortably hand in hand or side by side. They know it’s more important to be with their partner than to see the sights along the way.” Sometimes even taking a ride in the car or during church he reached for my hand. It always gives me butterflies and puts a smile on my face. In that moment I always feel so loved.
4. Make trust and forgiveness your default mode
“If and when they have a disagreement or argument, and if they can’t resolve it, happy couples default to trusting and forgiving rather than distrusting and begrudging.” Our marriage is far from perfect but we use each opportunity to learn and grow both as a couple and independently. He has helped me realize it’s not worth making “little things into big things.”
5. Focus more on what your partner does right than what he or she does wrong
“If you look for things your partner does wrong, you can always find something. If you look for what he or she does right, you can always find something, too. It all depends on what you want to look for. Happy couples accentuate the positive.” I know this is so easy to SAY and so hard to DO (aka like keep your side of the closet organized)….but I am working on it.
6. Hug each other as soon as you see each other after work
Our skin has a memory of “good touch” (loved), “bad touch” (abused) and “no touch” (neglected). Couples who say hello with a hug keep their skin bathed in the “good touch,” which can inoculate your spirit against anonymity in the world. It’s usually a hello, welcome home kiss that we greet each other with everynight but if would forget it never fails that when we sit down for supper, and after we pray, we always say I love you xx.
7. Say “I love you” and “Have a good day” every morning
“This is a great way to buy some patience and tolerance as each partner sets out each day to battle traffic jams, long lines and other annoyances.”
Yup, EVERYDAY! It is usually when I am still in bed under a pile of covers that he has to dig me out but his morning routine is not complete with a good morning, have a good day, i love you …before he is out the door – and I of course roll back over and go to bed 🙂
8. Say “Good night” every night, regardless of how you feel
“This tells your partner that, regardless of how upset you are with him or her, you still want to be in the relationship. It says that what you and your partner have is bigger than any single upsetting incident.” Very rarely do we ever go to bed mad, and if we do things are always resolved before bed. I can’t sleep knowing something might be wrong and if he can then that would just make me more upset. Sometimes our days are so long that good night sounds like a mumble of words but I still know what you mean.
9. Do a “weather” check during the day
“Call your partner at home or at work to see how his or her day is going. This is a great way to adjust expectations so that you’re more in sync when you connect after work. For instance, if your partner is having an awful day, it might be unreasonable to expect him or her to be enthusiastic about something good that happened to you.” This is such good advice. Given everyone’s hectic schedules and days, it’s easy to forget to check in …but when you do really mean it. Some times just an I love you is enough but sometimes I can just sense that he needs me a little more today and I let him know that I appreciate all his hard work. Just so he knows he is loved!
10. Be proud to be seen with your partner
“Happy couples are pleased to be seen together and are often in some kind of affectionate contact — hand on hand or hand on shoulder or knee or back of neck. They are not showing off but rather just saying that they belong with each other.” We love going out together so much more than going out apart. We appreciate separate time doing separate hobbies but 99% of the time we always have more fun with each other.
“Happy couples have different habits than unhappy couples. A habit is a discrete behavior that you do automatically and that takes little effort to maintain. It takes 21 days of daily repetition of a new a behavior to become a habit. So select one of the behaviors in the list above to do for 21 days and voila, it will become a habit…and make you happier as a couple. And if you fall off the wagon, don’t despair, just apologize to your partner, ask their forgiveness and recommit yourself to getting back in the habit.”
It’s so simple and so true – Matt, I love you.
Thank you for all that you do for me everyday.