When we see advice for parenting, we see fun. When we see advice on marriage we see failure.
A list of 28 ways to connect with your kids is just icing on the cake, but that same list applied to your spouse acts as judge and jury. I go from being a mom brainstorming a list for parents, to seeming like a know-it-all wife who has it all together and is going to enlighten my poor readers, whose marriages are in shambles.
Stick tight with me for just a moment. This is practically the same list I provided for parents. I changed it up a bit, but most of our closest relationships require the same formula, tweaked to fit the individual. Don't stop reading. I assure you, I fail daily to heed my own advice. Just accept these as ideas from one flawed human to another.
28 Ways To Connect With Your Spouse:
1. Begin by learning their love language(s). If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out this book (or this one if you're of the male persuasion).
2. Whenever possible, make eye contact with your spouse when they talk to you, and likewise when you are talking to them. I know I'm guilty of rationalizing that Timothy understands I'm listening, even if my eyes are glued to the screen.
3. Touch often.
4. Google "obscure holidays" and every month pick one (or more!) to celebrate. Seriously. There are some ridiculous holidays crying out for a celebration.*
5. Watch your wedding video or look through your wedding album together.
6. Get silly. Play ridiculous games together.
8. Don't hijack the family meeting from your spouse.
9. Go camping, even if it's only in the backyard.
10. Learn a new skill together.
11. Sometimes it's best to leave the dishes in the sink and have a good snuggle instead.
12. Read a book together (for our children, I suggested "Read a book under the covers with them". Unless you have a death wish, I advise keeping your head near fresh air...)
13. Genuinely apologize when you've wronged them. This is so easy if we accidentally bump their elbow; Not so much if we spew hurtful words in anger.
14. Listen wholeheartedly.
15. Pray for each other. Often.
16. Surprise them with undivided time with you (perhaps a date or weekend getaway).
17. Make up a story with the two of you as the main characters (Bwahaha! This was for the kids, but now that I see it in this context...).**
18. You initiate, instead of waiting for them to seek you out (ladies, we are notoriously guilty as charged.).
19. Laugh often and with abandon (we resort to funny videos on YouTube).
20. Affirm their value to your children.
21. Respect them when talking to family and friends.
22. Be vulnerable.
23. Forgive more.
24. Complain less.
25. Be trustworthy.
26. Encourage friendships.
27. Educate yourself on their interests.
28. In short, love deeply.
I'll leave you with the most recent video that had us chortling.
Laugh Lots And Love Much,
*This is not hard, folks. Yesterday was National Tortilla Chip Day.
**Just for the record: I would be laughing way too hard to give this a go.