Yesterday, while wasting time on Pinterest, I came across what is probably my favorite thing that the internet has ever showed me. The link led me to a fantastic blog, at which I spent an embarrassing amount of time reading. Her list is made up of ten brilliant ideas rooted in unconditional love. This is no run-of-the-mill, "have a weekly date night" advice, people. This stuff is forrealz.
found on Today's Letters blog
1. Weekly Questions: For the past five years, Tim and I have been asking each other the same five questions every Sunday night. These questions have made the biggest difference in how we love and serve one another. If you're going to incorporate one of these 10 things into your marriage, we hope it's this one.
2. Small Metal Box: After reading this story, Tim and I made a pact that each time we made love we would put a dollar in a special metal box and save it for our 50th anniversary trip to Hawaii. This has surprisingly been a great way for us to creatively pursue one another over the years. Our only advice would be not to count the money in your box. Focus on quality, not quantity.
3. Traveling Journal: There is a journal we share filled with words that would make you blush. We take turns writing in it, always hiding it for the other to find in unexpected places. Its been found duct taped to our shower, in suitcases when traveling, even in the refrigerator behind Cool Whip. (Pretty sure Husband is trying to tell me something.) Overall, this has been a great way for us to verbally affirm and encourage one another.
4. We (try and) Conflict Well: Conflict is inevitable in relationships, but we believe it exists to make us better, not bitter. We try and keep short accounts with each other by sharing our disappointments and hurt feelings. This isn't always easy but it's necessary for maintaining marital oneness. From experience we know that there is nothing more damaging to our relationship than harbored bitterness.
5. We Play Together: Husband and I have chosen to be active together. Whether it's tossing the Frisbee, flying our kite, going on walks, or participating in adventure races, reading bedtime stories, or building forts in our living room, playing together has helped us find our inner child. It has also reminded me that being active together can be romantic. After all, deep down I know my husband wants me to be his sidekick when it comes to doing "guy things" with him. Realizing this has been critical in helping us stay connected both physically and emotionally.
6. We Pray Together: One of our favorite way to end the day is by praying together. We pray for our friends, family, and wisdom in our marriage. Though our prayers are not usually longer than a few minutes, they have made a huge difference in helping us stay spiritually connected, as well as making us more aware of each others fears and insecurities.
7. We Celebrate Together: Husband and I love to make a big deal out of anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, and even smaller personal accomplishments. We are each others biggest fans, and sometimes finding a thoughtful gift or preparing a special meal can make the biggest difference in making us feel known, loved, and celebrated.
8. We Don't Do Marriage Alone: Our trusted friends have been incredibly helpful in helping us work through some of the biggest issues in our marriage. It wasn't always easy to share these struggles because of our pride and embarrassment, but soon we realized that most couples were struggling with the same things we were. We learned that isolating only hinders us from truly dealing with our hurts, habits, and hang-ups.
9. The Greatest Gift (Self Work): We realized early on in our marriage that the greatest gift we could give to one another was to know ourselves. This meant working through our family of origin junk. We all have it, but so few actually sort through it; Celebrate Recovery helped show us how. It was here that we first learned to attack our problems together, instead of attacking each other about our problems.
10. We Study One Another: Someone once told us that no matter how long you've dated your spouse, the day you get married you are essentially committing your life to a total stranger. This was great advice on how quickly people change. To say that I know Tim fully after 5 years of marriage would be a lie. There is so much about him that I do not know simply because I do not ask. This is why we like to interview each other regularly. It's amazing the things you can learn about you spouse when you take the time to ask both fun and creative questions.
10b. Girl Time/Dude Time: Sometimes the best thing we can do for our marriage is to spend time apart. It blesses me when Tim is able to take a trip with his guys because I know they meet certain needs that I can't. Similarly, Tim understands that spending a weekend with my girls is critical to my overall mental health and well being. Don't get me wrong, you guys know how madly in love I am with Mr. Loerke, but sometimes a girl needs an uninterrupted weekend with her besties. Guys are no different.