…here’s what happened.
About 9 months into our marriage, I read about a couple who, at the end of each day, wrote a one-sentence note about how they appreciated/loved the other person that day. I thought this was a great idea, and we gave it a try. Loren and I already had a journal where we would write longer letters to each other on special occasions throughout the year, but little love notes every day sounded even better! Now, about 1 and 1/2 years and two journals later, we don’t ever plan on quitting.
Here is what we have learned:
Neither one of us can ever keep it to one sentence. This is the hardest thing for us. I can probably count on one hand how many times we’ve actually just written one sentence. This is not a bad thing – the more you appreciate or have a funny or sweet memory from the day to share, the better!
There’s ALWAYS something good to write about your spouse every day. Even on days we barely see each other, we can always come up with something. Those dishes he washed for me – I’ll thank him for that. Those funny texts he sent that made my day- I’ll recap that. That parting kiss this morning – I’ll mention that. His support when I’m having a hard day – I’ll focus on that. You never know what acts of love will be noticed and appreciated.
We’ve learned to verbally appreciate each other more. In the beginning of our dating relationship, I had a hard time expressing my feelings to Loren. We’ve come a LONG way, and writing out my feelings towards Loren has given me daily practice in this area. We also recently started reading out loud to each other what we’ve written. Makes it even more personal! As a result of this verbal appreciation, I’ve become less shy about expressing my emotions and feelings to him in person.
Loren has better handwriting than I do, even when he changes his style. If you opened up our journal, you could easily see which handwriting is mine, because it’s consistently awful, even when I try to write nicely. Loren, however, has beautiful manly handwriting and likes to switch it up, so sometimes it looks like 4 different people are writing in the journal. Don’t worry though, it’s just the 2 of us.
It’s hard to stay mad at your spouse when you have to write something good about them. I honestly don’t think Loren and I have ever really gotten mad at each other, but sometimes we do get pretty annoyed. So when the note writing time comes around, we pretty much HAVE to kiss and makeup. Talk about not letting the sun go down on your wrath!
Mundane days can be just as fulfilling and special as fun-filled days. I like to think that we aren’t boring people. Weird, for sure, but not boring. Sometimes that weirdness is hilarious. Like making up songs while getting ready in the morning, coming up with ridiculously impossible hypothetical situations, dancing, new inside jokes, things I say in my sleep, etc. Records of this weirdness are always very entertaining to look back on after a few months or years.
Writing to my husband every night before bed has now become more than a cute little idea (now routine) that I wanted to try out. It’s a visible, tangible and reliable record of our relationship’s past and an exciting opportunity to see how it continues to grow in the future – memories that are forever documented for us to look back on for years to come.
What do you do to strengthen your marriage?