Over the last 5 years of marriage (8 years together) I have discovered a few helpful tips to keep a happy relationship. I don't agree with the "Happy wife, Happy Life" adage. I think that just makes women sound like crazy, controlling, demons. I have yet to meet a woman who fits that description. I believe marriage is a partnership, in which both partners needs to recognize and validate the other's contribution. Here are a few little helpful tips to keep a happy marriage.
1. Pay attention. When she talks, actually listen. No one enjoys repeating themselves over and over. We have to do it all day with the kids, don't make us do it with you too.
2. Prioritize her and your relationship. I can't tell you how many times we've put off date night because the baby was sick, or we didn't feel like we had the money, or some other lame, bullshit excuse. Don't do it. Pick a regular night (every other Tuesday; the first Friday of every month; etc) and say "ok, this is date night. I don't care what's going on, on this day, we will hang out as just a couple for a few hours. Spend time as 'us'." It will make you both happier.
3. The little things make a huge difference. You might not think it's a big deal to leave your dirty laundry in the living room, but it drives her up the wall and adds work to her already hectic day chasing a toddler around. Offer to cook/pick up dinner, or make a quick run to the grocery store for her. Complete (wash, dry and put away) a load of laundry. Load and/or unload the dishwasher. Simple things that will make her day a little easier and make her smile that you put in the effort to help her out.
4. Forehead kisses are obscenely underrated. I don't think this needs explanation.
5. Remind her that you care. Send a random text during the day to let her know you're thinking about her. Tell her you love her, often and really mean it. Don't just say it like "oh, hi, how are you?" Let her know your life wouldn't be nearly as awesome without her.
I think this about covers it. There's probably other things that are specific to your lady, but you'll have to figure those out on your own. These are just basic, simple things that could seriously improve your day-to-day life. Especially if you are currently incapable of getting your dirty laundry into the appropriate room.
You're welcome. :)
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Writer and Contributor for the Motherhood Community