How to Keep Your Marriage Special

Let’s face it, when you date someone, you make things special. You think up incredible dates, time a picnic to watch a sunset or drive to the beach to see the sunrise. You scout out museums, new places to eat or grab coffee.

When you get married, this continues before you have kids.

You make big gestures like new jewelry, a big purchase your spouse has been eyeing, dream vacations and honeymoons. Maybe even decorating a new house or your first condo.

Then kids come along.

All of a sudden what used to be special is pretty ordinary.

Your birthday budget is now spent on throwing the extravagant toddler party. As they get older, an arm and a leg must be spent to take your kids and all their friends to the trampoline place. Family vacations take the place of that romantic getaway. Those big gifts and fun purchases are replaced by backpacks, a new toaster, shoes for the kids, camp or car repairs.

All of a sudden you’re not only ordinary, but it is now not romantic and not fun.

Many couples hit a wall in this spot.

The place of romantic gestures moves from being big and extravagant, posting all over Instagram, to ordinary, smaller gestures of romance. This feels uncreative, less loving and not as amazing as it used to be.

It also takes more planning and thinking, and this is why many couples fail.

If you have $500 to spend on an anniversary gift, the ideas are endless. It is simply picking between three amazing ideas, and then you could even stretch it to $600 or $750. They’ll understand because who’s going to be mad about spending a little more when you’ve already spent that much? Compare that to $25 or $50 to spend. Now what? How do you make that special?

This is a struggle for men because we like big gestures. Men also believe their wives only like big gestures. Don’t get me wrong, your wife likes big gestures. But she likes small, everyday gestures of love, too. Maybe even more. If you were to ask your wife is she would like one big gesture of love each year or small gestures each day, I bet she’ll pick the daily one.

What does this look like?

Right now you probably think you know what your spouse would like, but in all probability you have no idea. So ask.

Here are some examples: snuggling, giving a kiss good bye and hello each day, holding hands, cleaning up after yourself or pitching in, spontaneously making out, something they weren’t expecting (lunch out, a pastry from their favorite shop, a coffee in the middle of the afternoon), a text that says I’m thinking of you.

Yes, five day trips to the beach are amazing. Sleeping in and staying up late with your spouse is incredible. If you have kids, those days have hit pause. They’ll return, but only if you learn how to make your marriage special in everyday, ordinary ways.