No matter how hard you work to spice up daily life as a married couple, you’re bound to have some dull days. But any day can be a little sweeter with a bit of effort. Here are some ways that, just by noticing an opportunity and taking it, you can make your husband or wife smile. You’ll remind them of how much you care, while also making them remember what they love about you.
1. Write a Note
Surprise your husband or wife by regularly writing notes to one another. Since texting and email comprise so much of our communication these days, a handwritten note can bring a touch of old fashioned romance to your relationship. It can be as simple as a Post-it with a heart and your name at the bottom, a goofy poem, or—if you’re really feeling inspired—a romantic love letter. Tuck the notes where they can find them by surprise, such as on the nightstand, in the car, or in their work lunchbox. Reaching out in this simple way can strengthen your bond with each other, especially if you have opposite work schedules or otherwise busy lives.
2. Come up With a Goofy Prank
Many couples aren’t the pranking type, but with the right joke, you can get even the most stoic spouse to giggle just a little. Try changing something small in your shared life (nothing destructive) and see how long it takes them to notice. Sure, they may look at you like you’re crazy, but they also may look at you with affection and enjoy the fact that you keep them guessing.
3. Give Them a Favorite Gift
Who doesn’t love receiving gifts? The idea behind this gesture is that you capitalize on what they really love most and surprise them with it when they least expect it. Does your spouse love having fresh flowers around the house? It doesn’t have to be an anniversary or Valentine’s Day to bring home a bouquet. Would they appreciate an afternoon away from the kids or weekend chores to play basketball with friends or organize their record collection? Let them have that time, guilt-free. A gift doesn’t have to be something material, but it should be something they wouldn’t think to give themselves. Indulge them a little!
4. Do a Chore They Normally Handle
As you settle into a routine as a married couple, notice the rhythms with which your spouse does chores around the house. Do they normally take out the trash after dinner? Wash their car on Saturday mornings? Surprise your spouse by taking on a chore they usually do before they can get to it. (Make it clear when they find out, however, that you only did it to show them affection and not because you want to start adding it to your own weekly to-do list!) Taking some responsibility off their shoulders occasionally can boost their mood and make them feel appreciated.
5. Let Them Know They’re on Your Mind Throughout the Day
It can be easy to get caught up in your daily schedule, and even if you’re checking social media or your email regularly, you may forget to check in with your spouse. Text them throughout the day when you get a chance to let them know you love them, to make plans for the evening, or to share something funny that happened at the office. If you both don’t mind talking on the phone, chat during your lunch breaks for a few minutes. Making it a point to stay connected at certain points in the day can strengthen your bond and even ground you during moments of stress or anxiety during the work day.
6. Get up Early to Make the Morning Routine Smoother
Most of us settle into a morning schedule that maximizes sleep, with no time left for anything except the essentials before heading off to work. To alleviate the morning rush, set your own alarm a bit earlier than normal. Make coffee and/or breakfast for your spouse so they don’t have to do it. Take the dog for his morning walk and pack your husband or wife’s lunch. The idea is to do anything they normally would in the morning so when they wake up they have fewer things to tackle. This doesn’t have to become your daily routine, but it can be effective during an especially hectic week. The upside is that maybe those extra moments you save can be spent lingering and chatting over coffee together before everyone else demands your time and attention.
None of these surprises cost very much money or require elaborate planning, but they will have an impact on your spouse. Every marriage is strengthened from moments of bonding that arise from these little gestures, and small shared memories can have a big impact on you as you grow together.