Do one thing to make your marriage better.
The top problem in our family right now is a lack of sleep. Ever since Charlie
was in the hospital, he’s been up four or five times a night. And when we are not
sleeping, our family gets very, very grouchy.
So after a long night of little sleep, we usually have a happy (how does that
happen?!?!) baby, a demanding preschooler and two zombie-like parents.
Exhaustion turns into impatience, impatience turns into anger and often one or both
of us ends us snapping at the other, making silly, irrational accusations about the
night before. (Maybe you didn’t feed him enough? You’re supposed to let him cry!)
Obviously this isn’t the first time we’ve been here as a couple. Last fall,
shortly after Charlie was born, lack of sleep was wearing the same holes in my
One night, I was flipping through the “10 Great Dates” book, trying to find
something that Morgan and I could relate to. As I read the book, I saw this challenge:
“Do one thing to make your marriage better.”
So, as a former journalist, I did what I always do when presented with a
challenge. I googled for an answer. Eventually, I came across a Web site for a
Christian nonprofit focused on improving marriages, and their “Because I Love You”
Basically, you use a card that says “Because I Love You” to help remind you
and your husband of two things: First, of all the little and big things you do for each
other every day. And second, to take the time, however short it may be, to do
something kind and loving for each other. Instead of pointing it out, you can leave or
hand the card to your spouse.
According to the Web site, studies have shown that “couples who are doing
well exchange a larger degree of positive interactions than those who are
struggling.” So a simple way to make your marriage better is to increase the positive
things you do for each other.
So last October, I thought about one thing I could do for Morgan to show him
I loved him. And just like today, I decided to give him what we both covet more than
anything: sleep. One night, Morgan said he would wake up with the baby for his
second night feeding. But when Charlie started to fuss, I let Morgan sleep and did it
It was weird how easily my plan worked. Getting up wasn’t so hard, I felt
good about helping my husband and Morgan felt better because he had slept.
So now, I think it’s time to pull out my “Because I Love You” card again.
Instead of grouchy remarks and actions, I’m going to try to show Morgan love
through whatever small actions I can think of.
So here’s my challenge to you: Make a small card (or ask me, I have some)
and think about something you can do for your husband simply because you love
him. Make him his favorite dinner. Watch that TV show he loves but you hate. Take
the kids for a walk while he takes a nap. When he asks why, just hand him the card.
Or leave it on his dinner plate.
Then, ask him to reciprocate. See how he can hand the card back to you.
If you want, comment back about what happened!
Click the link below for the cards you can print out and use in pdf. format. Thanks Laura L. for making them!