A good friend of mine sent an article. 24 facts of real life couples. I thoroughly enjoyed it. In reading, I noticed that we were doing 19 out of the 24. It got me thinking about the little details of daily life in marriage. Maybe I should let you guys know my routines.
Disclaimer. I am still the recovering knucklehead. These are just my daily details, not a roadmap for your life. I just thought someone could use a few suggestions.
The little silver bell.
Yes, I still do it. I wrote about the little silver bell a year ago. My routine is still going. I get up early to write and manage the websites. I let her sleep as long as she wants. Eventually, she wakes up and fumbles around. When I hear that bell, I know she is ready for coffee. Stop everything, get momma her morning go-go juice.
Usually, I don’t even wait for the bell. It’s just part of the routine now. I like being able to do things like that for her. I like making her happy. It’s even better when she doesn’t have to ask.
During the school year, I don’t let the kids leave without seeing her. She’s a light sleeper anyway. I make sure she is still wrapped up in the sheets first. She loves to hug the kids before they leave for school.
In another article, ten simple rules, I gave a lot of random advice. Those were all things I am proving daily. Things that make a big difference in daily life.
Wiping down the counters and getting the dishes done doesn’t take long, but it means a lot to her. I don’t really care if the kitchen is clean or not. But she does, and I care about her. It’s that simple.
When we were first married, she absolutely refused to go to bed unless the kitchen was clean. She couldn’t sleep with dirty dishes in the sink. At the time, it seemed like a pointless quirk. Later, I figured out how much it blessed her when I did it. Easy brownie points.
Cooking. I do it. Often. But I am a lousy cook. I started out making breakfast on the weekends, gradually began cooking dinner more often. I am still not a great cook, but it definitely qualifies as food. It usually gets eaten.
I also learned to clean as I go. The kitchen used to look like a war some when I was done. Then it felt overwhelming to clean it all up. But by watching her, I learned to clean as I cook. Not overwhelming anymore. The kitchen is usually clean by the time the food is ready. She appreciates the clean kitchen. The whole process is a huge blessing to her.
On the road.
My wife doesn’t pump gas, if I am anywhere around. Even in separate cars, I pump her gas and pay for it. I have also become a much more cautious driver. She never has to hold on to the door handle or stiffen up when I make a turn or come to a stop. I want her to feel safe with me.
And, yes. I still open doors for her as often as I can. It’s a show of respect.
Around the house.
She has special ways that she like things done. She folds towels in such a way, that she can almost throw them into the perfect position. They stack like displays in a store. They hang like she used a straightedge and level. Again, more stuff that seemed stupid and quirky to me before. I could fold ten towels, ten different ways and they never look like hers.
I used to think she was a little crazy for being so concerned with details like that. But then I had a revelation. She spends way more time in the house than me. I could live in the garage and be fine, she couldn’t. Allowing her to clean and decorate the house, her way, makes her happy. I want her to be happy. She is a lot of fun when she is happy. I should do more things to make her happy.
Yeah. That really was a revelation.
It takes minutes to load a dishwasher and to unload it. The same for the washing machine. Why did I resist that tiny effort for so long? Why couldn’t I understand that she appreciates even the smallest show of support in keeping the house the way she likes it? Why did I miss so many little opportunities to make her happy?
I guess I really was a knucklehead.
Other things she likes.
She is always thirsty before bed. Every night she would get comfortable and get right back up for a glass of water. Instead of picking on her for forgetting, I started doing it for her. She hasn’t gone to bed, without a glass of ice water on her nightstand, for almost four years. I get it. Without her asking.
She loves chocolate. Even though she is a fitness junkie, she loves a piece of chocolate.
I try to have a bag of the ones she loves ready for her every week. She can eat one and be happy. When I open a bag, it’s time to eat. Hers last a week or more. Mine last seconds.
Keep in mind, most of these habits were developed during our worst days. We weren’t even sleeping in the same room when these habits began. They were ways of developing positive expectations. I did them in the process of winning her heart back. They were things I should have been doing all along. Proving that she mattered.
None of these things take tremendous effort. They have all become daily habits. It’s just what I do. Showing her that I care. She doesn’t demand them. She doesn’t get upset if I ever forget. She appreciates all of them. Making her happy makes me happy.
Take the time to figure out the things your wife loves and adjust your habits. Showing her that her needs and desires are important to you triggers her desire to do the same. It’s part of their nature to respond to what we give them.
Sure. There are days when it feels like another routine. Like I just do the same thing over and over. But. The great part is that it influences her routines, too. Her responses and affection have become more consistent. We grow closer everyday. She is developing more routines that bless me. It’s a win-win for both of us. Well worth the effort.
Make sure you are giving her the good stuff everyday. Don’t quit. Don’t give up. We win their hearts by consistency. Keep moving forward.
The 21 day challenge is all about breaking bad habits and ideas, to become the man she needs you to be. I strongly recommend accepting that challenge.