First, I want to start out by saying that Matt and I have always had such a great relationship. This post is in no way a cry for help or a “near divorce” story. When we met, we just clicked instantly and have been stuck like glue ever since. Marrying Matt truly was the best decision I could have ever made and I can’t even recall what life was like before marriage. Now, I’m not saying our relationship has always been perfect. We often argue, disagree, and drive each other CRAZY, but I would say we still are in that blissful honeymoon stage.
Or at least we were. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I started noticing something big was missing in our marriage. It dawned on me that I had completely friend zoned my husband. That special “spouse” relationship- the tenderness, compassion, and intimacy- had faded and all it took was a busy schedule and a few distractions. Looking back on it, it’s actually scary how easy it is to lose something so precious.
I’m so glad I noticed what was missing while reading this sweet girl’s blog. You can just tell that they have a beautiful relationship and reading her post helped me see what we had been missing. I’m so lucky that Matt and I can communicate so openly and honestly because when I brought it up to him, he was all for making some changes and going back to the basics.
DISCLAIMER! I haven’t even been married two years so I don’t profess to be anything more than a rookie.
That being said, we have found a few things that have really helped us strengthen our relationship and get us through the hard times and I had a really strong impression that I needed to share them.
I don’t really know why but I’m hopeful that there are a few people out there who know what I’m talking about and can hopefully benefit from this. For that reason I have put a TON of thought and effort into this post.
This one is for YOU, my dear *unknown* friend.
10 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR SPOUSE
… or as I would say it: 10 WAYS TO NOT FRIEND ZONE YOUR HUSBAND
1. Pray and go to the temple regularly. Make Christ the center of your marriage.
Matt and I aren’t perfect at this but boy does it make a big difference when we focus on it! Centering our marriage on Christ gives us better perspective, more peace, and greater faith to conquer the every day trials.2. Laugh together- it’s okay to be silly!
I think this is the one that we do best- probably because Matt is so dang funny. We are always joking around and laughing. I believe having a little humor and laughing every day is key to a happy marriage- as long as it is not at the expense of the other person. On especially hard days when its hard to have a sense of humor, we like to sit down watch a TV show that gets us laughing. Our favorites are Fresh off the Boat and Brooklyn 99. They always do the trick! 3. Serve each other- go out of your way to make your spouse’s day better.
Full disclosure- I think this might be the hardest one for me. Matt absolutely rocks at it though. He put so much on the line and made business 10X harder for himself this summer so that I could fulfill a lifelong dream. And he is always doing little things to make me feel special and beautiful. Let’s also talk about this adorable BLOG TAKEOVER he did for my birthday… isn’t he the sweetest? I, on the other hand, am trying to be better at looking for ways to serve Matt and make his life easier. I’ve found that when I do this I’m a lot less critical of the little things and feel a deeper appreciation for my hardworking husband. 4. Serve others together.
I’m so grateful that I found someone who wants to serve and help others as much as I do.A few months after we got married we had an amazing experience buidling homes for those in need in Mexico and this summer we have been working in an orphanage in Thailand. We have found that service makes our travels so much more meaningful and memorable. Our ward callings and humanitarian trips have also brought us a lot closer together and have been influential on our future plans and family goals. 5. Make new memories!
Matt and I LOVE to travel and we have created some really fun, special memories over the past couple of years. While traveling is a magical way to make memories for us, not everyone wants/needs/can travel and that is totally okay! Some of my favorite memories with Matt are of simple things like going to Sundance for Sunday walks, camping in our living room, long road trips to and from the in-laws, and playing with our dog Lucy. I think it is important to develop activities and traditions that are just for you guys. 6. Talk about the “deep” things
Matt and I like to take nightly walks and they almost always turn into long talks about business, family, finances, politics, and daily problems we are facing. It was really hard at first for me to feel so vulnerable and open up about things like body image struggles, anxiety, and other things that weigh heavily on my mind but Matt has been the most patient listener he always knows what to say! Talking about life, goals, and struggles helps us grow closer together and I know that our ability to communicate has helped us avoid a lot of conflict and misunderstanding that would have otherwise come from suppressing our thoughts and feelings. 7. Be fiercely faithful.
We are both strong believers that a successful marriage is built on trust and loyalty. No person or thing should ever come between you and your partner. We love the Fight the New Drug movement that talks about the severe side effects of pornography in a relationship and we have a complete transparency rule when it comes to what we watch or read online. This world is getting crazier and crazier and I can’t stress enough how important it is to be fiercely faithful to your spouse. Unless you’ve just watched The Legend of Tarzan, of course haha! 😉8. Support each other’s unique interests.
When it comes to interests, Matt and I are really different… AND THAT IS OKAY! If anything, I have learned that marketing can actually be quite interesting and Matt has learned that vegetables and exercise isn’t going to kill him. We don’t see eye to eye on everything but I enjoy talking to Matt about his business and listening to his music and I think he is a champ with my crazy health fads and animal obsession. We’ve also explored new interests together and have found some that we have in common like photography, filming, and blogging!9. Go on dates – Enjoy special 1 on 1 time
Because Matt works from home, we get to spend a LOT of time together. Some might say that we spend too much time together sometimes haha. There is such a big difference between hanging out at home verses getting out and going on a date. It doesn’t have to be anything special (we like to go to dinner and hit up the movie theatre for $5 Tuesdays) but investing a few hours a week on special 1-on-1 time makes a BIG difference. I do think that date night feels extra special when you try new things and think outside of the box and I have a goal to do more creative dates when we get home. We will be documenting and blogging our date ideas 🙂10. Set goals and share them with each other… then help keep each other accountable
I love to talk with Matt about our future and then set goals that will help us create the life we dream of having. Unfortunately, the easy part is setting the goals and sharing them with each other but the hard part comes when you have to keep each other accountable.
Last November I set a goal to go the entire month without any soda and I was about ready to cave on day #3. There were times that we would be driving by a gas station or be eating at a restaurant and I would legitimately get angry at Matthew because he would not let me get a dang soda! When I wasn’t with him, I would think about getting a soda and then just not telling him. Ha ha! But I never could go through with it because I knew I’d be letting him down. I made it through the whole month all because Matt supported me and kept me accountable to the goal I had set for myself.
(Side note: Quitting soda for an entire month was one of the greatest things I could have ever done for me health. It really helped with my addiction and I drink a lot less soda even now that I’m not doing “No Soda November”.)
Matt also gave me so much encouragement while I was training for my triathlon- as pictured below 🙂Before getting married, everyone warned me that marriage was no cake walk and I just didn’t believe them. Now I see that marriage and romance is completely different than what it looks like in all of the Nicholas Sparks films. It is hard, stressful, and takes a lot of work but it is also much more fulfilling and wonderful than I could have ever expected! I’m grateful for these few steps that keep our relationship strong and the honeymoon bliss alive! I hope you enjoyed them. If you have any marriage advice, date ideas, questions, concerns, etc LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW.