My oldest daughter shared this simple piece of advice about love to my husband and I…
“You need to go to Dunkin Donuts and get the coffee that has the hearts in it to get back together!”
See it would stand to reason that she might think we aren’t lovey, dovey or dripping of hearts everyday, as they may see on TV or in movies. Why? Because she didn’t know us when we did very much act this way in the early days. I mean she didn’t know us before marriage and kids. By the time we had our kids, we still loved each other. But let’s face it, we weren’t that new relationship love fog anymore.
Yet just how with most couples how the beginning truly is the most exhilarating time for most couples—we were once again no exception to the rule.
Back then, it was the little things and also the grandest of gestures, too..
For starters, we never went a day from that first date not speaking even if we didn’t see each every day. It was a simple way that we showed each other we cared.
On a grander scale to prove his love, he took me to our local Irish Store to make it official. It was there he placed an Irish Claddaugh ring on my hand. Being 100%, the Claddaugh ring was a symbol to him that we were committed to each other.
He was the real deal with a heart of gold. Plus each month anniversary that we celebrated for that first year, I either flowers delivered or Vermont Teddy Bears. On top of that, for our first Christmas together he gifted me Tiffany’s jewelry.
So what happened?
But that was then and this is now. We have now been married for better or worse for just about 11+ years!
Don’t get me wrong, my husband is still a big, softy mush at heart for those special days. But again we are married with kids. In reality, life does come in the way. But still I know we both do love each other.
Yet, my daughter’s original comment got me thinking.
So, I took to my Facebook blog fan page to ask my readers how married couples show each other they still love each other. The answers are got were truly heartwarming and even a tad humorous. Read on to see these answers here now…
5 Simple Ways to Show Your Spouse You Love Them
1. It’s the Little Things.
When you are married and living together daily, it is just truly the little things that seem to go a long way.
- For instance, Deborah of Peaches & Coconuts cited, “Washing dishes, doing (and folding) laundry or even cooking a meal for once.”
- And Shell of The Soccer Moms added, “My husband moves my phone to the nightstand when he gets up (it’s usually plugged in across the room to charge). That way, I don’t have to get out of bed when my alarm goes off. It’s a little thing, but I really appreciate it!”
- Plus, Shannon Day of Martinis and Motherhood, also furthered this point by telling me, “I scratch his back (literally) and he buys me chocolate.”
- Liza of A Musing Foodie was also in agreement to using simple, unexpected ways also, but by being a “bucket filler” or using kind actions even saying certain words that show that you do indeed care about that special someone.
Although, Deborah added jokingly that you may not want to overdo it though, as some also might not necessarily feel the love so much as feel suspicion that the other party was having an affair. So for arguments sakes, the little things should be just that and indeed small. But still done often enough that they aren’t misconstrued for something other then just for the sake of loving and caring for each other.
Again, the little things make so much difference. For us, my husband calling me midday from work just to say hi. This is a small, but effective way to let me know he is thinking of me. I also have grown to not only expect, but also deep down appreciate this from him.
2. Just Let Them Be.
Sometimes, it speaks greater volumes if you simply let the other person just have their space to enjoy a hobby or just watch a movie by themselves.
Dude Mom shared, “Everything doesn’t have to be shared to have meaning. My husband has goals and aspirations and hobbies and interests that I don’t share (or really even get), but I support his pursuit of those because they’re important to him.”
I couldn’t agree more here, as my husband wouldn’t be caught dead watching my first true love Sex And The City. Nor do I have any desire to watch movies, such as Hell Boy. So I thank god we have two TVs. This helps us give each other that alone time and space to enjoy our own TV interests—simple, but effective.
3. Take One for The Team.
On the flip side, sometimes you may instead have to get your hands dirty a bit even if it is something you necessarily don’t enjoy or wouldn’t want to do.
The Dusty Parachute, mentioned that she is “cleaning out the garage for him”.
Although, I think she meant this possibly in jest, I honestly couldn’t agree more.
Perfect example occurred on Christmas Eve. This is when I stood on line in our local bakery for his favorite pastry, Napoleon. See Christmas Eve Italian bakery lines are blocks long. Add to this a possible Nor’easter approaching. Yes, I stood on a long line in Christmas Eve rain storm. Never mind I had a ton of work still attend to as an Elf before Christmas morning was to arrive the next day.
But I did this to surprise him, put a smile on his face and also see him get to enjoy his favorite pastry.
So, sometimes you just need to take one for the team in order to show that you do care!
4. Little Love Notes.
Just like those early days, when everything truly was all hearts and roses, even now romance shouldn’t be completely dead. So, expressing your love in the written or spoken form can definitely also go a long way.
Such as Echo of The Mad Mommy told me, “I wrote, ‘I Love You’ on my husband’s banana when I packed his lunch yesterday. And sometimes I also just greet him on the phone and in person with, “Hi there, Handsome!”
Remember that Napoleon back from Christmas Eve? Well I also wrote a sweet love note on the outside of the box. When I gifted it to him, he found the sweet pastry gift with my even sweeter love note.
So keep them on their toes with these little, yet grand love notes surprises.
5. Making Time for Just Us.
Once again back in those early days, it was truly all about the two of us. Now married with children, many days go by without having time to do much for myself, let alone my husband.
Well, Kathy of My Dishwasher’s Possessed made an exceptional point by telling me, “I think about it relation to my children but not as much with my husband. I know it means a lot to Joe when I really listen to him about his day and am not doing something else and multi-tasking. Also, as much as we love being parents, making time for just us, whether it’s getting my parents to watch the kids for a date or just telling the kids that mom and dad are speaking and will be with them in 10 minutes goes a long way. Putting our marriage and ourselves on the top of our to-do list, even if just for a morning kiss or cup of coffee goes such a long way when you are a busy couple and family.”
Kathy, is one smart lady and yes I couldn’t agree with her more.
Sometimes, we try to have an adult conversation. But I can’t tell you how many times one of our conversations gets interrupted by a little princess asking for a cold juice box or a yummy, chocolate chip cookie that just couldn’t wait another minute.
See kids, in general, are hard-wired to need instant gratification (at least mine are). They don’t understand the concept of wait your turn mentality (again might only be my kids, but I am betting it isn’t – just a hunch).
So, like Kathy and her husband, we try to make time for a date night out at least once a month. Plus also, each day we check in by asking each other how our days went.
So there you have it marriage doesn’t have to be the death of romance. Plus, 5 surefire ways to add a little love back into your own marriage thanks to some very smart and lovely writers. Thank you so much ladies!!!
Are you married with children and have any further love tips?
Please feel free to share with here today…
All great suggestions. Oddly, or maybe not, Valentine’s Day isn’t a biggie for us…we choose to show our love for each other during the year in little ways like you mentioned. 🙂 Have a great week, Janine.
Thanks Bill and I love that you and Bev are similar in this and also wishing you a great week ahead, too 😉
Love notes are always a hit for me! My husband does it a lot especially when we’re both working back then because we don’t see each other often. Now that he’s home most of the time, not so much of love notes anymore but he cooks my meals. Such great thoughts from great bloggers! I also agree with just “letting them be”… we’re still individuals so we don’t necessarily have to share everything with our spouses. Wink, wink.
Rea, loved that wink, wink at the end there and totally get it 😉
Liza Hawkins says
🙂 Thanks for including my simple tip!
Confessions of A Mommyaholic says
Aww, absolutely my pleasure & thank you for helping me on this, Liza 🙂
Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama says
I love this post!! I think this does have the right amount of Kevin in it! Lol. I loved reading your story about the ring he gave you and the love you two share. Perfect.
Aww, thanks Nellie and got to admit I was smiling as I was writing this recalling the early days and still what we do for each other now to show we love each. Just a feel good post for me 🙂
Liza | @aMusingFoodie says
Thanks for including mine. 🙂 I’ll have to take note of the other suggestions, too. So many simple ideas!
Liza, absolutely my pleasure and again huge thank you for your input and helping me on this!!! 🙂
Robin (Masshole Mommy) says
Awww, those are all great things that everyone shared. My husband is always doing little things for me.
Robin, I know I really couldn’t believe just what great input I got and smiling with knowing Chris does do little things fro you, too 🙂
Kathy Radigan says
This is such a sweet and fun post!!! Parenthood takes so much energy and time that it really is so easy for me to forget that all of this started with a romance. It’s nice to be reminded of it. I loved seeing the pictures of you and Kevin and hearing stories of your courtship and marriage. Thank you. And thank you so much for including me! xoxo
Kathy, thank you a ton from the bottom of my heart for contributing and was so happy to include your tip, because you were totally right on. And I admit I loved writing this article, because the trip down memory lane was so much fun, plus I could truly relate to your tip and so many others, too 🙂 xoxo!
We always make sure to kiss goodbye or hello when Sam leaves or returns from work. We also make sure to kiss each other in front of Eve so she can see how much her parents love each other 🙂 Great tips, Janine, and I like how you reached out to your readers for advice!
Bev, I love that you do this in front of Eve and we also try to show affection in front of the girls as much as we can. It was honestly my pleasure to reach out on Facebook like this and had so much fun. I think I will be trying this more often with other topics, too in the future now 🙂
Chris Carter says
AW!!! I love this Janine!!! I love how Kevin is so good to you, and loves you so much- aren’t we the lucky ones?
Brilliant tips and I love everyone’s advice!!
Chris, we truly are the lucky ones and I admit this each and every day. And I know I felt blessed as to how many great tips were shred with me on my Facebook page 🙂
Diane Roark says
What a sweet tribute to your husband. My husband has a great heart too. When Jerry is home, he fixes my coffee every morning just the way I like it. He travels most weeks and always brings me home some chocolate. What can be better than coffee and chocolate.
Diane, I agree coffee and chocolate is absolutely perfect and I think Jerry is wonderful as can be. You too are so lucky to have each other!!! 🙂
Ginny Marie says
I think I need to write more love notes to my husband! I do it for my kids, but not for him. It’s so true that little things make a big difference!
I know Christa, sometimes I do so much for the kids and then I have to stop to remind myself to do for Kevin, too 🙂
Susanne Lewis Kerns says
Thanks for including me, and yep, I really meant that I will be cleaning the garage. I’ve already cleared out 7 bins. Today: donation run! 🙂
Confessions of A Mommyaholic says
You are awesome Susanne and seriously, you can come to my house any day of the week and clean out the garage LOL!! 🙂
The Dusty Parachute says
Such nice ideas & thanks for including mine. I am making good progress on the garage – Cleaned out 7 bins last week and doing a donation run today. We may even be able to get a car in there by Valentine’s Day! 🙂
Absolutely love the progress you are making and you need to share a pic if you do get a car in there by Valentine’s Day now 🙂
This is a beautiful idea -and so true! It’s so easy to foget to do the little things…but the little things add up to loads of love!
Kristen, thank you and I know it really is the little things that do add up 🙂
I think when we do the little things, it shows that person we love we see the big picture.
I couldn’t agree Eli and perfectly said!!! 🙂
Carrie Groneman says
I agree completely that finding time and small ways OFTEN are the key to a happy and long marriage. It shows your spouse they are important even in the chaos and busyness of life; that they matter to you. Thanks for the post! Carrie, A Mother’s Shadow
Aww, thank you Carrie and I know it is really what matters in the crazy, busyness of the daily routines that makes all the difference 🙂
Awww, I love this Janine! I had no idea that you were going to include me with all of these awesome ideas! Sometimes, it really is the little things that are the most special!
Echo, thank you again so much and loved that I could include you in this article today, because your tip was truly awesome just as you are though, too!! 🙂
We’re on the same level here today Janine! My husband and I will be married 9 years this May and oh how things have changed!! It truly is all about the little things and we try to text each other funny messages everyday or at least one that says – I miss you!!!! And we mean it.
Allie, we are right behind you in July for 9 years and sounds like you can, too can totally relate. I love when Kevin texts me funny things and got to say once again it is the small things that truly do make the difference 🙂
I LOVE it when he does the dishes after a meal. 😀
Kevin, does this, too sometimes and I also love it, too 🙂
The Imp says
How you talk to each other is a big one. It’s so easy to slip into negative commentary, either to them or about them. Talk about the positives instead.
Find your moments. With 5 kids still at home, our ‘date night’ is often grocery shopping. But, it’s time alone. Sure, it’s not the ‘romantic’ that the songs and movies talk about, but it’s time for the two of us, to talk uninterrupted.
Couldn’t agree more about the positives and admit it truly is so easy to slip into negative territory though. And we just did grocery shopping alone this past weekend and yes it is truly some nice alone time even if it is just grocery shopping.
Amanda Love says
It’s a little too late for me. I’m kinda over the so in love phase and have graduated to the “let me off the marriage thing” phase. Being in love is great when you’ve found “the one” like you have. I think I’m still searching for my one. 🙂
Aww, hope you find the one soon though and know you truly do deserve it 🙂
I agree with your daughter, it should be snowing on Christmas Eve (just on Christmas Eve though 😉 ), and I agree with you, it’s definitely the little things. 🙂
Rosey, I know Christmas Eve I can concede on snow, but now that it is February, I am definitely so done and over it! But still it is most certainly the little things 🙂
Great ideas Janine. It’s very easy to forget the little things. Too easy. This is a good reminder of how simple it is to make someone feel loved.
Thanks Stephanie and I know it truly is so simple and yet can’t believe how many do overlook it.
Rabia @TheLiebers says
They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but that works for women too! I came home last week to find Ken making me some fresh, fried mushrooms. He even told the kids they weren’t ready yet so I could have first pick!! That’s how I know he still loves me!
Rabia, that is exactly it and Ken’s action with the fresh, fried mushrooms totally would have gotten my heart, too 🙂
Nicole Dash says
I love this! It’s always important to focus on the little things to keep the big thing going strong. Your suggestions are great, especially the love notes. For me, this is the sweetest thing, whether on paper or in random love texts.
Nicole, I know I agree about the paper or love texts, definitely so very sweet and little, but great thing, too 🙂
These are great suggestions. It’s funny, I just read Alison’s post at bonbon break today – the little deaths of a marriage – all those little things that happen daily that bring us apart, so this is like the perfect follow up to that!
I absolutely loved Alison’s post and feel honored that you would even connect my article to hers. Thanks Alexa 🙂
Kristen Miller Hewitt says
So many lovely ideas! LOVE this post, pun intended!
Confessions of A Mommyaholic says
Aww, Kristen, thanks and I love that pun intended, too!! 🙂
I love this!! I feel like we have gotten in a bit of a “comfortable” rut over here and we are actually working on changing it!! (we will celebrate 19 years of marriage in May) I agree that the little things are the ones that really matter. We have a whiteboard on the door to the garage and Chris leaves me a note every morning when he leaves for work. Sometimes I take those for granted and then when he is gone I really miss them!!!
I love that Chris leave you little note on your garage door in the morning before he leaves for work. Seriously, that made me smile more then you know today, Kim!! 🙂
Stephanie @ Life, Unexpectedly says
I couldn’t agree more with a lot of things you said; however, I’d give Hell Boy a shot, it’s really a great movie (if not for Hell Boy, then at least for the cats, even though Hell Boy is great!!). Richard and I always try to include a little romance in our daily life, whether it is small gifts (tea is quite in right now), making him a real latte macchiato for breakfast, him picking up breakfast for me after an especially dire night with the little teether, etc. We try to make time for us, at least share a coffee in the morning to start the day. And of course back and head scratches happen as well 🙂 We’re celebrating 9 years of marriage this year as well, can’t believe it’s been that long! But I’m also looking forward to many, many more 🙂
Aww, Happy (almost) 9th Anniversary to you guys, too. And I did try Hellboy back when we were dating and hated it. Actually fell asleep watching and never again, lol!! 🙂
Linda Roy (elleroy was here) says
So many great suggestions! You and your husband make such a cute couple. I hope you two have a wonderful Valentines Day and many more years of love and happiness!
Thank you Linda and wishing you a very, Happy Valentine’s Day, too now 🙂
The little things are nice, but don’t clean my garage or desk there is an order to the chaos there. 🙂
Jack, now you sound like my husband with his clothes! 🙂
Melissa Imp C says
I left a comment on the blog. Great article!
Confessions of A Mommyaholic says
Aww, thank you for the comment and this one I truly had fun writing and putting together 🙂
Kristi Campbell says
This is awesome, Janine! I wish I’d seen it on your FB page. My husband lets me sleep in on the weekend and that’s a HUGE one for me. Like huge huge. In turn, I let him watch college football even when we’re supposed to do something as a family that day. Works!
Aww, Kristi, I would so have included this and hate that my Facebook page seems to get hidden from you and others who follow me. Damn Facebook, but thank you for sharing this here with me now and totally made me smile!! 🙂
Lindsay Klein says
This is true for EVERY marriage!! Im only married three months and I see the work to feel the initial dating feeling! We write each other notes daily:) It’s a very cute way to let the other know you’re thinking of them! Thats why cute little holidays are nice ways to set time aside from the every day routine to remember why you are in fact married xo
Couldn’t agree more and love holidays for this, but everyday I do think we need to do even just little things if possible, Lindsay 🙂
Shannon Day-Cheung says
Thanks for including me in this! i will share it this week Good time of year for some love tips. 🙂
Confessions of A Mommyaholic says
Aww, so happy to include you and truly loved your share of chocolate and back scratches!! Thank you for your input and totally appreciate the shares too 😉
The story of him giving you the ring is adorable! It is always important to make sure to take time and bring it back to center and focus on the head and beginning of the family (you and your spouse) if you work better together so does the rest of the family. Love these tips Janine!
Thanks Jen and I still love sharing that story of the ring – really was just so romantic and sweet of him 🙂
Showing kindness and consideration – a big one for me.
Little things do add up! And it goes both ways, either negatively or positively.
Alison, I totally agree it does definitely go both ways.
Nicole Dash says
Great suggestions! I left a comment on the blog, but love notes are the best!
Confessions of A Mommyaholic says
Thanks so much Nicole and just responded to your comment 🙂
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom says
Awww, this is so sweet and delightful.
I love it when I go to the bathroom in the middle of the night (because I always do that) and my husband holds back the blankets for me to get into bed and then covers me and tucks them around me. It makes me feel so loved and taken care of.
I love to leave love notes in different places. I might steal Echo’s banana note– that’s awesome.
Thanks for sharing!
Ok that is seriously so sweet and was totally digging that your husband does that with covers. And I agree about Echo’s banana note, too!! xoxo 😉
Kelly Suellentrop says
I love these! My husband and I aren’t big on Valentine’s day, so the little gestures are perfect. And yay for Claddaugh rings,,,says this Irish girl with a big, fat German last name 🙂
Kelly, I loved that last comment and I am Italian, Irish and German married to a man, who is 100% Irish! And I like you am not big on Valentine’s Day, but do like we should show love and affection daily instead of one day a year.
April G says
Those are some pretty great tips. Don’t sweat the small stuff comes to mind and dress the part sometimes… the sexy vixen. If that’s not you, it’ll shock him!
I love the, Don’t Sweat the Small stuff! And sexy vixen made me smile, too!! 🙂
Aww.. that’s so cute about Dunkin Donuts! And of course this did lead me on a goose chase, or should I say Google chase to the Dunkin Donuts website to see that, yes, there are products for Valentine’s Day! Brown Sugar Cinnamon coffee drinks and donuts too!
Anyone would be so lucky to be married to you, Janine! And Kevin is very lucky too.
Tamara, I just had the chocolate raspberry hot chocolate yesterday, but I digress. But still sorry about that goose chase, but definitely they have Valentine’s Day covered now. And thank you for saying that about me and think Cassidy is pretty lucky himself with you, too!! 🙂
I love this! My husband charges my phone whenever I fall asleep using it and he sees it’s low on battery! Love the guy! A fully charged phone in the morning makes me happy! LOL It’s the little things!
Jhanis, I can’t ever argue with a fully charged phone – ever!! Good man in my opinion 🙂
Catherine Gacad says
it is the little things like hearts in coffee. that is so cute. when dean let’s me sleep in and he takes care of the baby, now that’s love!
Totally agree, Catherine and that is love!! 😉
lisacng @ expandng.com says
I think me & the hubs have to laugh together, a good belly laugh! It really connects us. We also try to keep open communication between us, which is hard, because sometimes I don’t know what I’m trying to say…happy 9 years to you both!
Lisa, I love to laugh with Kevin and always makes me feel in the know when we do share these types of moments. And thank you, too 🙂
The kids will grow up and leave, but my husband will be with me for the long haul – so we have to nurture our marriage. I let him sleep in on the weekends and he fully supports my girls’ nights…both are small gestures that are so important to each of us.
Fully agree Dana and someday it will totally just be Kevin and I, so it does help when we show each other that we still do very much have each others back. So, couldn’t agree more.
another jennifer says
As someone who is divorce and enjoying the single life, I don’t have much to add to this conversation. Ha! I do enjoy seeing those beautiful photos of you and Kevin, Janine. Gorgeous couple!
Aww, thank you Jennifer and I think you do know I truly adore you and admire you for how you have had the strength and courage to do what was right for you and your kids throughout it all. Hugs tonight! 😉
Making time just for us is the tough one, but the one we seek the most. 🙂 Love your list!
Crystal, same here and definitely isn’t easy with having kids in the mix. So can totally relate and thank Crystal for weighing in.
Denise G. says
Lovely post! My husband and I make each other a priority at night. No gadgets allowed other than the TV. Once our girls are in bed (by 7:30) we spend the rest of the evening with just each other.
Denise, I love that you do this and I admit we are both guilty as charged here on gadgets being used in the evening, but still might have to try this even a few nights a week now 🙂
Aunt Gloria says
This was so sweet……made me feel warm and fuzzy! So good to hear you and Kevin know how to keep a little romance in the busy life you lead. Keep the fires burning…..it’s worth the effort. Happy Valentine’s Day! Love to you both and the girls……
Aww, thanks Aunt Gloria and Happy Valentine’s Day to you too xoxo 😉
Aww, thank you Christy and adore you, too!! Have wonderful weekend, as well 😉
The Pinterested Parent says
Awwww. You guys are so cute. These are great tips & I love how you shared everyone’s stories. Who needs Valentine’s Day when you are so clearly in love every day. 🙂
Aww, thanks and trust me we have our moments, but still do love that we both make sure to do little things daily 😉
Aw! I love this. It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of a busy life and forget to show how much we care. Love your wedding dress too!
I couldn’t agree more and thank you so much Lauren 😉
This post is so bittersweet. It makes me miss those early times in the relationship where we all jump for joy when the phone rings and “he” calls. But on the flip side, I love knowing that my love is next to me in bed at night. Life may not be as whirlwind exciting in the romance department, but love still surrounds us. I love the roundup of comments from everyone. Thanks for sharing.
Caryn, I know exactly what you mean and like you I might miss those early days, but still wouldn’t trade the here and now for anything either. Thank you for stopping by and sharing, too 🙂