I woke up with a gift bag staring at me.
It was Valentine’s Day, and you would think this would be a welcomed sight. Usually, it would be. BUT, my husband and I don’t exchange gifts for Valentine’s Day. Gulp. He was obviously on a mission to be a better spouse, without informing me.
When I woke up that morning and saw the bag, I smiled, then immediately grimaced. Crap. I didn’t get him not ONE THING. Why? Because we don’t exchange gifts for Valentine’s Day!
What To Do When You Feel Like A Bad Spouse
Our wedding anniversary is February 20th. We agreed when we first got married that we’d bypass the big LOVE day, for our own personal LOVE day.
So, when he breaks all the rules to surprise me, what should I do? While I adored his gift this past Valentine’s Day (two new pairs of hoop earrings because he GETS me), all I wanted to do is kiss him and shake him. It was way too much pressure!
I figured I’d start with a few of these things. If you’ve ever been in the same boat as me, here are some ways you can be a better spouse:
How To Be A Better Spouse – 17 Ways
- Go to bed at the same time tonight. Don’t stay up to do the dishes, girlfriend. The dishes can wait!
- Listen to an audiobook or podcast together. You can even listen as you get ready for bed!
- Say sorry. If you two had a tough conversation yesterday, and things got heated, say sorry. I guess I’ll be saying sorry for NOT getting him a gift. Sheesh.
- Be spontaneous! Do something your spouse would never expect you to do for them. Make this a day long activity!
- Take an overnight staycation. Use an app like Hotel Tonight, and find a good deal on a nearby hotel room. Bring your bathing suits and take a dip in the hotel pool!
- Have sex. Yup, I said it.
- Pick a couples hobby. Sit down tonight and think of a hobby you two can do together. I wonder if my husband will knit with me? Snort.
- Say thank you. Thank them for being your friend, for taking out the trash, for making you laugh, for paying the phone bill before you got to it.
- Eat together. Feed the kids first, then have your own little dinner date after they go to bed.
- Give them space. Even if it’s letting them have half an hour of peace in your bedroom, allow them to have some space, quiet, and time to collect themselves. Do this daily or at least once a week.
- Listen. Ask “how was your day?” and actually pay attention. BONUS: when they pause, say “Wow. It sounds like you had a (insert adjective) day.”
- Tell the truth about something. You know that one thing you’ve been holding back talking about? Say “hey, I’ve been meaning to have a conversation with you about this.” Then spill the beans. Trust them enough to have that deep conversation.
- Ask for what YOU need. This is part 2 of the one above. You need something? Ask! Stop being afraid of your spouse.
- Turn off your phone. Put it down. Pay attention. Be in the moment with your spouse.
- Hug and hold hands. Physical touch is powerful. I admit, I struggle with this, but my husband loves it. So, I encourage myself to connect in the way he likes.
- Reminisce. Take a walk down memory lane by pulling out a photo album, watching old videos, or just talking about a crazy experience you two had together.
- Let it go. That little thing they do that makes you grit your teeth? Just let it go. Let go of the little things, talk out the big things.
Whew! This is a list I use a lot when days like this one happens. When I feel like the worst spouse ever, but I know I’m not. I grab 2 or 3 of these tasks and get to loving and honoring my man. Pretty easy, right?