{S.W.A.K} Marriage Thrillers

{Please leave a comment to be entered for one of these fabulous door prizes. All winners will be announced on the Valentine’s Day DIYP post on Saturday! Comments will close at 10 pm CST Friday night.}

With A Southern Flair-2 Monogrammed “His” & “Hers” Hand towels (Value $20)

From *Me Tees-a Matching His/Hers “My husband/wife Rocks” t-shirts (Value $50)

Bid My Cleaning- $200 gift certificate for house, carpet cleaning, (most of US)

Sorme Lip Gloss-sponsored by PS He Loves You (Value $10)

Sheila Wray Gregoire-2 marriage audio downloads (value $10 each)

Pampering Beki- a beautiful hand-stamped silver ‘Love’ necklace (Value $23)

Sarah’s Blue Castle $20 gift certificate to this great Etsy store! Check out her fun items.

The IE Mommy-A Pair of Chic Bud Earphones with Swarovski crystals in a collectible tin (Value $45) 

4 Reluctant Entertainers is donating a copy of the book she co-authored “Married, but Not Engaged”. You can read more here.

Decor To Adore- a beautiful Vintage Valentine Corsage from this sweet Etsy store (Value $14)

Here are a few more door prizes that were donated locally (so there isn’t a link):

Things Remembered- A beautiful heart keepsake box (Value $25)
14k gold Heart earrings (Value $25); An Adorable Tote Bag-(Value $20)
Ring Watch by Jenni (Value $42), Ring Lipstick by Jenni (Value $22)
The best-selling book “The Love Dare” from the Fireproof movie (Value $15)
Awesome marriage book “Better Love Now! Making your Marriage a Lifelong Love Affair (Value $20)

Link
Welcome to the last day of the S.W.A.K. Carnival! It’s been so inspiring reading your love stories. Please continue to read the posts, it’s worth the time! I enjoyed your comments so much on the Marriage Killers post yesterday and found some valuable marriage advice!

I’ve only been married once, to one man.

And although we’re creeping up on fifteen years, my experience is limited to my current (and only planned) marriage. I know not all men are the same and they all love differently. But I think God designed men from the same overall blueprint.

I think universally there are some things we can do to bring a thrill to our marriage.

You know, besides walking around naked all day.

Take Care of Yourself
One of the best things we can do for our marriage is taking care of ourselves. I think diet and exercise are important for our own health, but I’m talking about more than that. I think it’s vital that we feel good about ourselves. I think it offers our marriage a huge boost when we like who we are: physically, mentally, spiritually and even professionally. I think getting dressed everyday, showering, and feeling good about ourselves is important in our marriages. I want to look good for my hubby. I’m not saying I don’t have pajama days every once in a while, but I find it’s a lot harder to stay depr
essed when I take care of myself.

Have Fun Together
I love laughing with my hubby. Some of the best moments are the unplanned ones where we are carefree and silly. I think we need to remember to have fun! Nothing thrills my hubby more than when I give way to a schedule and get playful. Have fun together!! Hold hands, tickle each other, take bubble baths, kiss, laugh, go on walks! Let him paint your nails. Try his favorite hobby. Remember. Recapture. Refocus. Make memories. Sometimes the best thrill is to put aside our heavy responsibilities and troubles and rejoice together.

Time Away Together
I think this is a given marriage thriller! I love sneaking away with my man. Nothing recharges our marriage like the quiet and serenity of the two of us together. But if you’re like me, babysitters are costly, dates are infrequent and vacationing alone is rare. Plan it. Budget it. If you don’t, it won’t happen. My hubby and I attended this marriage conference last weekend. It was only three hours and $30 (which fit into our budget and schedule). It was just what we needed. And if it comes down to it and you just cannot ‘get away’, try Date Night in a Minivan!

Time Away Alone
Time together is vital, but so is time alone. I think too much time alone can yield itself to a marriage killer, but we all need to develop self-interest. My marriage has changed just in the last year because I’ve changed. This blog is a part of that transformation. Finding my voice and pursuing what I love (writing), has completed me. My hubby has supported me, encouraged me and challenged me to discover this part of me. It has enhanced our marriage because it has enhanced me. Find something for yourself outside of being a mom and wife. Do it for you! And allow your husband the same freedom.

Just Do It
Now you know I can’t talk about marriage thrillers without going here. Sex and intimacy are crucial for a healthy marriage. They just are. I know for some wives, sex is a chore. If you struggle in this area, invest in some good books, talk to your doctor, work on it. Do it for your marriage, for yourself. When this area of life is healthy, it’s easier to handle life’s up and downs together. When this area is suffering, it only heightens life’s hardships. God gave sex to a marriage to be the icing on the cake. And when it comes to cake, who doesn’t like the icing?

Kindness and Respect
I think this is a given and then I hear the way some women talk to and about their mates or I read blogs that dish out dishonor. We all have times in our marriage when it gets hard. It’s one of the aspects of a good marriage-one that’s worked through the difficult times. Putting your spouse’s needs before your own is a sign of generosity. It is a tender reminder of respect and kindness. And it’s in the little things we do: like greeting our spouse at the front door and bringing them their favorite snack…just because. It’s also in the way we respond to each other and how well we listen. Sometimes this common courtesy is missing and it leaves an ugly hole in our homes.

Inviting God into Your Marriage
This is the greatest act of intimacy. God created marriage and He created wife and husband for each other. He belongs in our marriage. We’ve all heard that one out two marriages end in divorce. These statistics are reduced to .5% of marriages that pray together. There’s something holy and beautiful about praying with your mate. It is a strengthening bond in a marriage. And it is thrilling to reach this level of intimacy. The day my marriage nearly ended was very painful. I truly believe God saved it because we turned to Him. He showed us how to love one another.

What are some other things we can do to add strength and health to our marriage? I can’t wait to hear from you!

The S.W.A.K Carnival is being sponsored by The Date Night Planner. This is a very helpful tool to help you plan a fantastic date night with your sweetheart! Go try it!

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    Never forget to talk. It is important to talk all the time. For us this is the number one thing. Our relationship is founded on talking and we need to continue to talk. We still stay up all night long and talk sometimes.

  2. 6

    says

    I want to get in on this door prize thing! However, each time I start to read one of these posts something happens such as one of the kids screams or the fire alarms start going off. You know, normal life happens. So please sign me up for door prizes and I will continue to try and finish reading your posts! :)

  3. 7

    says

    Pay attention when he speaks. Don’t half listen like you do with the kids :) Try to remember what he talks about so that later on when he mentions it again, you can let him know that you heard and remembered. Do it in a nice way, of course! Everybody likes to know that people listen to them and that what they say is important.

  4. 8

    says

    We are so busy and on such a tight budget (and no family around to babysit) that it is hard to do anything together. But you are soooo right. We really, really need to. Thanks for the reminders!

  5. 9

    says

    Laughing together has been one of the greatest things EVER for our marriage. We also enjoy spending time with other equally matched couples (which doesn’t happen often as we are in ministry where we don’t get the opportunities). But when we do, it always enriches our own marriage.

  6. 10

    says

    My husband and I have been marrried for over 20 years. After all of these years, it is still inspiring to read other women’s thoughts on how to keep spark in a marriage. One thing I will add to the comments that I have learned is the thing that my husband most appreciates when he has had a stressful day is for me to just be there and share some quiet time with him.

    Thanks for sharing your blog thoughts with us!

  7. 11

    says

    I SO needed the reminder about pajama days, because they’ve been way too frequent lately. You hit the nail on the head! A little tip I have is just to have fun together, and for us that is accomplished by playing games. It’s good to have that levity sometimes. :)

    I’m having fun checking out everyone’s tips and stories!

  8. 13

    says

    When my 18 years old daughters both moved back in we realized quickly how much “alone time” we suddenly lacked. We are trying to have more date nights just so we can talk freely to each other, it has really improved our relationship. It also re-kindled why we got married in the first place.. .we actually LIKE each others company! Good stuff Kristen.

  9. 15

    Mrs. Querido says

    I agree with you, I think that a sense of humor is crucial to surviving the rigors of every day life! God gave us the gift of laughter—we need to remember to use it, especially with the one you love!

    Great post Kristen..I really enjoy reading your writing! Keep it up!

  10. 16

    says

    Being a good “roommate” is very helpful. Marriage aside, when you live with people you need to be considerate, in lots of ways. Being responsible for your own “stuff” and “messes” instead of leaving them for someone else to look at and clean. Simple common courtesy goes a long way.

  11. 17

    says

    Thank you for these neat things to think about. My husband and I have been married 8 years and sometimes we just have to sit back and laugh. We’ve both taken each other places we thought we would never go! And I’m waiting for the kids to get bigger to learn to play golf – I want to join him on the course.

  12. 18

    says

    I think it’s important to remember that he needs down time too. When you’re at home taking care of the kids day after day, it’s easy to think, “What about me? I need to get out the house. I need a break.” But I have to remember that while he goes out in to the real world every day, it’s to work. It’s not like he’s out golfing all day. He needs a break sometimes too.

  13. 20

    says

    I have a friend that I’ve stopped hanging around much because every word that comes out of her mouth about her husband is negative. Now, some of it I understand, but she shows such little respect for him…I have often wondered why they’re still married. And why they have 5 kids! : )

    I think one of the things that has improved my relationship with my husband is something you mentioned, too…my blog. His response to my My Husband Rocks! posts are just so sweet. Not only has it benefitted him, but even when I’m not in such a lovey mood, they make me realize what a great man God gave me!

  14. 21

    Anonymous says

    What a great list. We work on these all the time. Like you and your husband, we ignored some cracks that later became nearly the end of our marriage. Thanks be to God that because we placed our focus on Him. We have a God centered marriage, and we work at it all the time. When we are tired and rested, when the kids have puched too far, and when we are so happy to be a family. Thanks so much for your list and the reminder. HAve a great KISSING Valentine day!

    Holly

  15. 22

    says

    I agree with all of the above! i also think that us as wives being strong is a big one. I know my husband complains that a friend from work, his wife calls 50 times a day about silly things. She also wants hime to go to all of their 2 year olds dr. apts etc etc. She is very needy, but her husband needs to work to make a living and if he is answering phone call after phone call from home what can he accomplish at work? So I know my husband wants me to be strong and secure and know I can do it by myself!

  16. 27

    says

    Great list! All very important things to remember to do. A lot of us forget at least one or more of these things between kids, work, and whatever else. Thanks for the reminder!

  17. 28

    Linda Miller says

    I think the laughing together is important, even over stupid things. After almost 11 years my husband and I have inside jokes about everything. We can make each other laugh with one look. I love that.

  18. 29

    says

    Great tips! The one we struggle with the most is date nights. We probably have 1-2 a year. It makes me so sad, but circumstances and money have made it difficult. I need to get the date night planner and see what can be done about that!

  19. 31

    says

    I have so enjoyed this carnival and reading all your marriage tips. I agree with all of them! With four kids and busy schedules (we’re a hockey family, that’s a whole ‘nother world!) I make sure to have dinner for us as a family every night, even if it means we eat at 7:00 when hockey practice is done. I know my husband appreciates this, and at least once or twice a week I make it a very special meal (more than mac-n-cheese!) that I know is one of his favorites. This keeps us strong in our marriage and as a family unit.

  20. 32

    Nancy says

    These are all great ideas! Also find a new hobby you can do together. We like growing plants from seeds and/or smaller plants. Our home is full of green plants that help the atmosphere. We discuss the health or even demise of other plants. We delight in all the different stages they go through. When we are in a store or a farmer’s market, we look for unique plants we haven’t found yet. Give finding a new hobby to do together a try!

  21. 35

    says

    I think this goes under the kindness/respect part, but submitting to your husband is so important. I have a tendency to want to correct mine all the time, or tell him how he should do his job or why he didn’t handle a conversation the right way. Not only is that probably REALLY annoying (although my husband is too sweet to tell me so!) I recently learned it’s not submitting either!

  22. 37

    says

    I totally agree with all of those. I was married to my first husband for 18 years and am in my 2nd year with my 2nd husband and I have learned so much from these 2 different men.

  23. 42

    Stacia says

    Oh, Kristen, what a great post! And such perfect timing to remind us to follow through with these things and show our spouses the best Valentine’s Day ever! Thanks!

    langston6 at juno.com

  24. 43

    says

    Great stuff here, ladies! I have learned to really listen and remember the little things. When either of us do….and spring something unexpected that includes our spouses ‘little hints’….it makes you feel soooo LOVED and KNOWN.

  25. 44

    says

    Thanks for the many great reminders! My hubs and I don’t spend enough time out alone. The kids are old enough to stay home alone. Maybe tonight we can get out and enjoy some “us” time. That would be a great Valentine’s gift for both of us :}

  26. 46

    says

    Another good one is to take care of each other. We are all humans who need comfort when we are sick, sad, exhausted, etc. Baby each other a little when you need to just to let your spouse know how special they are to you. Also, watching my husband play with our child when he thinks I can’t see them is the greatest. Nothing is a bigger turn on!

  27. 47

    says

    Thank you again for the reminder of what special relationships we have with our hubbies! With four littles, we are hard pressed to find alone time, but we are doing our level best to re-instate that precious aspect!

  28. 49

    says

    our pastor always reminds us married couples to stay curious about each other. this can be hard if you’ve been together for a while, but there’s always something to be curious about in your spouse. ask questions. you will go deeper and be so surprised at what you find!

  29. 50

    says

    Great ideas! Dang, it is unbelievable how many are just common sense and they just slip my mind. I do believe that open communication is a great foundation. I know I found my best friend in my husband and that is what gives us strength. Thanks again!

  30. 51

    says

    Kristen – all these are just great ideas. My hubby and I constantly are reminding ourselves to set aside the “us” time and honestly, he is better at it than me. :)

  31. 53

    says

    I agree with everything you said!! the only thing I could add is talking —-we talk everything out, and it’s helped us thru our roughest spots!

    Happy Valentines Day!

    ~TidyMom

  32. 54

    says

    A lock on the bedroom door is always a good idea….I’m just sayin. Nothing kills a thrill like one of the kids walking in. Sometimes when the mood is right the time isn’t. I don’t want to loose the chance for a thrill and lets face it the mood may not be there later. So we put in a movie for the kids and give ourselves a few minutes alone. (or a little more) :)

  33. 55

    says

    Awesome list! I think the most important thing is prayer, together and FOR eachother! I would not trade my prayer time with my hubbs for the world! We pray for our family and our day and then we pray over each other. It is HUGE!!

  34. 57

    says

    You know, you are so right about the intimacy thing… I’ve struggled with that for years… and now that we’re working through some infertility issues and are on a schedule… even if it’s not the most romantic thing ever – I’ve noticed a hightened sense of closeness… and well – since he’s not constantly thinking about it anymore – he’s stopped randomly grabbing my boobs! :-) (Wait – was that too much information? HA!)

  35. 59

    says

    Something that has strengthened my marriage is “We Are That Family” for doing post like this and reminding everyone of what is most important. From people who know how to make it work.

  36. 61

    says

    We women can let go of the things that in the long run DON’T REALLY MATTER! For me that takes the form of not fussing if the towels are not folded a certain way, or if a tin can is in the trash can and not the recycle bag…do I want perfectly folded towels and every single can recycled or do I want a happy marriage with a happy man?

    What great prizes!

  37. 62

    says

    YAY!

    You are doing awesome things and this has been such a joy to read through, all of them. If only I could make my brain formulate a coherent thought, I would post my own story ;-)

    *sigh* you’ve met me, you know.. coherency isn’t exactly my strong point.

  38. 65

    says

    Hi :)
    Just an FYI – I don’t see my donation listed.
    Thanks,
    Christine
    IE Mommy

    P.s. sorry about the multiple posts…my computer takes forever to load the comment and I hit the button too many time, :)

  39. 67

    says

    Great ideas. All ones I know, but sometimes “forget.” And that last one –inviting God into your marriage– I know from experience that that is HUGE, so we really try to make that our biggest priority.

  40. 68

    says

    I love when you reach the point where just being together- no words needed, no touching has to be involved- but you are content to share space with them and feel no need to fill the silence or stop the noise. When you can look at one another in a crowd and speak without words.

  41. 70

    says

    All good and right on. I can not tolerate man-bashing. Ick. I want to speak honorably of my man because he is an honorable man. I certainly don’t want to throw him in a generic all men do this pile…he doesn’t belong. PLUS, even if you are having trouble, or your man acts dishonorably, how can he step up and do the right thing if he is being badgered and trash talked all the time. No good comes of it at all.

  42. 71

    says

    Great ideas! I think Gratefulness is important. Show and tell your spouse why your are grateful to and for them.

    Knowing your spouse’s love language and ministering to them that way is also a great way to show them you value them!

  43. 77

    says

    So great!! How fun that so many people are playing with you this week!
    hey, GREAT book on sex: “Is that all he thinks about” by Marla Taviano. Seriously great. I’m following her on twitter. She’d love for you to do a review!

  44. 79

    says

    I am thoroughly enjoying your insight, writing and challenge through this month!

    I definitely encourage everyone here to read the love chapter and see how well it defines your marriage and what you can work on together.
    (I Cor. 13 from the Bible)

    Cherish each other, we take words seriously in our home, we try to define and live out what it means to honor and cherish. At weekend to remember (hosted by familylife.org) we received a beautiful marriage certificate that in a sense renews your vows to each other. I didn’t just bring this home as a momento, we signed it, framed it and have it in our bedroom. Occasionally I will stop and look at it and remember how wonderful that weekend was for us and also remember our vows to each other and what our day to day life actually means.

    Do Unto EACH OTHER–would you LOVE for your husband to come home one night and give you a back rub, whisper sweet nothings in your ear and draw you a bath? I sparked this in my husband by doing it for him. He would be putting the kids to bed and come out of the room surprised that now there was only candlelight all around the house, there was a spa menu in the bathroom next to a drawn bath and glass of sparkling cider (we don’t drink). I gave him a massage with soothing music and completely acted like a paid professional, asking him if the pressure was too much or enough, where he needed me to focus, etc. He was so excited from that event he emailed everyone we knew! LOL

    Your marriage is an event (journey) and in the words of Mr. Magorium (movie) “Your life is an occasion, rise to it!”

  45. 84

    says

    When you are arguing, try to step outside of yourself and think about what the other person is really saying or why they are hurt. It can be hard to do, it requires humility, which is a hard place to go when you are angry! And be the first to say “i’m sorry.”

    Go on mini-family-dates. Sometimes you just can’t get out on a date with just the two of you, so go on a mini date and take the kids along! This morning we are going to Starbucks to sit and read and talk together. We might not get very in-depth with the 3 year old and 1 year old along, but it will create a special memory, and is worth the time and effort. =)

    Blessings,
    Megan

  46. 85

    says

    This is soo true! Your number one is my Valentine gift to my husband – to commit to a healthy lifestyle: eating right, but mostly exercising regularly for energy and long life.
    Very good carnival. Thank you for doing it!

  47. 86

    says

    I agree with Beckyjomama that it is just as important to pray FOR your spouse as it is to pray WITH him. I also occasionally ask my husband if he has any prayer requests he would like me to pray for for him. (If I had more sleep, I could’ve thought of a better way to say that :p)
    Another marriage thrill/date night – showering together :)

  48. 88

    says

    I think I got confused. You want us to comment each day? Oops. Well, if I wasn’t supposed to today, just delete this, lol!

    I have so enjoyed reading all the posts. I am only through about half of them, but really have enjoyed everyone’s stories. It’s been a pretty great couple of days reading!

    Cheers, Kiy

  49. 89

    says

    Making a date night a priority, not an option has helped us connect so much better. We also enjoy doing devotionals together. We even blog together. You gotta love a man who blogs!

    Mrs. Nurse Boy

    I almost forgot~Always show your man and let him know you RESPECT him. This is very important to man. It is God’s very own design!

  50. 90

    says

    Making a date night a priority, not an option has helped us connect so much better. We also enjoy doing devotionals together. We even blog together. You gotta love a man who blogs!

    Mrs. Nurse Boy

    I almost forgot~Always show your man and let him know you RESPECT him. This is very important to man. It is God’s very own design!

  51. 92

    says

    We’ve only been married a year, so we are still learning. But, I have to say that one important thing we’ve learned for a strong marriage is to be a team. We don’t always have to agree, but we try to always maintain a united front. We make decisions together, from dinner to a new couch. We stick together. It makes us much closer and it’s a different type of intimacy than we had while we were dating.

  52. 93

    says

    Thank you for this carnival. I love my husband and have been truly blessed to have him in my life. Our favorite time of the day is laying in bed, talking EVERY night before we sleep. It is our one chance at uninterrupted conversation. A must for every marriage. That and laughter and prayer.

    I posted a link today as well.

  53. 95

    says

    great list! I love laughing with my husband – there is something very intimate about laughing over your own private jokes.
    I would add that remembering that just because he doesn’t do something YOUR way, doesn’t mean it is wrong… especially when it comes to childcare stuff. Sometimes it is better for the situation for you to just let him learn to be a dad in his own way.

  54. 96

    says

    This was a great carnival, Kristen!

    I think the thing that is a Marriage Thriller for us is talking openly about our sex life…to each other only. That is hard for me to do, but it helps us stay intimate and make sure we’re BOTH happy with how things are going in “that” area. :-)

  55. 97

    says

    What a great list!

    One thing that hubby and I promised each other, is that we would never raise our voices at one another, even in disagreement, or hurt. And we would never go to sleep with our “problem” still hanging over us…we resolve it before we sleep.

  56. 99

    says

    Great reminders! We try to always make our marriage a priority, no matter the financial situation, the time crunch or what…it something we just need to do.
    sylviarj at yahoo dot com

  57. 102

    says

    I think we need to remember to tell our spouses how great they are. Sometimes we can get down on them…and we forget to praise them. The other say I was showing my hubby my flair on facebook. I had a button that said “proud wife of a wonderful husband” When he saw that, he looked at me and said “you’re proud of me?” I said, Of course I am, you didn’t know that? He said no, it’s just nice to hear. I totally gave myself a talking to and am trying to make a bigger effort to tell him how awesome he is everyday!! We think we as women are the only ones who need or want compliments or praise…but our husbands do to. Especially after coming home from the dog eat dog world.

  58. 107

    says

    If I had to give advice on keeping your marriage great, it would be this:

    Forgive

    Forget

    And never underestimate the power of a horrible marriage counselor to tell you what you already know!

  59. 108

    says

    These are fantastic reminders. The Irishman and I carpool to work. It seems simple, but we talk a lot to and front work each day. We also teach Confirmation classes together and pray each night. I think these are the things that keep us going! We are bad about setting date nights though…something to work on!

    Thank you so much for getting us all to think!

  60. 109

    says

    I’ve found its so important to just BE sometimes. Planning a fun date night out is fun and all, but just stopping and being together like there is no one else in the world for just a few minutes every day is so important. When we don’t take the time to do this our marriage starts to suffer immediately.

  61. 110

    says

    I love this list. I printed it out to keep handy and look at from time to time just to remind us of the important things.

    And I hope I win!!

  62. 119

    says

    Great post! Chris and I have been together since 1985, and I think one of the biggest factors in the success of our marriage is that we were friends first. We genuinely enjoyed being together before we realized we were in love and wanted it to be forever!

  63. 120

    says

    I agree with everything on your list especially the prayer part. I don’t think we would still be married if God and prayer weren’t such a big part of our lives.

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