In no particular order, I believe your spouse will remember…
1. The things you did for him/her with CONSISTENCY
Your marriage will be shaped by your habits. When you create a habit of consistently showing thoughtfulness to your spouse, he/she will remember it and treasure those memories. These can be as simple as giving a nightly foot massage, hiding love notes around the house, sending text messages throughout the day just to say “I love you,” or a million other things.Romance in marriage is about much more than big, one-time events; it’s about doing the little things with consistency and thoughtfulness.Those little things add up over time.
2. The times you selflessly SACRIFICED for him/her
Few things communicate our love as powerfully as those moments of self-sacrifice. From little acts like letting your spouse watch his/her favorite show (even though you think it’s boring) to much bigger acts like making sacrifices in your own career advancement to put the needs and desires of your husband or wife ahead of your own. Be willing to sacrifice your own temporary comforts or preferences for the sake of your spouse, and those moments will create lasting memories of your love.
3. The times you did something UNEXPECTED and THOUGHTFUL
The first point talked about the importance of consistent things and habits, but your spouse will also remember those times you broke out of the regular routine and did something completely unexpected. Plan a trip and tell your spouse to block off the dates and then surprise them with going to a place he/she has always wanted to go. Purchase that thing he/she has had their eye on for awhile and surprise them with it on a “regular” day (not a birthday or holiday). Go out of your way to create delightful surprises in your marriage. They’ll create some great memories.
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4. The times you were VULNERABLE in your COMMUNICATION
Love requires vulnerability. It means letting down our guard and showing our true self along with all the warts, scars, fears, baggage and hangups we possess. In those moments when you’re willing to share your heart completely and those moments you allow your spouse to share his/her deepest desires or fears without any judgment from you, those moments will help strengthen the sacred bond between a husband and wife and create lasting memories you both will cherish.
5. The times you gave him/her the COURAGE and STRENGTH to keep going
There will be times in your spouse’s life when he/she won’t feel like they have the strength to keep going (in their career, health, parenting, or even in the marriage). My amazing wife Ashley has wisely said, “A strong marriage rarely has two strong people at the same time. It’s a husband and wife who take turns being strong for each other in the moments when the other feels weak.” Be strong for your spouse in those moments when he/she needs your strength the most. Your strength will give him/her confidence in the moment and treasured memories in the years to come!
This article was originally published on Patheos.