10+ Keys to Successful Communication in a Relationship

Because I believe that you can be in a healthy relationship and still not fight with each other, I’ve listed my top suggestions when it comes to having successful communication in a relationship. In this month's currently post, I briefly shared how I prayed for the happiness of my friends. My desire for each of them is to find someone who they can unconditionally love and become best friends with. Some have asked Caleb and I how it is that we've stayed together for nearly 4 years at such as young age. While I believe that there are many factors that play into that, one of the top reasons is:

We don't fight.

That's right. We don't argue. Usually at this point I get crazy looks from whoever I just said this to, but just stay with me. If you look up the definition of "Argument" on Google, you'll come up with this: “an exchange of diverging or opposite views, typically a heated or angry one.”

This first part of that definition is fine; an exchange of diverging or opposite views is simply a discussion. It is the latter portion of that definition that should (and can) be avoided. A "heated or angry" exchange makes it difficult to take turns listening to each other and solving the problem at hand. A discussion should be both of you against a problem, not both of you against each other. 

Because I believe that you can be in a healthy relationship and still not fight with each other, I've listed my top suggestions when it comes to having successful communication in a relationship. I also should mention that by no means do Caleb and I follow these perfectly. We're human! Our discussions aren't all rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes we tend to become walls and bring up the past or criticize. Tears are often shed (by me haha). But we don't talk angrily to each other. Why would you talk to someone you love like that? You aren't against each other; you're a team.

Keys To Successful Communication in a Relationship

1. DO express your expectations

Sometimes we tend to think that our exasperation will lead the other person understanding what it was that we want. We get upset because they don't take out the trash, do the dishes, or they complain too much. But there’s a simple solution: Just use your words. Kindly express what your expectations are without attacking them. They aren't mind readers.

2. DON'T attack

Even if we mean well, sometimes we can come across as harsh because of our word choice or tone of voice. Using “you” can make it sound like you’re attacking. Instead, try using “I” or “we.” For example, say “I would love if you could take a short break from (whatever they're doing) so we could spend some time together” instead of “You're always working and don't take time to be with me.”

I also heard of this saying, which I find very true: 10% of conflicts is due to difference in opinion and 90% is due to the wrong tone of voice. Think about that.

3. DO check your body language

Sit up, face them, and make eye contact when speaking. Don't cross your arms or roll your eyes. Let them know you’re listening and that you really care.

4. DON'T become a wall

If need be, take a short 10 minute break to calm down before talking. But withdrawing from interactions and refusing to communicate at all will only amplify the problem at hand and drag it on. Couples need to communicate about their issues. Giving the other person the silent treatment is about as useful as a goldfish with a bicycle.

5. DO be completely honest

Little lies turn into big lies. Hiding things from your partner can lead to distrust and even more relationship problems.

6. DON'T criticize

Going along with #2 up above, don't attack their personality or character with accusation and blame. Not only is that hurtful, but it doesn't help solve the problem at hand.

7. DO listen and force yourself to hear.

Really listen. Sometimes we can let words go in one ear and out the other without truly hearing what it is the other is saying. Rather than using the time to decide what it is you're going to say next, stop and force yourself to hear what they're saying. You might find that the discussion will end a lot sooner with both of you hearing one another.

8. DON'T bring up the past

Stay focused in the here and now. It's easy to veer off the road and talk about everything but what the discussion really is about. Whether or not things were resolved in the past, this is not the time to bring up another discussion from the past. If it wasn't resolved, bring it up at another time.

9. DO understand differences 

You are both different people with different backgrounds and different ways of seeing the world. Sometimes these differences can get in the way when one person expects the other to behave a certain way. Understand that what one person might find as normal, the other might not understand. Communicate these differences to each other and put yourself in their shoes sometimes.

10. DON'T assume that it's the other person who always needs to change

When you really listen with an open heart and ears, you might find that you're the one who needs to make a change in your life. Admit to it, and work hard on changing that. Sometimes it can be difficult, but it's definitely worth it.

What do you think? Can an argument free relationship exist? What are some other ways to improve communication?

blog-signature

Nurturing Commitment - Relationship Goals

Nurturing Commitment | The Kardia Blog Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend! I sure did, the sun was out and birds were chirping. It's so beautiful :)

I'm so excited to be co-hosting the Marriage and Relationship Goals linkup with Amberly, Charlene, and Rebecca today. This linkup has been one of my favorites since I've started blogging. It encourages me to intentionally work on my relationship with Caleb every day through goal setting.

At the very beginning of 2015, Caleb and I choose a word to focus on in our relationship for the entire year:

Nurture

This is the first time I've linked up since January. Hopefully now as the semester is winding down and I'm less busy, I can linkup every month! Our goal for January was to nurture our endeavors and grow them as a team. Since then, Caleb and I have made a point to help each other with different aspects of our lives. In his business, I answer the emails and set up the website. For my blog, he takes photos and helps me come up with ideas. We've learned to work together to accomplish things.

Keeping with the theme of nurture, this month we'll be focusing on:

Nurturing commitment

Like Caleb said in his analogy of our relationship being a plant, we need to strengthen our relationship and become more like a team because it will make us stronger. As a young couple, we'd like to work on showing each other commitment in our everyday lives. Here are three ways we plan to do so this month:

1. Planning for the future that includes each other.

Being in college, I see a lot of young couples break up around graduation because they simply had different ideas on what they wanted to do with their life. Maybe the relationship just wasn't right, or maybe it's because they didn't spend time talking about their future together. 

I believe that one way to strengthen commitment in any relationship is to talk about the future. When planning for the future, make sure to plan with the other person's feelings in mind as well. Maybe one of you would prefer to live closer to family after graduation, so instead of looking for a job anywhere in the U.S., try searching for one closer to home. Including the other person in your future plans shows that you're committed to loving them.

2. Making time for things that the other person likes. 

One aspect of true love is that is selfless and thinks of the other person's needs before their own. While we're both very busy people, we want to make sure we make time to do activities that the other person likes. Things like going to Menards to shop for materials and parts, or going to a big Easter egg hunt instead of working on different projects (true story). While we may be sacrificing a few hours of personal time, how much greater is the benefit of time spent together? A lot.

3. Doing things that makes the other person feel loved.

This goes along with number two, but adds a little more to it. We want to actively be feeding each other's love language. Things such as making a home cooked meal or spending time talking at the park on a sunny afternoon can help bring us closer together.

These are only a few ways we plan to nurture commitment in our relationship. It's an ongoing process that will never stop. Commitment never gets old.

How will you be nurturing commitment in your marriage/relationship this month?

Marriage & Relationship Goals

New to the Marriage & Relationship Goals Link-up? Goals help our relationships grow stronger and get better with time as well as help us to continue moving forward and avoid the "ruts" of life. This link-up was created in hopes of inspiring your relationship with your significant other no matter your chapter in life and love. We would love for you to join us in making the things we do in our relationships intentional. If you would like more information, click here.


[inlinkz_linkup id=511500 mode=1]

Nurture - Relationship Goal for 2015

Nurture your relationship

Happy Monday everyone! :) I'm really thankful for college breaks because they're much longer than ones we got in high school. I still have one more week here at home! Speaking of high school, I had the chance to play volleyball on Saturday night for the first time since the volleyball tournament my senior year. And I am sore. Everything hurts! Guess I need to build up my arm strength again.

Anyways, back to the post for today. I'm super excited to be linking up our relationship goal for the month with Amberly, Charlene, and Rebecca. This year they've asked us choose a word to focus on for the entire year and set our goals with that word in mind.

I asked Caleb if he had any ideas for a word, and he did! A really good word too.

Nurture

After hearing his explanation of why he picked that word, I knew it was the perfect word for us this year! The explanation went something like this:

A plant goes through stages. It begins as a seed, then it germinates and becomes a seedling. After that, it turns into a small plant, which then grows and matures into a full sized plant that bears fruit and seeds.

We're just like a plant.

We aren't a seed (in a new relationship) and we aren't a full sized plant (a married couple who's been together a long time). Since we are past the seedling phase, we're like a small plant; one that needs a lot of fertilization and care because they aren't very strong yet and animals like to eat them.

What we need to do as a couple is strengthen our relationship and become more like a team because it will make us stronger. We need to nurture our relationship.

Nurture. No word could describe our overall relationship goal better. Every month, our relationship goal will be set with this word in mind and will build upon our goal from the previous month.

This month, we've decided that our goal would be this:

To nurture our endeavors and grow them as a team

Our endeavors include Caleb's machining business (which is super awesome and I'm so proud of him!!), this blog, our spiritual life, balancing school and work, and the business that I want to start up this year. Our goal is to work on them together and learn to work as a team. Each month, we'll add a new goal that will build off of this goal. Our hope is that all of this nurturing will pay off and we can become a full-sized plant.

 Marriage & Relationship Goals

What are your marriage or relationship goals for January? Do you have a word for the year?

blog-signature

P.S. My word for 2015!

Healthy Eating - Relationship Goals

Strawberry I just looked to see what date it is today, and I can't believe it's December 1 already! These months are going by faster and faster. Last month my relationship goal was setting aside time to have daily Bible reading/worship together. I'm really happy to say that we have intentionally made time every day to do some Bible reading, and now we're taking that a step further and will be taking notes in church so we can discuss and do a Bible study afterwards :)

Lately, Caleb and I have been so busy that we just eat whatever we have, whether it be leftovers or what's in the cafe at school. With the cold and flu season coming around, we want to take better care of our health.

Therefore, our relationship goal for the month is:

Healthy Eating

Watching what you put into your body and understanding the benefits that healthy eating provides can keep you strong and even reduce other physical problems, such as digestive issues and headaches. There are a few steps that Caleb and I are taking to ensure that we eat healthy:

Make homemade food

I totally understand the busy lifestyle many of us have. Still, eating homemade food and not packaged or fast food can dramatically impact your health. Look for meals in which you can use the leftovers the next day. Try making different types of sandwiches for lunch, or make a big pot of soup.

Eat meals together, not on the couch or while watching TV

Taking the time to sit down with each other and eat can provide quality time together as a couple. Instead of watching TV or eating at different times, you can chat about your day! And eat your meals slowly, don't shovel it down your throat!

Eat fruits and veggies, daily

This is something Caleb and I are going to work on. We're going to make an effort to eat some fruits and veggies every single day, because currently, we've been slacking on that.

Make lunch for your significant other!

Packing lunch for them can be a sweet act of kindness and love, especially if the food is homemade! Include a little note saying how much you love them, and you'll definitely make their day!

 Marriage & Relationship Goals
What are your marriage or relationship goals for December?

blog-signature

Daily Bible Reading - Relationship Goals

Couples Bible Devotional | The Kardia Blog
Last month my relationship goal was to spend more intentional time together as a couple. I'm proud to say that after settling into a more stable routine, we've had the chance to spend some good quality time with each other :) This month my goal is to focus more on spending intentional worship time together. Last week I shared 100 Ways to Love Your Wife (and 100 Ways to Love Your Husband) and the first thing that I highlighted on the list was "Start and/or end each day by holding hands and praying together with your wife." Granted, I'm not married, but I still love having time as a couple to be with God.

So, my relationship goal for this month is:

Setting aside time to have daily Bible reading/worship together

The closer you grow to God, the closer you'll grow to each other. Just because you may be busy doesn’t mean you can let your relationship with God take a seat on the back burner. Here are a few suggestions you can use to start or improve your daily worship time:

Make time for worship every day

Everyone is busy. But if a relationship with God is important to you and your relationship, make time for it. Whether it's in the morning or evening, get into the habit of sitting down without any distractions, just to worship. We have our worship every night before I go back to the dorm to sleep. I find that spending that time together to free our minds really helps us to become less stressed.

Use a couples devotional

I'm a big fan of The 5 Love Languages. So the other day when I found out that there is a devotional book based off of it, I got really excited. The One Year Love Language Minute Devotional is a quick daily guide on how to express love to your loved one. The book covers different topics such as expressing feelings, effective apologies, dealing with fear, embracing emotions, and tons more! There's one for every day of the year! Not to mention that it's also less than $13 on Amazon ;)

Do a Bible study on a topic you're both interested in

Talk together and decide on a few topics you both would be interested in doing a study on. Grab a Bible study plan and/or commentary and spend each day going through and reading about the topic. Discuss how you can apply it in your relationship.

Start a family Bible

Caleb and I want to get a Bible with big enough margins so that we can make notations and turn it into a family Bible. I think it's a great idea especially if you want something your kids can use as they grow up and use it too.

Pray together

Taking the time to pray together will help strengthen the bond not only between you and your significant other, but it will keep you connected with God as well. Take turns praying and giving thanks for all that He's done for you.

 Marriage & Relationship Goals
What are some of your relationship goals for November?

blog-signature

(image credit)

100 Ways to Love Your Spouse (Part 2: Her Way)

100 Ways to Love Your Wife | The Kardia Blog
On Monday I posted about 100 Ways to Love Your Husband his way, and so today I'm sharing the list of 100 Ways to Love Your Wife Her Way! I originally found the list on this website a year ago, and Caleb and I used it to discover what makes the other really, truly feel loved and respected. Even if you're not married, it's important to learn early on that you are both feel loved in different ways. Remember, these are only suggestions – not everything will apply to everyone. Have fun!

SCROLL DOWN TO LEARN HOW TO USE THE LIST + GET A FREE PRINTABLE WORKSHEET!! :)

  1. Start and/or end each day by holding hands and praying together with your wife.
  2. Pray for her every day and make it a point to pray with her when she is troubled.
  3. Communicate with her instead of talking AT her or shutting her out emotionally.
  4. Talk to her respectfully without demeaning her or hurting her feelings.
  5. Compliment her for the giftedness you see in her. Be specific.
  6. Show interest in her friends and give her time to be with them.
  7. Do something active together to lift her spirit —even taking a walk hand-in-hand.
  8. Express to her that you need and value her.
  9. Show enthusiasm for the things that she’s excited about—let your actions show it.
  10. Find something that makes you laugh together.
  11. Put your arms around her when she needs comfort, holding her silently.
  12. Surprise her by doing something you think she would want done before she asks.
  13. Try not to make sudden changes without discussing them with her first.
  14. Show interest in that which she values as important in her life.
  15. Allow your wife to teach you things without being defensive.
  16. When you feel you must correct her, be gentle —speak the truth in LOVE.
  17. Let go of the small stuff. We all have annoying habits and preferences that are different from our spouse’s. (Dave Ramsey)
  18. Show her that she matters more to you than any one you could be with, that threatens her security in your marriage.
  19. Be a good listener. Show her you value what she says.
  20. Plan a mini-honeymoon, where the two of you can spend quality time together.
  21. Go shopping with her and don’t sigh or look at what time it is even once.
  22. Take her out to breakfast or make her breakfast (cleaning up afterward).
  23. Make the time to set specific goals with her to achieve together for each year.
  24. Give her grace when she offends you and forgive (even as you want to be forgiven).
  25. Find ways to help her know you are her partner in all areas life.
  26. Be polite, courteous, and mannerly with her—not taking her for granted.
  27. Exhibit humility, admit your mistakes, and ask for forgiveness. She’ll appreciate that!
  28. Defend her to others—especially to your family.
  29. Don’t belittle her intelligence.
  30. Scratch her back, rub her feet, or her rub her neck—whatever she’d prefer.
  31. Get up in the middle of the night (let her stay in bed) to take care of your upset child.
  32. Be especially helpful when she is not feeling well.
  33. When she asks how your day went, don’t just say “fine” —actually give her details.
  34. Thank God for her by name when the two of you are praying together.
  35. Try not to argue over money. Peacefully discuss future expenditures instead.
  36. Don’t embarrass her by arguing with her in front of others.
  37. Lead your family in their spiritual relationship with God. This is important to her.
  38. Make eye contact when she is talking to you and when you are talking with her.
  39. Show her that you prefer her to others—give her your attention whenever possible.
  40. Relate what happened at work or whatever you did apart from her.
  41. Keep away from anything that gives you sexual gratification, other than your wife.
  42. Be helpful, both before and during the time you have visitors in your home. (If you’re not sure of what to do, ask your wife “What can I do that would help the most?”)
  43. Brag about her to others, both in front of her and when she is not with you.
  44. Surprise her from time-to-time with a card and flowers or a little gift.
  45. Remember to tell her or call her as soon as you know you are going to be late.
  46. Give her your undivided attention when she wants to talk.
  47. Guard your tongue from saying “unwholesome words” or down-grading her.
  48. Refuse to compare her unfavorably with others.
  49. Encourage her to relax in some way while you clean up after dinner.
  50. Be an involved partner in helping with the children and spending time together.
  51. Maintain good grooming habits so you look and smell good. It shows you care.
  52. Be supportive. Help her to finish her education and goals that are important to her.
  53. View and treat her as if God put a sign over her that said, “Make me feel special.”
  54. Run errands without complaining.
  55. Give her the love gift of being thoughtful and considerate to her relatives.
  56. Don’t negatively compare her relatives with yours.
  57. Sit close to her —even when you are just watching television.
  58. Be verbally supportive and honor her in front of the children.
  59. Do not making plans without her agreeing with them (unless it’s a surprise).
  60. Pro-actively do things that makes her feel cherished as a woman and as a wife.
  61. Keep her trust at all costs. Leave no gray area when it comes to other female relationships, money and your word. (Dave Ramsey)
  62. Ask for a list of 3 things she’d like done in the home. Prioritize to do them ASAP.
  63. Ask her and then listen to what makes her fearful and insecure (without judging).
  64. Pray about and act upon what you can do to alleviate those fears.
  65. Find out what her sexual needs are (and then try to fulfill them).
  66. Surprise her with a 15 second kiss (with no expectations to go any further).
  67. Put effort in to keep yourself in good shape so she’s especially proud to be with you.
  68. Make it a point to write a mission statement together for your marriage and family.
  69. Take the time to touch every day—even if it’s only for a minute or two.
  70. Be polite and kind. (Often we’re kinder to strangers than we are to our spouse.)
  71. Be sensitive enough to ask her if you offend or hurt her sexually in any way.
  72. Go out of your way to help her feel valued over everyone else.
  73. Consider her as your marital partner in how you spend money.
  74. You dated your wife before marriage, and fell in love. Date her now to STAY in love.
  75. Be careful to choose your words, especially when angry.
  76. Show affection for her in front of friends.
  77. Make sure your children speak to her and treat her in respectful ways.
  78. Make a point of honoring anniversaries, birthdays, and other special occasions.
  79. Make sure she has money to spend any way she would choose.
  80. Hold her close and verbally express your love when she is hurt or discouraged.
  81. Surprise her by giving her a special gift from time to time.
  82. Share the responsibilities around the house (without looking for special recognition).
  83. Don’t tease and belittle her, saying “I was just joking” when she doesn’t find it funny.
  84. Allow her to express herself freely, without fear of being called illogical or dumb.
  85. Don’t forget to hold her hand in public like you used to when you dated her.
  86. Don’t criticize her in front of others—keeping her dignity in tact.
  87. Don’t focus on the physical features of another woman (It dishonors your wife).
  88. Be sensitive to her needs—looking for ways to bless her.
  89. Let her know you want to spend special time with her and the children.
  90. Fix dinner for her sometimes.
  91. Be sympathetic when she’s sick—and help her however you can.
  92. Let her sleep in sometimes and you get the children ready for the day.
  93. Honor her by not disagreeing with her in front of the children.
  94. Don’t ignore the small things that bother her and let them build into bigger issues.
  95. Surprise her by doing some things around the house that she’s wanted done.
  96. Tell her (and show her) you love her often.
  97. Call, email or text her when you’re apart so she knows you are thinking of her.
  98. Surprise her by suggesting a marriage seminar or weekend retreat you can attend together.
  99. Express your love and appreciation for her in a love note which you give to her.
  100. Show her affection without sexual intentions.

100 Ways to Love Your Wife | The Kardia Blog

Step 1: Print out the free printable by clicking on the link below. Make sure to also print out the list of how to love your husband too. Set out some highlighters and pens to use.

Step 2: Highlight the most meaningful ones as you read through the list. Ask him to do the same with his list. What speaks to you? What can you relate to?

Step 3: After you both have gone through the list, number them in order of importance.

Step 4: Discuss! Talk about why and why you didn't choose certain things. Ask if there are any other things the other would like to add to the list.

Step 5: Take his highlighted selections and write/type it into a list, and have him do the same with yours. Keep it somewhere where you can see it daily for reference (the refrigerator, bedside table, planner, bulletin board, etc.).

I hope this will provide both of you with a conversation starter and a practical date night idea. Learning to love one another in different ways is one of the keys to a successful relationship :)

Get your free 100 Ways to Love Her Worksheet here!

What are some other ways that you as a wife/girlfriend feel loved? 

blog-signature

P.S. Check out my love and marriage Pinterest board!

100 Ways to Love Your Spouse (Part 1: His Way)

100 Ways to Love Your Husband | The Kardia Blog
Everyone wants to feel loved, but different people feel and express that love in different ways. I found this list here about a year ago, and even though Caleb and I are just dating, we've always wanted to know what makes the other feel loved and respected. Because men and women feel loved through different actions, there are two parts to this series. Today I'm providing a list of 100 ways to love your spouse HIS way, and on Wednesday will be the list of 100 ways to love your spouse HER way. By no means is this a list of do and don'ts, or what you're not doing right. No. That's not the intention. The purpose of this is to get to know what kind of actions speak to your significant other's love language. Use it to learn their view certain things. These are only suggestions - not everything will apply to everyone. Have fun! The list is pretty exciting as you go through it.

SCROLL DOWN TO LEARN HOW TO USE THE LIST + GET A FREE PRINTABLE WORKSHEET!! :)

  1. Respectfully communicate with him.
  2. Let him know he’s important to you.
  3. Purposefully try to understand his feelings—even when you disagree with him.
  4. Show interest in his friends giving him some time with them if they’re trust-worthy.
  5. Let go of the small stuff. We all have annoying habits and preferences that are different from our spouse’s. (Dave Ramsey)
  6. Tell him you both love him AND like him.
  7. Either show interest in his hobbies or allow him space to participate freely. (D Ramsey)
  8. Protect his dignity on a daily basis.
  9. When confronting him, realize he has feelings also.
  10. Foster an atmosphere of laughter in your home. Look for ways to laugh together.
  11. Try not to make sudden major changes without discussion, giving him time to adjust.
  12. When you go out on a date together don’t bring up problems—have fun instead.
  13. Focus on what he’s doing right, instead of focusing so often on the negatives.
  14. Show interest in what he feels is important in life.
  15. Give him special time with you apart from the children.
  16. The first minutes after a spouse comes home often sets the stage for how the rest of the evening will go. Try to make that time a positive experience. (Ease into the negative.)
  17. Give him time to unwind after he gets home from work. Your evenings will be much more enjoyable. (Dave Ramsey)
  18. Don’t allow family members to treat him disrespectfully. Defend him to anyone that dishonors his place as your husband.
  19. Compliment him often.
  20. Be creative when you express your love, both in words and in actions.
  21. Talk with him about having specific family goals for each year to achieve together to feel closer as a marital team.
  22. Don’t over commit yourself. Leave time for him.
  23. Extend God’s grace to him and be forgiving when he offends you.
  24. Find ways to show him you need him.
  25. Give him time to be alone. (This energizes him to reconnect at other times.)
  26. Admit your mistakes; don’t be afraid to be humble. Peel away your pride.
  27. Defend him to those who disrespectfully talk about him. Love protects (1 Cor. 13:7).
  28. Respect his desire to do well—not his performance.
  29. Rub his feet or neck, or scratch his back after a hard day.
  30. Take time for the two of you to sit and talk calmly (schedule it when necessary).
  31. Initiate going out on romantic outings (when he’s not tired).
  32. Email him when he’s at work, telling him how much you love him.
  33. Surprise him with a fun gift of some kind that he’d really enjoy.
  34. Express how much you appreciate him for working so hard to support the family.
  35. Tell him how proud you are of him for who he is (giving him specific reasons).
  36. Give advice in a loving way — not in a nagging or belittling way.
  37. Help your husband to be the Spiritual head at home (without “lording” it over him).
  38. Reserve some energy for him so you’re not so tired when he wants you sexually.
  39. Don’t expect him to do projects beyond his natural capabilities.
  40. Pray for him to enjoy God’s best in life.
  41. Take special notice for what he has done for you and the family.
  42. Brag about him to other people both in front of him and even when he’s not there.
  43. Keep conversations brief when he’s tired—so he isn’t “flooded” by too many words.
  44. Tell him 3 things you specifically appreciate about him.
  45. Honor him in front of the children (differ respectfully in private when necessary).
  46. ”Look straight into the eyes of your husband when he talks to you or if you’re speaking to him. This will make him feel that you are interested in what he wants to say.” (J. Clain)
  47. Get up with him, even when he gets up earlier than you want to and pray with him (you can go back to bed afterward, if possible —it’s a sacrifice worth making.)
  48. Be his “help-mate” in whatever ways you sense he needs it.
  49. Participate in shoulder-to-shoulder activities with him (like watching a movie and such) without talking. Sometimes men just like to BE with you and not talk.
  50. Be a student of his ways so you show your love in ways he best comprehends it.
  51. When your husband is in a bad mood give him time to recover. Don’t crowd him.
  52. Help him to finish his goals, hobbies, or education when your see he needs it.
  53. Treat him as if God has stamped on his forehead: “Handle With Care.”
  54. Work to get rid of habits that annoy him.
  55. Be kind and thoughtful to his relatives. Don’t make him choose between you.
  56. Don’t compare his relatives with yours in a negative way.
  57. Thank him for things he’s done around the house. (It means a lot to men).
  58. Don’t expect credit for all you do for him. Do it as “unto the Lord.”
  59. Make sure he agrees with everything important that you’re planning to do.
  60. Do little things for him—let him sleep in, bring him coffee, etc.
  61. Don’t belittle his intelligence or be cynical in your words with him.
  62. Initiate sex periodically. And respond more often.
  63. Sometimes let him enjoy his day off work without having to “work” at home.
  64. Get to the point in your discussions. Spare him details unless he wants them.
  65. Discover his sexual needs.
  66. Surprise him with a 15 second kiss when he gets home from work.
  67. Wink at him from across the room when you’re out at a group function.
  68. Give him the benefit of the doubt when he mis-speaks.
  69. Don’t quarrel over words.
  70. Be kind and courteous with him. (Don’t be kinder to strangers than to him.)
  71. When things go wrong, instead of assessing blame, focus on how to do better.
  72. As a kindness, don’t say, “I told you so.”
  73. Try not to argue over money. Peacefully discuss future expenditures instead.
  74. Take him out on dates—pre-planning all of the details ahead of time.
  75. Hold his hand and snuggle up close to him at times both at home and in public.
  76. Praise his good decisions; minimize the bad ones.
  77. Tell him you love him more often.
  78. Put love notes in his pockets and brief case.
  79. Sit with him while he’s watching TV—even if the program doesn’t interest you.
  80. Don’t expect him to read your mind (despite your thinking he should— extend grace).
  81. Periodically, give him time with his family alone.
  82. Check with him before you throw away his papers and stuff, when possible.
  83. Put effort in to keep yourself in good shape so he’s especially proud to be with you.
  84. Let him express himself freely, without fear of being called stupid or illogical.
  85. Carefully choose your words. Remember to “speak the truth in LOVE.”
  86. Don’t criticize him in front of others—keeping his dignity in tact.
  87. Visit his childhood home with him.
  88. When you’re angry, express it in respectful ways. Don’t give the silent treatment.
  89. Pray for him.
  90. Make him homemade soup when he’s sick.
  91. Look your best—dress to honor him and make him proud to be seen with you when you’re out together.
  92. Support him when someone tries to put him down. Be his best cheer leader.
  93. Don’t disagree with him in front of the children.
  94. Take him for a weekend get-away without the children.
  95. Cheer his successes whether in business or in other areas of everyday living.
  96. Graciously teach him how to demonstrate his love for you.
  97. Give him coupons to redeem—maybe for a back scratch or a shoulder rub.
  98. Buy him a gift certificate to his favorite lunch spot and put it in his wallet.
  99. Hide notes for him around the house where only he will find them.
  100. Thank him for just being himself.

100 Ways to Love Your Husband | The Kardia Blog

Step 1: Print out the free printable by clicking on the link below. Provide some highlighters and pens to use as well.

Step 2: Ask him to highlight the most meaningful ones as he reads through the list. What speaks to him? What can he relate to?

Step 3: After he has gone through the list, ask him to number them in order of importance to him.

Step 4: Discuss! Talk about why and why he didn't choose certain things. Ask if there are any other things he would add that would make him feel loved.

Step 5: Take his highlighted selections and write/type it into a list! Keep it somewhere where you can see it daily for reference (the refrigerator, bedside table, planner, bulletin board, etc.).

Remember, don't look at this as a list of what you aren't doing right in your relationship, look at it as a special insight into what really makes them feel like they are your #1. Because they are :)

Get your free 100 Ways to Love Him Worksheet here!

Be sure to check out Part 2: How to Love Your Spouse Her Way!!

What are some ways that your husband/boyfriend feels loved? 

blog-signature

P.S. 10 Reasons Why I Blog (it also happens to be my very first post, ever)

Intentional Time Together - Relationship Goals

Relationship Goals | The Kardia Blog When Caleb moved here to Lincoln a few weeks ago, we both feared that we wouldn't spend enough time together. How would we have time for each other if we have classes all day and homework/work in the evenings? Needless to say, we've had this conversation many times over the past week. There are a few things I've learned and really want to apply in our relationship.

So today I'm linking up with Amberly from Life with Amberly and Joe to set marriage and relationship goals. As a girlfriend, I want to strive for the very best in my relationship. Married or not, setting goals for your relationship can help keep you moving toward a better future with your significant other.

Now for my relationship goal for this month:

Spending more intentional time together

It is so important to make time and be intentionally focused on your significant other. Just because you may be busy doesn't mean you can let your relationship take a seat on the back burner. Here are some ways I'm going to live out my goal of intentional time together:

Prioritize

This is the biggest thing I've learned over the last month. With such a packed schedule, I know I can't do everything. Some things can be put on hold until the next day, but not time spent with my boyfriend. Because we don't live together, the time we spend with each other needs to happen in the few hours that we use to do homework/work. My goal is to actively show Caleb that he comes before anything else. He's the most important.

Make Time for Each Other

If you don't have time for each other, make some time. This goes along with prioritizing. My goal is to look at my schedule and intentional make time by giving up other things.

Go on Weekly Dates

This is super important to me! I believe that taking the time to go on a date is crucial at any stage in a relationship. Set aside a day of the week/month to really connect and have quality time together. My goal is to go on weekly dates and really have some fun!

Have a Tradition

We just created a tradition on Saturday :) Sabbath morning flapjacks. We've decided that every Saturday for breakfast, we'll make super yummy, fluffy, delicious pancakes together. This is one way we get to hang out and be together while doing something productive (making breakfast).

Just Talk

Even when we're both doing our own thing, if we're in the same room we still talk to each other. We comment on things, tell stories about our day, laugh a funny jokes, etc. My goal is to just talk, even if we're busy. It helps keep us connected.

 Marriage & Relationship Goals
What are your marriage or relationship goals for October?

blog-signature

P.S. The Art of Mystery Dating...your spouse/significant other!