love

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?

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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]

Love Letters // 04

Love Letters | The Kardia Blog Dear Caleb Hiapo,

I am definitely the luckiest girl in the world. Last Friday for our anniversary you cooked me a four course meal, complete with background music and candles!! You planned it out and stayed up late to get everything ready, and it turned out AMAZING! Thank you so much honey! I loved it so much! You definitely get the best boyfriend award, although I think I already gave you that award a few times...but another one doesn't hurt, right? ;)

Dear Briggitte,

You are the sweetest girl I know! You're always there when someone needs to talk, you make an effort to show people that you care, and you always know how to brighten someone's day. I'm so glad to be able to help you get everything organized for Outreach and Community Service for Campus Ministries. I love seeing you take leadership and help others :) You're amazing!

Dear Thanksgiving break,

You're here!! Finally!! I've been looking forward to you all month! In less than 12 hours I will be home again :) The craziness of this past week has really burnt me out, and I'm in dire need of some rest. Please go by slowly so that I can enjoy every minute.

Dear city of Lincoln,

I really wish you would learn that when it snows, you plow the snow off the streets, not just dump a whole bunch of salt on the road. All the packed down snow and ice just makes driving even more dangerous. The world doesn't end when it snows 3 inches. You're part of the midwest, c'mon!

Sincerely,

A Minnesota Girl

To: Me (and you)

From: God

Sweetheart,

I know that it's difficult to wait. You may even feel like you're becoming an expert at waiting. I know what situation you're in though, and I have something for you to learn in the process. So keep waiting and start learning. Your patience will be rewarded. I guarantee it.

- Your heavenly Dad

Love Note

8 The end of a thing is better than its beginning; The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

Ecclesiastes 7:8

(image credit)

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P.S. What season are you in?

One More Day Until Three Years

High School Sweethearts November 14, 2011. A charming young boy decides to ask this shy, little girl if she would be willing to be his girlfriend. After a giggled "Yes!" and a nonchalant "Really?! Cool", the two 16-year-old's begin to navigate their way through a high school relationship. And now, three years later, they're still going strong.


A few days ago, one of my friends was willing to take some couples pictures of me and Caleb. I've picked a few of my favorites to show you today, even though I love them all! I've specifically saved my two favorite photos for tomorrow (our actual anniversary), so be sure to follow me on Instagram, because that's where I'll be posting it! These photos are unedited too, and they really capture our relationship with each other.

Caleb and Brittany's 3 Year Anniversary | The Kardia Blog

To my dearest Caleb,

These last three years together with you have brought so much happiness into my life. I couldn't ask for a more thoughtful, caring, and Godly man! I am so blessed :)

Caleb and Brittany's 3 Year Anniversary | The Kardia Blog

You're my best friend. You listen to my dreams, desires, and ideas. You encourage me to be the best I can be.

Caleb and Brittany's 3 Year Anniversary | The Kardia Blog

You hold me when I cry, you make me comfortable when I'm sick, and I always feel protected when I'm wrapped in your arms.

Caleb and Brittany's 3 Year Anniversary | The Kardia Blog

I'm so proud of you, for working hard and never giving up. You're such a talented man, and I love seeing you use the gifts God has given you.

Caleb and Brittany's 3 Year Anniversary | The Kardia Blog

I'm so blessed to be able to call you mine! I love you ku'u ipo. Happy 3 year anniversary!

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Love Letters // 03

Love Letters | The Kardia Blog

Dear Caleb,

It's been one month since you moved here to Lincoln! I am so blessed to have you in my life :) Thank you for making an apple pie with me, even though we were both busy and never got around to taking the pictures of it (the whole point of making it in the first place!) It was sooo good. I can't wait to make another! Yum!

Dear Kiara,

I am so glad to be best friends with you! :) All our inside jokes, random singing, being walking buddies - those just cover the surface level of our relationship! I know that I can go to you if I need someone to talk to or listen to me. And you should know that I'm always there for you too.

P.S. You still need to draw me a lion ;)

Dear Yik Yak,

You're basically the anonymous twitter for college students! Now if only people from my school didn't post negative things and ruin all the fun...

Dear Phone Case,

Thank you for protecting my phone for the millions of times I've dropped it. Concret, leaves, stairs, and falling off my bed have nothing on you! Keep it up! You look real cute too ;)

To: Me (and you)

From: God

 Precious Daughter,

Life is hard. Life is demanding. Life may feel like one constant waiting game. But don't lose hope. Waiting may seem to make up a good portion of your life, but never have I left your story go unfinished. I never will. Just wait, trust in me, and obey. I can make things happen that you never thought would be possible.

- Your Hope

Love Note

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

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P.S. Don't miss these 7 Ways to Achieve Your Dreams!

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? 

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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? 

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

Love Letters // 02

Love Letters | The Kardia Blog
Dearest Caleb,

Words can't express how happy I am to finally be together in the same state as you! Day to day life dragged by really slowly without you here. I know you hate strongly dislike Nebraska, but yet you packed up everything you have to move here... to be with me. And I love you for that :)  You are such a blessing to me. For real.

Dear Karina,

Can I just say that I am so glad I get to call you one of my best friends? :) Even when you're exhausted and worn out, you still manage to be one of the happiest people I know! Your bubbly personality is why so many people look up to you. Don't give up, love! I can't wait to see what God has in store for you!

Dear Downtown Lincoln,

You looked absolutely beautiful last night. I just wish I had more time to walk slowly, hand in hand with my love, down your lighted streets. The cool breeze flowing through the warm night was perfect. Don't let nights like that go away! I'll be back.

Dear Payday,

Please come soon!

Sincerely,

A Broke College Student

To: Me (and you)

From: God

My child,

Next time you spend the night tossing and turning, unable to fall asleep, remember this: You are safe with me! Close your eyes and find rest and peace in me. Sweet dreams!

- Your caring Father

Love Note

I will lie down in peace, and sleep; For you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Psalms 4:8

(image credit)

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P.S. Did you hear?! I wrote for The Collaboreat!

36 Ways to Show Love to Others

36 Ways to Show Love to Others | The Kardia Blog Last Tuesday I had the chance to join my first #fireworkpeople Twitter party. #fireworkpeople is a community for creatives, dreamers, and entrepreneurs that is full of encouragement! I'm so happy I found such a welcoming and supporting community. The topic we discussed last Tuesday was on how to love others. There were so many great responses and an amazing discussion on what it really means to love. Encouragement and support was everywhere! Days later, I found myself still thinking about how I can show love to others, even to those who don't show it to me. While this list isn't a complete list of the ways you can show love to others, it's a great starting point. So today I challenge you to find ways to show someone that you love them, and then go do it.

35 Ways to Show Love to Others

  1. Pray for them
  2. Say "I love you" often
  3. Hug more
  4. Give without expecting something in return
  5. Apologize first
  6. Listen quietly
  7. Be gracious and say thank you
  8. Write a handwritten thank you note
  9. Brighten their day with flowers
  10. Give gifts
  11. Give advice when wanted
  12. Be honest
  13. Forgive
  14. Be thoughtful
  15. Be a shoulder to cry on
  16. Give compliments
  17. Simply spend time with them
  18. Accept invitations
  19. Exhibit patience
  20. Accept differences
  21. Let them know that you admire them
  22. Let them know you appreciate them
  23. Let them know you are proud of them
  24. Be a mentor
  25. Remember things they like
  26. Be a source of comfort
  27. Smile :)
  28. Encourage them to go for their dreams
  29. Compliment them on a talent, strength, or skill you admire
  30. Do something little, but thoughtful
  31. Fully listen to what they have to say
  32. Resist the urge to tell them they're wrong
  33. Listen to their needs
  34. Learn what their love language is and utilize it
  35. Provide something that they need
  36. Stand up for them

Love Note

Let all that you do be done with love.

1 Corinthians 16:14

What are some other ways you can show love to others?

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Love Letters // 01

Love Letters | The Kardia BlogDear Caleb,

I miss you so much. These past few days have been rough. Not being able to be with my best friend is really hard. But every time I see your picture pop up on caller ID, I smile. I smile because I realize just how special you are to me :) I'm so proud of all the hard work you do and for not only dreaming of what you want, but actually doing it. I've never met someone more driven than you. I can't wait to be with you again! I love you.

Dear Weekend,

You are looking so promising, being 3 days instead of just 2. You bring with you a holy and special day of rest. A much needed day of rest. I'm so excited to have the chance to relax and recharge after this crazy busy week.

Dear French Manicure,

Why couldn't you last at least a week?!

Dear Blog,

You are now a week and one day old!! I'm so glad I decided to start you and I'm more than excited to see what is in store for us!

To: Me (and you) From: God

My Daughter,

Do not be anxious. It's easy to feel lost in this fast-paced, get-it-done-now, do-this-and-that world. When you are feeling lost, alone, or overwhelmed, remember that I am your shepherd. I will search for you myself and keep you safe. Count on it. Cast your burdens on me.

Abide in me and you will find rest.

- Your loving Father

Love Note 

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

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P.S. Follow me on Twitter so that I can easily communicate with you! :)