When we were married, we were told it is our job to sort through the advice and choose what is best for us. Our families took that to heart and still often says things like “I know we are not supposed to give you advice, but….” and we have to remind them: We like advice! We embrace advice! We just have to decide what works best for our little family, and that goes for everyone.  So we are always reading these kinds of articles to each other and we really try to apply them…

{Keeping that in mind, some of this may be advice you don’t need/like/think is useful, but we have used and appreciated this advice!}

here’s the best advice we have heard, read and applied in our 5 years together that i know have helped make the time sweetly glide:

1. Men need three things. Before we got married, a good friend of the family gave me HER
favorite advice and it stuck.  From Dr. Laura’s book
The Care and Feeding of Husbands, she told me men need three things: food, sex, and a girlfriend. In other words, their needs are not usually as complicated {some are, but that’s another post…}. I made sure to remember the first two often, but the “girlfriend” part is important. While you can and will be “the mom” of the house, no man wants to be married to his mom, so don’t be one to him. This thought has stopped me multiple times from turning into that naggy mom that I can be to my 3 year old all day, and causes me to see him as my boyfriend, my partner, who needs attention from me as his friend, and no one else.

2. pray together every day. when we got home from our honeymoon, and we were settling in for the night that first night back to reality, we climbed into bed, and my sweet husband went straight to his knees. he asked if i would pray with him. that’s the man i married. Lord first, us second, everything else comes after. we rarely sleep without praying together, and that alone has been such a strength for both of us through times that have been difficult.

took some digging to find this early note…

3. A love note board. The first year we were married, we lived at my husband’s grandpa’s house. He needed a house sitter, and we needed a place to stay. It was cheap, full of their things, and we didn’t care one bit.  Love notes were all over the house, hiding in cupboards, on the bathroom mirrors… there was a lot of love there and it was obvious. I was getting to know his family through the love they literally left behind. I found a little magnet white board at target and brought it home and wrote a love note on it for him to find, and the next morning, he had changed it to put his own love note… we still use the same little white board to help build each other up. sometimes he will put a scripture, sometimes it’s a “thank you for….” and sometimes it’s a “good luck drinking all that water!” a smile a day is good for the soul, and very good for the marriage…

4. The 72 hour rule. A while back I read this article that I loved about the 72 hour rule. Yep, you guessed it. It’s sex-related. Not that I think you should be counting the hours to meet a quota, or holding each other to it, “Hey it’s been 72 hours so uh….” But it’s something to discuss and keep in mind. I don’t need to tell you the benefits here, I think you get it. Just have more sex! And be the instigator more than the receiver.

5. men who do housework have more sex. it’s true. women, especially those who are in full custody of your children most of the hours of the day, are tired, disheveled, and down on themselves about something. i generally like myself, but i am always wishing i had more time. more time to spend with my kids, more time to spend with kids AND clean my house… so when he cleans my house, or offers to make dinner, it’s mom porn. and he knows it.

husbands. you know what she would love??
a super hot and sexy clean house.
try it. she’ll thank you for it.

{and if you need a great gift for a bride to be or a friend… grab the book… hilarious.}

6. the 15 second kiss. i know you are thinking, “so it’s all about sex with you, huh?” no. {well…}this one we just started recently and it might even be my favorite. we read this sweet article recently on a marriage blog and i loved the idea of reconnecting daily. there are days when we come home, make dinner, often side-by-side, tidy up, hose down the kids, and once they get in bed, we flop on the couch and realize we haven’t even said “hi” yet! after i told him about the 15 second kiss, he grabbed me and kissed me for a good 15 seconds. it was sweet, not intended for anything other than that, but it does cause a reconnect. the whirlwind of the day comes to a hault and the phones get set aside, the tv stays off longer, and we remember what’s important in this crazy life. try it. it’s another smile a day… see #3 above. 😉 so easy to do, and brings us back home every time.

7. Give each other “me time”.  Everyone, regardless of what it looks like, needs down time. In my husband’s case, I know he needs time every night to do nothing but sit and watch a show. It’s his favorite part of the day, the power-down.  it’s what he needs to de-stress and to relax. Not all men are created equal of course, some men need to get out of the house, some need the other guys… but they need their “time” whatever that is for them.  What I need? Thirty bucks and a tap on the butt to go get a pedicure for no reason… same concept. {hint hint…}

8. Speak kind words. We were friends with a couple that whenever he turned his back, she was saying awful things about him. It was super awkward for us, and made us wonder how that worked for them. He was constantly saying how amazing she was: gorgeous, talented, and such a hard worker… She was always telling us what he can’t do, what he doesn’t do for her… it was heartbreaking. I love hearing from my husband’s co-workers what they have “heard about me”. It’s proof he speaks well of me and reminds me to do the same.

9. Brag don’t rag. Without fail, every time we have a girls’ night and the girls and I are up laughing about who knows what… it always comes back to “men always…” or “mine does that too!” we laugh a bit about the silly things they say or do, but in reality, mine doesn’t. My husband has never once said the words, “Gosh, I wish you could actually clean the house!” and he’s never once said, “So what did you do all day??” He respects my role here at home and my efforts to bring in extra bacon. And he knows it’s hard. {Besides that I am constantly reminding him it is…} He knows that it is nearly impossible to do it all and chooses to come home and help rather than say anything negative. Smart choice, by the way. {see #5} Whenever he begins a thought with “Can I just say something…?” I am always bracing myself, sure it will be the time he tells me to get my act together and be better and clean the freakin house and don’t look so nasty when I get home please!… but it is ALWAYS to tell me how great of a mom he thinks I am. When he treats me like a 10, I feel like one. And it makes me try harder at all those things.

10. planned dates. i know you’ve heard this one, but now, more than ever, we are learning this is vital. a planned outing, actually without kids, and some time to not just talk about kids, is necessary. necessary because remember #1? he needs a girlfriend. he doesn’t have a girlfriend if you’re not dating! so get a sitter if you have to, call and ask him out {or send an evite}, but go on a real, “i have a plan and i know where i am going to take you tonight” date. there, i said it. and yes, i know it’s easier said than done…

what works for you? any more secret tips/advice you LOVE??