51 Little Ways to Build Your Marriage

51 Little Ways to Build Your Marriage - #staymarriedSometimes being the #staymarried lady is rough. I get heartbreaking emails and read devastating stories, and I feel sick and broken every time. My heart is tender toward marriage. I long to see people thrive in their relationships. It’s irrational, but I take it a little personally when any marriage fails.

But, sometimes being the #staymarried lady is pretty great! I get giddy when I see our hashtag on a photo of a date night selfie. I love seeing a tweet or status update where one spouse is watching a show they normally wouldn’t just to hang on the couch with their love… #staymarried. It really is the little things that make such a difference. You guys get it and it makes me so so so silly with joy!

There’s no shortage of little ways to show each other love, and just for fun, just because it fills my heart, I’m going to list the little things I’ve learned from you and feature some of the things I’ve seen when searching #staymarried across social media. Maybe you’ll get some ideas of even more little ways you can build your own marriage.


51 Little Ways to Build Your Marriage


51 Little Ways to #staymarried

  1. Warm up the car and scrape the ice off the windshield for your spouse’s car, too!
  2. If you leave much earlier for work than your spouse, set the coffee timer so they can have a fresh cup when they need it.
  3. Fold the socks the way he likes, instead of the way you like.
  4. Replace their bookmark with a love note from you.
  5. Buy their favorite candy at the store just because.51 Little Ways to #staymarried
  6. Call them on the phone to ask them out on a date.
  7. Readjust the car seat for them if you know they will be driving next.
  8. Tell your mutual friends what a great parent or spouse they are and why. (It’ll get back to them, I promise.)51 Little Ways to #staymarried
  9. Do a chore they normally take care of.
  10. Ask them how you can pray for them or help them out as you head your separate ways in the morning.
  11. Bring them their favorite beverage or treat after you put the kids to bed.51 Little Ways to #staymarried
  12. Reach over and scratch their back or rub their shoulders as you walk past them.
  13. Tell them how proud you are of them.51 Little Ways to Build Your Marriage - #staymarried
  14. Plan some time to hang out with people you KNOW they enjoy.
  15. Surprise them with a favorite meal.51 Little Ways to #staymarried
  16. Ask about their day and don’t be distracted when they answer.
  17. Hold hands in the car.
  18. Make them breakfast to go on a busy morning.
    Breakfast burritos are great to eat on the go.
  19. Come home with a gift for no reason.
    We each keep Pinterest boards with things we like to help give each other ideas.
  20. Give them some guilt-free kid-free time to do whatever they want.
  21. Take a walk around your neighborhood together.51 Little Ways to #staymarried
  22. Wash and clean out the car they usually drive.
  23. Don’t complain about watching a show they love that you might not.
  24. Text them something good about how your day is going.
    We often complain but forget to share the good stuff.
  25. Initiate sex.
  26. Ask about what they would most want to do on a weekend if they could do anything.51 Little Ways to #staymarried
  27. Apologize for that thing you did.
  28. Clean and organize something you know they would appreciate… one of those back-burner projects.
  29. Kiss them, on the lips, and hold it for at least six seconds.51 Little Ways to #staymarried
  30. Write a sweet note on the bathroom mirror.
  31. Tell them you miss them when they are away.
  32. If you’re heading out of town, have flowers delivered on one of the days you’ll be gone.
  33. Thank them for something they regularly take care of.51 Little Ways to Build Your Marriage - #staymarried
  34. If you sing or play an instrument, do it just for them.
    This works great when Tony plays a song for me, but NOT when I sing a song to him. Know your talents, people.
  35. Play a game together.
    Card game, board game, video game, freeze-tag… any game!
  36. Draw them a bath and give them some uninterrupted time to enjoy it.
    Unless they think a bath is a medieval filth cauldron, then don’t.
  37. Tuck a sweet note in their wallet.
  38. Resist the urge to complain as your first response after you haven’t seen them for the day.
  39. Tell them what excites you about your future together.51 Little Ways to #staymarried
  40. Don’t contradict them in front of other people.
    It’s embarrassing and actually makes other people uncomfortable. Save it for later.
  41. Send them an email with a funny youtube video you watched.
  42. Set up a puzzle that you can work on together over time.
    Make sure it’s in a place the kids and the dog won’t destroy it.
  43. Tell them why they’re your favorite.51 Little Ways to #staymarried
  44. Recreate a favorite date from the beginning of your relationship.
  45. Bring a surprise lunch to them at work.
  46. Snuggle up with a blanket on the couch.51 Little Ways to #staymarried
  47. Help out with something you know they’ve really wanted to do.
  48. Tell your kids what a great parent they are.
  49. Show interest in their work and endeavors.
  50. Feed the kids first and then put on a movie for them while the two of you enjoy an adult only dinner at the table.
  51. Go to bed naked.

Reasearch from The Gottman Institute has shown that it really is the small things done often that build up a strong and lasting marriage.Try just a few of these a week and see how much closer and connected you feel. Keep the little things in the front of your mind and make those small but meaningful efforts so you can #staymarried.

The #staymarried blog was created to offer hope, stories, and resources for couples who want to stay married.

Michelle Peterson #staymarriedNew to #staymarried? Welcome! Check out why we started this blog and our first entry to get a little background. You can also find us on the socials: PinterestTwitterFacebook, and Instagram. I’d love to connect on any of your favorite platforms. Use the #staymarried hashtag so I can find you, too!

You may also like The #staymarried Podcast! Check out a sample here and look for us on iTunes or your favorite podcast player.

Thanks for stopping by!

~ Michelle

7 thoughts on “51 Little Ways to Build Your Marriage

  1. Love this Michelle.

    Going to print all these out on a list and put them up in our house so we can have tangible reminders of how we can serve one another!

    Thanks for all you guys do!
    So good 😉

  2. This is an awesome article. It isn’t even about staying married, but just staying in a relationship with someone. It takes so much more than just being physically present. People who don’t realize that small gestures matter aren’t fit to be in a relationship. Of course, though, these need to be wanton gestures. They can’t just be acts out of preserving a relationship.

    1. Absolutely, Yvette 🙂
      At the same time, we’ve found it’s hard to be in a mode of simply preserving when you are making an effort like doing these little things. Once you get in a habit of doing small kind things, your heart expands and you want to do more of it. It’s in the doing that love grows.

  3. We do the note on the mirror, a touch sometimes when we pass each other. And, knowing how difficult it is to start our truck when the temperature is below freezing, he’ll start it and let it run for a little bit before he leaves for work. I leave later than him and so it cools but it’s much easier to start. He drives farther so he takes the economical car and I drive the gas hog 1.5 miles. Pretty much makes him a world class hero in my book. We’ve been thru some ugly times and it really is the little things that have helped save our marriage.

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