Encourage and motivate your husband or wife? Sometimes words (alone) won’t motivate or encourage, but they are a place to begin…
21 things to say to encourage and motivate your spouse…
Below are 21 ideas for you to say or text or write in a note to encourage your spouse. Play around with the ideas – make them your own!
But then what? What can you do after you use these phrases to encourage and motivate? Here are three things to do that will add some real emphasis to your words:
Inspire with HOPE – convey these phrases with a belief of hope for the future. Provide concrete ideas on how this hope can come alive.
Lift up your spouse with PRAYER – your faith in God and all He can and will do can be backed up with prayer. Pray aloud, pray with your husband or wife, ask others to pray. Be a warrior. Need help learning to pray? Take a look at these ideas.
Support with ACTION – this is where your words make the greatest impact. What can you do to demonstrate what you’re saying is true? Remember – you and your husband/wife are a team. What are you doing to hold up your end of the teamwork? Be a “Dream Team” –read this to learn how!
Your ability to encourage and motivate is like any other skill. It takes practice. Each spouse is unique – every time-period is different. You know what makes all the difference? NEVER giving up!
Be thankful. Demonstrate gratitude. That’s how to get out of the rut of mid-marriage blahs.
Being thankful is one way to realize there’s “more” in marriage than you thought.
Be thankful – thankfulness makes everything new!
We encourage you and your spouse to start a habit of thankfulness – perhaps at every mealtime, you can each think of one person or thing you’ve been thankful for in that day. Do that for at least 2 weeks and see what a change of view it can cause!
Then… take action together and write a note or text that person who has brought that feeling of thankfulness to you.
thank the attentive cashier as you check out your groceries
send a Facebook “thank you” to a long-distance friend who brightens your day with their memes
PRAY for those you’re thankful for – ask God to bless them
smile and thank the person sweeping or mopping or collecting trash where ever you are
give your children a huge hug and be thankful that they are yours!
tweet a favorite writer whose prose makes a difference in your life
text your minister and thank him/her for having a servant’s heart
write a note and send it to your parents – no special occasion – just be thankful
send an email to a teacher, a co-worker, a client, your local governmental representative, another couple friend, your siblings, the person who cuts your grass, the business owner who you value…
Maybe make a list?
You probably know that Robert and I are doing the #93toJOY challenge… one of the days has a prompt to write out 100 things/people for which you’re thankful! (it’s not as hard as you’d think!)
When we did the prompt our first 50+ were all people!
Have you ever made a list of all the items you’re thankful for? Try it tonight! You’ll end up feeling really good about your life together. And then take action to write a few notes, or send emails or texts or shout out on Facebook or Instagram to those people on your list. Rob and I are going to be taking those names on our list and reaching out this weekend!
Join us on the #93toJOY journey!
#93toJOY is for when life isn’t as easy, isn’t as fun, and you’re not feeling connected with your spouse in the way you’d like. Learn more HERE. We put photos on our Instagram account (http://instagram.com/Robert_and_Lori) with the hashtag #93toJOY – take a look!
Be thankful! Leave a comment on what you’re thankful for today!
Touching makes a difference in marriage – Get back in touch with your spouse!
We can get out of the habit of touching. Maybe you have small children who fill your arms all day (and night)? Don’t forget your spouse! Your husband or wife still needs your loving touch no matter how long you’ve been married.
Lots of opportunities…
Sight is found in one body part – the eyes. And hearing, taste, and smell are each attached to a specific part of the body.
But the ability to feel – our sense of touch – is found on every square inch of a healthy body.
David Ginty, Ph.D., professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins
Surprised? No, I didn’t think so. You know how rich the sense of touch is.
You’ve run your fingers through your spouse’s hair or tickled her/him or traced eyebrows with a gentle finger. You’ve wrapped your arms around your spouse and hugged till they squeaked.
Touching has many hues – just like color.
Every nerve ending in our skin has the ability to feel. In another study in 2006, the participants were able to decode emotions from a single touch on the forearm, all while blindfolded. They were able to detect anger, fear, love, gratitude and sympathy from a simple touch.
Touch Your Spouse Today
Make it into a game. Take 10 coins and put them in one pocket. Each time you touch your spouse, transfer one coin to the other pocket till the first is empty and this way you’ll be sure you’ve touched your spouse at least ten times that day!
In what way does your spouse like to be touched? (Before you get to those intimate touches ;-) )
Feel free. By the time you’ve reached the mid-marriage stage, you’ve tried lots of things and collected many items that match hobbies in which you’re no longer active. Now what? Here’s our experience… Click below to WATCH!
Blue Ocean Strategy Quadrants – Feel Free
Maybe make your own list of things in four quadrants… What would you list toward making you and your spouse feel free? Just pull out a piece of paper and begin!
Do More – What will you do more of?
Do Less – What will you do less of?
Start Doing – What will you start doing?
Stop Doing – What will you stop doing?
Be liberal here. It’s just words on a piece of paper. Imagine what letting go of some of these hobbies or activities might feel like. Are they still relevant in the life you’re leading now? What about all the stuff that you’ve collected that are in boxes or containers, or leaning against the wall in the garage? Would it feel good to do some yes/no decision making?
You’re not the people you were 10 or 20 years ago… Just sayin’. 😉
No Guilt – Feel Free
Robert spoke of the term “sunk cost”, and how we need to look at the money we’ve already spent to purchase items associated with hobbies as a sunk cost. It’s been spent. Move on.
In economics and business decision-making, a sunk cost is a cost that has already been incurred and cannot be recovered. Sunk costs (also known as retrospective costs) are sometimes contrasted with prospective costs, which are future costs that may be incurred or changed if an action is taken. – from Wikipedia
There’s no need to feel guilt about these items if you choose to stop doing something. Perhaps you can sell some items (see this post on how to downsize) or give them away so others can make use of your items from past hobbies. You’re not doing yourself any good by hanging onto things which don’t serve you well in this season!
The nicest part of stopping doing something, and letting go of the items associated with it, is the sense of freedom that action provokes. There’s a lightness, a release, and a satisfaction to calling something “done”.
Are you dragging? Maybe it’s time to reduce the friction and resistance! 😉
One caveat about neatness:
Make it about caring not control!Robert wrote a post from his perspective during our series on Values in Marriage.
Being neat reduces the friction and resistance in marriage.
As we mentioned in our 9th mid-marriage video, Robert is the neat one in our relationship. Me? Not so much! However, I have improved because of the two suggestions in our video.
Moving is good for one (of many) things: it forces you to look at all you own.
Each time we moved – from Canada to Texas, and from Texas to North Carolina and finally into an RV – we had to assess each item and decide if it still fit into our lives. Most times the answer was a resounding “Nope.”
Have you faced a move recently? How much did you choose to donate, sell and/or throw away?
Ways to Reduce Friction and Resistance
Maybe you don’t need to wait till a move? Maybe you could begin this process now?
#1 Donate – Toss – Sell
This is exactly as it sounds. Take three bags or boxes and walk through your house, choosing things to donate, toss in the garbage or sell. Don’t be hard on yourself. Just begin.
When and what should you sell or donate? The obvious answer is to sell stuff to make some money if you’re not using it. However, it’s not always that obvious… the same is true for when and what to donate! Here are ideas from the “Get Organized Wizard”:
When you’re decluttering, only allocate something to the ‘Sell’ pile if:
1. It’s worth more than it would cost to organize the sale (list online, hold a garage sale, etc), and
2. You can be bothered to do the work to organize the sale.
The second point is crucial. If you know you’re unlikely to ever get around to doing what’s needed to sell your items, then save yourself time and guilt and don’t tell yourself you’ll sell.
Only allocate something to the ‘Donate’ pile if:
It’s in good condition and/or
It’s sell-worthy, but you can’t be bothered to sell it.
We did sell some items but donated quite a bit when we moved out of the house. It was easier to live in 282 square feet without that friction and resistance!
#2 – the habit of tidying up each day
I found “The FlyLady” many years ago. (It might even have been before we moved to the United States. Wow – that was in 2000.) She had created a system to make it a process to keep your space tidy. I found it easier to homeschool because she was all about small steps, and daily actions. Her ideas really helped me, so I thought I’d share… these are only three of many ideas.
Shine your sink – this is your first task as a FlyBaby, and also the foundation of FlyLady. It all begins with a shiny sink!
Getting dressed to shoes – FlyLady believes that you feel and act differently when you are completely dressed with shoes on your feet, even if you’re not leaving the house. It makes you feel ready to go!
Declutter 15 minutes a day– FlyLady’s principle is that anyone can do anything for 15 minutes. Just set a timer and declutter something for 15 minutes, and then stop when the timer goes off!
Her foundational system is through an email a day which costs nothing. If you’d prefer, there’s an app, but that has a monthly cost. Look through her site, and try the emails for a week or so. You might be surprised.
When should you reduce the friction and resistance in your life?
Again, this might seem obvious. Maybe it’s not. Think about it…
Perhaps you haven’t truly considered why you’re feeling annoyed with your space or your spouse.
You may not need a larger house. Or a different spouse! 😉
Maybe all you need is to cut out some of the drag resulting from too much stuff! (Just a thought.)