10 Tips for Treating Your Spouse Like Royalty

Parents, if you are looking for a way to strengthen your family, start by focusing on your spouse. Treating your spouse like royalty ? and keeping them a priority among your many relationships ? is an important and intentional choice that takes work.  Yet, this is a most important work that will serve to keep your family healthy and stable.  Here are ten tips for maintaining the “magic” between you and your spouse?

1) Keep saying “I love you.” These three little words are very powerful! Few people, if any, tire of hearing that they are loved. When you say “I love you” do your best to be giving your spouse your full attention. Make sure you mean it when you say it!!

2) Provide genuine, meaningful affirmations regularly.  “Gee, your hair smells terrific” may be appropriate, but affirmations like “You do so much to keep our family working. I can never thank you enough for all you do” are more powerful and meaningful for making your spouse feel special.  Affirmations come in all shapes and sizes: from verbal affirmations given in-person, to voicemail or e-mail messages to notes and cards.

3) Create and maintain a regular, non-negotiable date night ? just for you and your spouse. (By the way, this means time away from the kids ? and other friends.)  Relationships need one-on-one nourishment to stay healthy.  A regular date night can provide the quality and quantity of time needed to keep your relationship with your spouse strong.

4) Take a vacation together.  Same idea as the regular date night noted above.  A vacation with your spouse will provide you with more time to focus on one another and will give you opportunities to rekindle the romance in your life!

5) Give your spouse veto-power over your schedule. This empowers your spouse and sends a message that they are special.  It acknowledges the fact that your spouse is a partner with you in life ? not just another person making demands on your time.

6) Work together to learn more about marriage.  Go to marriage retreats or conferences.  Read books on marriage together and discuss what you’ve read.  You are never too old ? or have been married too long ? to work on improving your marriage.

7) Buy your spouse flowers or gifts.  Gifts don’t have to be extravagant, but should be simple reminders of how special your spouse is to you.  Keep these gifts personal, rather than practical!

8) Surprise your spouse.  For example, kidnap your spouse from work and do something you know they would enjoy. (Be sure to check with your spouse’s boss ? if they have one!)  Give gifts or flowers at totally unexpected times.

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9) If you travel away from home, try to communicate with your spouse everyday while you are away.  Phone calls are best, followed by voicemails and e-mails.  If you want to keep your spouse feeling special, don’t make comments like “This is the best time I’ve ever had in my life” even if it is.  “I really miss you” works much better!

10) Here is a list of creative dating ideas for you and your spouse? Go for a walk Work on a jigsaw puzzle Play a board game Play “hide and seek” Cook together Have an overnight campout in your yard Participate in community service or mission  Get some exercise Find some quiet space and listen to music Learn a new hobby together Fly kites Write poems and read to each other

Printed by permission of HomeWord (formerly YouthBuilders); Copyright © 2004. For additional information on HomeWord, visit www.homeword.com or call 800-397-9725.

About Jim Burns

bio-burnsJim Burns, Ph.D., is a renowned youth and family expert, an acclaimed author, and the founder of HomeWord, a radio program that reaches more than a million people across the country each day. In partnership with Azusa Pacific University, he established and now provides leadership for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family, a research and training institute offering biblically based resources for parents and youth. Under Burns, the center has become the largest provider of Christian parenting and youth seminars in the United States. His passion is communicating to adults and young people practical truths to help them live out their Christian lives. Burns is a three-time Gold Medallion Award-winning author and has written books for parents, youth workers, and students. He also speaks in person to thousands of people each year around the world. Burns and his wife, Cathy, and their daughters, Christy, Rebecca, and Heidi, live in Southern California. For more information about Burns, visit homeword.com.
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