by Texas Homesteader ~
Many who know us say we’re like newlyweds. There are several simple little things we do to keep the spark in our relationship even after over 20 years of marriage.
How Do You Keep The Spark In A Relationship?
I think once anyone gets past the brand-newness of any relationship, there’s often a shift. Not in a bad way, but in a way that requires each partner to work at the relationship to keep it strong.
Now I realize that each personality is different and what works for some won’t work for others.
But I thought I’d share a little about how RancherMan & I stay in the newlywed phase of our marriage even though we’ve surpassed our 20th wedding anniversary by several years.
Keeping The Newlywed Feelings Strong
Those who know us personally often refer to RancherMan & me as newlyweds. And I guess it’s true, I do still get a little tickle-in-my-tummy feeling just from seeing that oh-so-handsome man of mine.
We are always holding hands or touching lightly on the arm because we just wanna be that close.
And you know how some folks are afraid of spending a little too MUCH time together? Nah, that’s not us. We actually prefer to be together.
Most Important Tip For A Strong Marriage: Serve One Another
To me, serving each other and putting the other first is a huge part of staying so much in love.
There are a thousand different ways in a typical day we serve each other.
He Brings Me Coffee In The Morning
For instance, RancherMan often awakes before me. And when he does he closes the door to keep things dark & quiet in the bedroom so as not to awaken me.
Then he quietly sneaks into the kitchen and makes the coffee and pours a cup for me.
So each & every morning that he is up before me, there’s a hot steaming cup of coffee on the night table next to the bed the moment my eyes open.
He’s done that from day one. It’s just a tiny way he serves me.
I Provide Him Cold Refreshing Water
And if he’s out in the pastures on a hot summer day and I see him heading toward the house, I’ll hurriedly grab his oversized insulated tumbler, fill it with Ice & filtered water & set it on the counter for him.
That way he can have a cooling drink the moment he steps inside. It’s a tiny way I serve him.
Serving Me: Opening My Car Door
There are so many other things too. RancherMan always (and I mean ALWAYS) opens my door for me. Even when it’s cold, or raining, or hot.
Yes I’m perfectly capable of opening my own car door. But it’s a small way he serves me.
Serving Him: Preparing His Shower
And at night I typically take the first shower. But when I get out of the shower I lay his towel and night clothes out for him in preparation for his shower.
And when we’re getting ready for bed, I load up my toothbrush with toothpaste, then I load up RancherMan’s toothbrush too and set it next to the sink. It’s ready & waiting for him.
Tiny? Yes. But representative of one of the many small ways we find to serve each other every day.
Happy Marriage: Serving Each Other
We’re constantly starting our sentences with “Could I bring you …” or “Would you like …” Whatever we can do to put the other first and serve them, we do it.
And who doesn’t love feeling that important to someone? I think that’s paramount in importance in our strong relationship. It’s Rule #1: We each put each other first and ourselves last.
How To Successfully Resolve Conflict
Although I don’t believe RancherMan & I have ever had an actual fight (yes, really) we don’t always see eye to eye.
Ya know when you’re self employed, each of you have a hand in the same job to earn the income required to run your household. And sometimes the visions for success on each side don’t match exactly.
RancherMan & I have certainly had our differences of opinion. Sometimes polar opposites!
I mean, we’re not the same person – we’re gonna think differently sometimes. Here’s the way we work that out.
Each of us listens to the other’s point of view. And not just plotting out our response, but really listening.
Then the other partner has an opportunity to voice their point of view. If there’s just no meeting in the middle, RancherMan & I typically decide whose way of thinking matters to them the most.
Sometimes for one of us it’s just a preference to do something one way while for the other it’s much more important to them in this circumstance to do it their way instead.
If it means more to me than to him, he concedes and we do things my way. If it means more to him than to me, I concede. We have to be honest with ourselves here, but we’ve always been able to do that.
But it’s never a power struggle where we want to win just to say we won! Of course it helps that our #1 goal is to serve each other, so we never get into a battle of will.
Happy Marriage Tip: Speak Kindly Even In Disagreement
This is important too. When differences of opinion are being discussed, it’s easy for a passionate point of view to alter our tone in an unintended way.
But we each remember that our tone of voice and the words we choose when speaking to each other can either be beneficial or counterproductive to resolution.
Think about how you would you feel if aggressive words or tone of voice were being aimed at you. You’d feel attacked, right? Even if that wasn’t the intention.
But doesn’t that just put you immediately on the defensive? Who’s gonna benefit with that? My guess is neither side. I guarantee your partner feels the same.
Happy Marriage During Conflict: Being Heard & Understood
The words we use (and yes, even tone of voice) are important when dealing with differences. There’s no quicker way to turn the other side to deaf ears than an aggressive ‘My way or nothing’ speech.
You’re partners. Speaking kindly to each other even during an impassioned conversation goes a long way in getting your opinion heard & understood.
Remind Them You Love Them, Scribble Messages of Love
Sometimes I write a quick note to RancherMan & tuck it into his coat pocket where he’ll find it some other time.
Or I write love notes using soap on the bathroom mirror.
It’s just a short & sweet way to let him know I still think he’s da bomb. But it’s not just me whispering sweet nothings.
Sometimes RancherMan will text a sweet sentiment about how he misses me as he’s sitting in a meeting somewhere.
Or when he’s out in his hunting stand watching a gorgeous sunset, he’ll text a photo of that beauty along with a short & sweet love note to me.
I think it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and take your partner for granted. These tiny little languages of love lets your partner know you’re thinking about them.
Partner Up For A Happy Marriage!
To keep from feeling unbalanced with the workload, we partner up with them. For the most part, we don’t have specific his & hers chores.
Yes, he typically mows the grass and I typically tend to the garden. But our chores are often done side-by-side and are pretty evenly split.
On laundry day he’s loading up the washing machine & hanging out the laundry just the same as me, often doing it together side-by-side.
And when it’s time to prepare supper, he’s almost always in the kitchen with me dicing, slicing or cooking. And when supper’s done we’re both in the kitchen cleaning up the dishes.
On the flip side when it’s time to work the cows or mow the pastures, we’re both tasked with those chores too.
I’ll spend hours bouncing around the pastures on my tractor mowing or dealing with pasture weeds or fixing fences the same as he does. Again, often side-by-side.
Having both of us involved equally in the chores means no one is left feeling like they do all the drudgery work. I mean, many hands make light work #amiright?
Plus I think we just like being together, so there’s that… 😀
Making Time For Each Other
I get it. Life is busy, y’all! RancherMan & I work together running a 100-acre homestead. Bees, cattle, garden, chickens all vie for our time. Then there’s fence work, pasture work, home cooking and more. It seems there’s not enough hours in the day!
Still RancherMan & I carve out special time to focus on our relationship and our marriage. Maybe it’s dinner and a movie, maybe it’s a concert, or a fun fair. Sometimes it’s a Romantic Overnight Stay.
But it’s planned and scheduled. We push work aside and spend time together on a regular basis.
I encourage you to read how we Find Time For Each Other In A Busy Life. It’s easy but it’s important, y’all!
Enjoying A Strong Marriage
So there ya have it. It’s just a few of the ways that RancherMan & I have enjoyed many years of wedded bliss so far, with many, MANY more to come.
If you’re feeling frustrated by small things in your relationship, give a few of these tips a try and see if it doesn’t make a difference in your marriage too.
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- How RancherMan & I Keep The Spark In Our Marriage
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- The Power Of Love: Helping Neighbors In Need
- Paying It Forward, In REAL Life
- Many Flowers Make A More Beautiful Bouquet
- The Ripple Effect: How You Affect Others
- Pursuit of… HAPPINESS
- The Garden That ‘LOVE’ Planted
- Living Life With NO Regrets
- A Comforting Tradition When Times Are Tough
- Showing Love In A Time Of Sorrow
- Meal Ideas When Bringing Food To A Family
- Finding Time For Each Other In Busy Days
…and MANY MORE!
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Thank you for sharing your story and Happy 20th Anniversary! I was rebellious so my husband and I struggeled early on, but when I learned submission, what true love was and serving, our marriage became complete. We have been married 41 years and also work together, milked cows 32 years together and now run beef. Wouldn’t change a thing. Love is a beautiful thing!
We appreciate all you share, works to make us strive to be better at what we do.
I think that’s why our #1 rule is to serve each other, Teresa. Neither of us feel undermined, we always feel like equals. There are going to be differences of opinion and yes, even irritations. We’re two different people sometimes seeing things 2 different ways. But making sure to 1st serve each other works for us. Congrats on your 41 years of marriage! And you’re so right – working together each day sure can be a wonderful thing! ~TxH~
Oh…..so that’s who he was texting during the meetings at the church….just kidding, if I remember correctly you were also there. Anyway, I didn’t realize it was 20 years. Time flies when you’re having fun!
LOL Nancy. And yeah, he’s texted me little love notes from various meeting locales. 😀 ~TxH~
Congratulations on your upcoming 20th anniversary. Come next June, will be having / celebrating our 50th. How time flies. Really doesn’t seem like it should be 50years.
I loved reading this between your & Rancherman.
Every couple has their ups and downs and must learn to forgive and forget and not bring up the past. Can’t change the past but sure can try and make the future better for both.
More of these younger couple need to read your lovely love story Most young couples now days just don’t know how to work Together.
Marriage isn’t about thinking alike, but learning to think well together and to appreciate one another.
Thanks for sharing your wonderful love story and wishing you & Rancherman many, many more years.
Thank you sweet girl. You’re right, things won’t be perfect, but if both of you are working together things go so much more smoothly. Congrats on your upcoming 50th – wow! ~TxH~
Thank you for your story, I wish I had done these things 50 years ago, We ( I ) were so young and stupid, we wasted our marriage and worst of all our kids young years. Ive cursed myself over this for ages, now its too late. I often wonder how I could of been so dumb. I hope some people will see your story and benefit from it.
Oh Jack, your story pulls at my heart – I’m so sorry. Let the past go, you can’t change it anyway. May your future be bright! ~TxH~
I have been following your blog for quite a while now, and in all the pictures you post and the words you write, I see the love you have for each other. Love also means respect and concern for each other, and I see that, too. Love means facing the bad stuff together, and I see that as well, especially after reading about your health issues. I read your blog not only for the information you share about saving money, reducing waste, etc., but also because you two are my favorite love story 🙂 Congrats on many good years, Karen
OMGoodness Karen!! Your sweet words have brought a smile to my face – thank you!! I read your comment to RancherMan, he’s touched as well… Thank you for your kind words, and thank you for being a valuable follower along this simple-living path we’re on. ~TxH~
Happy 20th ! My husband and I will be celebrating our 20th in Feb 2019. I also still get a warm rush of love when I see or think about my husband. The first couple of years we were married, we also worked together (on the same project for the same government contractor). I enjoyed being with him day and night. 8 years ago, I lost my job in Arizona and my mom went into assisted living in Texas. We talked it over, and I moved to Texas where I could get a good job (and where we hope to retire) and spend more time with my mom. For 4 years we only saw each other a few times a year. Thankfully, I approached my company about working from Arizona (where his job still is) part of the time, and now I travel back and forth for 4-6 weeks at a stretch. People ask me how we manage being apart – and I don’t have a real secret, except that we love each other and are committed to making our marriage work no matter what. Those ‘tiny ways’ loom large for us – an unexpected text just saying ‘love you’ or ‘thinking of you’, having the house (reasonably, lol) clean when I arrive in Arizona after the long drive from Texas, stocking his freezer with ready-to-warm dinners before I leave – just ways to remind each other that we love each other and are thinking of the other even when we’re apart. I write something on his vanity mirror with a dry erase marker every time I leave, too – he likes to leave me sticky notes 🙂 Congratulations on your happy marriage, and I hope you continue to have health and happiness for many more years – and thank you for giving me pause to think about how fortunate I am to have found the right partner for me!
For RancherMan & me, sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference in the world for us. ~TxH~
Your story is so heartwarming. I love your relationship! You set a good example and bring hope to many that a good partnership like yours does exist and can exist. Thank you for sharing this with us.
What a sweet comment Shelley. Thank you!! ~TxH~
Oh Thankyou soo much for sharing. My husband and I are having lots of issues in our marriage..I am hoping some of Your amazingly loving actions will help us.
Oh Sharon, I’m so sorry. The heartache of struggling in your marriage is harsh. (HUGS) It takes two, girl. You can’t do it on your own. BUT, do some of these little things to show him you love him. I’m guessing it will be noticed and appreciated, and hopefully result in him showing and doing these little things for you too. Remember what brought you two together in the first place. As you both show your partner how important they are, it can’t help but to be a good thing, huh? Baby steps. A prayer for you both has just been sent up. Don’t give up! ~TxH~