Last night, I took my husband on a date to the new Star Wars movie. Confession #1: I’m not a big Star Wars fan. Confession #2: I fell asleep after the first 15 minutes– partly, because I am pregnant and exhausted all the time, but mostly because my brain has somehow programmed itself to fall asleep any time I try to watch a movie. In fact, really going to the movies for me is just the equivalent of a really expensive nap.
But my husband loves going to movies, and when I suggested the night before that we should go on a date, he mentioned there might be some early release showings of the new Star Wars movie that night. So, the next day I got online and found a theater playing it at a time that would work with his schedule and bought the tickets early in case they might sell out. Then, I sent him a text telling him where and when to meet me for dinner and a movie. And I didn’t really think anything of it.
But, while we were sitting at dinner waiting for our food, he had this little adorable smile on his face and I asked him why. He said, “You really love me, don’t you? Like, I know you love me, but you really took care of me today. You must really love me.” I was surprised that me buying some movie tickets to a movie he really wanted to see sent such a strong message of love to him, but I was a little teary when I told him, “Yeah. I really do.” Because I do really, really love him. He’s pretty much my fav.
And it made me think, it is just little things that make up a happy marriage in the end. Well, obviously there are the big things too– you know, don’t cheat on your spouse or abuse them in anyway. But, in the nitty gritty of everyday married life, it is the little things we do for each other because we genuinely care about the other person’s well-being and because their happiness brings us happiness, that make all the difference.
I don’t need expensive jewelry, bouquets of flowers, and boxes of chocolates to know that my husband really loves me. Okay, you can give me chocolate if you want. But, when he lets me take a nap and watches the kids for a while, or helps me clean up before bed after a long day, or rubs my neck when I have a headache, or cleans out my car that the kids have trashed– those are the times when I really know he loves me and when I feel a deep gratitude and love for him.
When he plays with our kids in a way that I will never be able to, when they excitedly run toward him and he scoops them up in his arms when he walks in the door at the end of the day and my heart melts, when he’s the one who suggests that we wake up earlier and have scriptures and prayer time as a family before I take all the kids to school because he wants to teach them truth and arm them with goodness before they head out into the world each day, those are the things that show me he loves me and the life we’ve created together and that fill my heart to overflowing with love for him.
A wise man once said, “I am satisfied that a happy marriage is not so much a matter of romance as it is an anxious concern for the comfort and well-being of one’s companion.” So, when your marriage is struggling, remember it is the little things. And the more you do the little things for your spouse, usually, over time, with patience and consistency, the more they will do the little things for you, until soon, you will have renewed the love you already had for each other that just got lost in all the other little and big things life threw at you.