Whether you’re happy as a clam or your marriage is a bit testy, these small but meaningful gestures will make a big difference for your relationship. Put a smile on the face of those you love and start spreading some joy.
We’re all struggling with something as the pandemic forges ahead. Many Americans have lost their jobs, or at least have experienced a temporary furlough. This has likely caused financial hardship, which in turn can cause stress and even depression. Furthermore, many of us have lost the creative and social outlets that we depend on. Being forced to stay home takes it toll. Our typical plans, as well as our large scale ones, have been completely derailed. This naturally has resulted in mental health struggles and turmoil that is easily taken out on those closest to you.
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While we often feel as if we must be gentler and more conciliatory with our children and our blood relatives like siblings, this isn’t always the case when we’re dealing with our spouses. The pandemic is already a contributing factor to hundreds of thousands of deaths and long-term illnesses, but it could potentially become a major contributing factor to the 40 to 50% of American marriages that end in divorce. Make sure you aren’t falling into that hole by ignoring easy ways to improve your relationship.
There are a number of reasons why the pandemic is contributing to divorces. Financial hardship makes married couples more stressed, and therefore more resentful of one another. Quarantine conditions are forcing them, during an already stressful time, to be in constant close proximity with one another. Do you need the “breaks” that married couples usually get throughout the day?
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Though a romantic view of marriage may lead some to believe that married couples should love to be together at all times, the reality is rather different. Everyone needs some space from their loved ones. It’s healthy! Therefore, in the absence of being able to act healthily in this normal way, we must compensate in other ways to save our marriages.
Fortunately, there are a number of small gestures that can have great meaning, especially in the midst of such a dark era. You don’t have to dip into funds that you don’t have in order to save your marriage during the pandemic. Its truly the thought that counts and how you present your gesture. Here are four things we can all do to keep our marriage as healthy as possible during the pandemic.
Small But Meaningful Gestures
1. Send Flowers
Let’s start with an easy and obvious one. Sending flowers is a small, often inexpensive gesture that can make a major difference to someone who is stressed out and feeling neglected. For that matter, flowers are remarkably popular, even among people who might not seem traditionally romantic. An estimated 83% of people like to unexpectedly receive flowers. It’s the kind of gift that isn’t extravagant, but can be displayed and appreciated for days or weeks. The fact is, people enjoy receiving something that isn’t in any way practical, and flowers are just that. They’re purely given as gestures, and those gestures can mean a lot.
There are a number of different meanings that come from different types of flowers. Though 86% of people report that receiving flowers makes them feel special, they’ll feel even more special knowing that you put thought into the bouquet. Consult a florist so that you can make sure that the flowers you send carry the right kind of message.
2. Bring Them Coffee In the Morning
Chances are that one or both of you has a caffeine addiction. If you don’t drink coffee, then you probably drink tea. A small gesture that can make a person feel more cared about in their marriage is bringing them their morning coffee or tea. It doesn’t take quite as much work as breakfast in bed, which can be difficult to balance if you also need to start work. But it can brighten your spouse’s day right as they wake up and start the morning on a fresh note for the two of you.
3. Write Love Notes
It doesn’t take a lot of effort to write a love note for your partner. All you need to do is write down something sweet, short, and sentimental. You don’t need to write perfect poetry, nor do you need to write something the length of a novel. Just say something from the heart. You can either leave this for your partner with another gesture, like the flowers or the coffee, or you can do what a lot of people like to do. Leave the notes around the house for them to find unexpectedly! Your spouse will stumble upon the note in the middle of the day and instantly feel better.
4. Take a Small Trip, or Improvise One
Right now, traveling is somewhat difficult. But you can travel for the weekend within your state without issue, making it a perfect time to get away. You still must be careful about where you’re staying during your travels, but research is plentiful. An Airbnb, for example, must be carefully vetted for its cleanliness. You may be more comfortable staying in a hotel, where you know there is a very professional cleaning process, but that comes with more people. Choose what’s right for you both and take a break from your typical environment. You also even seek a break by camping out, if you’d rather not spend money on a hotel. This makes social distancing even easier!
It’s understandable if you and your spouse are not overly fond of each other right now, but don’t let that hole turn into a chasm. There are a lot of issues that can lead to stress in your marriage and the tension to follow. But tension doesn’t mean that your marriage needs to go down the drain. Be kind to each other and make small efforts, neither financially nor emotionally taxing, to make a big difference for your marriage.
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