In January, Ladies’ Home Journal Magazine (LHJ) asked what little things “you and your spouse do for each other” that make the marriage special. My husband and I had fun putting together our list to send in, reminding each other of little things the other had done that made us smile.
When we heard back from LHJ, weeks later, notifying us that we had made an initial cut and were being considered to be included in their article, I was pretty sure I knew why. I figured they must have been as impressed as I was that Steve had once used fertilizer to spell out ‘I love you’ in the yard so that his message would ‘green up’ in the spring. Or it could have been his “I [heart] you” drizzled in icing on a toaster strudel that had them following up with us. Maybe even that my wifely dedication was so strong that I made Steve his favorite oatmeal raisin cookies in spite of the fact that raisins are disgusting.
I found out just how wrong I was months later when LHJ contacted us for photos, thus confirming we would be in the article. What got included in our blurb, as well as gestures attributed to the other happily married couples quoted in the article, were plain vanilla kindness. The little, seemingly insignificant acts that let our mates know they’re special – whether married two years, 70 years, or anything in between.
If you get a chance, check out the article. You won’t be bowled over by showy romantic gestures that wowed a spouse. But you will be able to relate to these married couples. You may read some clips and realize you do those little things that add up to longevity. You may see simple acts that you can incorporate into your own relationship. You may be inspired to come up with additional acts of kindness to honor your own spouse.
While I was initially delighted that our ‘grand acts’ of love toward each other would be celebrated, my review of what was actually included in our little corner of page 26 was a wonderful reminder. It’s not the occasional grand act that sustains us in marriage (although those can be very nice) but the little acts of kindness and love we demonstrate toward each other in our daily lives that accumulate to propel us toward an enjoyable longevity.