Here’s a really important tip. You can turn anything that’s important to you into a daily practice, whether that’s advancing your career, writing your novel, fighting for a cause, or loving your spouse. There is amazing power in getting to life’s important things in a daily way—and for most of us, that’s the only way to get to them. If we don’t do something daily, we tend not to do it ever.
The trick to a daily practice is knowing what concretely you are doing. That’s simple enough on your anniversary: a bouquet of flowers, a dinner out, and lavishing extra attention. But what would the daily practice of loving your spouse look like? It might look like any or all of the following:
+ Dropping her an email every day from work with a bit of news and the announcement that you love her. To make this a daily practice, rather than just something you do mechanically, you would take enough time crafting the email that it felt warm and real. Not a dashed off seven words—some whole sentences and some genuine sentiment.
+ Calling her every day, and not just to remind her to pick up the dry cleaning or to admonish her for something. If making such a daily call feels burdensome, that’s a warning sign that the relationship has its problems. And maybe making that daily call, even if in the beginning it feels awkward and artificial, might produce new warmth and new ardor.
+ Thinking about her every day—and maybe thinking about how she’s doing and what she might be needing. Does she have a chronic ailment? Maybe there’s something you could be researching. Has she been wanting to move to the country? Maybe there’s some Internet searching to do. Every day, you might think about what’s on her mind—and put it on your own mind, to help share the burden.
+ Being with her every day, even if only for a few minutes. It’s easy to start passing whole days and even weeks without seeing your spouse, if you’re both eating on the run, watching different shows in the evening, and on very different wavelengths. What could be simpler, more beneficial, and ultimately more loving than checking in every day for a full ten minutes, not to get a question answered (“Have you seen my green sweater?”) or to make an announcement (“I’ll be home late every evening next week”) but just to be together.
There’s an art to daily practice. Most people never learn that art or practice that art. As a result, they do a poorer job of living their life purposes than they otherwise might. If you’d like to learn more about the elements of daily practice, the varieties of daily practice available to you, and the challenges to daily practice—and what you can do to meet those challenges—please take a peek at my latest book The Power of Daily Practice. Everything you need to know is spelled out there.
It’s unlikely that you’ll start to send your spouse flowers daily. That might amount to too expensive a daily practice! On the other hand, if you do institute a daily “loving relationship” practice, doesn’t it seem likely that you’ll send her (or him) flowers rather more often? And won’t that be great for both of you?