For better or worse, ‘til death do us part. Some of the first words you promise to
your spouse. This is the foundation of a lifetime together.

Then comes the honeymoon.

Change of duty stations.




Suddenly there is so much more than just man and wife in your life. I don’t know
how many times I thought to myself, “Who is actually in this relationship right
now?”. There were times I felt like I couldn’t make a decision about my life without
asking what my mother, brother, or even kids thought.

Then, my grandmother passed away a few years ago and at her funeral, my cousin
told a story about when he was getting married my grandmother told him and his
wife that the key to a lasting love is putting your spouse above everyone else.

It really caught me. Those words really stuck out as I looked at my husband, my
then 3 children, and the 7 years of marriage we already had under our belt. Our
family was slowly becoming child centered and I was realizing I was doing
everything revolving around our kids.

We rarely went on dates.

Alone time was nonexistent.

I listened to my mother’s advice more than asking his opinion.

I treated him like he was just another one of my kids.

I realized that this was a recipe for disaster. So we sat down and talked it out to find
ways to make sure we are top priorities in each other’s lives. We found some ways
to make sure we are at the top of each other’s list everyday and here are the ways.

1. Say “I Love You” every chance you have.
We say I love you at least 10 times a day. Whenever we talk on the phone, and
pretty much before ending conversations. We show each other love with words and
actions to make sure we both know how much we mean to each other.

2. Always give a kiss goodbye.
Every morning my husband leaves for work (even if I’m dead asleep) he makes an
effort to give me a kiss before he leaves. I, in turn, do the same anytime I leave.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder and the kiss before the departure makes it
that much more sweet!

3. Date nights out twice a month.

Whenever my spouse is not deployed, we make it a point to have a date night twice
a month. It may just be making a fire in our fire pit out back and having a glass of
wine. Sometimes we even get all dressed up and go out to eat or catch a movie.
Just last week we went to an amazing beer fest. Make time for adult time without
other family members and just focus on the two of you!

4. Date nights in twice a week.
We have found TV shows and movies that we can enjoy together. So after work a
few nights a week, we watch an episode or have a Friday night movie night. Again,
it’s about having time with just the two of us.

5. Always listen at the end of the day.
My spouse and I always make it a point to talk about our days before dinner.
Conversations over dinner are typically centered on how the kids’ days were, so
before dinner we make sure to connect and see how each other’s days have been.
Even if he is deployed, I make sure to send emails telling him about our day.
*Seasoned spouse tip- If you have a submariner (and this may help for other
military as well) be sure to number your emails. Sometimes emails aren’t received
in order and numbering them helps them stay in order.

I have seen so many of my friends and family go through divorce that I knew I
wanted to do everything I could to be sure I was in a marriage where we put each
other first. We have grown so much over the last 5 years as a family and even so
much more as man and wife.

So tell me, what are you doing to put your spouse first, or how do they put you first?