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Happy Anniversary! Inexpensive, Fun Ways to Celebrate

Today is my 13th wedding anniversary with Husband! In honor of this day I thought I would post some great anniversary ideas that are fun and inexpensive:

#1. Look through your wedding photos or video.

#2. Recite your original wedding vows or make up new one that fit your life now.

#3. Write down the reasons you still love you each other. Share the list.

#4. Dance to all your songs from dating and your wedding. We keep a playlist called “Our Love Story” that includes songs from our dating days to contemporary songs that suit us now.

#5. Take stock of your relationship. Go through these 50 questions with your spouse, preferably over dinner or in bed.

#6. Go through the 10 Things to Do to Improve Your Marriage

#7. Recreate your wedding night menu or your wedding cake. Have fun making it together!

#8. Getting married is an adventure! Celebrate by doing something adventurous. Go canoeing, rock climbing, hiking, bungee jumping (I would never do that one!), sky diving…something adventurous that you have never done together before.

#9. Swap babysitting with friends who have an anniversary near yours to get a whole night kid free.

#10. Have fun putting together a slide show or movie of the highlights from your dating and married years.

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Love Your Husband His Way, Not Yours

So I don’t have to tell you that men and women are different. We think and process differently, and that includes how we give and receive love. Men receive love through the filter of respect, which is a foreign language to most women. We don’t understand why our care and service isn’t received as love by our man, and why he doesn’t do these things in return. So how can we love our husbands through his filter of respect?

#1. Offer words of respect and affirmation regularly. Tell your husband things that he does that you admire and respect. Include praise for his work and provision for your family (even if you work outside the home and bring home a paycheck too). A man’s identity is tied to his work and provision for his family in ways we wives don’t fully understand. Giving him encouragement and respect in this area can make a man soar, and can turn his going to a job he hates into something he happily does    because he knows you support and respect his work.

#2. Greet him when he comes home. Stop what you are doing, get up, and greet him. Welcome him home, kiss him (so he knows you mean it), and ask about his day. While I really don’t want my husband to stop dealing with the kids or chores when I come into a room, he really does want me to do this and sees it as disrespect when I don’t.

#3. Initiate and enjoy sex. Husbands want a willing partner and one of the best ways to show him love in his language is to initiate and enjoy your sex life. Read books (see Must Reads! for ideas). Spend money on your nighttime wardrobe. You may see it as silly but it is never silly to invest in your marriage. I promise this one will be worth it in more ways that one!A happy husband is more willing to help around the house and do things (like shopping or looking at antiques) that you want to do. But be careful not to use this as a way to get him to do things. That will only breed resentment. Remember, husbands view sex as the method to communicate love, intimacy, and connection. We we don’t regularly come together with our husband we leave him open and vulnerable to all kinds of spiritual and physical attacks. Great sex is a weapon to keep those attacks at bay!

#4. Respect him in front of the kids and expect them to do the same. My husband lights up when I offer respect to him in front of our kids or when I correct their disrespect of him. That let’s him know I am serious about respecting and loving him.

#5. Do not badmouth or gossip about your husband…to anyone! He will find out if you speak ill of him to friends and family. Commit to saying only good things about your man to others and refuse to engage in sessions of “man-bashing”. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything!

How do you offer respect to your husband? Share your ideas in the comments!