What Makes My Marriage Tick?

by Amelia Old

While my husband and I have only been together 1 yr and 10 months, we have a relationship that seems much longer.  And even with only 7 months of marriage under our belt, I still get the question….”What makes your marriage tick?” After all, we do come from very different backgrounds…me being raised in the South and he being from the U.K. I’ve found the cultures to be very different. And outsiders see how great we get along. We are best friends that do everything together.  I can’t tell you how many times I hear “oh my husband won’t do that” or “my wife won’t do this”. Um WHY NOT?! It’s a marriage. It’s a team effort. It’s a partnership.

We do have to work at what we have. It doesn’t just “happen” and it’s not always easy….just like any other marriage.


So, what are five things (not the ONLY things…just five) that make our marriage tick? How do we keep our lines of communication open?  How do we show love and appreciation?

Appreciation Journal:

We have a red journal that we use to leave notes for one another. This doesn’t happen daily or even weekly but when I see that red journal lying on my pillow….I know my husband has something to say out of adoration and encouragement. These notes are to remind the other of just how special they are, to encourage and to even show praises during those moments in our life where we meet great accomplishment.

  6a0134862984b3970c019b01564fb4970b-piPhoto by Robert Christopher

40 Second Hug:

Go ahead and laugh…..we took this recommendation from someone and the first thing my husband does is turn it into the “40 second hump”…..hump…..hug….whatever….the point is….One of us will walk in the door after a really long day or even after a slight disagreement….then we go in for the 40 second hug/hump (LOL)…..it starts out sweet then we break out into laughter because of how silly we feel trying to wait out an entire 40 seconds. That’s a LONG hug when you have a ton of other things going on. But again, it works. It brings love and laughter together.



Sound impersonal? Not for us. If we have a disagreement, rather than unnecessary yelling…..we cool off and send an email. When reading, this gives the other time to let their spouses opinion really sink in. Doesn’t mean we’ll agree with every word he/she says. But think about it….if you are arguing/yelling….you don’t HEAR what the other person is saying because it’s in the heat of the moment. You are ignoring half of what they are saying and only focusing on getting your point across. I’ll admit that it’s me usually explaining myself more in an email than him but it works because he’s able to read it and say “I get it now”.


Cuddle time in the a.m:

Sounds cheesy…I know…but set your alarm for 10-15 minutes earlier than what you normally would. This gives you a chance to put your arms around your spouse and just embrace the love you have for one another. This is just a few minutes together before your day starts to get you off to a great start. I can assure you that my day is never started with how annoyed I am with my spouse. I only have love and appreciation and am constantly thanking God for blessing me with my husband.


1 hour away together:

Let’s face it, once you become a parent…date night rarely exists. But in reality, you can make it exist.  We do have a 14 year old, so if we need to run out quickly she can watch the younger children. So, once a week…we make it a point to get out of the house even for a hour together. It could be going to the store together, stopping for a drink or running another errand. Don’t have anyone to watch your children? That’s ok too. Other options are to sit in the same room (t.v. off) and just chat about your day. We also record our favorite shows and only watch them together after the children have gone to bed. This is our time together. We have to make the most of the private moments.

 The most important thing to remember is that all of the above is about appreciation. Showing appreciation and respect to your spouse. That’s what makes our marriage tick. We are by no means experts and yes we are only in our first year of marriage but I’d say we are off to a pretty good start.

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Amanda Cabe November 20, 2013 - 10:38 am

I love this list! I also totally agree with all of it. It’s funny because I have never had anyone else suggest email. Mike and I have done that for years and have resolved some major issues at times. It does allow each of us to be heard. And the hour a week…that’s easy and one we DON’T do often enough. Great suggestion!!

Catherine January 29, 2014 - 6:32 pm

I love your list and think these 5 things are an excellent way to cement your marriage. The journal is such a beautiful idea as so often we can just get so busy with life we forget to say nice things to each other to let our partner know that they’re special! Really enjoyed this post, thanks! 🙂


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