Partner Appreciation

Happy Wife, Happy Life. You’ve probably heard this one before. What about when we’re not happy? Oy! Thank you for this (not at all) shocking HuffPost article: Study Finds That ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life’ Is Pretty Dead On.

As women, if there’s something we’re not happy about or perhaps simply chewing on, there’s a good chance our partners have heard about it, in extensive detail, over and over again. As I personally continue on this mer-journey described in Where’s The F*#king Map you better believe I’ve bent my husband’s ear ad nauseam, near to ripping the damn thing off. After all, talking it through tends to be part of our cathartic process regardless of whether our sounding board is a willing victim.

Not only has my husband been incredibly supportive while I work to figure this sh*t out but he is also an incredible twin-dad, friend, rockstar professional, stud-muffin and just a good person in general. No, the man is not perfect and there are times when I cannot stand him but most of the time I know I hit the jackpot in finding a wonderful partner. Overall, I appreciate him and though I always have room for improvement I really try to show him that I do.

Side note: Ladies, let us consider finding remarkable therapists to work with when really hefty topics are on our minds. A great therapist is worth his or her weight in gold and your relationships (partner, friends, hair stylist, waxer, etc.) will thank you for the relief.

I am a believer in the long haul and that the everyday, little forms of appreciation are what matters the most HOWEVER throwing a cherry on top and really driving the point home can really make his day. Here are a few fun ways I like to make my partner feel special. As always I welcome new ideas!

Use Your Words:

Before getting into the fancy stuff, words like:

  • Thank you
  • I appreciate you
  • I notice how much you are doing
  • You’re a wonderful father and husband
  • Your butt looks amazing
  • I find you really sexy

all make a difference. Use your words and use them often. I may know that I am loved but hearing “I Love You” or any other complimentary combination never gets old. Bonus, words are free!

Surprise Gifts:

Who doesn’t enjoy receiving a spontaneous gift? Especially a treat you wouldn’t typically buy for yourself but makes you think, WOW, they really put thought into this! Plus, score bonus points for dropping off these super do-able surprise gifts off at his workplace!

Sock Bouquet: This was one of the the best DIY surprise gifts I’ve ever brought to my husband’s work. Men have the old standby of flowers and chocolates- an oldie but a goodie. While men may enjoy flowers and chocolates, mine doesn’t love receiving them as much as I do. I asked myself, what can serve as Man Flowers? Voila! With Happy Socks en vogue this is an easy win that will surely be enjoyed plus stirring up some office envy never hurts!

Candy-Grams: I’m a pretty big fan of being cheesy and giving gifts doesn’t require spending a lot of money. My husband had put in a LOT of energy organizing our garage and was in the process of putting a shed together. It was easy for me to swing by the gas station on the way home, grab some snacks and whip out some post it notes. On my tabletop spread I had:

  • Reeses Pieces – I’d fall to Pieces without you
  • Gummy Bears – Life would be un-Bear-able without you
  • Chips – You’re all that and a bag of Chips
  • Butterfinger – Nobody better lay a finger on your Butterfinger, except me
  • Pistachios – I’m Nuts about you
  • Sour Patch Kids – You’re always sweet and never rarely Sour

Here are more fun candy-gram ideas: 30 STRAIGHTFORWARD DIY PRESENTS FOR BOYFRIEND YOU OUGHT TO MAKE WITH LOVE

Hot Shave: My husband really loves pampering. Little known fact, he got me hooked on massages and spas because he loves them too! One day I felt like splurging a little and left him a surprise on his desk at work, a gift certificate for a Hot Shave and Neck Massage from The Barber Shop. It’s a treatment he has never received before and sure to make him feel like a million bucks. I thought it would be easy for him to make a morning appointment before heading into the office or book a weekend rest and relaxation session.

Love Notes: Surprise gifts don’t have to cost much. Something as easy as a strategically placed love note or card goes a long looonnnngggg way. You can write a note or buy a cute card (one of my favorite spots for cute cards is PaperSource). Tape it to the bathroom mirror, leave it on his car seat or drop it off on his keyboard at work. These are the gifts that keep giving because they usually aren’t thrown away and will be appreciated for years to come.

Physical Touch:

Most men have Physical Touch at the top of their Love Language list. There’s room to get creative with getting physical that doesn’t always need to happen in the bedroom.

Face Treatment: If you and your partner are anything like us, a little end of the day relaxation typically takes place watching our favorite TV shows. Not only is this a great opportunity to take care of your own skin but you can show your partner some appreciation and physical touch… it’s a LOW effort way to do it and something he’d never do for himself! Throw a face mask on your partner and then yourself. Have fun and mix it up with sheet masks, clay masks, peel offs, pore strips- whatever you are feeling! Here Ty and I are enjoying my Boscia black charcoal mask.

Massage: Get out that yummy oil, ladies. Any touch is good touch. Rub, talk, connect. A massage given with love is a win every time. Bonus points for setting the mood: candles, music, etc.

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

*Home Pedicure: I’ve got to give my sister-in-law, Erin, credit for this one. She gives her husband spa pedicures. She gets the two-fer of showing her husband appreciation and ensuring her man has maintained footsies. That’s true love!

Sexy Time:

While it’s true that we don’t have to take our clothes off to have a good time, we’ll probably have fun if we do.

Now, let’s get real. As a mom with young kids, sometimes gettin’ jiggy wit it is at the bottom of my list. It’s not that sexy-time isn’t an enjoyable activity, it’s that I’m TIRED. I’ve been a human jungle gym, housekeeper, personal chef, camp counselor, chauffeur, WWE referee and basically a slave to two charming little tyrants all day, day after day. Having kids is like continually cleaning up after a party you didn’t attend.

I went from someone who adored my alone time to not even having the chance to pee by myself from before sunrise to after sunset. Sometimes I even need a break from being touched. At the end of the day, I can’t wait to veg and unfortunately intimacy ends up on the less fun To-Do list rather than on the Get-To-Do-list.

What do I suggest? Ladies, mentally schedule it. Maybe don’t tell your partner that it’s on the calendar and let them enjoy a little spontaneity. I once heard it described as planning to go out to a friend’s party. When the night approaches, you may be tired and not want to go through the fuss of getting dressed and going out. However, more than likely, you’ll get your party shoes on, head out and end up having a great night. Not to mention the wonders that a little intimacy does for your relationship and connection with your partner.

Ladies, it is completely normal to have a decreased sex drive after having kids. We are human after all and you are amongst friends. Be gentle with yourself, practice self-care and be open with your partner. Here’s a fun article with other helpful suggestions: Losing My Sex Drive After Having Kids (and How I Got It Back)

Get out there and show a little partner appreciation. It will come back to you ten-fold. Also, please share fun ideas that you have!

PS. Father’s Day is coming up in a month. I’m definitely getting this MerDad T-shirt for my rockstar hubs:

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