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10 Tiny Gestures to Show Your Spouse They Matter

Girl sits on an old building railing and smiles to guy standing opposite to her.

How do you show your spouse they matter when life with kids is hectic? Parenthood is a beautiful, messy whirlwind. Between diaper changes, feedings, and endless baby schedules, it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos.

Unfortunately, we often lose sight of our spouse, who is also navigating the same storm with us. We forget that they need our love and attention, too. After all, they will be by your side when the kids grow up and fly the nest.

So, to keep that bond strong, invest in your relationship with them just as much as you do with your children. Pin, save, or share the image below to remind yourself of these tiny gestures that can impact your bond.

A Pinterest photo with a green theme, an illustration of a couple, and the text "10 Tiny Gestures to Show Your Spouse They Matter, Amid the Chaos of Parenthood."

10 Small Gestures to Show Your Spouse They Matter

1. Say Thank You

A banner with green theme and the text "Say Thank You."

This might seem simple, but how often do you genuinely say “thank you” to your spouse? Show appreciation for the little things, like making dinner or doing laundry while you handle the kids. Gratitude goes a long way in keeping your relationship strong.1 Remember, it’s the little things that count.

2. Give Them a Hug

A banner with a hugging man and woman and the text "Give Them a Hug."

Take a minute out of your busy day to wrap your arms around your spouse and hug them. Physical touch is an essential aspect of any relationship.2 Unfortunately, it’s easy to overlook in the thick of parenting. A hug can bring warmth and comfort, reminding them they are loved and appreciated.

3. Plan a Date Night

A banner with green theme, wine glasses toasting, and the text "Plan A Date Night."

Finding time for just the two of you is hard, especially with kids in the mix. But making an effort to plan a date night, whether once a week or once a month, shows your spouse they matter. Even if it’s just ordering takeout and watching a movie at home, make the time to reconnect and have fun together.

4. Compliment Them

A banner with green theme, a man and a woman smiling at each other, and the text "Compliment Them."

Everyone loves receiving compliments, and your spouse is no exception. Take a moment to notice something they’ve done or how they look, and tell them what you appreciate. It could be as simple as “Your hair looks great today” or “Thanks for fixing that leaky faucet.” These small words of affirmation can make your spouse feel seen and valued.

5. Have Open Communication

A banner with a woman similing at a man and the text "Have Open Talks."

Communication is key in any relationship, but it can often get lost in the chaos of parenting. Make an effort to have open and honest conversations with your spouse regularly. Check in with each other about how you’re feeling and if any issues need to be addressed. This will help prevent resentment and keep your relationship strong.

6. Laugh Together

A banner with green theme, Asian man and woman grinning at each other, and the text "Laugh Together."

Laughter truly is the best medicine, especially in a busy and stressful life.3 This is actually one of the many things I enjoy doing with my husband. So, share a joke, watch a funny movie or TV show, or reminisce about a funny memory together. Laughter can bring you closer and remind you of the joy in your relationship.

7. Appreciate Their Efforts

A banner with green theme, a man with his hand on a woman's shoulder at the beach, and the text "Appreciate Their Efforts."

Parenting is hard work, and sometimes it can feel like no one notices all the effort we put in. Therefore, take time to acknowledge and appreciate your spouse’s efforts in parenting. Thank them for all they do, and tell them you appreciate their contributions to your family. Remind them this every day, too.

8. Try Something New Together

A banner with a man and a woman wearing snorkling tools and the text "Try Something New Together."

Spice up your date nights by trying something new together. It could be a new restaurant, an activity you’ve never done before, or even just taking a different route on your usual walk. Trying new things can bring excitement and adventure back into your relationship. And while you’re at it, you can create a bucket list for the two of you to work on together.

9. Plan Surprise Gestures

A banner with surprised man and a woman and the text "Plan Surprise Gestures."

Surprise them with small gestures to show your spouse they matter. It could be leaving a love note in their lunch, bringing home their favorite treat, or planning a surprise date night. These small acts of kindness can make your spouse feel loved and cared for. This is why even two years after my husband surprised me by going home randomly (he flies around the world for work) on our anniversary, I still remember it fondly. 

10. Make Time for Intimacy

A banner with a man hugging a woman from behind and the text "Make Time for Intimacy."

Intimacy is essential to a healthy relationship but can often fall by the wayside when you have kids.4 So, carve out time for just the two of you, whether it’s a romantic date night or simply cuddling on the couch after the kids are in bed. It makes everything feel better, especially during trying times.

Bonus Tip: Remember to Say ‘I Love You’

A banner with a man and a woman smiling while nose to nose and the text "Say Your I Love You’s."

Again, this may seem obvious, but say these three little words daily. Never let a day go by without expressing your love for each other. It can be a simple text message, a handwritten note, or even just a sincere “I love you” before falling asleep. Trust me, you can never overdo it when it comes to telling your partner how much they mean to you.

Wrapping Up

There’s a laundry list of things you could do to show your spouse they matter. The ones above are just a few ideas to get you started. Remember, staying connected and keeping the love alive in your relationship is key.

How do you show your spouse they matter aside from the usual “I love you”? Share your ideas in the comments below!

  1. Campbell, K. “The Importance of Gratitude in Relationships.” Bayview Therapy. ↩︎
  2. Lehmiller, J. “The Power of Touch: Physical Affection is Important in Relationships, but Some People Need More Than Others.” Indiana University, 2020. ↩︎
  3. Stress management.” Mayo Clinic, 2023. ↩︎
  4. Apostolou et al. “What are Romantic Relationships Good for? An Explorative Analysis of the Perceived Benefits of Being in a Relationship.” Evolutionary Psychology, 2023. ↩︎
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