Love conquers all – or so we would like to believe. But is merely saying ‘I love you’ enough to keep your marriage alive when the honeymoon is a distant memory? Forget grand gestures like writing poetry or love letters that you may not have time for. Simple words of affirmation, spoken frequently can have a deeper impact on your marriage.  All it takes is to know what to say and when to say it.


Here are four ways to say “I Still Do” and keep the flame burning between you even when you have been married a long time.


1. “I appreciate you”


Lest we forget, coming home to a clean house and a warm meal means someone worked tirelessly behind the scenes. No matter how mundane the chore, take the time to show your spouse you appreciate their daily efforts. Noticing this ‘invisible’ load makes them feel valued and motivated. And if your spouse does something extra out of their usual domain, be sure to acknowledge it openly and seal it with a kiss!


2. “How can I help?”


Juggling work and parenthood is hard on everyone. Instead of waiting for your spouse to raise the white flag, recognise their early signs of stress and offer to help. Better yet, take the initiative to complete some tasks on your spouse’s to-do list and lighten their load. When you are able to anticipate your spouse’s needs, you send a strong signal that you are there for them making them feel safe and secure.


3. “I am proud of you!”


Tell your spouse you are their biggest cheerleader. Acknowledge and support their achievements, whether big or small. They may have helped your kids with a school project or fixed a broken pipe in the kitchen, or even clinched that coveted promotion at work. An acknowledgement from you shows them their efforts did not go unnoticed. Besides, blurting out “I am proud of you!” from time to time will have a tremendous impact on your spouse’s self-esteem and may even lead to better intimacy in the bedroom.


4. “What do you think?”


Respect is key to a long-lasting marriage, but it is a two-way street. One way to establish mutual respect is to include each other in all decisions. From what to have for dinner or where to go for your next family holiday, checking with your spouse shows them their opinions matter as much as yours. When your spouse feels respected, they will be inclined to return the favour.