We help remarried mid-life couples beat the 65% divorce rate, create beautiful marriages and live happily ever after together.
When it comes to romance in your marriage, cleaning the toilets does NOT sound romantic!
Cleaning the toilet together sounds even LESS romantic! We’re all for doing things together to strengthen relationships, however when it comes to household chores the romance comes in creating a clean home in as little time as possible so that you can spend more time romancing each other.
When you come together in a second marriage after years of living the single life, sorting out who does what in the relationship can be tricky.
We often hear from our couples that this one specific area causes them all sorts of difficulties as they blend their lives together. Handling the home chores is a new frontier that needs to be navigated with care.
Some people are delighted to have their spouse share the work load. Others have their way of doing things and resent the intrusion of the new partner coming in and trying to revamp the “system.”
Occasionally Barry and I still squabble when we butt heads over our different styles of cooking and cleaning. Barry is the “clean as you go” kind of cook while I prefer to clean up at the end and not stop and wash dishes in the middle. We have to remind each other that there is no one right way to do things.
This is especially challenging if both of you have been single for a long time before remarrying. It’s so easy to get set in our own ways.
A second marriage requires lots of compromise and accommodations for each other’s quirks.
Of course, there are no gender specific chores anymore. Both partners live in the house and both need to do their part to keep it clean and liveable. You probably have your favorite chores and your absolute “hate-to-do” chores. (I hate cleaning bathtubs!)
Healthy relationships divvy up the chores according to what works best for them or outsource them if the funds are available.
Not everything that needs to be done in your lives is on a chore list. Stop for a moment to consider what your spouse does all the time, the little and big things that make your life move forward on well-oiled wheels. Take a moment to jot down the things they do as part of your everyday lives.
Once you have your list, plan to do some secret acts of service for a loving surprise.
When we first got married I made sure Barry understood that I WOULD NOT be ironing his shirts. He wears a freshly pressed shirt to work every day and I am not competent or interested in ironing anything!
One day I was pondering on what I could do for Barry that would be a real act of service. I decided that I would iron his shirts. It took FOREVER! (I mean forever! And my back hurt. Ironing is hard work!)
He can iron a shirt in about two or three minutes while it takes me about 15 minutes. I’ve gotten better at it, I’m down to about five minutes per shirt so every once in a while I’ll take half an hour and iron up his shirts for him, just for a surprise.
Service to each other helps you rise above the human tendency to feel selfish about your time. When you take on a task that your mate “owns” they will feel appreciated and loved. Your heart will expand with love for them.
There are many reasons to serve your spouse outside of daily tasks. You will reap multiple benefits both for yourself and your relationship. Choosing to put your mate’s needs above your own in a healthy relationship creates an environment of love and harmony that will bless your lives forever.
Serving your spouse does not mean sacrificing yourself completely for them; rather it is a humble awareness of what you can do to make their life better. When your spouse’s happiness is as important as your own, it becomes easy to step in and create a new way of taking care of things together.
If your dominant love language is acts of service, then you love to do things for the ones you love. Cooking, fueling and washing the cars, mowing the lawn, fixing things around the house…these sound like ordinary chores, however if this is your love language then you offer these acts of service as a way of showing your love.
If service is not your mate’s main love language they may not recognize these loving acts and simply take them for granted. When this happens you’re bound to feel frustrated. Especially if your mate is bringing you lovely gifts (because their love language may be gifts) and all you want is help.
We highly recommend the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. In our Successful Second Marriages Program we do a deep dive into the five love languages and help you hone your skills in speaking your sweetheart's love language fluently.
Knowing your spouse’s language will give you insight into how to better show your love in a way that he or she can can easily recognize and respond to your loving gestures.
After being a bachelor for over 15 years, I found it very weird and awkward to have someone offer to make my lunch and fold my laundry. I didn’t want J’Anne to think she had to be my housewife as she has her own busy career.
At first I told J’Anne not to do it, that I could do it myself, but she persisted because she wants to make my life happier. It makes it easy for me to do things for her because she is so willing to serve me. We have a feeling of mutual respect and love that makes life so much better.
If you do find yourself frustrated and nagging your spouse to help get things done, consider re-wording how you phrase your request. Using a normal, non-whiney voice, try this simple version, “hey babe, would you be willing to do the (insert chore here) while I finish up doing the (chore?)”
Using the word “willing” puts the ball directly in your spouse’s court in a non-demanding way that allows them to easily say yes. (It is difficult to say no to a request that asks if they’re willing!)
When acts of service is not your main love language make an effort to see what you can do to serve your mate. You may be surprised at the difference you can make with a small effort!
Here are a few ideas for you to try.
♥ Do a chore for them that they usually do (without telling them.)
♥ Fix them a snack or a drink when they are busy.
♥ Do something for them without telling them or pointing out that it needs to be done.
♥ Let them take a nap while you hold down the fort.
♥ Ask “hey what can I do to help you right now?”
♥ Take care of his or her car, vacuum it and fill up with gas.
♥ Let him or her control the remote or the radio station if you always do.
♥ Make or buy their favorite treat.
Here is a touching video from Bright Side tells the story of a man who used acts of service to save his marriage.
TIP: Do Something for your spouse that they normally do and watch the surprise and pleasure light their face.
What do you think of the idea of using acts of service to reconnect with your spouse and increase your love for each other?
Let’s start the conversation in our private Facebook group. We’ve created a special closed Facebook group for you to have a safe and supportive place to share your ideas and concerns surrounding the unique issues specifically facing couples in the second half of their lives.
Something we’ve discovered that has brought us together in new and profound ways is volunteering together.
Offering acts of service to the community together has increased our love for each other as we see the good we can do as a couple.
We sit as the co-chairs of the annual city-wide food drive for our local food bank. While we are combining our talents to benefit the poor and hungry, we are also reaping blessings in our relationship by giving service together.
We believe that second (or third) marriages can be filled with love and happiness!
You can learn the skills and tools to make your marriage your forever marriage!
Here's a free ebook for you that we think you'll love.
127 Reasons I Love You
FREE digital book
Barry and J'Anne ♥
Transformational Marriage Mentors