With comedic commentary, no less:
- I’m so happy that you are my [wife/husband]. This melts hearts every time, especially if used out of the blue. You can even spell out what’s in brackets like, “I’m so happy you’re my wife-slash-husband,” but it probably won’t have the same effect.
- I’m just thinking back on this morning and it makes me smile. She made you pancakes—with buttermilk, no less. Yes, you need to recognize this outpouring of divine mercy right now and allow your tastebuds to give great thanksgiving and glory to God. Especially if they were buttered to high heaven.
- I love you more than I love_______. Fill in the blank with your favorite (but reasonable) anything. Just for the absurd fun of it. You might say, “I love you more than I love buttermilk pancakes,” especially if he made you buttermilk pancakes (see #2).
- I’m looking forward to working/finishing/doing ____ with you tonight. It might be a chore you long neglected together. It might be putting on the last layer of stain on your custom coffee table. It might be finishing those pancakes. (There’s a theme here.) Whatever it is, your willingness to get things done reminds your spouse about all the reasons he/she married you.
- I prayed that [exam/presentation/appointment] went swimmingly today. If you actually use the word “swimmingly”, your text will automatically be read with an English accent. And then you’ll sound extra-refined. As a result, you may be watching The Crown, Downton Abbey, or Pride & Prejudice later that night—but only you can say whether that’s a fortuitous thing.
- I remember what you said to me this morning and I’m mulling it over quite a bit. Yes, if you have a strong disagreement or point of conflict, go ahead and take the humble route. You don’t need to fully concede that you were wrong right now. But hearing that you’re thinking things through (and face it, you are) will help make the back-at-home conversation go much more… swimmingly.
- Rough day. It’s days like these that I know I can always lean on you. Yeah, you’ve had a rough day. Communicating that fact anticipates closer connection about it when you get home. Sure, your boss can be a jerk, but mean behavior is just a stepping stone to grace because it draws us back to love where we can find it. Buy some chocolate on the way home to aid in all commiseration—the really dark kind of chocolate… to match the current color of your boss’ soul.
- Let’s go out tonight and celebrate! Well, yes, you should celebrate all the time, every day, all year if you can! But this is an especially important reply every time your spouse shares good news. Whatever you do, don’t say, “That’s great, dear. By the way, what’s for dinner?” If your spouse doesn’t feel the pride and joy radiating from the depths of your soul, you failed. But you’re not a failure, so you will find a way to celebrate.
- I’m looking forward to prayer time tonight. My wife tells me this every now and then when we have a pretty good prayer routine going on. Because I’m kind of a prayer nerd, I get stoked about it. Actually makes me feel more masculine and husband-like. I know, I know: that sounds weird. But I get an even weirder picture in my head of flexing some spiritual muscle around my wife. Now I made things downright awkward for you readers out there. I apologize.
- Can I get you anything from the store on the way home today? My wife asks me this all the time. I’m saying that partially to extol her ‘round-the-clock thoughtfulness. I’m also saying it because I need to do the same more often.
- You looked incredibly sharp this morning. I mean, c’mon: not all goodness needs to revolve around namby-pamby sentimentality all day. Your spouse is the most beautiful person you know. Beauty is grace, too, because grace isn’t just some kind of God-magic; it’s the real stuff before us, too. I love it when my wife flatters me: it butters me up and makes me want to cook pancakes for her.
- Meet me at ______ after work. Gentlemen out there: this does not mean “Meet me at the shady sports bar.” This means going to your co-favorite hangout. May be hard for those with kids but, barring that, always show your love for spontaneity when the moment is right.
- [I didn’t want to, but I just swatted an angry bee.] Uh, say what? But marriage is the only arena where you’re allowed to tell someone the most mundane details of your day. Besides, it gives you limitless follow-on pun potential in your reply: “I knew something was bugging you lately, honey. Maybe it was just trying to give you a hive five.”
- I can’t wait to come home to see you. I’m saying this not for sheer sentimentality, but actually to make a brief point: Work is not worth staying late for every night or every other night and so on. You’ll find another way to get a promotion. You’ll find a way to be the boss one day. You’ll make enough money to get by. We don’t need to play by the rules of modern American ambition. Unless you’re really in a pinch (and my heart goes out to you), go ahead and make plans to eat dinner every night with the ones you love. If your office doesn’t value the contributions you make from 9 to 5, another workplace will, and seek out those places that value people over the company’s bottom line. […getting off soapbox now…]
- My love for you grows every day. Every day you make history with your spouse. You’ve created a string of unique and irreplaceable memories and moments. You have an unending catalog of times when you lived for each other, slogging through the toil of each day just to build a common life together. And each day you add to it, watching your love grow. If you could revisit all of those experiences, you would crumple in awe at all you’ve done together, because love carves out a wide and deep path—a path that is untouchable by anyone else. They are between you, husband and wife, forevermore. You may be focused on what is before you at the moment, and you may forget that you’ve accomplished so much already. But it’s this retrospective view of the awe of your history of sacrifice that will make you appreciate one another until ‘death do you part’. You’re standing on an Everest-high mountain of shared sacrifice that lifts you higher each day. Recalling that fact is a message worth sharing every day.
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