An Oh-So-Simple Relationship Secret

I did a little experiment and was so moved by my findings, I wanted to share them. I decided to notice everything good my husband did over the weekend.

First thing Saturday morning, he went to his parents’ house to visit his mother. She had a quadruple bypass a few days ago. When he got home, one of our daughters called. Car trouble. He diagnosed the problem over the phone and sent our son to install a new battery.

Next I found him working on our squeaky dryer.

“What’s wrong with it?”

“Needs a new pulley.”

“How’d you figure that out?”

“Took it apart.”

“Now what?”

“Parts store is closed. I got a brass bearing from Ace Hardware and cut it to size.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about but that doesn’t matter.” I smiled.

He peered at me over his glasses like woman, I’ll never understand you.

When I slowed down long enough to study my husband, I was in awe.

I couldn’t fix a dryer. Not in a million years.

I told him so.

Sunday afternoon, he took down the Christmas lights from our wrap-around porch. He has this system of unwinding the strands and wrapping them in tidy circles. This process takes hours, but he never complains.

Since we moved into our log cabin ten years ago, I’d never thanked him for handling the lights, so I did.

When I focus on the good in my husband (or friend or family member) guess what?

Something amazing happens.

Our love grows.

May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other…1 Thessalonians 3:12 NIV.

Have you discovered this secret too? Tell me. I’d love to hear!












  1. Awesome! Thank you for reminding us to look for everything good and to tell our spouses. I am going to follow your experiment and experience the growing love. Thank you Julie! You and your lessons are treasures! I am sure Rick cherishes your good too:)

    • Tom, I just couldn’t believe what all I saw/see when I open my eyes and heart to those around me. Life-changing.

      Thanks for your encouragement! Means so much.

      Love to you and Rhonda.

  2. Summer kemp says:

    Thank you for sharing this, I plan on really working to see more good then frustration and it was great to get a reminder 😉 I love your web page and your blogs, extremely insightful and a true blessing.


    • I’m so glad to re-connect with you, Summer!! So nice to “talk” to you. 🙂 I’m telling you–this little relationship truth took me YEARS to discover. Kinda hoping if I shared it, others might catch on earlier in life.

      So much love,

  3. Anna Haney says:

    I know I can count on you to make me cry. Rick reminds me so much of my daddy,. Daddy can’t sit still. If I mention that I can’t get something to work, nothing to do him but go get it done. My husband is not handy like that around the house, but Monday was a long day–final registration across town. Was a half hour longer than I thought it would be. Head had been pounding all day. We’d thought about getting dinner from the Pizza Palace, a great local place on that end, only to learn it was closed on Mondays. As I am driving in the rain on the interstate surrounded by semi trucks, my cell phone rings. Questions about New Student Orientation which i was sure I had answered already 3 times that morning. I stop elsewhere for take out. Call Daddy. Momma in tremendous pain. Time I walk in, I am tired, hungry; get yet another text about orientation and I start to cry as I sometimes do. My gentle, kind, blessing of a husband takes my hand and tells me that it’s okay. I need not cry. I have done my best. God knows that. Let it go. “trust that it’s all gonna be okay.” My heart jumped. I had mentioned my word of the year, but I wasn’t sure how much he’d paid attention.
    Have a wonderful day with your blessing that is your husband dear sweet Julie

    • Anna, I just hold my breath every Wednesday until you’ve cried. Or at least laughed. 🙂

      Bless your husband’s dear sweet heart!!!!! Aren’t those the words we so long to hear?!?! “It’s okay. Don’t cry. You’ve done your best and God knows it. Let go and trust.”

      OH HOW I LOVE THIS!!!!

      Maybe, just maybe He always hears us. XOXOXOX

  4. I can not wait to do this!!!! Best marriage exercise ever Julie – I can’t wait! ox

  5. Julie, I love this. A little appreciation goes along way…especially with our guys. I gave some simple advice to a friend who has been in and out of marriage counseling. She said it has been made the biggest impact on her marriage. Here it is… Be kind. 🙂 (something I need to remember myself!)

    • I know, Lori. It’s the simplest things…..and for some reason, for me, they take FOREVER to learn. Maybe I think they’re so simple, they won’t work.

      I know it began with a choice.

      Thank you so much for letting me know you’re reading.

  6. Pam says:

    This is GREAT! Julie, I LOVE your blog and your writings!!! Always so timely!!!

    My husband reminds me of yours! Jim can fix ANYTHING, it seems! We don’t always remember to ‘say Thank You!’ but we have tried to make that a practice over the course of our 39+ years together! I used to leave ‘notes’ for him and for my kids! Just notes that said where I was (if I wasn’t going to be home when they arrived home). We expected them to leave a note, particularly after they started driving! Their friends have commented on it. Family members have commented on our practice. Basic kindness and respect can work wonders in relationships!

    ‘To err on the side of kindness is seldom an error.’

    • Pam, okay, if you have a husband like mine, you probably really do get this post. I just never paid much attention to the marvelous things my husband can do.

      Love your leaving a note idea! You’re right about kindness. Beautiful quote.

      THANK YOU!

  7. Love begets love! I think just like any person appreciates a “thank you” and “good job” from their boss at work, a husband (and wife too!) appreciate a thank you as well. Feeling appreciated is very motivating to continue to work hard…whether that is at work or at home.
    Such sweet reminders…thank you Julie!

  8. Whenever I find myself being grumpy and seeing fault, I get nudged to remember I can’t get sweet and bitter water from the same well. 🙂 Choosing the sweet is the best thing that can happen to a marriage. 🙂

    • Amen, Ane!!!

      Love how you say this…”Choosing the sweet is the best thing that can happen to a marriage.”

      I just didn’t figure that out…for a long time!

  9. I am blessed with a talented man like yours–he can build anything, fix anything, and figure out any problem. When the Lord handed out the “fix it” brains, my man was blessed in abundance and throughout our married life, I have reaped these blessings. I try to always be appreciative, but I know I do not always let my husband know how grateful and blessed I feel. Thanks for this lovely reminder!

    • You’re so welcome, Katherine. Our men could probably build/fix ANYTHING, couldn’t they. 🙂

      And sooo often, I just forget.

      So nice to meet you! Blessings to you and yours. xoxo

  10. Great reminder, Julie. Thank you for bringing it to our attention. I always try to say thank you for the many things he does. But, when I get busy with life, I do not tend to notice. I’ll be noticing more now.

    • Eileen, I couldn’t believe it–just an average weekend and all the good things I almost missed.

      Blew me away.

      Glad my readers understand. 🙂 🙂 And I’m not the only one, but boy, does it make a huge difference.

  11. Delightful piece, Julie. I hope this one goes viral.

  12. Patricia Martin says:

    Hi Julie,
    What an inspiring idea! Now, I am going to try to look for the good qualities I love in each one of my family members.(: Hope you and your family are enjoying this New Year!

    • You’re so welcome, Patricia. You won’t believe how amazing this is. Please write me–let me know what happens. I think God was working in my heart big time this weekend. 🙂 🙂

  13. Brenda Greene says:

    So sweet, Julie Girl and I’m all for looking at our hubbies with our hearts instead of our heads! Even after nearly 47 years of marriage including nine years of retirement, I can find something endearing…especially when I look with the “eyes of my heart”! Thanks for that reminder!!

    But wait!!! A squeaky dryer?!!! You gotta be kidding!!! I’m laughing out loud! Just yesterday(!) Hubby decided to check out the cause of our dryer’s LOUD squawking for the past several months! Pulled it all apart (with help from the website instructions I found and printed out for him) and determined what was needed. Stress was mounting, parts we needed were 30 minutes away (one way!), I HAD to pick up granddaughters from school for piano lessons, AND our first Bible Study for the New Year was last night. I quickly felt the “enemy of my soul” working overtime to cause tension and us to squabble. So I loudly proclaimed “satan, in the name of Jesus get out of our lives, our home and this situation.” Think it shocked Hubby (he’s never heard me do that before!). He did say I would just have to choose between a quiet dryer or piano lessons and Bible Study because he needed my help. I quietly told him there was something he did not know: in picking up our middle granddaughter from school Monday for her piano lesson, our youngest gdaughter (7 years old) came running to the car thinking I was picking her up since her dad had not gotten there. She burst into tears when her cousin hopped in the car and she realized she would not. Broke my heart as I explained I would pick her up the next day. There was NO way I could not pick her up! And our Bible Study had not met since the first of December. He was quiet as we drove to pick up the parts.

    I made it to pick up the girls, give piano lessons, getting home 30 minutes before Bible Study, and in time to help hold a couple of items he needed help with. He shooed me out so I wouldn’t be late and two hours later I returned home in time to help him put the dryer back in its place. Dried a load of clothes this morning to an amazing quiet dryer! So…when he asked a little bit ago “what are you doing?” and I asked “what do you need me to do?” We were off to put new rollers on our shower doors! Amazingly he’s not a “fix-it” fellow but has taken on that role recently….including dinner most nights! Blessed for sure!

    For me, it has been an amazing experience to realize the peace which has reigned in my Spirit since yesterday’s command to satan!! God is good!

    Thanks Sweet Julie…you always bring out the BEST thoughts to keep us focused on the important things in life! Much love!! Brenda

    • Brenda, that was exactly what happened. It was the eyes of my heart. Love how you said it.

      Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, how I love your story! AMAZING!!!! Can’t believe we both had squeaky dryers at the same time. Ours was so loud, I think it embarrassed our son to have friends over. 🙂

      Love your prayer. Love your results. And what a dear, dear man you’re married to.

  14. marci says:

    How timely this is for me – as my husband and I will be celebrating our 46 aniv Saturday. Also, not long ago the family had a shower for one of the great-nephews and his wife to be– which of course lead to what advice we- the older generation could give them. Isn’t it funny when you have all this wealth of wisdom and your mind goes blank?.. One I thought of is- know when to be silent. And the one that came to mind was- Never take each other for granted. And it seems that you certainly have that down pat with your husband. What a great thing to do! Show how much you appreciate what he does. I also am blessed with a husband that is very handy and usually can fix anything. I am sure that has saved us a lot through the years. I feel very blessed by that. The new couple– to be married this year, so full of that first love in their eyes.. and here we are, much farther down the jouney .. it was a wonderful picture. I don’t take credit — as I feel the Lord is what has kept my husband and I together as it was him who put us together. What did I know? At age 20? Only God could put me with the right person. Also another little share. For the gift to the new couple, I took the pattern for a prayer shawl, Crocheted 2 together seamlessly, (the 2 of them being one), and crochet it in the Power of 3 pattern… may they always remember God is also part of their union.. I was not sure how they would like it, but they were very touched, so guess I did OK with that.
    Thank you for all of your sharess. I love your writing and I would look forward to reading a novel by you. I do feel the kinship of writing – as it is one thing I can do and lose track of time. God Bless!

    • Marci, you have the most tender heart. I can tell by your comments.

      How I LOVE what you gave this couple. You did beautifully with your gift. You couldn’t have picked a more wonderful thing–and you made it.

      Happy, Happy, Happy Anniversary. What a gift. After 35 years of marriage, I get it. 🙂 🙂 🙂 A lifetime of love, hard times, joy, sorrow, giving, taking…..

      Great big hug!

  15. I have the opposite hubby. Mine THINKS he can fix anything, but shhhhhh….he can’t. I shut my mouth though and let him do it his own way, usually calling in an expert somewhere along the line, with his blessing. I love your photos, and I love your Rick for all he can fix and do for you. I also love my husband, and tell him how much I appreciate all the efforts that he does to help me in so very many ways. He may not be the handiest guy, but he does love me, and for that I wouldn’t trade the world.

    • Ha! Laughing, B.J.

      That’s what it’s all about–not the handiness (is that a word?) but loving the heart of the man God made to be our husbands.

      Love you, my friend.

  16. I love this and agree totally! Sometimes I write down what my hubs does and why I appreciate him….especially if I’ve been going through a “he’s getting on my nerves” season, (meaning I need an attitude adjustment).

    • Love that, Elizabeth–the “he’s getting on my nerves” season–love that you called it a SEASON. You’re so right. And for me, it took years to begin to see the ebb and flow of feelings. Irritations. Closeness. Distance. All parts of marriage.


      You said it beautifully. Thank you!

  17. Kim says:

    I liked what you wrote. And you have such generous, kind and faithful readers. I am blessed reading all their comments too.
    I began saying simple thank yous to my husband for the little things he does around the house recently. I can feel the difference it makes. Especially on those hard life days.
    Thank you!

    • Kim, I know. My readers just blow me away.

      That’s what’s so amazing–you just said it. You can FEEL the difference in your marriage. Something changes in our hearts. Just so beautiful.

      Thank you, thank you for letting me know you’re reading and you understand.

  18. Sandra Walker says:

    Focus on the good, be kind, know when to be silent! When am I ever going to get consistent!!!???
    Thank you for the reminder! Great post as always.

  19. Sandra–you and me both! But one thing for sure, I was totally blown away when I made a choice to notice the good stuff for a weekend. HUGE for me!!


  20. Lori Lipsky says:

    Lovely reminder to get back to the basics of focusing on the good in my spouse. I sometimes forget and get off track. Thanks, Julie.

  21. I shared this about 6 years ago, Julie, and came across it today. It’s wonderful to notice what my husband does for me. It’s transforming to share that with him. Thank you!

    • Hey Robin! Nice to “see” you. Thank you for your sweet comment. I’m honored you would return to an old post and reach out.


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