20 Things Happy Couples Do After Work
Nothing says “I love you” like cleaning out the dishwasher! (Seriously.)
A quick check-in
Whether it’s a call on the drive home from work or a pow-wow in the kitchen as soon as you both walk in, a quick check-in with your spouse will get you both on the same page. “Sometimes it is planning coordination for which kid is going where and other times it is catching up on what’s going on in both of our worlds,” say Melissa and Aaron Sauser, of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Follow these 11 things happy couples do every day for a healthy relationship.
Laugh a little
Turn on the comedy channel, tell a joke, or buy a cartoon-a-day calendar, and then share the giggles. “There is nothing like the unity that comes when you are both laughing together about the same thing at the same time,” say Amy and Vaughan Nelson, of Lacey, Washington. The key to a great laugh fest? “It can’t be at the other person’s expense!” Amy adds. These are the 10 little-known ways that marriage can affect your health for the better — not for the worse.
Massage times two
iStock/Jacob Ammentorp Lund
Nothing is more relaxing after a long day than a little massage, but the problem is always who gets the massage first? Fortunately Andrea diTullio and Antonio Fortunato, of Timmins, Ontario have found the perfect solution: “I massage his neck and shoulders while he sits on the ground in between my legs and massages my feet,” Andrea says. “We do this while chatting about our day.” Talk about a win-win situation. Or say one of these phrases to show your spouse how much you love them.
Spend some time solo
Megan Michael and Paul Cooney, of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, like to head to separate rooms as soon as they get home. “We need some initial alone time after work because we like to unwind independently,” Michael says. After recharging solo, she says, they’re relaxed and ready to spend quality time together.
Train for a race
Having a shared goal, like a marathon or triathlon, is a great way to bond while achieving something together that would be a lot harder on your own. “We train for triathlons together, cook healthy meals together, and even clean together,” say Leah and Joel White, of Austin, Texas. “It’s nice to have someone who you’d rather spend time with than do anything else!” she adds. Pursuing a shared goal together is also one of the many anniversary traditions that keep couples happy.
Let’s get physical
“Our after-work ritual? Always a smooch and a hug. Always,” say Carson and Leah Kinney, of Apple Valley, Minnesota. Nothing cures a bad day like a little loving from a loved one. And if it leads to a little something more? Even better. Of course, sex could also be the topic of heated discussion along with many other fights that are totally normal for even the happiest of relationships.
Board games are anything but boring when playing with your significant other. “We put the kids to bed and play Scrabble,” say Sasha and Janette Kudin, of Winterville, North Carolina. “And we get super competitive!” Scrabble not your speed? Try cards or any other game that lets you both unwind. Or try these 19 other habits that instantly boost your relationship in just one hour!
Walk the dog
Your pooch has been cooped up indoors all day and could use some exercise. And you’ve been cooped up indoors all day too and, let’s be honest, could also use some exercise. “We take our dog for a walk and use the time to unwind and reconnect,” say Lizzie and Rich Ballinger, of the United Kingdom. (Don’t miss these marriage myths that you can safely ignore.)
Make a picnic
If the weather’s warm, try shaking up your routine by moving your evening meal to a more scenic location. (Or if it’s cold, try a blanket on your living room floor.) Kris and Aaron Olsen, of Fort Recovery, Ohio, swear by this picnic trick, saying the change of pace can give you time to talk and relax. And it doesn’t have to be fancy—sandwiches taste 100 percent better at the park, we swear!
Hit the gym
Protect your heart and your love by meeting up at the gym for a little after-work sweat session. All the endorphins will help you bond and you can work out any anger on the punching bag. Plus, say Minnesota newlyweds Meghan and Dave Johnson, “It helps to keep us motivated knowing the other person is waiting there and it also means we are working out at the same time so we can be together when we are home.”