A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

The 12 Things You Should Tell Your Spouse Every Day for a Happier Marriage

Updated: Feb. 24, 2023

Are you in less of the honeymoon phase and more of the “don’t forget paper towels on your way home” part of your marriage? Saying these little phrases daily to your husband or wife could help you stay close.

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“Good morning” (and “good night”)

Make it a habit to start your day saying “good morning” and ending your evening with a “good night.” A simple “Good morning, sweetie” can start both of your days on a slightly brighter note. Climbing into the bed after a long day and saying “good night” lets your partner know that the relationship and the connection you two have are a priority. Even if your schedules don’t allow the both of you to wake up and go to sleep at the same time, you can still make a quick call or text letting your other half know you’re thinking about them. Here are some sweet good night messages to choose from to send your special someone.

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“How was your day?”

Many times couples will get so settled in their marriage that they tend to forget how they used to be, back when they talked to each other almost constantly. Don’t let this habit die. Sharing some of the highlights (and lowlights) of your day (and asking your spouse about theirs) is a great way to ensure that both of you are still a part of each others’ lives. An additional benefit of simply asking “how was your day” is sensing their mood, and knowing when it’s your cue to show support. You can always try one of these small ways to make your spouse feel loved.

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“I’m proud of you”

Letting your spouse know that you are their biggest cheerleader is one of the keys to a happy marriage. You don’t have to wait for them to do something grand to let them know how proud you are. Whether they help your kid to grasp that tricky math problem or fix the paint job in the downstairs bathroom, show them that you support all of their goals and achievements. It lets them know that their hard work, big or small, isn’t going unnoticed. (Here are 10 other little compliments you should be giving to your colleagues, friends, family, and even strangers every day.)

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“You make me happy”

Of course you’re happy with your spouse, but how often do you actually verbalize that? Letting them know how they make you feel has lasting benefits. Even if it’s just “I love how you make me laugh,” you’re showing them that you value the relationship and the fact that he or she is part of your life. Don’t miss this surprising advice from the most happily married couples.

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“What do you think?”

A marriage is the ultimate partnership—so asking your spouse’s input on a daily basis is key. You want your partner to feel and know that you’re in this together and that you value their opinions and feedback on decisions big and small—from where to go to dinner Saturday night to where your kids should attend college. Don’t let a lack of compromise and communication subtly sabotage your relationship; here are 9 bad relationship habits that you might be guilty of.

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“You are hot/gorgeous/handsome”

If you don’t compliment your spouse, how can you expect them to feel appreciated or wanted? Even if you tend to see the no-makeup or sweats-wearing version of your partner way more often than the all-dolled-up one, it’s very important to let your spouse know that you’re just as attracted to them today as you were in the beginning. This will make them feel confident and amazing as they go about their day. We all like to feel sexy and desirable, so if your spouse still gives you those warm and tingly feelings inside, let them know! Even just flirting with them or having some playful banter will do wonders for your relationship. (Here’s the scientific reason why we find certain people attractive.)

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“What are we doing tonight?”

Couples can easily get stuck in a rut with their daily routines and forget to leave room for quality time together. Having date night is statistically proven to save your relationship, and it’s a great way to get out the house and have some alone time, but remember you don’t have to dine at a fancy restaurant or take in a Broadway show to enjoy each other’s company. Just making time for one another to hang out and relax with no phones, laptops, or tablets is a great way to connect at the end of the workday. Here are 20 things happy couples do after work.

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“I’m sorry”

Hopefully you won’t have to say this every day, but you should be humble enough to say “I’m sorry” and take responsibility when you’ve done something to upset or hurt your spouse. Nobody’s perfect, and you’re going to make mistakes, but what’s more harmful to your relationship is when you refuse to acknowledge your mistakes and become defensive, or make excuses, or worse, get angry. Avoid these phrases that can make any fight worse. (Here are 8 tips to avoid marriage counseling.)

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“Please” and “thank you”

You say please and thank-you to everyone you come across on a daily basis, so your spouse should hear those words from you as well. Wouldn’t you rather have your spouse say, “Honey, can you please take the dog out? I’m on a call. Thanks—I appreciate it” than “Why haven’t you taken the dog out?” The love of your life will know that you truly value them and their efforts.

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“I miss you”

This goes inline with saying, “I’m thinking about you.” To be missed and thought about is a compliment, even if you see your spouse every morning and night. Chances are, you’re both at separate jobs apart from each other during the day, which makes the time you do see them so important. A simple, “I miss you” doesn’t come off as clingy; it just means that you miss being in their presence.

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“You’re my best friend”

Your spouse shouldn’t just be your spouse, they should also be your best friend. This isn’t a degrading or “friendzoning” term, either. You’re in this life together, so hopefully you will be happy doing almost anything together – even if it’s doing nothing. You should also be able to tell them anything without a fear of being judged; trust is a key foundation in building a successful, happy relationship.

Nicole Fornabaio/Rd.com

“I love you”

You can pretty much never say this enough. Say these three words as often as possible no matter how long you’ve been with your partner. “I love you” will never lose its meaning. Don’t think that just because your partner know you love them that they tire of hearing it. Some people don’t like to overstate it, but this is the easiest—and most important—thing you can tell your spouse. However you like to say or show it, you should make sure your spouse knows how much you love them every day.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest