The following article is the text from our "Because I Love You" handout. This is a great handout to use in your marriage. It helps strengthen and punctuate the positive in marriage. While you can easily make your own "Because I Love You" card by simply writing it on a sticky note, you can request a printed one by sending us a self-addressed stamped envelope with a note stating you want one. They can also be ordered in bulk for use in your small group, marriage retreat, or church event.
Dirty dishes go into the dishwasher. Run the dishwasher and you have a quick place to find all the dishes you typically use. Need a clean cup? No need to hunt through the cupboards, it’s in the dishwasher. The dirty cup then sits in the sink until the dishwasher is empty and ready to be loaded with all the dirty dishes in the sink. Run the dishwasher and you are set to go again.
In contrast, my wife believes sinks should not have a bottom. Nothing stays in the sink. Further, any dishes left in the dishwasher after cleaning are in risk of self-destructing if not put in the cupboard quickly. With that perspective, you can imagine the fun we had the first couple years of marriage.
If I decide to empty the dishwasher, it’s not because I think it’s important, it needs to be done, or because I share in the responsibilities of the house. It’s not even because she will be upset if I don’t (she gave up on that years ago). If I empty the dishwasher, it’s because I choose to be a loving husband. I empty the dishwasher because I know it’s important to her and I want to serve her by doing it for her.
If she opens the dishwasher to empty it and finds it empty her initial response is “Oh good. I don’t have to do that.” While this is a positive response—I want more. I’m looking for the “Awe, that was sweet. He emptied the dishwasher for me.”
That’s the role of the “Because I Love You” card. When she looks into the empty dishwasher and sees the “Because I Love You” card, she is reminded that the only reason I emptied it is because I love her and wanted to do this for her.
The “Because I Love You” card helps you emphasize the big and little things we do for each other. For most couples, there are a host of things we do out of love for our spouse. Over time, its easy for them to become unnoticed or even expected. The “Because I Love You” card helps to remind both of you of the real motivation for your behavior.
Occasionally couples learn that they have difficulty identifying things they do for each other. Playing “Hot Potato” with the card encourages us to think of some creative ways to pass the card to our spouse. This alone can increase passion in your marriage.
Common ideas include:
- Attach the card to a bouquet of flowers.
- Sneak their favorite snack and the card into their work bag.
- Thoroughly clean their car and leave the card behind.
- Buy a pair of shoes, tie, or a negligee and leave it where they will find it and the card.
- Have their favorite meal prepared when they arrive home with the card on their plate.
Several marriage studies have shown that couples who are doing well exchange a larger degree of positive interactions than those who are struggling. This being true, one simple way to improve your marriage is to increase the positive things you do for each other.
The "Because I Love You" card is a fun and easy way to improve the positives in your marriage. Click the picture above to download the instructions.
You can print your own card or request a printed card from us. A simple way to start is just write "Because I love you..." on any small piece of paper and follow the instructions.
Once you've started, we'd love to hear what you are doing. Over the years of using this simple technique we have had many couples tell us some of the fun ways they've used the card. We have started collecting these ideas on a web page and invite you to contribute.