Shop the fall collection ➔

The best piece of marriage advice I’ve ever received was from my 70 year old grandmother. Soon after I got married, she took me aside and told me that in order to make my marriage last, I must be sure to greet my husband at the door after work wearing a fresh coat of lipstick and high heels. Her thoughts were that after a hard day of work, my hubby deserved to see a pretty, smiling face.

My mother-in-law (a woman of the same generation as my grandmother) tried to educate me about marriage in this same vein. She was staying at our house shortly after our wedding and when my husband came home from work she turned to me and asked, “What will he have to drink?’ I was confused at first, thinking to myself “How should I know?” Every day she asked me the same question and finally I got the gist of what she was trying to tell me. She was suggesting that I should greet him after a long day’s work with his favorite drink. As old fashioned as these two lessons seem, they have actually done the most for my happy marriage.

Now before you get the wrong idea, let me be clear–I have been married for 23 years and I have yet to greet my husband at the door wearing bright lipstick, high heels, or offering him a dry martini. Nevertheless, following the idea behind these pieces of advice has served me extremely well over the years.

I’m sure many of you are thinking, “It’s a new day! Women aren’t supposed to serve their husbands anymore!” While I agree, I do believe my grandmother and mother-in-law were onto something when giving me this advice. I think what they were trying to convey is the importance of putting in the effort. The effort to make your husband’s day a little brighter, the effort to show your love for him, and the effort to prove your commitment to your marriage is still as strong as on day one.

As a mom of three, I know how easy it is to put all my focus and energy on my kids and have nothing left for my husband at the end of the day. When my kids were small, I gave everything I had to them. It was my job and I was good at it. Sweatpants and a messy ponytail were comfortable and simple to wear on those days when the kids needs, dishes and laundry seemed endless. Chicken nuggets and frozen french fries were a staple because they were quick to prepare after a long day of playdates and ferrying kids around to activities. Most nights I fell asleep while reading the kids their goodnight stories.Some days it felt like there was just no more effort to give. But, I kept the wise words of my grandmother and mother-in-law in the front of my mind. Lipstick and high heels? No way! But I realized there were little things I could do to show effort  that would keep our marriage fresh and happy.

It was the “I love you!” sticky note that I put in with his lunch, or the piece of Dove chocolate that I slipped into his coat pocket. It was the mid-afternoon phone call to just say “Hi” or the fresh flowers I would display on the dinner table. Just the tiniest of gestures to let him know that I cared and was thinking of him, too–in addition to the children. It was the hug I gave him as he left for work in the morning and when he returned home in the evening. It was remembering to buy his favorite drink or snack while at the grocery. Small things to let him know that he was important to me. These trivial gestures took virtually no effort at all yet they have made all the difference.

Dr. Jennifer Pinto

Jennifer Pinto is an avid reader, writer, psychologist and mom to a daughter(20) and two sons (16 & 14). She has been married to her husband for 21 years. She is currently writing a young adult novel and has a psychology-themed blog called "Off the Couch..." She enjoys drinking coffee at all hours of the day, cooking Indian food and being the team mom for her son's tennis & football teams.

I Thought Our Friendship Would Be Unbreakable

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Two friends selfie

The message notification pinged on my phone. A woman, once one of my best friends, was reaching out to me via Facebook. Her message simply read, “Wanted to catch up and see how life was treating you!”  I had very conflicting feelings. It seemed with that one single message, a flood of memories surfaced. Some held some great moments and laughter. Other memories held disappointment and hurt of a friendship that simply had run its course. Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked on her profile page to see how the years had been treating her. She was divorced and still...

Keep Reading

The First 10 Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking

In: Journal, Marriage, Relationships
The First Ten Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking www.herviewfromhome.com

We met online in October of 2005, by way of a spam email ad I was THIS CLOSE to marking as trash. Meet Single Christians! My cheese alert siren sounded loudly, but for some reason, I unchecked the delete box and clicked through to the site. We met face-to-face that Thanksgiving. As I awaited your arrival in my mother’s kitchen, my dad whispered to my little brother, “Hide your valuables. Stacy has some guy she met online coming for Thanksgiving dinner.” We embraced for the first time in my parents’ driveway. I was wearing my black cashmere sweater with the...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I Loved You First

In: Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships
Man and woman kissing in love

Dear husband, I loved you first. But often, you get the last of me. I remember you picking me up for our first date. I spent a whole hour getting ready for you. Making sure every hair was in place and my make-up was perfect. When you see me now at the end of the day, the make-up that is left on my face is smeared. My hair is more than likely in a ponytail or some rat’s nest on the top of my head. And my outfit, 100% has someone’s bodily fluids smeared somewhere. But there were days when...

Keep Reading

Stop Being a Butthole Wife

In: Grief, Journal, Marriage, Relationships
Man and woman sit on the end of a dock with arms around each other

Stop being a butthole wife. No, I’m serious. End it.  Let’s start with the laundry angst. I get it, the guy can’t find the hamper. It’s maddening. It’s insanity. Why, why, must he leave piles of clothes scattered, the same way that the toddler does, right? I mean, grow up and help out around here, man. There is no laundry fairy. What if that pile of laundry is a gift in disguise from a God you can’t (yet) see? Don’t roll your eyes, hear me out on this one. I was a butthole wife. Until my husband died. The day...

Keep Reading

I Can’t Be Everyone’s Chick-fil-A Sauce

In: Friendship, Journal, Living, Relationships
woman smiling in the sun

A couple of friends and I went and grabbed lunch at Chick-fil-A a couple of weeks ago. It was delightful. We spent roughly $20 apiece, and our kids ran in and out of the play area barefoot and stinky and begged us for ice cream, to which we responded, “Not until you finish your nuggets,” to which they responded with a whine, and then ran off again like a bolt of crazy energy. One friend had to climb into the play tubes a few times to save her 22-month-old, but it was still worth every penny. Every. Single. One. Even...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Friendships End, No Matter How Hard You Try

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Sad woman alone without a friend

I tried. We say these words for two reasons. One: for our own justification that we made an effort to complete a task; and two: to admit that we fell short of that task. I wrote those words in an e-mail tonight to a friend I had for nearly 25 years after not speaking to her for eight months. It was the third e-mail I’ve sent over the past few weeks to try to reconcile with a woman who was more of a sister to me at some points than my own biological sister was. It’s sad when we drift...

Keep Reading

Goodbye to the House That Built Me

In: Grown Children, Journal, Living, Relationships
Ranch style home as seen from the curb

In the winter of 1985, while I was halfway done growing in my mom’s belly, my parents moved into a little brown 3 bedroom/1.5 bath that was halfway between the school and the prison in which my dad worked as a corrections officer. I would be the first baby they brought home to their new house, joining my older sister. I’d take my first steps across the brown shag carpet that the previous owner had installed. The back bedroom was mine, and mom plastered Smurf-themed wallpaper on the accent wall to try to get me to sleep in there every...

Keep Reading

5 Tips For Dealing With a Toxic Mother-in-Law

In: Grown Children, Journal, Marriage, Relationships
Woman frustrated with her mother in law

Many people admit to having difficulty establishing and maintaining relationships with their in-laws, however having a toxic mother-in-law can be especially tricky when balancing a relationship with your spouse. I have five simple tips that can help put you on a happier and healthier path when dealing with a toxic mother-in-law. 1. You don’t have to like your mother-in-law, or even be friends. Establish clear boundaries with your spouse. Let him know that it is OK for him to maintain a relationship with his mother without involving you. By doing this you can eliminate the pressure to please your mother-in-law;...

Keep Reading

To the Mother of My Son’s Future Wife

In: Grown Children, Inspiration, Kids, Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships
marriage, wife, husband, grown children, www.herviewfromhome.com

To the mother of my son’s future wife, I’m in the midst of dirty diapers and temper tantrums, but I do have days where I think about the future and what it will look like for my son. I wonder who he will be, what he will do and probably most of all, who he will love. I wonder about the type of woman he will bring home to meet us one day. I have my own thoughts on the type of person I wish my son would fall in love with, but we all know that the heart wants...

Keep Reading

Sometimes the Middle Child Needs a Little Extra Love

In: Kids, Motherhood, Relationships
middle child mother www.herviewfromhome.com

Mamas, look after your middles. Those babies who are born second, third, fourth or so in the birth order. The ones who are sandwiched between the idolized older sibling and the teeny tiny baby who stole everyone’s hearts. They need you more than you know. They need a little extra love from time to time. A hug and a “good job” here and there just to remind them that nobody has taken their spot in your heart since you added to your family. Try to remember they weren’t given a choice of their place in the lineup. If given the...

Keep Reading