These 5 things are very special to me. They bring me to tears each time I look at them. Some might think they are just simple Christmas ornaments, but when I look at them, I feel known. These precious gifts tell me that my husband knows me.

One of our family traditions at Christmas is to get each person an ornament that is related to something about their year. Whether it’s a sport, activity, or character, we think back on our year and pick each ornament to match something special for each person.

My husband has given me many special ornaments in our years together, but these are some that make me feel very loved. One is in memory of the babies we’ve lost to miscarriage. One is of a favorite family picture. Another commemorates our first family Christmas as parents. The super woman symbol is for a year where he wanted to honor me as a hard working wife and super hero to him and our kids. The last one is from this year…he had one made with my new business logo on it. This was my favorite Christmas present this year.

Each of these simple gifts show me that my husband pays attention and he knows me. These gifts tell me that he really “gets me”.

So many couples I work with complain about not having “that loving feeling” anymore. They have lost the spark that connects them and often feel like their spouse doesn’t even know them.

An important part of marriage is the deep levels of intimacy that you get to experience together. One of those levels is knowing each other in a way that most others aren’t privy to. It’s not just about the physical intimacy, it is about the connection on a deeper level as you know your spouse inside and out. So I challenge you, do you know your mate? Really know him/her?

If you notice that you need some help, here are 4 ways to get to know your spouse better:

  • Study your spouse- Yes, I said study. Look for routines, patterns, preferences, etc. When you really sit back and pay attention, you might notice something different or new.
  • Ask questions- Don’t just accept one word answers. Ask deeper things that tell you about who they are, what they feel, and what they think.
  • Make it your goal to understand your spouse’s “WHY”- We all do things without thinking, but most of the time we don’t realize there is a reason why we do what we do. Try to uncover the value and perspective that is underneath his/her actions.
  • Share more about yourself- Don’t make your spouse feel like they are on the hot seat. When both of you are open and share deeper about your inner most thoughts on life and your experiences, it creates a culture and safety that says it is okay to do it.

What are some examples of times you have felt truly known by your spouse?