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This Is All We Need to Spice Up Our Marriage?

My husband and I just celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary. The traditional gift for this year is pottery. Normally, I scoff at the conventional recommendations. But I liked this one and thought it would be fun to go to my favorite local pottery studio to paint a personalized gift for my husband.

I didn't have anything specific in mind. I just planned to go see what they had and what ideas I could come up with. The result? Something I’m calling, “The Communication Box,” a way to not only bring the spark back to our marriage but also help improve communication.

Which, for some reason, we have gotten worse at since we became parents.

Here’s how it works:

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The box is kept in a central place in our bedroom. Next to it is some notepaper. When one partner wants to use it, s/he writes a note, places it inside the box and puts the box on the other partner’s bedside table.

There is a question mark on the top, because the messages could be varied. For example, the box might contain a:

Love note.

The first note I placed in the box for my husband read, “Thank you for all you did around the house this weekend. I appreciate you so much. XO, E.” Love notes are a powerful thing, and we haven’t had enough of them in our marriage of late. I want to bring them back.


Yes, this could be for sex. My husband’s signals tend to be so subtle I miss them. (Whereas, I often take a more direct approach.) But I thought this could be fun. It could also be used for an invitation to meet on the couch and watch a movie together. Or enjoy an adult beverage out on the deck on a beautiful evening.


I’m thinking along the lines of, “Let’s unplug tonight.” Or “Can we plan a night out?” Not, “Please take the trash out.” Like many modern-day couples, I suspect, we can fall into the trap of being together while not really being together. Sitting side-by-side while on devices, for example. Sometimes, I really want or need my husband’s attention and vice versa. It’s always good to ask for what you want.


One of the challenging things I have found about parenting is often you realize there is something you need to talk about but can’t (or shouldn’t) in front of your child, who is usually with you. So you have to table the conversation for later. IF you remember. This way, we can literally table the topic to ensure we do discuss it when we are alone and have time.

Those are just a few of the ideas I have for The Communication Box’s use. My husband’s initial reaction to his gift was, “You MADE this? How am I supposed to beat that?!”

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To which I replied, “You’re not, because gift-giving isn’t a competition. And I didn’t make it, I painted it.”

Then I explained to him how I intended for it to work.

His response? “Cool!”

And we’re off and running!

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Image by Elizabeth Flora Ross

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