Marriage Laboratory’s Best of 2017

Best Marriage Articles of 2017. Marriage Laboratory.

2017 is almost over, can you believe it?! How did that happen?

A LOT has been happening here in the past year. A few highlights:

  • In January, we switched our name from A Thing Called Love Blog to Marriage Laboratory
  • We focused the whole year on Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages book and held five month-long love experiments based on each of the love languages (more on that below).
  • You may not have noticed, but in April we added ads to our site. I joined with a company called Mediavine to manage all my ads. So sorry if you dislike this change (it was hard for me to do it!), but now I make predictable income each month from the blog, which has allowed me to grow it further, which hopefully allows me to help you more. So thank you!
  • We’ve grown our email list from about 70 people to over 1500 people! Yay! Thanks for joining the Marriage Lab! I’ve had so many wonderful email interactions with so many of you this year and it has made ALL THE DIFFERENCE to me! Thank you for replying and sharing yourselves with me.

It’s been a GREAT year here!

Love Experiments Re-cap

It was so nice to have a structure all year for my posts based on the 5 Love Languages and to hold corresponding love experiments.

In February all our posts were focused on words of affirmation and our love experiment was to write your spouse a love note/text/email everyday (explained more here). I described the experiment results here.

In April the focus of the month was quality time (my fave). The love experiment was to spend 10 minutes really connecting with your spouse each day (full details here). I wrote about how it went here

June was all about gifts. The experiment was to give your spouse a gift once a week for a month (detailed here). Here’s how it went.

The ever popular September was all about physical touch. The experiment, which proved to be both the most difficult and the most rewarding was to have sex with your spouse every other day for the month (explained more here). I described all about how it went here.

And we just wrapped up our last love language experiment in November, where we focused on service. The challenge was to ask your spouse what you could do for them each week and then to do everything asked of you (more info here). Here’s how it went.

 

Excited for experiments I’ve got cooking up for next year! 🙂

Also, I wanted to share our most popular posts from the year in case you missed them:

Marriage Laboratory Most Popular Posts of 2017

1. 40 Loving Texts to Send Your Spouse RIGHT NOW to Make Their Day

I’ll be honest, I wrote this post in somewhat of a rush and I feel like its not my finest work. But for whatever reason, this pin went viral on Pinterest. Tens of thousands of people have re-pinned it and even more have clicked on it.

I blame that fashionable gal in the stock photo. Look how cute she is- she MUST be in a happy relationship.

Marriage Laboratory Best of 2017

2. 27 Stay At Home Dates You Can Do from Your Couch

This post, on the other hand, I’m VERY happy is doing well. I worked hard on this one and I actually think it can be really helpful to people. For all those times you don’t have enough money to go out, or a babysitter to watch your kids, or enough energy to do something that requires moving.

So every week. 🙂

Marriage Laboratory Best of 2017

3. 14 days of love letters

The past two years, I’ve kicked off every February by writing Rich 14 love letters- one for each day leading up to Valentine’s Day (and I post each one on the blog, so everyone can bask in our public sap-fest). This post announced the 14 prompts I would use this year.

Marriage Laboratory Best of 2017

4. 46 Just Because Gift Ideas to Make Your Spouse’s Day

This is another good one. I wrote it for gifts month, and then re-posted it for service month because there was so much overlap. Gifts of service. A good read if you are looking for lots of quick and simple ways to make your spouse smile 🙂

Marriage Laboratory Best of 2017

5. What Would Happen if You Had Sex Every Other Day for a Month

Ah, the sex posts. Those always do well 🙂 Every post that month did well. But this one came out on top. Here, I’m re-capping our September love experiment- to have sex every other day for a month.

Marriage Laboratory Best of 2017

6. The Myth Behind Communication Issues in Marriage

I think this is one of the most helpful posts I’ve written this year. It’s all about having the right mindset and the right tools to make any marriage thrive (and they don’t involve your spouse at all, these are all about YOU).  I’ll be giving it to my children as pre-requisite reading before they get married.

Marriage Laboratory Best of 2017

 

My favorite posts of 2017

Because the vast majority of my site’s page views come from Pinterest, I think how well a post does has more to do with the pin I create than the actual content.

With that in mind, I want to include my personal two favorite posts from this year, which did not come in Pinterest-friendly listical form 🙂

1.  The Very First Step Toward Your Happy Marriage

I would love for every single visitor to my site to start on this post (and I say so on my about page). I think its so crucial to the happiness of any marriage. Building block #1.

Marriage Laboratory Best of 2017

2.  The Best Way to Get Your Marriage Out of a Rut

In this post I explain a tool that has gotten me out of a marriage rut time and time again. It hasn’t failed yet. I recommend it.

Marriage Laboratory Best of 2017

 

2017, you’ve been great to us.

And the re-cap would be lacking if I didn’t take time to express a sincere THANK YOU to everyone who has read a post, written me an email, liked one of my posts on Facebook, written a comment or pinned one of my pins. Seriously, THANK YOU!!! You guys make all this work worth it 🙂 I have the best readers- here’s to a great 2018!

November Love Experiment Recap: SERVICE

Service Love Language | If your partner's love language is service, you'll definitely want to check this experiment out!

What happens when you do every favor asked of you by your partner for a month? Good things. Good things happen. We just wrapped up our love experiment for the month- asking your spouse what you can do for them each week and then doing every thing asked of you. This challenge is based on Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages, specifically the love language of gifts. Time for a re-cap! If you’ve read any of my past love language challenge recaps, words of affirmation quality time gifts physical touch You might notice a pattern that these experiments are… Read More

46 Loving Acts Guaranteed to Turn Your Partner’s Frown Upside Down

Loving Acts Guaranteed to Make Your Partner's Day | No matter your spouse's love language- these ideas will fit the bill!

The topic of the month is service here at Marriage Laboratory, and the challenge of the month is to ask your spouse what loving acts you can do for them each week and then do it. But what if your spouse (like mine) can’t think of anything? Or says something like, “Maybe keep the door closed when you’re going to the bathroom?” (. . .happened to a . . . friend of mine . . . .) Or what if your spouse had a hard week and you’re just looking for a way to make them smile again? Then why… Read More

Three Ways to Make Gratitude a Regular Practice in Your Marriage

Gratitude Practices for Marriage | Gratitude is the key to happiness in our lives and marriages, how do we make that happen?

“It is not joy that makes us grateful. It is gratitude that makes us joyful.” – David Steindl-Rast I fully believe that quote. We often think that we have to WAIT to be grateful until life is good, but it’s actually gratitude that makes life good. Time and time again researchers have found that people who report consistent happiness and life satisfaction are the most grateful. I really think its the same in marriage. I think the happiest marriages are the most grateful.  One study asked married couples to keep a daily gratitude journal for each other and at the… Read More

26 Ways to Make Your Spouse Happy

Ways to Make Your Spouse Happy both for him and for her

This month is all about service here at Marriage Laboratory and last week I wrote about perhaps the best tip I have for how to serve your spouse and get your marriage out of a rut- focusing all your energy, conversations and interactions with your spouse on making them HAPPY for one week. I call it happy week and it has pulled my marriage and my heart out of many ruts through the years. If you are in need of some more specific ideas, today I wanted to provide you with some dear reader. I’ve done something similar in this… Read More