The $3.97 Gift That Changed Our Marriage (How I Fell In Love All Over Again)


Go back in time with me to Mother’s Day of 2020…

Covid was rampant, kids were home from school, fear was everywhere, stress was hitting all-time highs for most families, and our marriage was hitting all-time lows in terms of intimacy and time together.

Not only that, I was in the dog house.

You see, I completely forgot to get anything for my wife Loren to celebrate Mother’s Day (unless you count the gift of me getting busted sneaking out to Publix late Saturday night so I could get a last-minute Mother’s Day card…)

The next morning when I presented my pitiful Hallmark card, I could see it in her eyes just how much my actions (or lack of actions) were killing our relationship.

I was just going through the motions and I knew it.

So I decided right then and there that I was going to turn our relationship around.

Not only that, I was going to fall in love with my wife again.

Here’s what happened:

I had recently read a book called The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy.

In that book, Darren shared a story about how he saved his marriage by starting every single morning writing something he loved or appreciated about his wife.

He did this for a year – and his wife never had a clue.

So 365 mornings in a row he started his day by hand-writing something he loved about his wife (and yes, each entry had to be unique and different from any prior day).

He went on to say that over time he found himself madly in love with his wife again.

His subconscious mind took over and some real magic happened in both of their lives.

I figured I had nothing to lose.

So I purchased a $3.97 notepad, started my first entry about something I loved about Loren, and made a pact that I would continue to do this for a year (without her knowing).

On day 30, I started to notice my attitude was changing towards my wife in a really positive way (just like after working out in a gym for 30 days you finally start to notice some gains).

Around day 90 my wife started wondering why I was pinching her butt and kissing her every morning.

By day 180, I was falling madly in love with my wife and even giving her attention like I did when I was first dating her.

I looked at her differently.

I spoke to her differently.

And our chemistry was transforming before our eyes (yet she still had no idea I was doing this).

It was absolutely wild (and unexplainably awesome).

Fast forward to Mother’s Day 2021 two weeks ago…

That evening, I presented her with the entire notebook of everything I had written about her for the last 365 days.

365 journal entries of different things I loved and appreciated about her.

I teared up.

She teared up.

She planted a monster kiss on my lips and said it was the best gift she’s ever received in her entire life.

And you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face as I saw her flipping through the pages late into the night reading every word.

My wife Loren reading the journal gift in bed

Click the play button below to hear the full story.

And men, if you’ll do this for your wife, I can promise you it will be the best investment you ever make in your relationship.

Enjoy this episode and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

The $3.97 Gift That Turned Our Marriage Around… [PODCAST]


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Thank you for being part of the Salt Strong family!

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Kevin R. Smith
6 months ago

Way to go Joe! Thanks for the inspiration and for doing and thinking of the types of things that keep a marriage vital. Where would we be without the support and love of our amazing wives? I shudder to think.

Brian Kessler
7 months ago

This is a great idea Joe. I came to comment about the latest podcast, but I can’t find it here yet. I’ll keep my eyes open for it. Maybe I was supposed to come back here and find this podcast again. Maybe God is telling me I need to do this…

Lupita Rodriguez
7 months ago

Thank You for sharing this.

Anthony Duffee
7 months ago

What an inspiration. Thank you for sharing that.

Andrew Garrison
7 months ago

Joe, you really are amazing. Your open and honest sharing is inspirational. Thank you.

Brian Skouras
7 months ago

Wow! That’s awesome! It’s refreshing to here a story of a man fighting for his marriage. Not just fighting for marriage but putting in the effort, energy and love to have an amazing marriage! You are the man! Love it!

7 months ago

Wow. Real excited to see this for me and my wife. Thank you for sharing. Going to pick up that book too. Heard it was worth reading from c12. Stay Salty.

brett cox
7 months ago

Wow buddy. This really hit home. I need to invest $3.97, immediately. And I need to hope that it’s not too late. Thank you for once again helping me see the light.

Ryan Toole
7 months ago

This is genius! What a gift to give to give your loved one! My wife said she will do the same. Thanks Joe!!


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