Too often, schedules, tasks and commitments rule our lives and our marriages. It can feel impossible to manage busy lives while maintaining excitement and surprise in our relationships. Have you been married for just a few months and want to know good habits to start that will last long into the future and keep you excited about one another? Or have you celebrated a couple of decades together and find yourselves facing monotony? No matter how long it’s been, it is never too late to infuse new life into your marriage and enliven your connection with your partner.
- Never Stop DatingÂ Even though you are no longer in the dating phase of your relationship upon getting married, the truth is this: You should never stop dating. Make the effort to set aside quality time that is so easily lost in the shuffle. Spending intentional time together allows you to reconnect and enjoy each other’s company in the midst of your busy days. Go out alone and do something you enjoy. Take turns planning a special evening. It will infuse life and romance into your everyday partnership.
- Use Your WordsÂ The simple act of talking can work wonders in bringing couples together. There is a reason why communication dominates the top of every relationship to-do- list. Just listening to one another and voicing thoughts fosters trust within your relationship. Leaving things unsaid, on the other hand, means expectations and frustrations go unknown, unmet and unaddressed. This breeds contempt when simply conversing with one another leads to understanding. If there is something you need that you’re not getting, make it known. Listen if your partner is sharing thoughts or concerns with you. As communicating can be the hardest thing to do sometimes, a third-party counselor specializing in marriage can be a helpful option to get things back on track.
- Know Your RoleÂ As a husband or wife, you have a particular role unlike any other in your partner’s life. You have the power to make the other person feel either loved and appreciated or completely invisible. Remember to give due attention to your spouse and let them know that they are on your mind. It doesn’t require grand gestures (though those are encouraged, too), but simple notes, texts, phone calls, and other small gestures that validate the other person. You chose this person, signed up for a lifelong commitment and little acts of love go a long way. They serve as a reminder that each other is valued, which means more coming from a spouse than anyone else. Strengthen that bond and encourage those supportive roles within each other.
- Break the Routine Enough with the everyday list of things to do. That is not going anywhere and there are a thousand ways each day that we can fill our time, sometimes without a second thought. Bring spontaneity back into your marriage and leave the routine behind now and again. Instead of jumping into chores first thing on Saturday morning, go explore somewhere new in your city or strike out on an adventure together. Being spontaneous can break through the mundane and set a new tone for your time together. Look for new ideas from Love Blogs and be open to possibilities you can try. Try a wine tasting, farmer’s market or hike. Throw a Frisbee or rent bikes for a few hours in the middle of the day. On a rainy day, take the time to learn a new game or attempt a new recipe. Sprinkling your marriage with different activities helps keep the relationship fresh and the average at bay.
No matter what, you have to try. As soon as you stop paying attention, you may not even recognize when your marriage changes and becomes stale. Keep it alive and flourishing, you won’t regret it.
Tips for Keeping Your Marriage Fresh (2012) CT Department of Children & Families
Marriage Help: How to Keep Your Relationship Fresh (2012) Strengthen Your Relationship