HOW TO KEEP THE SPARK ALIVE IN YOUR MARRIAGE
Why did we get married in the first place? Because we love our husbands, obviously. But that head-over-heels, butterflies-in-stomach love that we feel in the early days of a relationship can fizzle out, leaving us feeling deflated and almost as if we are missing something in life. We think that our husbands have stopped caring. That we are no longer attracted to our husbands. We wonder if we made a mistake in getting married. We wonder where that spark went. The sad news is in a recent survey only 57% of women said their marriage was happy in 2014, compared to nearly 65% two years before.
The good news is: IT’S NORMAL!
When you first meet your spouse everything is new and exciting, and just as a rollercoaster would get less thrilling if you rode it over and over again, your marriage may start to feel a little less ‘sparkish’ as the years go on. We get comfortable and stop feeling the need to make an effort. Throw kids and bills and chores and careers into the mix, and you might find that you barely have any time to be a couple. It’s completely normal and DOES NOT mean that your marriage is doomed to failure. What is does mean, however, is that when the spark starts to fizzle out you have to make an effort to reignite it. And there are ways. All hope is not lost!
Communication is key
Talking to each other is one of the best things you can do for your relationship, and I’m not even talking about deep, meaningful conversations about our place in the world. Just chat like you do with your friends. Update each other on what you did during your day, comment on the latest episode of your favourite TV show, mention that funny meme you saw while you were scrolling on Facebook.
Just because you have a ring on your finger doesn’t mean your husband isn’t you friend. You spend more time with him than anyone else, so it is essential that you can just ‘hang out’ and chat. Don’t feel like you have the time to sit down and have a conversation? Chat over dinner, or while you’re folding laundry!
Do you know how to communicate effectively when disagreements arise? Check out this post on dealing with arguments!
Respect your husband
I’m not going to get into the whole ‘submission’ conversation (that’s a whooooole other blog post) but I will say that it is SO important to show your man respect. I fear that it has been so drummed into women that we are meant to be independent and not to be ‘ruled’ by the evil-man-demon that we, in general, have lost a lot of respect that women used to have for their husbands. Just as you would want him to listen to you, take on board what you say and aim to please you, you should do the same for him.
Think about it is this way: A friend visits you. You make sure you are wearing more than a dressing gown and slippers. You take their coat. Offer them a drink. Make sure the house is at a comfortable temperature. Sit and chat with them. You hold in your… ahem… bottom noises. Now, why is it that you seem to show that visitor more respect than the man you have chosen to live your life with?
Make an effort for your man. It’s not vain, and it should be a case of ‘if he doesn’t love me without my faults then I don’t want to know’. Yes, if he loves you he WILL put up with your faults, but you should make an effort to minimise them so that he doesn’t HAVE to put up with your faults. When you first got together did he ever see you looking less than stunning? Show him that you still want to make an effort for him, even after years of marriage.
Spend time together
QUALITY time. It can be so tempting to try to get loads of work done once the kiddos are in bed or to sit next to each other scrolling on your phones with the TV on in the background. Try to make room in the calendar for some intentional time with your hubby. I try to get all of my work done in bubba’s nap time so that when she goes to bed I’m not instantly hopping onto the computer. Of course, things don’t always get to plan and sometimes I have no choice but to get some work done in the evenings, but I intentionally try to make sure that the after dinner hours are reserved for my man.
Once you’ve got the time sorted, you need to make sure you are spending it well. Turn off the phones and put them out of sight. Make a list of things you could do together in this time. And if you DO decide to watch a bit of TV, make sure you are still present with him by holding his hand or stroking his leg.
Need some ideas to get you started? Check out my FREE ‘Intentional Time With Your Man’ cheat sheet!
When was the last time you made out in the back of your car or did the dirty somewhere you weren’t really meant to? It can be hard when you have kids, but even something as simple as getting passionate on the kitchen counter after the littles are in bed can help to mix things up and break up the monotony.
If you can, get a babysitter and go and do something you would never normally do (or at least – not since you were teenagers). A little risk can feel exciting and oh-so-hot, just be careful you don’t get into trouble! By taking my advice I cannot be held liable for any consequences!! You’re on your own pal!
Sooooooooooooooo much easier said than done, but this is the number one way to make your spouse feel like you truly care. Start thinking less about what will make you happy, and more about what will make them happy. The ironic thing is, if you go down this route of trying to consistently please your husband instead of yourself, he will naturally return the favour and start going out of his way to please YOU. So you’re really not losing out.
Try to find the joy in making him smile. Let it fill you up and make you feel good inside. Try to recapture those early days where you would have done anything for him. Just because you’re now married it doesn’t mean you have to stop making him a priority in your life. Treat him the way you would love to be treated, and not only will you both be happier, he will start reciprocating. Before you instantly point the finger and say “You’re not romantic enough!” ask yourself… ‘What am I doing to keep the spark alive in our marriage?’.
I hope this has helped you. I’d love to know what YOUR marriage is like. Do you still feel like a couple of teenagers, or have you fallen into a relationship rut? Let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to share any hot tips you have so that other women can learn and be inspired by you! Happy loving!