5 Ways to Reignite the Romance in Your Marriage
If you've been in the marital trenches as long as I have (we celebrated 13 years in December) you could probably use a good dose of romance in your marriage. In fact I know that I am desperately coveting a strong injection of that ephemeral romantic newness I experienced when I first met my husband. You know; when every time you see your intended you get those butterflies in your belly, hearing his voice stirs a longing inside you, holding hands feels like coming home and just sitting on the couch and nuzzling in the nook of his neck piques a we can't keep our hands off each other session.
Don't feel bad-- I haven't had one of these experiences in quite awhile either-- what with the business of cleaning up dog feces, sewer floods in my basement, kids sleeping in my bed, science fair projects and the buttercream birthday party circuit essentially taking my pre-married, pre-kid life hostage. Of course there are those isolated moments when I'll be loading the dishwasher that I'll feel my husband's arms clasp around my waist and he'll gently brush his lips against the nape of my neck and pangs of excitement will well up in me and for those brief moments I'll be swept up in feelings of euphoric romance. The problem is these moments are far too few and my husband and I never capitalize on them-- rather than marinating in them and specifically taking the time to reflect on one another we let them fall away.
Of course now that Valentine's Day is almost upon us our society is heady with commercials of men whispering sweet nothings in women's ears while gifting them with diamond necklaces and rings and every other romantic gesture so many of us women wish our men would lavish on us. So in honor of the month of love, every Wednesday in February beginning today- I am going to help you and your boo rev up your lackluster married love life and infuse it with some TLC and lots of extra vavavoom. This week we're talking tips to reignite the romance in your marriage. So without further ado, here are some surefire ways to kick up the romance factor in your marriage at least a notch or two!
#1 Be strangers in the night: According to Chaplain Mirabai Galashan MTh, an expert in spirituality, health, and the mind-body-spirit connection, this tip is quite the fire-starter, especially when you have been together for a long time.
Arrange to meet at a bar that neither of you have been to, a hotel bar is ideal for the purpose of this exercise (plus it gives you extra options about what you do next!). Without discussing any details beforehand, you are each going to invent an alter-ego, complete with name, age, etc, etc. Venture outside the box a little and experiment playing the role of someone who has a little different lifestyle to your own. For example, if you are a stay-at-home mom, you might pretend to be a traveling sales executive and power dress in heels and a business suit - perhaps with racy lingerie underneath.
When you arrive at the bar, pull up a stool, order a drink and wait to be approached by a handsome, mysterious stranger. Play hard to get or flirt like mad, the choice is yours - what's even more fun is when the guy on a business trip sitting next to you is eavesdropping on the conversation and just can't believe what he's heariing, especially when you decide its time to leave together!
#2 Kiss. Too often married couples stop making out or only kiss during sex. Andrea Syrtash, author of "Cheat On Your Husband (With Your Husband)" says married couples should not undermine the power of a kiss! And pecking your husband on the way out the door to work doesn't count. Syrtash suggests married couples lock lips for longer than a few seconds without doing anything else to induce instant sparks.
#3 Write each other love letters. Something that has worked for mom and wife Michelle Morton is for her and her husband to write a love letter to each other, then share it over a bottle of wine or dinner or wait until bedtime. She suggests couples use their letters to spark a conversation about what they miss and what they want to improve in their marriage and ultimately how they can each go about it. Of course doing this over a bottle of wine is the preferred method.
#4 Make time for NAKED time. Mom and wife Diana Marie says she and her husband decided enough with the excuses of being tired, what if the kids wake up etc. and decided that when ever there was a window open to get naked with each other without any distractions they were going to take it. It had to be at least once a day for a week with NO exceptions! At night even if they *thought* they were too tired, they would throw some music on and get in the mood or light some candles and strip. Bottom line:There's always the ability to spark up your marriage when naked time is involved.
#5 Share a new experience. An important “secret” to keeping a marriage romantic is by sharing new experiences (especially romantic ones), notes co-author Michael Jonas who with his wife Barbara co-wrote The Book of Love, Laughter & Romance. In fact, he says there’s nothing that destroys a relationship faster than boredom and predictability, so married couples either need to do new things or do “old” things differently. They need to be adventurous and they can't be afraid to ask or suggest, and if your partner loves you, he or she will welcome your attention to your relationship. One way to achieve this is to make an activities "Wish List" together. Each month, make a list of the things you each want to do together. Compare them, look for items that match and for those that don't, negotiate -- go to the football game if he'll go to the musical.
So how are you going to inject a little romance into your marriage during this month of love?