I was bone-weary tired when I got in the car to head home after teaching an evening class at a local college. My days were filled with diapers, spit-up, and never-ending dishes. The hubby and I often had no energy left over and we were snapping at each other more than usual. Romance? I couldn’t remember what the word even meant.The stress of parenthood, housekeeping chores, and work was taking its toll.
When I drove up the driveway, I was greeted by a dark house. When I stepped inside, I found the living room illuminated by the soft glow of candles. Tealight candles formed a path all the way to the bedroom, where my husband greeted me with a glass of wine. Needless to say, the spark in our marriage rekindled in that moment.
After 25 years of marriage, we’ve ridden the ups and downs of the marriage roller coaster over and over. There have been times we’ve considered splitting up–to the point where our kids were taking bets on when a divorce would happen. I’m thankful we’ve never taken that step, because we’ve been able to find the romance over and over again. It requires conscious effort on both sides to keep the flame going. When the energy flows in the right direction, everything else flows along with it.
When you become lost in the routine of every day, it’s very easy to lose the romance if you let the marriage or partnership slide into mediocrity. Here are a few ways you can spice up your married life and rediscover or reignite the romance:
- Set aside time specifically for the two of you. Do whatever it takes to get that time together. But don’t settle into the same old, same old–explore something different. Learn a new skill together, try something out of your comfort zone, take a whole new path down a road you’ve never been on before.
- Switch sides of the bed. Yes, really.
- Do the unexpected for and with each other. Tap into your spouse’s wants and needs and find ways to fulfill them.
- Being nice goes a long way and sets the tone for the day. Challenge yourself to go 21 days without a single complaint. I’ve discovered that the more I consciously choose this challenge, the easier it becomes to catch a complaint before it is uttered.
- Set up a massage appointment. Light some candles, play some soft music. Take turns giving each other a full, 30-minute massage with no interruptions. No skimping on this part. Set the clock and let your spouse completely relax under your magic touch.
- Send a card out of the blue to your spouse’s work place. Even if it’s home. There’s something wonderful about receiving a card in the mail addressed just to you.
- Notice the good stuff and compliment your partner often.
- Give thanks. Yes, an attitude of gratitude goes a long way. Finding gratitude during the tough times can result in a shift in a positive direction again.
- Hold hands. Before you roll your eyes at this, try it. Especially if it’s been years and years since you touched in this way.
- For crying out loud, make love!
In the midst of parenthood, it’s all too easy to let your marriage slide and put yourselves last. Instead, switch the priority around and put your marriage front and center. Children reap the benefit when parents put love for each other on the top of the priority list.