Sunday, September 11, 2011

How to Keep the Spark Alive in Your Marriage

You’ve probably heard that keeping a marriage together is hard work.  This is true, but maybe not in the way you would expect.  The real difficulty for most couples is keeping the spark of romance alive when the toll of work, kids, and managing a household take over.  It’s all too easy to get distracted and forget how you ended up here in the first place; it’s easier than you’d think to take your soul-mate for granted.  But there are ways to keep the spark alive in your marriage, even when long hours at the office, screaming kids, and leaking faucets conspire to kill the mood.  Here are just a few things you may want to try.

1.       Date night.  You need some time alone with your spouse, even if it’s only a few hours a week for dinner and a movie.  So many couples get caught up with the needs of their family that they fail to see the forest for the trees.  If you and your partner don’t make an effort to stay connected and keep the romance going, there’s not going to be a whole family for very long.

2.       Weekend away.  Once in a while you need to forego the family vacay in favor of a weekend alone with your honey.  Call up the grandparents to arrange care for the kids and head out for a couple of relaxing days at a spa or a beachside resort.  Skip the local activities and stay in your room all weekend, simply enjoying the company of your spouse.

3.       Special surprises.  You don’t have time to arrange surprises often, but you should make the effort every so often to do something special for the one you love.  This could be as simple as cooking a favorite dish or sending flowers, or you might go a step further by giving a foot massage (scrubs, lotions, the works!) or making a personal mix for your partner’s MP3 player (if your last music mix was on a tape, it’s been too long).  These little touches that show you care might not seem like much, but they’ll go a long way towards reminding both of you that love is all around.

4.       Outside interests.  Believe it or not, the things that you don’t have in common can help to keep the interest level in your marriage high.  For one thing, you need to take care of yourself before you can attend the needs of anyone else.  This means doing something that is just for you every so often.  It may not be easy to put yourself first, but it is essential to staying sane and happy!  Beyond that, having outside interests that are separate from your spouse is going to have a positive impact on your marriage because it will give you something to talk about.  Having the same boring conversation every day is bound to get stale.

5.       Couples therapy.  Although you may have searched for sample prenups before you got married and decided that you would never need one, you might be rethinking that decision now.  If you think that you could be headed for the big D, it’s definitely time to seek some professional help.  Hey, there’s nothing to be ashamed of; nobody has all the answers when it comes to engineering a successful marriage!  But a counselor can help you and your partner address marital issues and get back on track, probably with better communication skills and a level of understanding that was missing before.

Sarah Danielson writes for BluWiki. Aside from finding discounts on gourmet food, you can also find Panera Bread Coupons and Cheesecake Factory Coupons. You may remember Sarah from her  Great Fall Foods That Your Family Will Love post.

I have learned, personally, that having been married almost 15 years and with a handful of very busy kids, you HAVE to find ways to keep that spark alive in your marriage! There are several ways that I have found that work for my husband and I, including sending messages on Facebook to each other, buying special gifts for one another, allowing the other to fulfill their wants and needs (and, I mean, a man NEEDS his toys, right? So, let him buy a few toys that make him happy...a sports car or a truck, a motorcycle), and spending some quality time together...even if that means waiting until the kids are in bed to cuddle and snuggle. 

How do you keep that spark alive?

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