Marriage is a path that every newly-wed couple believes, is paved with ever-blooming roses and happily-ever-afters. The young people promise each other that they would never let the spark die out and would nurture their marriage with the nectar of romance.
However, even the most passionate of marriages can eventually suffer, from the ill effects of dead routine, and the flame that glowed so warmly in the first few years of marriage may not seem to be fading away. This is an extremely delicate juncture in a married relationship. It can either go the way of boredom, when the couple start drifting away from each other in search of newer interests, or it can offer a brief period of lull, eventually bringing back each to the other. Here are a few ways how you can overcome dull routine and keep the spark of romance alive in your marriage.
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Go back to the basics and start saying “I love you”, but follow it up with a reason. Once a marriage becomes boring, you keep saying or doing things that you no longer mean. You may say “I love you” while leaving for work or before hanging up on the phone, but out of mere habit. On the other hand, if you remind your partner why you love him or her, it will mean something special. For instance if you say, “I love you for the way you still hold open the door when I’m walking through” or “I love you coz after eight years of marriage, you still laugh at my old jokes”, this will not only show your spouse that you still care but that you love him or her as deeply as before.
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Ask about each other
After a few years of marriage, you might feel that you already know everything there is to know about the other person and there can be nothing new. Yet, continue to inquire about your partner’s day after he or she comes back from work. Or ask how your spouse is feeling, if he or she appears upset. Start with these simple questions that show you care and then gradually widen your communication, to include more important matters that your partner might want to share with you.
Make time for each other
This must be the most common piece of advice given to couples, and yet the most difficult to follow. A busy household with kids, school work and domestic chores seems to sap away all your time and energy, till you are ready to crash for the night. And yet, spending even fifteen minutes with each other can make all the difference. But make sure that this time is for only the two of you – no discussing bills, sick kids or schedules for the next day. Wipe out every things-to-do list from your mind and focus only on each other. Tell a joke, hum a tune or simply massage his or her neck. Stick to such a ritual and see how it works wonders for your marriage.
Kiss each other for no apparent reason
If you are doing this after a very long time, you may feel foolish initially, but then remind yourself how it was, before you got married. Did you then need a reason to pucker up to your partner? I bet you didn’t! So why not go back to the good times and rekindle the magic?
Indulge your partner
This can be as simple as buying roses for your wife, or making your hubby’s favourite dessert. Or you can put in some time and effort into your romantic gestures, like shopping for your wife’s best perfume, or getting tickets for a game of your hubby’s favourite football team. Whatever you do, it will remind your spouse that he or she is special to you, even after all these years of marriage.
Plan a regular night out
Most of us make the mistake of believing that romance should be spontaneous and if it is planned, somehow, it is not the real thing. Leave such assumptions for teenagers, since you, as a long-married partner, know that every kind of magic needs a bit of preparation and lots of practice. Plan a “date” with your spouse and arrange for the kids to be taken care of. Keep the evening free of all interruptions from work and take pains to dress nicely. A few nights of these “dates” and you are sure to find the old warmth returning into your relationship.
Celebrate special occasions
Always make it a point to observe special occasions. Remember anniversaries and significant days, like the time you found out that you were going to have your first child. Or even the “firsts”, like the first time you went on a date or kissed each other. It need not be an elaborate celebration, just reminding each other of the many special memories you both share, will work wonders for your marriage.
Romance means different things to different people
Remember that romance means different things to different people. While you may flip for candlelight dinners and soft music, your partner’s idea of a romantic night out may be cozying up under a blanket of stars before a crackling campfire. So understand the other person’s preferences and explore romantic ideas accordingly. If you are too rigid in your ideas of what is romantic and what is not, you might be letting yourself in for disappointments. Who knows, you may even find yourself liking something you had never thought possible before. After all, isn’t this half the charm of marriage – discovering new things about yourself, even as you travel a new way with your partner?
So, if you feel your marriage hitting a plateau, where nothing interesting is happening any more, take matters in your own hands. Rekindle the spark that first brought the two of you together and then watch, as the flames of romance once again bring back the glow into your marriage.