The honeymoon period in most marriages has a shelf life. But does that mean you can’t bring back those fluttery butterfly feelings of excitement and anticipation everyone experiences at the beginning of a relationship? Absolutely not. All marriages maneuver through rough patches. Some don’t survive long enough to come out the other side unscathed. But many do.
Here are 11 ways to keep your marriage fresh:
Most times, after being married for so many years, couples tend to forget what initially brought about the attraction in the first instance. That passionate kiss when your partner walks in the door can easily morph into a peck on the cheek. But there’s a real danger in that. Studies show that nearly half of men who have cheated say it was because of emotional dissatisfaction and not sex. When men don’t feel connected or appreciated by their wives, they are vulnerable to the advances of any attractive woman who casts a lustful glance their way.
Most couples tend to forget the importance of saying “thank you”. Whether it’s for breakfast, filling the car up with fuel or even something as simple as laying the bed, saying thank you just shows how much you really appreciate your partner it isn’t until your husband buys you a car that you show him appreciation.
Being honest with your partner no matter the situation is a very good approach. It doesn’t really matter how you feel, tell your partner the truth. This helps to build a sort of emotional connection. If as a husband you can’t afford to pay the kid’s school fees anymore, tell your wife to support. If as a wife, you overspent the monthly budget, tell him.
Although infidelity usually happens in bed, it also can happen with money. And it will be a tough road gaining back your spouse’s trust if you’ve lied about overspending.
With many years and a few kids under your belt, it’s easy to let your appearance slide. Think about when you first met your partner. Would you have walked around in dirty shorts and without brushing your teeth? It’s not that you have to look like Miss World every time, but hey, you have to look good. Take care of your hair, skin, teeth, etc.
Exercise and diet to maintain your shape. Not caring about your appearance could be very disastrous.
There are many things you should never say to a long-time spouse. For example, telling your wife just shortly after she gives birth how slim your neighbour looks is a huge NO. Also, it is never a good idea to start a sentence with: “You know it’s always been your problem that…” Who wants to hear that from their partner? We hopefully all have a pretty good sense of ourselves at this point and having someone you love point out a failing in this way does little to engender a loving relationship. If you start a sentence with these words your mate is certain to shut down or start a fight. Stop for a minute and think about what you really mean to say and then say that instead.
Sometimes the best way to address a problem is to just walk away from it as in seriously let it go. Not every slight must be addressed. Know that not every insult is intended. Practice letting go as much as you can. Forgive more. Forget more. Bite your tongue until the tip bleeds. And once in a while, remind yourself of why you married this person. Focus on those reasons and let stuff pass without mention. The trick to successful silence, however, is that you really let the problem pass. If you stay silent and still harbour bad thoughts, it’s dangerous.
Life has ups and downs, peaks and valleys. Relationships aren’t flat-lined as well. We all go through periods where the mere thought of life without our partners can bring tears to our eyes and then a week later we can’t stand the sound of their breathing next to us. We’ve all been there. The trick is knowing that you won’t stay in either place forever. Truth is, in a marriage, you spend most of your time in an emotional middle ground.
Intimacy isn’t just sex and passion isn’t just doing it on the kitchen counter. Bedroom habits age along with the marriage. There may be no stronger aphrodisiac than a moonlight walk on the beach that ends in a kiss. There may be no greater display of passion than the zeal of a partner in a hospital room trying to get the nurse’s attention for an ailing wife.
Don’t let others define what is a “normal” or “healthy” amount of sex for your marriage. Know that things change, but that doesn’t make them less exciting or fun. And intimacy comes in many shapes, including conversation and cuddling.
Your marriage should be your primary relationship but it needn’t be the only one. Have the right friends around you, and you’ll be sure to enjoy your marriage.