ways to improve your relationship with your spouse PART 2

LESSONS ON ROMANCE1. Change up your routine. Whether you’ve been married for two years or twenty years, it can easily feel like you and your partner have fallen into a rut. Routines form because they are convenient and they make it easier to navigate your day-to-day life, but falling into ruts and routines in your relationship can slowly kill the romance without you even realizing it.

  • If you usually eat in most nights, try going out for a date night. If you typically make your own separate meals, try cooking a meal for your partner and eating together.
  • Do something exciting together that you and your spouse wouldn’t normally do. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, but it should push you both to have fun and get excited together.
  • Take a romantic vacation together, or just plan a fun and exciting day together – even if it just means going to a carnival or an amusement park.

2. Flirt with one another. When you and your spouse were dating, you probably flirted with one another all the time. So why did you stop? Most couples get comfortable with one another, which is obviously a good thing. But the downside of getting comfortable is forgetting how to turn on the charm, often because you haven’t had to in several months (or even years).

  • Make eye contact.
  • Smile at your partner and act giggly.
  • Use romantic body language, and mimic your partner’s body language.
  • Stand facing one another, avoid crossing your arms, and lean in towards one another when you speak.

3. Increase your physical contact.Physical contact is an important component of intimacy. Physical contact makes you feel desired, and it can make you feel comfortable and closer with your partner. If you’re already very intimate and have a lot of physical contact, then keep doing it. If you’ve lost that part of your relationship, make an effort to bring it back.

  • Physical contact doesn’t just mean sex (although many people do consider sex a healthy part of marriage). It can mean holding hands, snuggling, embracing, kissing, or any other kind of affectionate contact.
  • Your partner probably wants physical contact as much as you do, but may be too shy or worried that you don’t also want it.
  • Don’t stress over physical contact, just initiate it. Your partner will appreciate it, and it will help you both feel closer to one another.

4. Make time for intimacy. If you’ve been married for a while, you probably both feel overwhelmed from time to time with trying to balance your work life and your home life. This can be even more daunting if you have kids. But making time for intimacy without any distractions (kids, work calls/emails, etc.) can do wonders to bring back the spark in your relationship, especially if you make it a consistent priority week after week.

  • Spending time with one another, especially with physical contact, often sets the stage for sex and will make you both feel closer to one another.
  • If you have to, schedule time for intimacy and/or sex. Experts advise that even setting aside 30 minutes for some intimate time alone can do wonders for your relationship.
  • Drop your kids off at a babysitter’s, or if they’re old enough to be out alone you can give them money to go see a movie or shop at the mall. That will buy you some alone time with your spouse.
  • Turn off your cellphones when you’re being intimate together. Nothing kills the mood like your partner getting dragged into a long work-related phone call.
  • Intimacy isn’t just a one-time thing. You’ll need to work hard to make time for it every week, or several times a week, or however often you and your partner need it.

  1. 5. Convey your sexual preferences. This relates to being honest and open in your communication with one another. Some people are afraid to convey their desires to others, even to a spouse. However, your preferences are nothing to feel embarrassed or ashamed of. Talk to your partner about what your sexual preferences or fantasies are, and ask your partner about his or her preferences. And no matter what you or your partner want, be mutually respectful of one another’s needs.

    • Feeling like your sexual preferences aren’t being met can make sex unfulfilling, which over time can feel almost like a chore.
    • The best way to mutually enjoy sex is to communicate to your partner what you like or don’t like, and ask your spouse to do the same.
    • Be willing to explore new things together in the bedroom so that you and your partner are both having your needs met. Plus, trying new things in general can lend a spark to your relationship, and you might find you both enjoy your new routine.
    • Being respectful of your partner’s needs doesn’t mean putting yourself in an uncomfortable situation. It’s okay to have boundaries and to expect your partner to respect those boundaries.