Marriage is just like every other institution on earth that requires a conscious effort on the part of the parties involved to make it work. Two individuals that are obviously from a different background; both with their different values and strengths coupled with faults and weakness living together as one. Naturally, there is going to be frictions in your marriage. It takes a conscious effort on the part of the parties involved to be able to live peacefully and in harmony.
Spicing up your marriage requires a continuous effort from the parties involved. If care is not taken, one might be excited with the partner like one is excited with a new car; however, after some time, the excitement vanishes. Marriage should not be like that. It is possible to be as excited with your spouse 10 years later the same way you got excited while taking her to the altar.
People indulge in extra-marital affairs as a means of escape from the fact that they are no longer enjoying the relationship they have with their spouse. However, it is a psychological thing; someday, they get fed up with the illicit relationship and seek another one.
The same goes with marriage; People seek for divorce after divorce, because they think the problem with the marriage is the spouse. Soon, they discover the new spouse is just like the last one; imperfect. The problem is not with your partner but with the way you handle the relationship you have with your partner.
It is an understandable fact that after years of marriage and the arrival of children, attention can get divided. It is of utmost importance to strike a balance between love and attention for your spouse and that of the children. Remember, you are married to your spouse, not your children!
We will consider 25 ways through which a couple can spice up their marriage and rekindle the candle of love that is already waning and flickering away.
1- Don’t Lose the Personal Touch It Strength Marriages
Do you remember the ways you use to search out for that unique gift and surprise for your spouse while you were courting? You never forget her birthday and usually plan for special surprises during such events. You take interest in having intricate knowledge about your spouse. That alone is a fact that trips your partner.
If you already have the personal data of your partner, don’t lose touch of it. I mean intricate details like,
- Spouse birthday
- The shoe size
- Size of her bra
- You spouse favorite color,
- The favorite brands of your spouse
- The dishes your spouse love best
- The birthday of your spouse’s parents and loved ones
- Your wedding anniversary!
- Your spouse discipline
- The skills of your spouse etc
If you don’t have this data handy you may try to get these details where you can. For instance, you can take a look at your spouse shoes to check the size; look at his/her wardrobe and draw an inference from the colors that are preferred etc. You can also get this information by striking a conversation –not by directly asking! For instance;
“What should we get Dad or Mum on their next birthday? We sure should surprise them, should we?” That way you will surely get the required data. Memorize it there and then and write it down later when your partner is not present. When you go out shopping or to dinner, take note of the choices made by your spouse and keep that information handy.
The secret strategy is to continuously surprise your spouse with the information you have about his/her details. That alone gives your spouse a subconscious feeling that you love her. Never forget the birthdays, wedding anniversary, etc, so that when you buy a gift for your spouse, it should be the correct size, etc.
Keep the personal touch joker intact and flash it out from time to time. Your spouse will definitely feel loved for it and consequently, will love you in return.
2- Plan a Getaway Periodically
There is nothing that creates a bond between two people like staying together alone. This is often overlooked by most couples that get preoccupied with work, achieving career goals, religion and meeting financial obligations. It is important to note that every other success achieved can be made infinitesimally insignificant if the marital aspect failed woefully.
Just as you have your daily schedule for work, exercise, religious schedules etc, make it a part of your weekly or at least monthly schedule to have a getaway with your spouse. It does not have to be a vacation to Las Vegas, or the Caribbean. Go window shopping in the mall, a dinner together or a walk through the park. It might even be a timeout just driving through the greenbelts and enjoying nature.
During such outings, simply leave out the serious types of discussions like your ambitions and challenges. Don’t even try to bring up unresolved arguments with the view of resolving them; those can simply dissolve away in an atmosphere of affectionate love. You can use the opportunity to enjoy the nostalgia of your courting days and just talk about what type of future you would love to enjoy together.
3- Make Deliberate Gestures
One of the important facts that kill affection is the feeling of neglect by one’s marriage partner. There are little things that one does that makes the spouse realize that this person is mindful of me or could feel otherwise like “I’m not important to my wife!’.
Imagine the husband coming back from work and the wife just slapped him with a cold “welcome” while her eyes are firmly fixed at the television watching a soap opera! Compare that to a scenario where the man comes in and runs his hand on the wife’s hair and says how are you, darling? Those words are enough to remove her attention from the television. The man may be rewarded with a sweet look, a smile etc.
In the making to deliberate gestures, bear in mind that the male gender responds to sight and touch while the female responds to speech. For a man, make deliberate efforts to give a compliment to your wife, compliment just everything about her; her looks, her dressings, her voice, sexual appeal, her cooking etc. After the compliments, you may attempt to touch. Touching her before completing may make her feel violated. For the woman, give him the flirtish look and get close enough to be touched; run your hands across his chest.
These are the little things that keep the flame of love burning in your marriage.
4- Surprise your Spouse
As we all know, repeated routines tend to become boring and at the worst scenarios undesirable as time goes by. It is possible for things to follow a particular routine in your home a couple of years after the wedding.
If might not be an official division of labor, but along the year things just tend to take a specific routine and stays that way. House chores like shopping, laundry, washing dishes, cleaning, mowing the lawn, washing the car etc tend to be done by one person. Simply make an exciting twist someday and see the response from your spouse. Imagine the interesting twist for the wife to enter the kitchen and see the husband preparing dinner or washing the dishes. The dish prepared might not be the chef grade cooking but your wife will definitely love you for it.
There is no hard or fast rule about this; chores within the house differ from one home to the other. Some homes may even have a household staff that takes care of different chores. Be creative and find a way to surprise your wife with a simple twist within the house. It might be joining her in the bathroom and taking a shower together. Make a simple twist that will add a smile to your spouse’s face.
5- Never Say NO to Sex Advance from your Spouse
The problem with most couples can be traced back to an unfulfilled sexual life. It can be the main reason besides her nagging; it could be the reason why he snaps at you when you make requests. Sex is the core aspect of marriage such that without it, many couples would prefer to be divorced!
You should never deprive your partner of sex, say an outright no or ignore sexual advances; the consequence could be fatal. Bear in mind that someone could be on the verge of seducing your spouse; depriving your partner of sex will make him/her more vulnerable. Agreed, there are times when a partner doesn’t just feel like having sex, in such a situation, there are ways of turning down sexual advances from a partner without necessarily causing hurt.
Rather than say an outright No or ignore such sexual advance, you could just hug your partner and say “You know I like doing it with you, but I’m just too tired! Let’s make it …..”
That way, you have successfully declined without making your partner feel bad
6- Discuss your Sex Life
The human character does vary widely from one person to the other, so does our demand for sex. What is satisfying about sex in one partner might not be desirable with another. This is why it is important for partners to discuss their sex life from time to time. To be candid, you might not know if you are actually living to the expectation of your partner sexually.
The discussion may not necessarily be a formal one. You may just raise the question while sitting together in the lounge. Let’s take a look at a possible discussion between Joe and Susan
Joe: “Susie, I had wanted to ask you a question.”
Susan: “What is it dear?”
Joe: “I was just wondering, what positions do you like best for sex?”
Susan: (Laughs) “Joe, you are so funny! Well, I like the Doggie style. I also like to Horse ride, but you never let me.”
Joe: (Looking surprised) “But you never asked me?”
Susan: “Now you know.”
Joe: “Okay Cowgirl! Do you like fast strokes or slow ones?”
Susan: “Oh boy! The fast strokes drive me crazy, but I like you to start with the slow strokes and build momentum slowly.”
Joe: “Alright. I like the fast strokes too. How deep do you like it?”
Susan: “When you go deep, it touches my womb, it kind of hurt and I kind of like it.”
Such goes the discussion back and forth; usually, such discussions end up in a rehearsal session.
7- Be Active in Bed
Sexual act has a dual part of satisfaction; the first aspect is getting satisfied personally, the second aspect is the knowledge that you have successfully satisfied your partner. The second feeling does boost the masculine or feminine strength of your partner as the case may be.
Let’s consider a hypothetical couple Joe and Susan.
Imagine Joe having sex with his wife who just lies down during the whole ordeal and maybe moans slightly from time to time and compared it with the Susan that actively jerks and moans then speaks out intermittently
‘Joe! I love it uhh hmm!
Joe, you’re killing me ooh ahh!
Definitely, Joe will be more satisfied with the second response than the first.
In the same vein, if Joe just keeps quiet throughout the sexual intercourse, then moans and rolls off, Susan will feel bad; more or less violated. Susan would have loved a situation where Joe will caress her and say something like
“Sassy, you are sweet…”
“Baby, I love you…”
“Baby, do you like it?…”
The next time you are in bed, make all effort to make your spouse feel like a sex expert.
8- Say I Love You
It might be a surprise that both male and female gender feel insecure from time to time. There are times when the partner wonders if the spouse is still in love. It is important for both spouses to reassure the other partner of their love intermittently. But how do you just say I love you? It is easy to say that during sexual intercourse but how do you say that without being artificial? The key to doing this is that there are a thousand ways to say I love you.
Let’s have some example here.
- Fix your eyes on your spouse until he/she feels embarrassed. And would likely ask “Why are you looking at me? That gives you the opportunity to reply-
I love you, Susan.
- Walk to the kitchen and stand behind her. Run your hands across her body and let it rest on her ass; and say something like –“I love your tight ass, it drives me crazy!”
- Look at her, stroke her lips and say: “I love your kissable lips.”
- After dressing up in the room, tell him “Handsome boy! I love you, you look good in this shirt”
- She’ll really love it when you tell her that you love her boobs!
Just look out for innovative ways to let your spouse know that you’re in love – I love the way you walk, I love your sexy eyes, I love your pointed nose, I love your bald head, etc. The most important part of this is to be sincere anyway!
9- Love and Respect your Partner
Every spouse wanted the love of her partner, at the same time, expect to be treated with a level of respect and dignity. These two factors are reciprocal. Naturally, people would rather stay in a place where they are celebrated rather than be where they are tolerated. Make a deliberate effort to make your partner realize that you hold him or her in high esteem. Someone who is held in a high esteem will naturally take all possible caution not to fall from such a state.
Follow the seven rules below as in relating with your spouse.
- Do not walk out on your spouse
- Don’t hiss at your spouse
- Never raise your voice at your spouse
- When you are angry, keep quite.
- Never argue with your spouse in public.
- Never correct your spouse in public. Even when he is wrong, cover for him.
- Don’t call him by his/her first name in public – Use pet names.
If you feel your spouse does not love you as much as you desire, try treating your spouse with dignity both in the privacy of your home and in public places. You will observe an almost instant positive change.
10- Focus on Right and not Wrong
It is obvious that as human beings we are not perfect. Everybody has shortcomings and shortfalls. This may be obvious in physical appearance, habit, attitude, and character. In the same vein, your spouse must have a definite trait that made you loved him in the first place; you should focus your attention on that thing that made your partner a great person and not on his shortfalls.
So what do you do about the shortfalls of your partner? Don’t complain, criticize or condemn your partner; you should help your partner to overcome his or her shortcomings. Work together with your partner to make the dream spouse you have always wanted. Remember the fact that human beings are not perfect – this includes you also.
Focusing on the shortfalls of your partner will deplete the love you have for your spouse while focusing on the things that you love about your partner. You will engender the strength to continue in spite of the apparent shortfalls of your spouse. That is true love when you love someone in spite of their shortcomings that are known to you.
11- Solve Problems in your marriage on time
Two people, who are brought up by two different parents, went through diverse experience while growing up, will definitely not see everything in life in the same light. This is especially true for a married couple. There will definitely tend to be a number of disagreements and tense moments in the course of a relationship.
During such a situation which is unavoidable, it is important to come together and resolve any issues of disagreement before it further degenerates into bitterness. Apparently, your spouse too is not comfortable with the tense situation between both of you and is hoping you will make the first move towards reconciliation. It is important to note that initiating the move towards reconciliation is not a sign of weakness but of maturity.
Do not wait for an interference of third parties before your disagreements could be resolved. Moreover, in your quest to resolving issues as they arise, it should be a win-win situation; not an avenue to apportion blames which in itself could further degenerate issues.
12- Learn to Say Thank You
Make a deliberate attempt to say thank you to your spouse when required. As couples, it is possible to get to an acquainted to the state of unintentionally taking each other for granted. When one appreciates whatever is given or a gesture extended, it connotes two things. The first being the fact that the receiver acknowledges that receiving such gesture is not a right but a privilege. Secondly, it gives the gives an impression that whatever has been given is appreciated by the receiving party.
When a kind gesture extended to a spouse is not acknowledged with a thank you, it sends two signals. The first one being that your spouse is an unappreciative person and that the spouse does not really like the gesture or gift. The consequence will be that of discouragement or anger depending on temperament. You can be rested assured that the spouse may likely not extend such gesture in the future.
Do not only say thank you when your spouse buys you a special gift; be appreciative by thankfully acknowledging every courtesy and gesture of love by saying thank you. This thankful attitude as trivial as it may seem will make you special to your spouse. Imagine your spouse opening the door for someone else who just passed by and said nothing, he will definitely think to himself – if it were my wife, she will say thank you.
13- Reflect on Good Times
Life is definitely filled with ups and downs. At times everything so good and one feels on top of the world; career is progressing, money is coming in and bills are paid on time, family and friends are doing fine. There also may be trying times when everything seems to be crumbling down, your best effort at breaking even prove abortive; these are times when things just refuse to work. At such times, there is a tendency to have transferred aggression and frustrations are taken out on the other spouse.
You may not have control over the situation that you are passing through, but you definitely have control over the way you react to such situation. Rather than taking out your frustrations on your spouse by withdrawing into a shell of depression, reflect on the good times you have had – when things were working and you were happy with your partner. Look with hope on the brighter side of life. Like the book says – Tough times never last but tough people do.
14- Make Marriage a Priority
There are quite a number of things that do require attention in life. There is the career that one will like to further improve upon, social engagements that make one an integral part of the society, friend, and extended family and children. All these crave for attention so much that one may be distracted from a more important relationship with your spouse.
Make sure your marital relationship is at top priority when making choices in life. Do not sacrifice your marriage on the Alter of your career or social engagements. There are times when your marital bliss may be at stake and you will be sandwiched in between a choice of ending a relationship or having a peaceful home. In such situation, make your marriage a priority.
15- Be Faithful
A Marital relationship is one that is based on absolute trust. You trust your partner will not harm you, that is why you eat her food without testing for poison. To sleep at peace in the same room without locking your partner out because you trust that your spouse will not hurt you overnight. Making love with your spouse without using protection because you trust your spouse to be free from STD
These are some of the reason why it can be devastating if a partner has any reason to suspect that the spouse is being unfaithful. The resultant jealousy can slowly poison and eventually kill the love that has ever existed before between couples. As a matter of principle, you should never cheat on your spouse and you should be open to your spouse about the other platonic relationships that you have. If your spouse is not comfortable with any of your other relationships, it is better you do away with it in order to have a happy home.
It is understandable that some spouses are outrageously jealous and may grow paranoid at the slightest hint that their spouse likes someone else; even someone of the same sex. Such can be as a result of low self-esteem. It becomes the responsibility of the other spouse to reassure and boost the morale of the jealous spouse. Words like “you’re the best husband in the world”, “If I had another chance, I will still marry you” can do a lot of magic in reassuring and boosting the morale of your spouse.
16- Be a Team Player
How do you see your partner? Do you place any restriction to what you can do with your partner? Is there a boundary that you have placed in your life that your spouse cannot cross? Are there some things that you will rather do on your own without the knowledge of your spouse? Do you trust your friends more than you trust your spouse?
It is of utmost importance to carry your spouse along in every important step you take. Be it in your academics, your job, issues concerning your home, etc. Try to get your spouse involved in the things that you do, even if there is very little or nothing your spouse could contribute. Seek your spouse opinion about issues concerning your job, concerning your home and reach a consensus. By the time success is achieved, your partner too can have a feeling of fulfillment that he/she contributed to the success.
It can be devastating for a partner to take some steps without allowing the spouse to know; upon learning the same from a third party, the feeling can be shocking. It’s a feeling of neglect and betrayal. In as much as you are married, you are on the same team with your spouse; you should be a team player.
17- Forgive and Forget
It is impossible for two people to live together without offending each other. The relationship of a married couple is such that one cannot totally avoid the other partner. The feeling of offense and taking offense that is not resolved in a timely manner can degenerate into bitterness. It is, therefore, important to resolve all issues as they arise, then forgive and forget.
Forgiveness is a necessary virtue that must be embraced among couples because unforgiveness will hurt both the party harboring the offense and also the guilty party. It is important not to retaliate or harbor the feelings of retaliation as this will further worsen an already bad situation.
It is common for the guilty party to accept blame and seek the forgiveness of the other partner. In a situation like this, it is easy to forgive and the partner should willingly oblige to forgive. However, there are situations where the guilty will obstinately not accept blame or may also feel hurt because the partner has already retaliated in some way. In a scenario like this, call your partner and make him/her realize his fault, ask if you have also offended in any way, then you should forgive and ask for forgiveness.
18- Be Open and Realistic
Every couple has an expectation from the partner. However, there are times when the said partner does not meet up to other expectations. This could cause a feeling of disappointment that can affect the way the couple relates to each other. The awkward thing about this kind of situation is that the partner can be totally unaware of this fact.
The expectation and seemingly failure to meet up to the said expectation from the partner is mainly occasioned by a disparity in the background and prior experience and upbringing. For instance, a woman who grew up in a home where the father helped out in the kitchen will subconsciously expect the same from her spouse. While a man who grew up in a society where the children fees are paid by both parents will expect the spouse to bear some financial burden of the home.
The solution? Be open about your expectations to your partner and also ask your partner about what he or she expects from you. Also, be realistic in your expectations so as not to burden your spouse. The key to this is not to make demands or accusations. Consider the conversation below between our hypothetical couple Joe and Susan.
Susan: “All men buy flowers for their wife’s but you have never bought me one!” —WRONG
Susan: “You ought to have known that women love flowers! Yet you hardly buy any for me.” –WRONG
Susan: “Joe, you know it’s romantic when a man buys flowers for his wife. I will love that.” RIGHT
Susan: “Oh poor boy! You must have been stressed lately; it’s been a while since you’ve bought me flowers” –RIGHT
Don’t die in silence or continue to feel hurt because of an unfulfilled expectation. Be open to your partner and you will receive pleasantly surprising outcomes.
19- Have Fun
One of the reasons people get fed up with marriage is that as time goes on, being with the spouse stop being fun. Agreed, there are goals to be met, bills to be paid and extra responsibilities as the children are born. However, you should make time to have fun with your partner. Ask yourself, if your relationship were like this while you were courting; will she have agreed to marry you? If your honest answer to that is no, then you have fallen short and should start making amends right away.
Think of ways you can have fun with your partner. It might be something that your spouse loves, like watching movies, going out to the theaters, etc. You may even consider an introduction of some indoor games into your home; a game you and your wife can play and simply have fun. Something you can indulge in when the home gets boring.
If you have an introvert spouse that always withdraw to his/herself, finding ways to have fun with your partner could be a good way to pull him/her out of that introvert shell whenever you want to. Be innovative and experiment with diverse ways of having fun together.
20- Spice up your Sex Life
As we have earlier discussed, sex is part of the nucleus of a marriage relationship. Therefore it should be handled with intricate care, as the issue of sex alone came make a relationship spiteful and can also mar a relationship.
Sex as exciting as it may be can lose its flavor if it becomes too monotonous. With the same way of approaching your partner all the time and the same sexual positions at every instant can become monotonous.
Consider how to innovatively spice up your sex life in two aspects.
1. The approach: How do you approach your partner for sex? Only in bed while both of you are ready to sleep? Why not make a different style of approach; like in the morning, while about to go to work, ask your partner for a quickie; Enter the shower when your partner is bathing and start caressing; Approach her in the kitchen and give her a sensual touch. As for a female, if it is the man that always asks for sex, make a twist by asking him.
2. The Act: The same type of positions can be boring; try some other positions with your partner. A good source of sex positions can be found at sexinfo101.com Get a position that you are comfortable with and the golden rule is to inform your partner that you have a great style you’ll like to try out that you believe he or she would like.
21- Take Time off Parenting
Children are a blessing to every home and parents should take good care of them. Parenting can become stressful at times; taking care of the children’s hygiene, working to put nutritious food on the table, preparation of food, preparing for school every working day and the likes are just a few. However, parenting ought not to be at the price of neglect of your spouse.
Take time off from parenting once in a while and enjoy yourself with your partner. How is it possible? You can drop your children off at your parent place for the weekend and have time alone at home. You may also have a relative, a friend or a live-in household help to stay with the children at home while you and your spouse go out for a good time in a hotel, a movie or some sort of getaway.
Taking time off from parenting is a perfect way to ease yourself of home stress, relax and enjoy yourself with your partner.
A good thing that makes a happy home is to keep memories. It also knits the relationship between a couple when they keep memorable events and celebrate together.
There are quite a number of holidays within the year that you can plan and take time off to celebrate with your spouse or celebrate together as a family. Wedding anniversaries are important occasions that should be celebrated by every couple as a time of renewal of a love relationship. The birthdays of the couple can be celebrated in unique ways. When the children come in, their birthdays too can be a refreshing time of family get-together.
Plan these events with your partner. The celebration does not necessarily be an expensive venture; celebrate within your means. Whichever way the celebration is done, it should reflect a feeling that the day is special in the life of the spouse and the family at large.
23- Sleep together
It is a good habit to sleep with your spouse on the same bed; a bed that nobody shares with you. That is your matrimonial bed. There may be quite a number of reasons that a couple may give for sleeping apart, but sleeping apart can only make the bond between a couple weaken.
Excuses given include privacy. Agreed, once in a while we all need privacy but you don’t need privacy while asleep because you’re not conscious in the first place. If your spouse is snoring, that is the more reason you should sleep together. It’s a dangerous habit to snore; you should be there to help adjust his sleeping positions while snoring.
More importantly, sleeping together gives room for privacy between the couple every day. You can take the few minutes before sleeping to discuss important issues, pray together and resolve any issues that might have arisen during the day. It is also easier to cuddle, show affection and ask your partner for sex while sleeping in the same bed.
24- Remain Attractive
Most couples get married to their spouse with the mindset that the spouse will not change. However, change is an inevitable part of life and should be expected. People don’t grow more handsome or beautiful as they age. However, it is possible on the part of the person to remain attractive. By taking control of one’s physical shape, this is quite possible.
Our hypothetical couple Joe probably liked the shape of a slim woman that was part of the reason he chose to marry Susan who was 120 pounds t the time of marriage. After three years, Susan developed a nonchalant attitude towards her shape and is now 180 pounds. Definitely, Joe will not like it. Psychologically whenever he sees a woman of 120 pounds, he will remember, my wife looked like that when I married her.
Most times after marriage, there is a higher level of comfort enjoyed both parties. After marriage, Joe may likely have his meals on time, meals may be more nutritious. If he is not careful, he may develop a pot belly. Unfortunately, Susan hates pot bellies.
Every home should have a bathroom scale. Each couple should check their weight intermittently. Putting on weight after marriage may be inevitable, but outrageously growing out of shape can be avoided.
The same goes with dressing. Be attractive both at home and while outside the home. Remain that sweet person that your spouse fell in love with.
25- Pray Together
Faith is an important aspect of the life of every marriage. With all being said and done, it is important to commit your family under the divine care of God. As human beings we have control over a number of things, however, we have no control of the future; we do not even know what the future holds for us.
So why God? There are some devastating events that can take place that will forever shatter the state of a family, always pray for protection. You may plan but you do not have control of the overall outcome, pray for success. Are you enjoying your family and your life, give thanks to God? Are you passing through a trial time, then pray for deliverance from the present affliction?
Moreover, when couples have issues, it can be easily resolved as they know they will have to pray together. Two people cannot pray in agreement while still quarreling. Can they? A family that prays together stays together.
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