In the first part of this post, we looked at 10 important ways you can help bring the spark back into your marriage. Today, we’re picking up right where we left off with 10 more tips for getting out of a slump, rekindling the passion in your marriage, and making your relationship the best it can be.
Let’s get right to it!
1. Eye Contact
Not only is eye contact during communication an important way of showing your interest, it’s also one of the intimate interactions a couple can share outside of physical contact. Looking into each other’s eyes helps you remain in touch with how your spouse is feeling when speaking to you.
Additionally, several minutes of silent eye contact, according to psychologist Arthur Aron, can be a critical experience in falling in love – even if that’s not the case, it’s still an extremely vulnerable thing to do, and sharing that vulnerability with your spouse helps build connection.
2. Flirt Throughout The Day
As we’ve said in the past, sexual chemistry doesn’t just happen in the bedroom – it happens over the course of the day in your mind, and in the way you interact with each other.
A little bit of flirty behavior goes a long way. From playful kisses in the morning, to a sexy text message in the middle of the day, to anything else that will remind your spouse that you’re attracted to them, that you’re looking forward to your next romp together…
All of this serves to keep desire alive in your mind, and builds up throughout the day so you’re excited to see each other that night!
3. Get Some Exercise (Together If You Can)
A healthy body helps with for self-esteem, personal happiness, mental health, and a whole range of other benefits. In terms of your marriage, getting some exercise helps you feel more confident about the way you look, strengthens your sex drive, and, well… being in better shape likely means you’ll be around longer.
Exercising together – if your schedule permits – is also a great way to build you bond. You can act as each other’s support system, learn to encourage each other through tough times, and keep each other on track with whatever regimen you choose. You’ll also be building trust, admiring each other’s “new” figures, and stimulating your brain’s centers of attraction and romance with physical activity!
…And when the work out is over – you can hit the showers together too!
4. Double Dates
Not every date has to be just you and your spouse. In fact, spending time with other couples can help your marriage in a couple of interesting ways. First, it gives you a chance to see another couple interacting – which, for better or worse, can help put elements of your own relationship into perspective.
Secondly, because you’re likely going on a double date with your friends, it can also help you see admirable and lovable qualities about your spouse as you see them interact with other people they are close with. It could be a laugh, a gesture of kindness, or anything at all. Seeing your spouse happy, but from a slightly outside perspective, can be a great way to “re-notice” some of your favorite qualities about them.
5. Create Together
It sounds a little “elementary school,” but cooperation and problem solving really do help people grow closer together!
Tackle a project around the house together, plan an event, collaborate on an art project…
Whatever it may be, the point is to put your heads together to come up with solutions, make joints decisions, find compromises, and work toward a common goal.
This activity, and all of the skills it takes to complete, ends up being a great metaphor (and a little training) for your marriage.
6. Be A Pillar Of Support
Your spouse needs to know that you “have their back,” and you should know that they have yours. Not only does having someone “in your corner” lend itself to higher self-esteem, it also reinforces the mentality of seeing your marriage as a team.
When you support each other through good times and bad, you know that you can overcome challenges and face fears, simply because you know that other person is going to be with you every step of the way.
7. Make Date Night About The Marriage
Far too often, couples make date night about the date itself – where you’re going, what you’re wearing, how much it costs, what time you have to be there, etc.
Instead of worrying about those things (which don’t really have any bearing on your marriage), focus on making your dates about your connection and the love you have for one another. You can still go out to dinner, but worry more about finding a place you can have a good conversation than getting an exclusive reservation.
Dates can even be simplified with this in mind. Go for a long walk. Plan a picnic. Play a game together. Worry less about what you do on the date, and focus on how you enjoy your time together.
8. Pillow Talk
Studies show that the time following sex can be critical for building love and connectivity in a long-term relationship. In those intimate moments, cuddling, talking about positive feelings, caressing, sharing personal thoughts, and simply basking in each other’s company strengthens your marriage both physically and emotionally. These are the deeply personal moments in which you truly connect with your spouse.
9. Have Realistic Expectations
This is a tough one to swallow, but sometimes we have to remind ourselves that this is real life – not Hollywood, not a sitcom, not a romance novel. Having realistic expectations doesn’t have to mean lowering them, but we have to remember that our spouses are human beings with flaws (just like us).
That means that they will be edgy or frustrated sometimes, that they might not feel like going out or having sex when we want to, that they might be sick or sore or tired when we’re raring to go. It means they might be forgetful, make mistakes, or do things that hurt our feelings. These things happen, and we just have to deal with them accordingly.
We can’t expect our spouses to be flawless – it only leads to disappointment. With more realistic expectations, we can avoid mental traps of undue criticism, and instead provide support and gratitude for the good things.
10. Stop Beating Around The Bush
If you have an issue, speak up! If you’re making an effort to improve an aspect of your marriage, let your spouse know!
So many of us make the mistake of assuming that our spouses know our intentions, or will be able to figure out problems based on body language or other subtleties. Maybe this works from time to time, but more often, it just leads to confusion and division.
Be intentional with your words and actions, and remember that your spouse can’t read your mind!
Over the course of this 2-part entry, we’ve covered a solid 20 different ways to help bring the spark back into your marriage, to strengthen your relationship, and to feel more in love with the person you married.
It’s extremely important to put effort into maintaining your marriage – otherwise you run the risk of drifting apart, forgetting why you love each other, and descending into a relationship that neither of you feels excited about.
Let us know which of these tips works for you!
For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!
Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com
I have been married to my husband for five years now and it has become very challenging, everything seems to be such a struggle and I am coming to the point where all I want is OUT. My husband is a good person but he cannot relate emotionally to me, we do not have a connection. At the beginning of our relationship I was probably impressed with him, the way he treated me, gifts and flowers, and now that I look in retrospective maybe that blurred my judgement a little bit and didn't realize how deeply troubled my husband is. He is a liar, lies all the time about the smallest things and puts himself in a position where he is the hero.
Hi Angela - it sounds like you both should see a therapist together, and him on his own, to see what is causing that behavior. https://www.strongmarriagenow.com/health-issues-harming-marriage/