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5 Ways to Heat Up Your Marriage
Most good relationships start out with the a lot of passion, but, as the years go by, many married couples begin to feel that passion wane. They often have problems in their sex lives and with communication, yet are not sure what to do about it. If heat and connection are lacking in your relationship, try these steps to reignite the passion and help your marriage.
Nancy Wasson, Ph.D., marriage counselor and co-author of “Keep Your Marriage: What to Do When Your Spouse Says ‘I don’t love you anymore!,’” recommends working on issues as they arise so that the channels of love and intimacy are open and clear. Keeping those channels open can help you and your spouse resolve intimacy problems that can interfere with your sex life.
Make sex a safe subject
Openly discuss your disinterest in sex or your sexual issues with your spouse, and help each other explore why you, or both of you, are not as interested in sex as you once were. Make it clear that whatever is discussed will not be held against the other person. Some couples develop problems with physical intimacy for biological reasons, and consulting a sex therapist may be beneficial.
Fulfill each other's needs
Author and marriage expert Larry Bilotta believes that, if you've started feeling disconnected from your partner and that your needs are no longer being met, it most likely happened at the same time you stopped meeting your partner’s needs. Unselfishly satisfying the emotional and physical needs of your partner will send a message of caring to your spouse that will show how much you want to help your marriage work.
Incorporate a weekly date
Make time to have fun together, like you did when you first started dating. Choose activities outside of what would be your regular routine. For example, instead of just going out for a romantic dinner for two, consider scheduling a Saturday morning horseback trail ride together, a visit to the planetarium, or a moonlit walk in the park. Planning an interesting weekly date will go a long way to reignite intimacy and passion in your relationship.
How to date your spouse again
Special treatment for one another should not stop after the “I do’s.” Here are some suggestions on how to take your relationship back to the excitement of the early days.
Step 1: Set a night
According to marriage and relational expert Jim Burns, Ph.D., going on dates with your spouse helps to keep your relationship romantic and spiritual, as well as maintain the lines of communication. Pick a non-negotiable date night (without the kids) for every week. If you have busy schedules that don’t allow for planning ahead for the next year, sit down together every Sunday and pick a night for that week. As difficult as it might be, making time to date your spouse is as important as any other part of marriage.
Step 2: Avoid “shop talk”
Do not discuss stressful things such as your kids or your job on your evening out, recommends Dr. Burns. Dating your spouse is about you reconnecting as a couple, not for venting about the small stuff.
Step 3: Make it more than dinner
If possible, don’t just go out to dinner. Perpetuating routine can contribute to feelings of boredom or passionlessness within the relationship. Do something that you don’t normally do as a married couple. Go to the theater, take a walk in the moonlight holding hands, take a bath, get a couples massage, etc.
Step 4: Continue creative pursuit
Perhaps when you were dating, you wrote love notes to your then-boyfriend or girlfriend, brought her flowers, sang him a song, surprised her with a thoughtful gift or took him outside to show him the stars. Just because you're married doesn't mean that romantic pursuit is over. Reintroduce the creativity that allowed you to capture your spouse's heart at the beginning. Put a note in her coat pocket before she leaves for work in the morning, call him at work and sing him a few lines from a sappy romantic song or surprise her with an overnight trip for which you've made all the arrangements — including babysitting.