Maintaining the love and affection once a relationship is well-established requires that effort. Often the responsibilities of life, work, and children get in the way and married couples forget to nurture their relationship. One may begin to feel that their spouse is more like a roommate than a lover. It is possible, and actually enjoyable to recapture the romance and fall back in love.
There are many things that married couples can learn from newly-dating couples to help rekindle their spark and keep their marriage their number one priority. Here are a few:
Affection: Hand holding, hugging and kissing are all forms of physical contact which are important in staying connected with one’s spouse. Kissing hello and goodbye and before bed should never be taken for granted. Walking hand and hand gives that warm connection spouses need. Never underestimate the power of the twenty second hug; it actually reduces the stress hormone cortisol, and releases oxytocin which promotes strong bonding between loved ones.
Flirting: Flirting can make your spouse feel special and that you are attracted to them. Texting something cute and flirty during the day shows that you are thinking of one another.
Listening: Hearing and caring about your spouse’s day shows them that they are important to you. Listening to each other’s stories helps promote stronger connections for couples.
Dating: Dressing up and going out together helps continue your bond. Taking the time to dress up demonstrates to your spouse that they matter to you. Try new restaurants, explore new places, and go on adventures together. Having fun and laughing with one another is a great way to keep the spark alive.
Gifts: Bringing home small gifts, treats, or flowers for no other reason than you were thinking of your partner lets them know they are special to you; that they are loved. Picking out the gifts helps the gifter continue those smitten feelings towards their loved one.
Letting Go of Resentment: It’s easy to forget to do these simple things when we get into the rut of everyday life. After living with someone for years, it is easy to build up resentment.
Feelings of an unequal partnership with child rearing, chores and errands tend to be the main culprits. Letting go of these resentments, however, is important. Bitter feelings can end up leading to the deterioration of love, admiration, and rapport created over years of being together. Taking a good look at what one is expecting from their spouse can help in letting go of built resentments. Communicating what you need from your partner instead of building up resentment is essential.
It is also necessary to rediscover the person you fell in love with and remember your original feelings of why you were attracted to one another in the first place. Focusing on those exciting feelings you had just being together, and remembering the warm sensations of being with one another, helps recapture the emotions and sparks of the past. Taking a trip down memory lane, remembering the dating as well as the life you are building together is fundamental in appreciating how far you have come together.
Remaining physically intimate is extremely important in keeping the spark alive in a marriage as well. Being committed to meeting each other’s physical needs and desires helps keep the flame burning and ensures genuine love. Sex reduces stress, anger and anxiety and it increases happiness and contentment. By staying physically connected, emotional intimacy increases due to the feelings of trust and mutual respect.
Creating traditions together also helps keep the relationship meaningful and special. Looking through your wedding photos on your anniversary, going back every year to that special place where you were engaged, or a monthly date night to your favorite restaurant are all personal traditions for your marriage. Sharing and enjoying in private and personal traditions exclusive to your relationship can be what is needed to fall back in love and keep the spark alive.
Marriage Counseling can help couples navigate and create a greater understanding of one another, deepen emotional and physical bonds and promote the closeness required to sustain a lasting, loving, and passionate relationship.