We all love the idea of spring!
For me it’s a time when I feel recharged, and ready to make some changes, whether that be changes around the house, some serious spring cleaning, rebooting my health & exercise program or changes in my thinking. And with daylight savings almost upon us, it feels like you have a whole lot more time to do so……so my question to you is – is it time to make some changes in your marriage?
The truth is, marriages can go through a winter slumber too, and what might start as a beautiful love story, pretty soon after mounting pressures, the busyness of children or demanding work schedules, now looks like a passionless marriage that makes you feel like your living with your room-mate not the love of your life.
So how do we ignite passion in our marriage, and get back to a healthy, vibrant place.
The first step is to acknowledge that you’re in a rut, and make a commitment to each other to begin to actively re-ignite your marriage again.
So often we think that we are beyond repair, and the romance in your marriage seems almost too far gone to retrieve. But this can change! Research shows, the happiest couples build romance every day in the smallest, most seemingly insignificant moments.
Keeping your romance aflame is not about dedicating all of your time to your partner. It is about nurturing a strong connection by staying emotionally engaged, showing each other fondness and admiration, building bridges, and knowing and loving each other consistently all year round.
Here’s a few ideas to start with:
Value your history:
Taking a walk down memory lane. Looking at life as it was can be a beautiful thing. You have shared life together like you have with no other. Value that! At some point you were enchanted with each other, you’ve pursued each other, you’ve prioritized each other, reflect upon that time. What was it that attracted you to your partner? What were some of the favorite things you used to do together? Remember back to a really great season in your life and talk about it. Research shows that happier couples are those who can recall earlier pleasant memories. They are like an anchor point to the relationship.
At some point in your marriage you had great dreams and visions for your future. But so often life can ‘kick the kid out of you’ and you can become quite robotic with the mounting responsibilities that you now carry. Well it’s time to dream again! Talk with your partner about their life dreams and explore how you can both make them a reality. Step out of your current responsibilities just for a moment and step into each others’ world. You might be surprised about what happens when you ignite those dreams again.
Check under the hood for hidden resentments:
One of the challenges of busyness is that we don’t value the time that is needed to communicate through issues. When communication is done well it becomes the pathway to intimacy. However, when communication is avoided and hurts are swept under the carpet, it becomes a playground for anger, disappointment and in the end resentment. All of this eats away at the very fabric of your marriage and can quickly turn your marriage into a place that just doesn’t feel safe to open up and be vulnerable. Create a marriage where it is safe to be real, safe to apologize and safe to make mistakes. We’re all a work in progress, right!
Create some new happy memories:
If boredom has become your new normal, and a lack of fun has filtered into your marriage, it’s time to instill some positive experiences and some fun. Isn’t that what life was like when you first met! It’s almost like the more you foster positive emotions, the easier it will be not to focus on the negative. So plan date nights, take up a sport together, go camping, take a walk or do something totally new and invigorating. Dream, scheme, take some risks and get creative! Your marriage will thank you for it.
At one time you probably talked a lot, especially in the early stages of your relationship. I’m sure you phoned each other, or text at the drop of a hat, just to give your partner your latest thought, or idea about something. It’s easy to let the communication between you and your spouse get eroded, but intimate communication is a really important part of a healthy marriage. In fact, intimate communication is the very first step towards an affair. When we begin to open up to someone else outside of our marriage about our feelings, needs, and hurts, thats when we are walking on dangerous ground.
Foster healthy communication in your marriage, and check-in regularly. Make sure your partner is the only one that has the privilege of your deepest feelings, dreams, needs and stressors.
Make it a priority every day to check-in, even if its short….”How are you?…How are we?…Is everything ok?…Is there anything I can do to help?
Above all, remember that “Spring Cleaning” your relationship is a process. It requires patience, grace, commitment, and hard work from both you and your partner. Don’t try and clean up the whole house all at once. Take baby steps, and know that ‘slow and steady wins the race’.
And if you feel like you need the help of a trusted counsellor, don’t be afraid to take that step. Investing in your marriage is vital, so get the support you need to help reignite, shift and empower your marriage today.