I love food and there are certain dishes that I think I could eat every single night. However, the truth is after about the third or fourth night of the same meal (no matter how good it was) I would probably be ready for a change. I may add salt and pepper or a new ingredient like hot sauce to spice things up a bit, but either way I would need something a little different.
I’m starting to believe that relationships are a lot like our favorite food. Regardless of how much we love and adore our significant others, without mixing things up once in a while things can become stale.
Anyone who has ever been in a long term relationship knows exactly what I’m talking about. Think about it, at the start of your relationship there is always so much excitement and then something happens: ROUTINE!!
Suddenly the “Honeymoon Stage” is over!
Ahhh….. the honeymoon stage, let’s talk about that for a moment. Here is the difference between the honeymoon stage and 7 years into marriage……
Wife: You are the greatest guy in the world. I can’t believe you load and unload the dishwasher when I cook.
Here, it looks like you put away this dirty one, just put it back in the dishwasher.
7 Year married wife:
Wife: I can’t believe you put this dish in the cabinet dirty! Don’t you look at the dishes before you put them away? If you’re going to do it like this, why do it at all?
Husband: You feel so wonderful laying next to me. There is nothing better than kissing and holding you. I could make love to you all night.
7 Year married husband:
Husband: Hey I’m getting ready to go to bed, but do you want to do it first? I’ll be quick.. (Aww, music to a woman’s ears.)
I guess it’s not hard to see how relationships can start to suffer after you’ve been together a while. Perhaps if husbands and wives allowed each other the same grace and compassion of their imperfections as they did at the start of the relationship, the “honeymoon stage” might last longer.
Unfortunately, it’s just not that easy. Too many circumstances come up all throughout our lives that alter the way we feel not only about our significant others, but about ourselves as well. These changes have a huge impact on how we feel emotionally and sexually.
For most people, especially women, it is hard to be intimate with someone who you don’t feel connected with emotionally. According to a book I am reading called, The Truth About Sex, sex problems are life problems. They actually have an entire chapter dedicated to this topic.
This particular phrase in the chapter stood out for me.
“The more stress we feel, the less sensual we feel, and the more separated we feel from others.” Who after several years of marriage isn’t starting to experience stress?
So the question is how do we begin to feel connected again? If I had that answer, I would be the first one to share with everyone. Unfortunately, I am not sure anyone has the answer which is why all too often, divorce becomes the final outcome.
Here are just a few thoughts of things that can possibly help to improve a relationship that needs a pick me up.
1. Change your “routine”! Doing the same things day in and day out becomes monotonous no matter who you are. Try to remember the saying “Variety is the spice of life.”
Do you usually make love in the evenings after watching your favorite television show every Monday night? How about instead grab a quickie as soon as your hubby comes home from work.
Surprise each other once in a while with spontaneity. I promise you will be glad you did.
For some fun ideas, check out the book, “The Naughty Bucket List” 369 Sexy Dares to Do Before You Die. Look out though, this is some racy stuff!
2. Each day find one thing that your significant other does that you can thank them for. It may sound silly, but it can really make a difference in the way a person feels about being appreciated.
For example, every night your husband is in charge of feeding the dogs. He always does it because it’s his job. How about taking the time today to say, “thank you”.
Letting a person know that you respect them and don’t take them for granted is one of the fastest ways to earn back their respect and love as well.
3. Allow for individualism. When you first met your spouse/significant other, they probably had hobbies and things that they enjoyed doing. Allow for them to continue to do those things to some degree.
While golfing every day on the weekend may not be feasible like it was before marriage, how about a couple of times a month. Ladies, if you enjoy movies and drinks with friends, continue to do that as well.
The things you enjoyed doing before marriage are what helped to make you who you are. Which probably means they are part of the things your spouse loves about you.
Taking time for yourself and each other makes for a happier relationship.
4. Keep a little mystery between each other no matter how many years you have been together.
This statement does not mean to keep secrets from each other. As a matter of fact, being honest and keeping lines of communication open are one of the most important things you can offer to your partner.
What I am referring to when I say “mystery” is more about bringing sexy back to the relationship. Seriously, when did it become acceptable for your husband to open the bathroom door and want to talk about his day while you do your business?
My mother used to tell me when I would do certain things in front of my husband, “Would his girlfriend do that?” My first response was always, “Well he better never have a girlfriend.” However, after years of marriage, I now understand what she meant.
When there is nothing left to the imagination, sexy can begin to take a backseat.
Try to think back to the days of courting (Yes, I said courting) when you were in lust with your significant other. Y’all probably weren’t seeing who could dole out the best dutch oven at bedtime.
Start keeping some mystery between the two of you. Allow privacy for yourself and your spouse.
Being in a relationship is challenging even during the best of times. Throw in a few of life’s stresses and even the best of marriages can begin to feel the strain.
As I said before, there is no one answer on how to have a successful relationship. However as long as you are willing to remember what it was that made you fall in love with your spouse in the first place, there is hope for a happily ever after…..
What works for you in your marriage?