Maybe you’ve been married for a while now, and sometimes you catch yourself wondering what ever on earth happened to that in-love feeling that you used to have towards your spouse.
Of course you love each other – no doubt about that – but somehow your relationship feels a bit flat now. Perhaps "predictable" would be the word to describe it. Your life has settled into a comfortable routine, and there’s nothing wrong with that, except that sometimes you wish for a bit more of the old sparkle again.
The good news is that you really can do something about it. In fact, there's a lot you can do about it.
To fall back in love with your spouse, try these things:
Take a little stroll down memory lane and think of all that you two have already been through.
Remember when you first fell in love, where did you meet? What was your favorite restaurant or coffee shop when you were dating? What was it about your spouse that used to make your heart skip a beat? Was it the sound of his voice on the phone, or the color of her eyes when she looked at you?
Remind yourself that this is the same person you couldn’t wait to marry, and they probably still have those same qualities that you found so endearing before. So take a closer look.
When you really sit down and think about all the things your spouse does for you on a daily basis, you may be shocked to realize how much you actually take for granted.
If you're a list person, try writing down one thing every day that you're thankful to your spouse for. Then, at the end of the week, give them a big hug and say thank you for all those things.
Decluttering is an ongoing task for every household, and marriage is no different. By "clutter," I mean all those little (or big) resentments and offenses that you may be carrying around. Maybe they've been piling up for months, or even years. These things can be like lead in your shoes, and hold you back from running freely together.
Talk through these things openly, and then let them go. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to get some help from a therapist. You'll be amazed what a difference it makes once you have cleared out the old garbage, and you can start fresh.
Affectionate touching throughout the day, or whenever you are together, will go a long way towards rekindling the flame of love – holding hands, hugs, kisses, and arms around shoulders.
Affection is both physical and verbal, and the best results are when these two elements are combined. Express your love for your spouse while you squeeze their hand. Begin by telling them how much you admire and appreciate them.
There’s nothing worse than feeling ignored, and sadly this is how many spouses feel. It may be quite unintentional and, with today’s hectic pace of life, it happens so easily. Maybe you spend most of your day rushing around, too busy to notice how your spouse may really be feeling.
So make a point of slowing down and being attentive to your spouse. Look into each other’s eyes when you're speaking and learn to listen without interrupting or thinking about what you want to say next.
Finding a new sport or hobby that you can do together often rejuvenates a relationship.
What about dancing lessons, tennis, or kayaking? Being creative together is also an idea – like redecorating a room in your home or landscaping your garden together. Focus on a shared goal and have fun together.
Getting away alone together is a great way to draw closer to each other. Get a sitter for the kids and find a quiet romantic place where you and your spouse can have lovely quality time together. Maybe a favorite place you used to love back in the day, or somewhere brand new. Someplace you can be away from your normal routines and focused on each other.
Technology can be a great thing in helping you keep in touch while you're apart, but when you're together it can also be a big distraction. Try to keep your phones, laptops, and televisions off when you and your spouse are together at home. Switch them off completely overnight so that you can have uninterrupted quality time.
One of the main things you may be missing in your relationship is the element of surprise. It’s easy to settle into a comfortable routine where you know exactly what to expect day after day, week after week.
Maybe it’s time for a little spontaneity. Arrange a babysitter and plan a date night then surprise your spouse. Or write a little note and slip it in his pocket where he'll find it later. Or buy your partner a little gift when it’s not even a birthday or anniversary.
As you find ways to surprise one another, the biggest surprise of all may be that you've fallen back in love with each other again.