Marriage: 10 Tips for Spicing It Up
10 Tips to Spicing Up Your Marriage
Let’s face it folks, marriage can be hard work. It might not seem that hard as we settle in to our various routines and plod through life without thinking about it, but it is hard. If we don’t pay attention to our marriages, and nurture and nourish them, we may wake one day to find that we’re completely bored and under-whelmed in our once passionate unions. That does NOT mean we’re no longer in love. Marriages are like flowers. If not watered regularly, they begin to whither and fade, but if given just the proper amount of sun and water, they can flourish forever.
Here are 10 tips to help your marriage continue to flower and thrive!
My Amazon Capsule
What can be more romantic than whisking your spouse away for an unplanned tryst? Spontaneity is romantic because it tells your partner that even though you could be doing a million other things at that moment, nothing is more important to you than being with them! Many people think that it takes a lot of money to be spontaneous. That is only true if your idea of spontaneity comes from the movies in which wealthy businessmen with no financial limitations whisk their lovers off to foreign countries for romantic weekends. Because 99.9% of us do not fall into that category, we have to come up with more realistic options. But it can be done! So you think you’re not the spontaneous type? Here are a few ideas to get you started…
1. Pack a picnic lunch, a bottle of wine and a big blanket and pick your spouse up from work for a fun lunch in the park.
2. Be a little late for that upcoming appointment. A quickie with your spouse may be the best 15 minutes you’ve spent on your marriage in weeks! It reassures them that you still find them sexy and that they are more important than that visit to the in-laws or that job that you constantly complain about.
3. Offer to give your spouse a great foot rub while they’re watching their favorite movie or ballgame. It is a relaxing, intimate and completely free thing to do!
4. Take a drive in the country on a sunny afternoon. Bring your digital camera, your swimsuit and towel, hiking boots, a blanket, and a cooler packed with his or her favorite treats. This way, you’re ready for anything you might encounter.
5. Hop in the shower with your spouse. It can be a nice, unexpected way to spice things up. Wash each other’s backs. Wash each other’s hair. Have a conversation away from the kids. See what transpires.
6. Rake leaves in the yard together. Doesn’t sound like fun? What if you raked them into huge piles and then jumped in and threw them at each other just like a couple of overgrown kids?! Having a good laugh and giving yourself permission to be a bit childish once in a while is so cathartic. Your marriage will definitely love you!
7. If you are not the one that usually cooks dinner…try it tonight! If you’re not much of a cook, bring home take out. Set candles on the table, put on your favorite music and sit next to each other instead of across the table. This not only sets a romantic stage for your meal, but it also gives your spouse a much needed reprieve from their routine “duties.” They’ll love you for it!
8. Read to each other. A book of poems, short essays, or sexy How-To books make great easy reading. Sit in bed with your lover resting against your chest and just read. The sound of your voice and pace of your breathing will be so relaxing and it is a great, quiet opportunity to simply enjoy one another away from your normally fast paced life. If you’ve chosen the How-To book…
9. Try out something that you’ve just read about in your sexy How-To book. Obviously make it something that you both feel comfortable with and have always been dying to try.
10. Send a racy or romantic text, email or voice mail to your spouse. Imagine them smile when they get it and imagine how they’ll thank you when they get home! Just be sure to send it to a private account so that the boss doesn’t inadvertently intercept it! Talk about a buzz-kill!
11. Breakfast in bed. Need I say more? Try an assortment of finger foods that you can feed to each other, such as fresh cut fruits, small pastries, bacon or sausage.
Put Your Feelings Into Words
You don’t have to be a poet to put your feelings into words. Just think about the qualities that your mate possesses that made you fall in love with them. Or think about how they make you feel when you’re near them. Think about how you feel when you see them with your children. Then try to capture some of these emotions into words. While some people are naturally more eloquent than others, the point here is that your mate will be delighted with the words you’ve chosen because they are coming from you…the one they love in return.
But you don’t necessarily want to just hand over the poem and say something basic, such as, “here, I wrote this for you.” So consider one of these methods of delivery instead:
- Write your poem on a piece of special stationery, punch a hole in the corner and lace a piece of curling ribbon through it. Then tie the note around a vaseful of fresh cut wildflowers that you’ve picked yourself. Leave it on the kitchen table or bathroom counter for your mate to discover.
- Leave the note on top of or under his or her pillow.
- Pack your spouse a lunch for work and tuck the note inside of lunch bag or briefcase.
- Place the note inside of a toolbox, inside of the empty dishwasher, on top of the washing machine, on top of a pile of bills to be paid, or some other mundane and unromantic place. This will help to lighten the burden of responsibility and help them to approach their impending chore with a smile on their face.
Another great way of expressing your love is through reminiscence. Try reminding each other of how you met and of what made each of you fall in love with the other. No one ever gets tired of hearing those stories, and telling them may make you remember the feelings that were so vivid in the early stages of your relationship. Wouldn’t it be great to feel that way again? You can!
- Sin City Party Plans
Check out these great ideas for creating the ultimate Vegas Style party at home!
Create Theme Nights at Home
There are an abundance of party ideas for people that love to entertain. When we think about theme parties, we typically envision several of our closest friends and family gathered around our home, laughing, eating, drinking, dancing or playing games. But those moments don’t always have to be shared with dozens of others. Sometimes the best moments are those that we plan just for ourselves.
You can plan “theme party nights” for two, or include the children if you like, and have a great family night. These nights offer the opportunity to reconnect and have fun without the stress of entertaining others.
The ideas I most enjoy involve selecting a foreign country and creating a theme around that country’s culture and traditions. For example, if you choose an Irish theme, you might decorate your dining area with green accents. Place a pre-printed Irish blessing at each place setting. Cook a wonderful Irish meal. Play Irish music during dinner.
You can find just about anything online, so seeking out games from the country you’ve chosen or serving authentic meals in authentic fashion can add to the experience and give you a great break from the usual Wednesday night meatloaf.
Your spouse works hard. Whether their role is as major breadwinner or domestic god or goddess, they are probably exhausted at the end of a long day of working, carpooling, kids’ sporting events, and home based chores. So what better way to reward them by trying one of the following ideas…
- Draw a hot bath for your spouse (join them if you can). Light candles and turn out the lights, play relaxing music at a comfortable, but not loud level, set out a glass of wine or sparkling cider and encourage them to sink beneath the bubbles, close their eyes and relax. There is no need to have to converse. Encourage them to clear their mind and just dream.
- Offer your spouse a massage. Focus on their areas of tension. Areas to concentrate on are often the back, shoulders, feet and legs. But perhaps they have other ideas.
- Take a nap in the middle of a Sunday afternoon…just because you can. Wake up when you feel like it and order a pizza. No cooking tonight!
- A cold beverage and homemade guacamole on the patio on a nice day is a great way to relax.
Set Mutual Goals and a Plan to Achieve Them
Some of the best conversations I’ve ever had with my spouse have been about the things we want to do together and as a family. Usually this revolves around the trips that we want to take. We talk about destinations, what we would do in each destination, how much time we would spend in each location and a time frame for getting there. We surf the web together looking at pictures and testimonials. We bookmark places and events that strike our fancy. Having something to look forward to is quite cathartic.
This is different than setting mutual goals. Daydreaming involves things that are likely unrealistic, but oh so fun to think about. For example, ask your spouse, “if money were absolutely no object and you had all the time in the world, what would you want to do?” You may be surprised at the ideas that come to mind. Maybe you’ll talk more about trips you want to take or hobbies that you might start up such as flying your own plane, or climbing Mount Everest! Another question might be, “if you had millions of dollars, what would you buy?” Maybe it’s a new house, cars, or a business. Maybe it’s a new school of arts at your alma mater. Maybe it’s a new house for everyone in your extended family. The sky’s the limit. These conversations may even tell you a lot about your spouse that you didn’t already know and might lead to romantic ideas for the future.
Try a New Look
Sure, we love our partners and part of our attraction to them, was likely the way they looked when we met them. But we were younger then, probably thinner, less stressed out and generally more fit.Yet time has marched on. We’ve maybe had children, we have careers, and bills and other responsibilities. Studies have shown that women, in particular, tend to focus less on their own appearance during child bearing and rearing years than at any other time. We devote all of our time to our families. We may run to the market in jeans and sweatshirts with our hair in a ponytail and no make up on. And that’s fine. Who gets all dolled up to go grocery shopping? Probably no one. But getting all dolled up at home is another matter. If your spouse is used to seeing you in the same sweat suit everyday with your glasses on and your ponytail swinging behind you, maybe it’s time to try something different. This doesn’t mean you have to buy a new outfit, but try pulling out something that you both really find attractive. A shower, freshly shaved legs, clean, styled hair, make up and your winning smile will definitely get your hubby to do a double take. And men…if you are used to coming to the dinner table in your work shirt and jeans, your robe, or a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, perhaps you could follow the same advice (sans shaved legs and makeup, of course).
By exercising good hygiene and taking pride in our appearance, we are reinforcing the notion that we are still attractive, vital human beings that want to be noticed and make an impression. Who better to make that impression on than the ones we love?
And dressing up can be creative. I heard about a women once that wrapped herself in cellophane and a bow and waited for her husband to come home from work and unwrap her! Now that’s an outfit that he’s sure not to forget. Just be sure he wasn’t planning to bring the boss home for dinner!
- Romantic Movies
Looking for a great movie for date night? Check out some of these romantic titles.
Most communities have no shortage of things to do, especially on the weekends. These things might range from free concerts, to sporting events, nightclub events, live theater, art exhibits, and more. Find something that appeals to both of you and commit yourselves to making a night of it. You can scour the weekly newspaper, talk at the watercooler, or troll the internet, but either way, you’re sure to find something within driving distance. Date nights are a great way to invest in your marriage. Parents should NOT feel guilty about going out once in awhile without their children. You spend the majority of your time being great parents. It is wise to invest at least a fraction of that energy in being great partners.
The Great Outdoors
There are plenty of ways to enjoy the great outdoors together. There is something primal and inspiring about nature which serves to fuel your passions. Here are a few ideas…
- Buy a hammock and lay out under the stars wrapped in each others’ arms.
- Go hiking in a sparsely populated area. Don’t forget to stop for deep, sensual kisses every now again.
- Pitch a tent in your own backyard, light a fire, roast marshmallows, and listen to the sounds of nature at home. You may be surprised what you can hear, even in the city. Making love in a tent in your backyard may make you feel as if you’re a million miles from home even if the reality is that you have to get up for work the next day.
- Go skinny dipping. Maybe you’re in your own pool, or maybe you’ve found a secluded beach or river to enjoy. Either way, the rush of cool water and notion that you are being a bit decadent is sure to add a spark to your day!
- Rent a tandem bike and go for a ride.
- Romantic Music for Date Night
If you're looking for a few great suggestions for music that will appeal to your romantic side, look no further. Download these tunes today, then kick back, relax and enjoy.
I’m not talking about going clubbing, although if that appeals to you, go for it! I’m talking about putting on your favorite CD or old jazz record, lighting some candles, holding each other and dancing cheek to cheek in your own living room.
Whatever you decide to try…here’s wishing you a long and happy union!
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