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If you’ve been married for a few years, you probably feel that you’ve got the whole marriage routine down by now. You’ve settled into life together, you understand each other, you are best friends, equal partners and committed parents.
Everything is great, but somehow, in the reshuffling of your roles since you got married and build a family, you could have less prioritise each other as lovers.
Most couples settle into a routine where you get home from work and then deal with all the issues which have happened over the course of the day. You greet each other and then roll up your sleeves and go straight into problem solving mode. How was school for the kids? Does your son need a little more help with his math? Do you need to work out a new schedule for who should send your daughter to ballet class next week? Where should you plan on celebrating Christmas with your in-laws and parents this year? How was work? Did the washing machine get fixed okay?
Whilst it is great that you have a partner who meets all of life’s challenges with you and works with you to solve them, you also need to be able to see each other as more than just co-parents and friends.
Conciously create time each day to talk about issues which do not put you straight into that problem solving mode again. Spend at least 30 minutes each day talking about anything except your kids, the house, your relatives and work.
Do you call your husband “daddy” or your wife “mummy”. Or even worse than that - “Hey! Help me over here for a second!” now a part of your vocabulary? If it is, then you have definitely stopped seeing each other romantically. Go back to using endearments such as honey, sweetheart and darling. Use those special names you used to give to each other. Step out of your mummy or daddy role and back into your romantic one!
Sure, there is something to be said for feeling comfortable around each other. But have things become so comfortable that you both feel fine being in the bathroom at the same time and one of you is NOT just brushing your teeth?
Bring back some old fashioned mystery into your marriage. Arrange to meet up, plan it all but keep it a secret. Surprise your spouse now and then.
When you feel good about yourself, you are more open to feeling good about someone else. Your self-confidence increases and you stop seeing yourself as a boring married person, and instead start to feel attractive and positive about who you are in a physical sense. Exercise, eat healthily and find your mental balance. All these help you to feel good and when you feel good, people around you will feel positive about you too.
Intimacy occurs on many levels and it is when it is a part of every aspect of your lives that it acts as an important bond between both of you. Reach out and hold hands, make eye contact, sit closer to each other when you watch TV together, choose to sit next to each other when you go out. As you increase the contact which occurs on a daily basis, your sense of intimacy will grow too.
Go out together not just on dates, but with friends too. Sometimes, when you are so busy with family and your other commitments, you stop seeing your friends. Being with friends is important because it allows you to move out of the roles which you may have taken on after marriage. Whilst being a husband and father, or a wife and mother are important, being with friends will remind you of the person your spouse was when you first met. Was your husband’s sense of humour when you went out with friends what attracted you to him? Maybe it was your wife’s positive attitude and can-do spirit during that camping trip with friends that won you over? Going out with your friends will remind you of why you fell for your spouse.
Make time for each other. Whether it’s a lunch date, dinner and a movie, or a staycation away from everyone else, find time to dress up and do something special together. The sense of intimacy and romance doesn’t come from just living together, it comes from the excitement and anticipation we feel when we meet up. Before marriage, every encounter was a date. After marriage, every encounter is no longer a date, it’s just everyday life. So you need to find a space for those special encounters again, and making time for dates is one way to do so.
Tags: Communication /Intimacy
At Marriage Convention 2016, soon-to-be-wed couples were treated to a lighthearted but enlightening talk by lawyer-couple, Boaz and Claire Nazar, marriage trainers of the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Programme® (PREP).
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