Whether it’s been months or years since you and your spouse said your “I dos,” shared your first dance, and went on your honeymoon, every now and then couples feel the need to refresh their bonds with one another.
If you’re looking to bring the spark back to your marriage, here are ten easy ways to reconnect with your spouse.
Put Your Marriage First
Busy lifestyles are the norm in today’s day and age, but despite how full your days may be, your marriage should always be a top priority. To reconnect with your spouse map out time in your schedule and plan to spend time together at least three times a week – this can include date night, cuddle time, or sharing a hobby.
If you’re already doing these things, then try something new! Take a cooking class together, try a new sport, or sign up for a sex workshop. The easiest way to reconnect is to find new interests together. Remember, unless you’re willing to make your relationship a higher priority than other relationships and activities, you won’t have a growing marriage.
Go on Dates
A successful relationship goes back to the roots of the courtship. Once you say “I do,” the key is to keep dating your spouse. Remember all of the things that you did to make each other feel special on a daily basis, and despite how much time passes, keep on doing those things.
Remember, taking in the newest summer blockbuster or dining for two should not be over with once there is a gold band on your finger, and holding hands while eating popcorn in the dark of the theatre never gets old. While going out with couples can be fun, the intimacy of just the two of you can’t be beat.
It may not be a revolutionary idea, but simply being kind to your spouse can have that kind of effect on your marriage. In fact, a recent study by the Gottman Institute revealed that kindness is the single most important quality a person can have when it comes to maintaining a loving, healthy marriage.
Being kind isn’t a hard thing to do, in fact, it can be as simple as praising your spouse, avoiding, criticism, being considerate of their feelings or going the extra little bit to make them smile. Try it yourself and you’ll see how these small gestures of warmth go a long way towards renewing your bond with one another.
Turn Off the Technology
Push the “off” button! Research has proven that heavy use of cellphones, laptops and pagers can mute happiness and dial up stress in a marriage. It can also make spouses feel distant, unworthy and lonely.
Setting limits on how much you check your technology when you’re out of the office is important. Instead of being constantly connected to the techno world, make a plan to check your email once in the evening, put your phone to silent and laptop away. A marriage is about you and your spouse, so unless it’s urgent, turn your gizmos off when you’re together.
Create a Code Word for Love
Remember the elementary school joke about “olive juice” — say this silly phrase, and your mouth automatically makes the same movements as when you say “I love you.”
Finding a secret or quirky way to express how much you love your spouse is a fun way to open up to one another and reconnect. It creates that “just us” feeling anytime you use it, and can even give you a boost of dopamine if you fear others hearing or catching on to your secret phrase. What better way to reconnect with your spouse than by creating your own sign of affection that only you and your spouse share.
Create Couple Rituals
A couple ritual is a habit you and your spouse share that is unique to your relationship. It can be as simple as brushing your teeth together, sharing your morning coffee or chatting before bed.
These may seem like commonplace routines but having these sort of rituals in your relationship is a great way to reconnect with your spouse. For example, give each other three kisses when you say goodbye in the morning and reunite in the evening.
This gesture may seem insignificant, but it provides an important physical connection and will give both you and your spouse something to look forward to each day. Whatever you decide on, make it something that you both enjoy and keep the ritual going for years to come.
Marriage experts recommend couples do something that big business have employed for decades to keep workers happy, productive, and in the loop: hold regular team meetings. Luckily, yours will be more fun than listening to Dave from accounting go over the last month’s sales numbers.
Reconnecting with your spouse can be as simply as hosting a daily check-in. Doing such will not only keep communication open and flowing, but it will also give you and your spouse the opportunity to talk about the things that excite you, upset you, get you motivated and weigh you down. To reconnect with your spouse ensure that you’re sharing your feeling with one another on a daily basis.
Revive Sex and Intimacy
Reconnect with your spouse through touch. Hold hands when walking down the street, cuddle on the couch and spoon in bed. The physical touch between two lovers can quickly reignite sparks and make it easier to reconnect on other fronts as well.
When you were dating it went without saying that sex was a regular activity. Once you’re married, and especially if kids are in the picture, don’t let sex fall on to the back burner by putting your energy into everything and everybody but your spouse. There are many parts of the puzzle to a successful marriage, physical closeness being one of the most important. When you do get between the sheets, keep things spontaneous and don’t be shy to ask your partner what they like or want. Marital sex can be even more gratifying if you can develop an intimate sexual style with your marriage partner — something that is completely yours.
More info: this is a great article on reviving the sexual side of your marriage.
Flirt with Your Spouse
Take a second to think back to the beginning of your relationship, when you were first falling for your spouse. Remember the way you’d make each other laugh, or tease one another? Reviving that type of playful flirting is one of the easiest ways to reconnect in your marriage.
While dating, couples are great at flirting with one another. They share sexy text messages, speak with innuendo, smile lots, toss their hair, dress their best, and in general, try to attract their partner. Flirting is a key component to getting that spark back, so get giggly and bring back the butterflies!
Find Shared Interests
It’s a common for married couples to have completely opposite interests. For example, he may like to do “guy stuff,” like watching sports or playing video games, while she likes “girly stuff,” like scrapbooking or baking.
Certainly, some of these activities speak to the natural differences between males and females, and there’s nothing wrong with husbands and wives having different interests based on their unique personalities and experiences.
That said, a great way to reconnect with your spouse is by developing common interests and hobbies you can share quality time doing together. This will not only strengthen the idea that you and your spouse are a team, but it can also deepen your sense of intimacy, connection, and especially friendship.
So go on and try something new. Even if the activity doesn’t seem like your cup of tea, your spouse will appreciate your effort and willingness, and who knows, you just may like it too!
If you’re interested in learning more ways to reconnect with your spouse and make your marriage feel fresh, check out my coaching page to learn more about the one-on-one services I offer clients.