How to Fight Fairly in Marriage
How to Settle Arguments and Disagreements with Your Partner
Rebuilding Your Relationship after an Affair

Making Your Marriage More Romantic

When you were courting, all you could think about was how exciting and romantic it was to be together. Back then, you couldn't do enough to please each other. As time passed, you got so accustomed to married life that you stopped making special efforts for each other. There were always so many responsibilities and details to take care of, that who could think about romance? Maybe you've been missing those blissful feelings — and you sense that your partner misses them too. Here are a few ways to put more romance back into your marriage.

Pay attention to your appearance

There's a saying: Beauty's only skin deep, but ugliness goes right through to the bone. Too often, people who've been married for years no longer feel the need to go through the effort of looking good for their partner.

If your wife doesn't enjoy seeing you lounging around the house in your underwear, or if your husband is bothered by seeing you in worn out slippers and an old bathrobe, don't ignore it. Doing that is a lot like saying: "We're married. Therefore, I don't have to bother putting on any kind of show. You're always going to be there, so I don't have to worry about pleasing you." After you become indifferent to your appearance, your spouse may have a hard time seeing you in a romantic and exciting way.

There's nothing wrong with being comfortable around the house. But do yourself, your spouse, and your marriage a favor by paying attention to your dress and personal hygiene. Show your husband or wife that you care by taking the time to look, feel, and smell good.

Use words of love

Saying the words "I love you" is always a good idea — as long as they're said sincerely. Everyone appreciates being told how much they're loved and cherished.

Here are some ways to expand that simple three-word phrase:

  • Share your hopes, dreams, and secret thoughts. There are some things that you can only communicate through words. And few things make your partner feel closer to you than letting her in on your most private thoughts and visions.
    When your goal is to create more closeness in your marriage, you want to share only thoughts and emotions that are likely to make your partner feel loved and wanted. Save any worries that are likely to generate anger or tears for another time.
  • Tell your partner often how much you love being married to her. Then, talk about the qualities you enjoy most. Is it her terrific sense of humor? The way he greets you at the door when you come home from work? Married couples often spend a lot of time complaining about one another's faults and shortcomings. If you want to stir up the romantic fires in your relationship, try letting her know what she does that pleases you most.

Use a gentle touch

The way people touch each other communicates different feelings and provokes different sensations. Wives often complain that their husbands touch them only when they want sex. Women seem to like more hand holding, kissing, and gentle physical closeness than men. So, guys, don't wait for bedtime to touch and fondle your wife. Make it part of the way you communicate every day.

The absence of affectionate touching doesn't always mean that there's a problem in the marriage. However, a certain amount of gentle, non-sexual touching enhances closeness and heightens the sense of romance between the partners. This touching can take many forms, like caressing your partner's face, putting an arm around her back, or stroking his hair.

Make time to be alone together

When husbands and wives don't spend enough time alone, they are bound to grow apart. And when a couple already has problems, they often distance themselves from one another by using kids, friends, family members — even groups of strangers — as buffers.

Couples with young children need to make a special effort to find time to be by themselves. Sure, it's not always easy to find a babysitter. It often seems easier to drag the kids along to wherever you're going. That may be conducive to a rich family life, but you need to balance that with time for the two of you.

Make it your business to find at least a few hours each week for the two of you to be alone together. Go for a walk, movie, or ballgame. Meet for lunch. Take a cooking class together. Try to get away overnight as often as possible.

Simply logging in time together won't make your relationship more romantic. What you need to do is to spend uninterrupted time sharing thoughts, ideas, and activities in a way that gives you pleasure and draws you closer as a couple.

Play and laugh together

When the routines of day-to-day life begin to take over, you may forget that playing together is as important as working together. Few things help you appreciate the good things in life — and in your marriage — than adding a touch of child-like playfulness.

  • Watch the way children play; the way they seem to take pleasure from each moment. Adults often let themselves get so loaded down with pressures and responsibilities that they forget how important it is to have fun.
  • Think of play as any activity that you enjoy together. It may be taking a drive in the country, going to the zoo, or taking up ballroom dancing. Or stay home, order in a pizza, and rent a couple of videos. Whatever makes the two of you smile and feel light-hearted.

Different kinds of playfulness are appropriate at different times. For example, some play involves the kind of intimate touching most couples would only do behind closed doors — though there are some couples who enjoy fooling around with each other in public. There are also very public kinds of playfulness, like spending time at an amusement park or dressing up for a costume party. Almost anything is fair game if you both find it pleasurable.

Revisit your shared history

Is there a special spot where you used to spend time when you were courting? A certain restaurant near your first apartment where the two of always had Sunday brunch? How long has it been since you've been back to those places?

Return to the locations that have special meaning to you — on a regular basis, if possible. It may not be practical for you to go back to the exotic island where you spent your honeymoon, but what about revisiting that park where you used to stroll together hand in hand, or that beach where you spent a week the summer you first met? Revisiting places that are special to you will help keep the romance alive in your marriage.

Continue to seek out new romantic places and rituals, and add them to the ones you already have.

Your shared history as a couple is ongoing. The special experiences and meaningful rituals that you create over the course of your marriage help you have a richer and more romantic life together.

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