Overcome The Monotony Of Your Marriage With These 3 Simple Steps
By Jean Fitzpatrick
You know the punch-lines to all his jokes. You’re that couple who sit in a restaurant with nothing to say. At bedtime you never thought you’d be pretending to have a headache. “I can’t make myself feel any different,” one woman in my office told me tearfully. “The magic’s gone.”
“Sooner or later most partners hit an emotional brick wall,” I told her. “Now your real marriage begins.” Once you’re past the initial madly-in-love stage, you have the opportunity to discover the down-to-earth blend of friendship and true intimacy that characterizes long-term happy marriages.
The writer Robert Johnson describes this kind of relationship as “stirring-the-oatmeal love,” a calm and deeply nourishing contrast to the quick high we spike from a forkful of chocolate marble cheesecake.
Spicing up a stale marriage takes time and energy, but I see couples do it every day. You’ll need to shift your focus from asking, “What has my partner done for me lately?” to “How can we work together to reenergize this relationship?”
Here are three steps to rediscovering each other:
1. Get out of your comfort zone.
Remember the spontaneous fun you two had in your dating days? Often couples settle into routines — him watching the game while you play Words With Friends, doing errands and home repair, partying with the crowd.
Sure, these are comfortable, but there’s nothing like going beyond your four walls to create a sense of shared adventure and a reminder of what makes you two special as a couple. That doesn’t have to mean planning a pricey vacation. Take a walk in a neighborhood or on a hiking trail you haven’t seen before. Try a new sport. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen.
2. Focus on appreciating the small, simple things.
Maybe he usually cooks dinner, you do the dishes, he takes out the trash, you vacuum — you’re like a well-oiled machine and everybody feels taken for granted. Focus on small, more personal acts of generosity: Bring each other a cup of coffee, volunteer to walk the dog, offer a hug when your partner least expects one.
(The National Marriage Project recently reported that couples who reach out this way are far more likely to describe themselves as “very happy” in their marriage.) Make the effort to acknowledge your partner’s small gestures of kindness with a smile and a thank you, and watch each other light up.
3. Deal With Conflict
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This is a very important subject especially when there are more responsibilities added within the marriage (kids, home, career, family ties, friends, etc). It's easy to follow a routine when there is so much to do. A lot of people hate the idea of their life to even become "routine" at all, and sometimes is a necessity that helps to keep things organized.
The important thing is to never assume that you know everything about your spouse. Chances are that your spouse may not do a lot of things they used to do before the two of you met. They may have been more active in the community, but stopped been so available to focus on their relationship with you. Couples stop talking when they think there is nothing more to talk about, when in fact, they have basically stopped trying to learn more about their spouse.
An easy way to get back into talking daily is to (at dinner or over drinks) discuss one (1) high point & one low point of your day. You may learn about more things that makes your spouse happy and also about things that are a source of anger or annoys your spouse to no end. Either way, you get to talk…but don't make it a competition of who had the better or worse day. Just relax & relate, it may even feel like when you 1st met.
Definitely a must do for me and my baby