The ROUTINE: An Often Overlooked Enemy Of Your Marriage

By Daryl Campbell

Remember the early days of your dating relationship? What a time you both had. It seemed like every moment you got together it was music, fun and excitement. Some of your family and friends even hated to see you coming because the two of you were so into each other it made people nauseous. You are probably right when you say they were just jealous. And guess what? Neither one of you could have cared less. The relationship was fresh, spontaneous and exhilarating.


And then it happened. You cannot quite put your finger on when exactly it took place but it happened. Whether it occurred sometime after you got married or six months into your dating relationship is inconsequential. All you know is the music, fun and excitement went on permanent vacation. What took their place? The routine.


One of the mains reasons many couples get blind sided by the routine is the seduction of familiarity. You naturally want to become well acquainted with the other person in the hopes that it leads to greater intimacy between the two of you. That is the point of relationships. Unfortunately, familiarity also inspires a certain amount of self-satisfaction. In other words consciously or unconsciously, many couples tell themselves the prize has been won so there is no need to continue the game.


While some people do not consider this a big deal, in essence it is a planted seed that can spell trouble somewhere down the road. It is only a hop, skip and a jump from familiarity to routine to dissatisfaction.


Now there is no question that your relationship is going to have certain amount of routine due, in some part to circumstances beyond your control; for instance your work schedules may only allow the two of you to get together on specific days and times. However there are things you can do to keep the relationship fresh:


1. The Thrill of the Impulsive


When your relationship was just starting out, spontaneity ruled. The two of you did not even think twice about hopping into a car and going to places you had never been or trying out a new restaurant with food you never heard of. There was something thrilling and wonderful about not knowing what you were getting into yet still having the courage to explore anyway.


Routine tells you to be rational and self conscious. What if people are looking or you run into someone you both know? The answer is “who cares?” Sure being spontaneous may not work out every time but do it anyway and go with the flow. Unplanned adventures big or little have a way of adding excitement and in many cases some serious laughs to the relationship which is very healthy and great way to reconnect.


2. It is Not Your Birthday


Or anniversary or any other major routine event but do not let that stop you from buying small gifts for each other. In fact you can just as easily create your own special days. It could be the anniversary of your third date or the time you both laughed through the worst movie you ever saw. Occasionally giving a small gift for no particular reason lets the other person know that they are always in your heart.


3. Date Again


Not just going out to dinner either because that also can become routine. Instead plan a time outside of your normal schedules and treat it like you did during the early days of the relationship. Get yourselves spruced up. Go at it with the mindset that you are making every effort to make a good impression. Having a special time together at least once a week can throw a beautiful monkey wrench into the routine machine. .


It is nothing out of the ordinary for a relationship to lose some of its zing over time. The problem comes when couples accept the routine as normal and do not do anything to restore the excitement and unpredictability they once had. You can always reverse the process by being spontaneous, give small gifts for no reason other than to let the other person know you love them and start dating again like it is the first time. This all requires constant effort but the payoff of an exciting relationship is well worth it.



Daryl Campbell is a writer and entrepreneur with an extensive background in customer service. He has owned and operated Campbell Marketing L.L.C. for over six years.

3 replies
  1. Elle Royal
    Elle Royal says:

    love has many ups and downs, love has darkness and danger to go thru. Reaching a place where you are affoded a routine is a blessing. i am happy for my routine and thankful for it. My husband is too. Our routine is fun. In our routine we conquer all. In our routine there is music and excitement. Our routine has much laughter and joy. Our routine is respected and honored. Our relationship is better than when we dated. I'd never want to go back to how it was when we dated. It's easier now because of the routine. Routine you are not my enemy you are apart of my path.

  2. Tee
    Tee says:

    OMG was the writer in my head?
    I so agree and infact my objective daily is to have a successful healthy marriage. I believe people are choosing to just get married rather choosing to stay married in a healthy manner.

  3. Pat K.
    Pat K. says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with this article! I've got a 20 year marriage to prove that this stuff really does work! My husband and I got blessed with a daughter who loves classical and jazz music. She performs in concerts and programs on a regular basis and her "working gigs" provide really fun dates for us. In addition to the date nights, we receive lots of recognition for a job well done in maintaining our family. Encouragement helps, so I call this a win-win situation!

    Our daughter's rehearsal time provides more alone time for us to have couple time to shop at a a local farmer's market, have a meal (or just appetizers) at a restaurant, take a walk together, or just sit on the deck and talk.

    Whatever situation you have can be used to create some fun and spontaneity. All it requires is effort, and that you understand that things don't "just happen" like it often does in pre-marital dating. In marriage, you must plan to have your couple space and time away from other people and the kids, or it'll never happen.

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