Married life feeling boring? Easy ways to polish up a lackluster marriage
When you were dating or newly married, it was easy to think of new and fun things to do together, whether it was finding a new coffee shop, exploring a favorite trail or city, or trying something extra spicy in the bedroom. Leading all the way up to your engagement and through those first few months married, you were high on love and it felt like you'd never come down.
Now, though, it feels like your life together is one long rinse-and-repeat cycle. You wake up, go to work, come home, eat your dinner, and go to bed. Maybe you go to the kids' ballgame on the weekend or get takeout here and there. If you're really feeling crazy, maybe you go on a date every couple of months. When did this happen? Why did life become so monotonous?
Marriage is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling relationships, but without a conscious effort from both partners, it can become monotonous and unexciting, which can lead to bigger issues. When we're bored in our relationships, it can become easy to become resentful, wonder about other options, or just check out of the relationship entirely. Whether it's the responsibilities of raising a family, work obligations, or other life challenges, it's easy to fall into a routine where the passion seems to have vanished and other issues are on the horizon. Does this sound like you? Don't despair! Sometimes all it takes to liven up your marriage is a little bit of extra planning, care, and attention. So how can couples keep the excitement alive in their marriage?
Here are some ideas to help married couples maintain a healthy and exciting relationship:
1. Prioritize communication: Communication is key in any relationship, and it's especially important in a marriage. Take the time to talk to your partner about your thoughts, feelings, and concerns. Make sure to listen actively and without judgment. When there's an issue or disagreement, try to approach it calmly and constructively. Don't let resentment build up, and don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
2. Plan date nights: Plan a special, intimate date night at least once a month. It could be something as simple as a picnic in the park, a romantic dinner at home, or a weekend getaway. The point is to make time for each other and do something out of the ordinary.
3. Show appreciation: Show your spouse appreciation on a regular basis. Small gestures, like leaving them a love note, cooking their favorite meal, or bringing them their favorite snack, can go a long way in keeping the passion alive.
4. Get physical: Physical intimacy is an essential component in any marriage. Don't let it fall by the wayside. Make time for physical intimacy, and don't be afraid to explore new things together. Planning can seem so... un-sexy. But try to take the pressure off, agree to spend some time alone together, and see what happens. Also, try exercising together! Getting those endorphins pumping and trying something new together can be a great way to liven up the relationship.
5. Try new things: Don't be afraid to try new things as a couple. Explore new hobbies or interests together, take a cooking class or dance lessons, or even plan a spontaneous adventure. Even something as small as having a home-cooked meal together at the dinner table could be a good place to start if that's not your norm.
Now, despite our best efforts to keep the marriage exciting, there may come a time when we need help. This is where marriage therapy can come in. Marriage therapy can help couples in a variety of ways, including improving communication, resolving conflicts, and strengthening their emotional bond. Marriage therapy is hard work, and both partners have to be willing to make changes. However, it can be so rewarding and can make a lasting impact on your marriage for the rest of your lives. Imagine a 12-week commitment to marriage therapy changing your life forever!
If you feel truly stuck in a rut in your marriage and you'd like to talk things over in a safe and neutral environment with a caring professional, please give us a call at Mission Psychology. We are passionate about improving our clients' lives and would love to work with you.
If you want to learn more about how marriage therapy can help, check out this article.
Kalyn is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate based in San Antonio, Texas. She loves spending time learning about what makes relationships thrive and helping couples find joy by applying that knowledge.