You’ve got a good, solid marriage: you communicate well, you help each other out, and you love each other and the kids. But when you look across the dinner table, you’re more likely to think about whether or not you need to reupholster your sofa rather than how deep and real your love really is.
Here are some ways to rekindle the spark in your marriage, and feel that tingle in your toes and the skip in your heart—or at least remember, truly and madly and deeply, why you married each other in the first place.
1. Write down, together, your New Year’s resolutions.
Remember the times you would hold hands and dream about the future together? This brings back that moment. Think about what you’d like to accomplish this year. And be open to suggestions, too. Add one or two items to each other’s list. You can ask your husband to help out more with the kids; he can remind you to watch your credit card spending. In this context, those little things you nag each other about become goals, and over the year you can just gently remind each other: ‘Remember that resolution!’
2. Pamper yourselves…for each other.
It’s great to know that you unconditionally accept each other, but it won’t hurt to go out of your way—even a bit—to look good. He can wear his nice shirts in the house; you can spray on a little perfume or wear lipstick.
3. Start each conversation with a smile.
Yes, even when you’re in a foul mood—or actually, especially when you’re in a foul mood. Smiling can help put both of you at ease, and improve your outlook.
4. Send love letters.
Insert cards in his briefcase, or stick a post it with ‘I Love You!’ on his laptop screen. And even on the busiest days, it won’t take a minute to post on each other’s Facebook walls, send a text message, or a naughty email.
5. Celebrate more!
How much do you spend on your kids’ birthday parties? And isn’t it unthinkable to miss your son’s championship baseball game? But strangely, couples tend to downplay their own birthdays and successes. This year, choose to celebrate more as a couple. Birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, or even things like completing a particularly difficult project at work.
6. Give one compliment a day.
People respond more to praise than to criticism. While it’s normal to bicker over stuff you both forgot to do (‘You didn’t take out the trash!’) you’re more likely to change behavior by complimenting each other when you do get something right. ‘Thanks for taking the trash out!’ and a big kiss will motivate him to do it again the next day.
And, by actively complimenting each other every day, you start looking for the good things about your partner. ‘That sweater really brings out the color of your eyes!’ makes you remember how you fell in love with those sparkling blues.
Photo from the artofunderstandingyourmate.com