What happened to the romance? What happened to the hours of conversation revolving around your hopes and dreams? Has it been taken over by all of the responsibilities of daily life that includes the kids, their activities, their needs and wants, the household responsibilities, a heavier workload at your job and the endless “to do” list? Are your conversations primarily about coordinating who is going to do what and who is going to drive where? Is it basically about the logistics of how to manage the family and all of the obligations? With the responsibilities of life pulling both you and your spouse in so many directions, it is common that your marriage gets pushed down to the bottom of the priority list.
When that happens, you feel helpless and unsure how to shift feeling like roommates back to feeling like romantic partners. An overwhelming sense of boredom takes over while passion, romance and emotional intimacy take a back seat. You miss that sense of connection and realize that your relationship with your spouse needs help because both of you feel like your marriage is in a rut.
What should you do? Stop, take a deep breath, and think what is most important. Realistically think about your relationship and what is working. Then think about what needs to be tweaked. Break the pattern of feeling like you are in a rut by following these five tips.
Five tips to get your marriage out of a rut
1. Practicing mindfulness in your relationship is a great place to start. Set a time to relax into the moment with your spouse. During this time give each other the full attention they deserve. Let go of the thoughts and worries that occupy your lives and enjoy some quality time as a couple.
2. Many times when things are not going well in a relationship, spouses come off as nagging and always finding the negative. It would be beneficial to your marriage if you could break the negative cycle. Approach your spouse in a manner that would not put them on the defensive. If a deeper level of emotional intimacy is your goal, then talk about the want to connect instead of focusing on complaining about the lack of connection.
3. Appreciation and gratitude is a vital component to a happy marriage. Do not take each other for granted. Notice and appreciate the little things as well as the big things. This will also help turning the negative cycle of nagging into a positive cycle of appreciation.
4. Plan an evening for just you and your spouse or if you have time and money, plan a weekend getaway. Focus on each other. Talk about the topics you talked about when you were first dating. Try to recreate the sense of closeness that brought you together at the beginning of your relationship.
5. Get back the feeling of butterflies in your stomach when you see your spouse. Hold hands, hug, kiss, touch, have sex and remind each other how much love you feel for your spouse. Stop feeling like roommates and go back to flirting and feeling sexy with each other. Find the time to connect even if it is only a moment to gaze it to each other’s eyes.
It is extremely crucial to your relationship to nurture it now. In many years when the kids are grown, the household responsibilities are less and you are nearing retirement, it will be difficult to get back the relationship you once had. Work on it now; don’t brush it off as it can wait. Make sure you are enhancing your communication and level of intimacy so you are growing together. Enjoy each other’s company and make those special moments count.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
More by Michelle Scharlop