If you have been married for a while, it is inevitable that your relationship has changed. For some couples, this change is positive, creating a closer relationship than ever before. For others, this change can come with a loss of one of the most important elements of the early stages of a relationship: passion. If your marriage feels as though it is lacking passion, you may be wondering how to rejuvenate the closeness and intimacy you once felt with your partner. Here are 4 ways to rejuvenate your marriage.
1: Reestablish Casual Touches
Emotional intimacy and physical intimacy go hand in hand, and one feeds into the other. If you find that the passion has gone out of your relationship with your spouse, take a look at how your physical relationship is now compared to what it was at the beginning of your relationship. This doesn’t mean simply sex; you should look at the whole gamut of physical touches within your relationship. Many couples, as they become busy with their careers and families, find that they do not put as much emphasis on physical affection in a casual context as they used to. Reestablishing casual touches, from a peck on the lips before going your separate ways to work to holding hands on the sofa, can go a surprisingly long way to reestablishing a sense of emotional intimacy as well.
2: Avoid Criticism, Practice Kindness
If you are frustrated with your relationship, it can be easy to fall into a critical, unkind mindset. It is easy to blame your partner for having changed over the course of your relationship, even though change over time is an inevitable part of being human. Instead of falling into the habit of criticizing your partner for every perceived fault, try to consciously practice kindness. You did not fall in love with your partner because they were “perfect for you” or any other cliche, you fell in love with your partner for the totality of their character. If you continue to feed your critical mindset, you will only find yourselves growing further apart. This doesn’t mean allowing your partner to walk all over you, it simply means reminding yourself of how you used to look at your partner before the routine of everyday life took over your relationship.
3: Reflect on What You Love About Your Partner
Part of practicing kindness is reminding yourself of what you love about your partner. Do you appreciate their sense of humor? Their determination to excel at work or at their hobbies? Their passion for their interests? Reminding yourself of these innate traits that you love will help to remind you of how you felt about them at the beginning of your relationship, when those traits were new and novel. Oftentimes people find that their partner hasn’t changed as much as they thought, they have simply stopped seeing the things that they loved about their partner because of the familiarity a long relationship brings. Reflecting on these traits can help you start rejuvenating your marriage.
4: Define Your Problems
If you see large issues with your marriage, it will help to have an honest conversation with your partner so that you will both be able to define your problems within your relationship. A good place for you to start is for you to take a moment to imagine a perfect day in your perfect relationship. What would this look like? How would you and your partner interact? Then create a plan of how you might get from your current reality to that perfect day. Write it down if you need to, then start breaking the issues into bite-size pieces and tackling them one at a time. Some problems may be more challenging than others, but with honesty and a willing heart you will be able to tackle even the most difficult problems.
5: Don’t Be Afraid to Find Professional Help
If you continue having problems in spite of both your best efforts, don’t be afraid to find professional help. Couples and marriage counseling isn’t just a last resort, and choosing this route isn’t a first step towards failure but the first step towards a better understanding of each other and your relationship. There are a multitude of couples and marriage counselors who specialize in different types of marriage difficulties, and you are almost guaranteed to find someone who is right for you and your relationship. If you are growing frustrated or hopeless, finding professional help can mean nipping problems to the bud instead of allowing them to fester and grow between you and your partner.