We all long for a lifetime of honeymoons–starry-eyed romance, long days on the beach, sleeping in, pampering, relaxation. The reality is, once newlyweds return from their romance-filled paradise, they step back into their daily routines, this time as a husband and wife.
The first year of marriage is an adventure, regardless of what each person’s daily schedule looks like. Maybe both spouses are getting up and going to an office everyday, or maybe one is working from home and the other traveling for a living. Combining the busy schedules of two different people equals a situation that requires intentional care.
Eventually, routine tends to get in the way of the honeymoon period, and some of the romance (and sometimes, a large part of it) that seemed effortless before becomes almost nonexistent. So what can you do when that happens?
We always say choose your ruts carefully, because you’re going to be in them for a long time. We all develop habits over time, and it takes deliberate work to break them.
When you’ve experienced the loss of something you loved or enjoyed, like being romanced, it’s hard to know how to approach your spouse about it. Asking for it directly takes the pleasure out of the act, and makes it feel obligatory for your spouse. Then, he or she feels caught in a catch-22.
How to Reignite Your Romance
If you want to help remind your spouse to lean into romance again, start by doing and saying things that invite those moments without making them into demands.
You could say, “I miss holding your hand,” or, “I miss this. I’d like to do more of this.” Let them know it’s something you enjoy and want more of. Don’t demand, manipulate, or make yourself look needy or angry.
You might also gently remind your spouse of memories you enjoy by saying things like, “Did you ever realize what kind of power you had over me when you would…” Let him or her know how intoxicating that was for you. Simply knowing their effect on you might be enough to spark that romance again.
Both of you could also make a list of things you’ve enjoyed together over the years. When you come together to share your lists, that’s a fun opportunity to say that you miss something you’ve listed. Who knows–maybe your spouse misses some things you used to do, as well.
We go through many different seasons in marriage, and it’s important to be aware of your season when you find yourself feeling upset about something regarding your spouse, or your dynamics together. Stress can make us pull back from each other. Also, the child-rearing season is a demanding time that can put a temporary damper on your romance.
In these situations, it’s important to remind yourself, “This too shall pass.” Seasons come and go. Try to remain grounded in the knowledge that whatever stress you’re under right now isn’t going to last forever.
Finally, find time to connect–just the two of you. Uninterrupted quality time with your spouse will do wonders for the romance in your marriage.
Make it a point to plan a certain time during the day that’s just about the two of you. Put your phones away. Turn off the TV. Focus on connecting with each other and ignore the rest.
This may work best for you first thing in the morning, or maybe late at night. You two know your schedules best, but it’s up to you to prioritize this time together!
The habit of happiness and romance is an inside job. If you find the right attitude in spite of atmospheric conditions and intentionally set aside time for you and your spouse, you will discover that living happily ever after need not be a myth. You can keep the romance and passion alive, and enjoy many years of lifelong love!