When you lose the spark in your marriage, it feels like more of a chore to be in the relationship than a pleasure. That goes against everything a good marriage should do for you. A good marriage should make you feel loved, supported, and part of a team that will take on the world together if you have to, not drag you down and make you feel stuck or unhappy.
Following are some tips on how to rekindle a marriage in a way that raises its health, increases its happiness, and results in a strong commitment to making the marriage a success for the long run.
1. Get Rid Of The Modifiers
When you talk to yourself about your marriage, do you use a lot of modifiers? For example, do you say, “I never ‘intentionally’ hurt my spouse” or “The make me ‘pretty’ happy”? If you do, then you are denying certain negative aspects of your marriage. You are making the impact of what is happening seem like less than it is, and that will not help you rekindle the marriage.
If you want to revive the feeling that you once had in the marriage, then you need to get rid of the modifiers, face the facts, deal with the truth that there are some things going wrong in the marriage (and that your marriage could be much better), and start doing what needs to be done.
Therefore, instead of saying that you don’t ‘intentionally’ hurt your spouse, try asking your spouse when you have hurt them, why you hurt them, and what you can do about it. That’s the best way to get to the root of the problem and take action on fixing your marriage so that you can bring back the zest and excitement that was once there.
2. Make Your Marriage A Safe Place
One thing that attracts us to the concept of being in a marriage is the fact that it will be a safe place where we can be ourselves and live our lives. It is a safe place where we can open up our heart, tell our truths, and be respected for who we are. But, as the marriage starts to lose its passion, it starts to feel like less of a safe place and more like a place where we need to be guarded and hide certain truths about ourselves.
A marriage should be a place where you feel protected, able to be yourself, respected, loved, and supported. If your marriage does not feel like that right now, then you need to get it back to that state. Creating a safe marriage means you have to develop an attitude of respect for each other and for your marriage, and then take action on nourishing that respect towards your spouse with communication and honesty.
3. Stop Correcting Each Other And Start Listening
Do you remember, in the beginning of your relationship, when you didn’t try to correct your spouse all the time? You didn’t hold expectations over their head. You didn’t try to force them to talk or walk or act in a certain way. You just tried to understand who they were and where they were coming from, and you didn’t put down any of their beliefs about themselves. You need to start doing that again!
If you have lost that ability to get excited by your spouse’s ideas or way of living, then you will start to resent them because your expectations will not be lived up to. They are who they are and just because you have developed more expectations doesn’t mean they have to change themselves for you.
You have to stop correcting your spouse and start seeing them for the individual that they are. Start listening to them and their core beliefs and perceptions on the world. Doing this will help you become their partner again rather than their mother, father, boss, or superior.
4. Stop Looking For Perfection
This is also an important step on how to rekindle a marriage. We don’t look for perfection when we are dating, but as the relationship goes on we start to demand it. Demanding perfection takes all the fun out of a relationship and starts to make your spouse feel like they are not living up to some standard that you have and makes you disappointed in your spouse. Of course the passion would leave the marriage when this happens!
Nobody is perfect. Not even you. This is something you need to stop looking for and, instead, start looking for the special qualities that your spouse has and focus on those. Celebrate their uniqueness. Feel gratitude for the things they do really well in the marriage. When you start doing that, they will feel better about themselves, you will feel better about them, and the marriage will start to come alive again.
5. Get Your Fantasy Back On
When you started dating, you probably fantasized about your spouse a lot. You may have fantasized about your life together or just your next date, and you probably spent hours thinking about every detail of what had happened in a positive light and what could happen in a positive light tomorrow. This is an important aspect of an exciting relationship, and you can use these fantasies to help rekindle your marriage.
Start imaging your spouse as you would a new date. Imagine doing things with them that make you feel good. Visualize the type of experience you want to have with them. Visualize yourself laughing, being excited, and feeling really good about your relationship. Then, do things to help those fantasies come true.
If the thought of taking the initiative to reintroduce fantasy into your marriage makes you upset, then you probably think that your spouse should be the one to make the first move – or any move at all. But, you need to take your marriage into your own hands. Don’t leave it up to fate or your spouse to try to rekindle the romance. If you want the marriage to be better, take action now. Your spouse won’t feel like they won some sort of competition. They will feel amazing that you care about them enough to try to put the spark back into the relationship.
6. Start Playing With Your Spouse
Playing is not just for kids. Playing together is a way to strengthen your bond by having fun together, and it helps you see your spouse in an attractive light again. It relieves stress, helps take your mind off responsibilities, and helps you feel happier about your spouse and the time you spend with them. In fact, a psychologist at the Center for Marital and Family studies, Howard Markman, said “The correlation between fun and marital happiness is high, and significant.”
Playing can mean playing games together, playing sports together, going out in nature and running around together, using your imagination together, and even playing interactive video games together. Making time for play in your marriage will help rekindle that spark and, if you have never played together before, make it burn even brighter.
7. Start Doing Adrenaline Producing Activities
Make date nights that include activities that turn up the stress, heart rate, and get the body ready for exertion. This can be something as simple as a scary movie or something as terrifying as bungee jumping. Whatever scares the both of you will work.
While you participate in these activities, the hormone adrenaline will be pumped into the body, which is the same hormone that gets released when you are attracted to someone and in the passionate stage in the beginning of your relationship.
When you are with your spouse during this time, you will come out of the activity viewing them in a different light than when you went into it. They will seem more likable and attractive, and you will want to hang out with them and enjoy your time together. This will benefit everything else you do to rekindle your marriage, so make sure you do adrenaline producing activities as often as you can.
8. Deal With The Big Issues
Part of why your relationship may need a boost is because you and your spouse have too many big issues sitting on your shoulders that make you look at each other in a heavier light.
For instance, you may have financial problems that are causing you a lot of stress, or one of you may have a mental disorder that is causing you to have less functionality in the marriage. These are the big things that need to be tackled so that you can rekindle the passion in the marriage and get it back to a high energy level.
Dealing with the big issues means you need to identify what they are, make plans of action to deal with them, and then start taking action. If you work as a team, you will feel more connected to each other through the process, which will help you rekindle the connection you once had before all these big issues started to arise.
9. Act Like New Lovers
When you started your relationship there was no doubt that you were in love. You held hands, hugged often, kissed often, cuddled, set up romantic dates, giggled around each other, tried to please each other, and made everyone sick with your cuteness and love. Try doing that again.
Take every chance you get to tell your spouse how sexy you find them, and show them too. I’m sure you can come up with some of your own ideas, but if not here’s a few things you can do.
Write each other little love notes. This is a lost art, but it will excite your spouse to find notes stuffed in their coat, lunch, or car. Get creative and hide them in places you know it will have a positive impact on them.
Write each other sexy texts. This is called sexting and it can really spice up your marriage and sex life. Act like teenagers in love, talk about what you want to do to each other, and keep your cell phone locked just in case you leave it somewhere where the messages would not be well received!
Buy or make each other little gifts. This is a great way to show your spouse that you are thinking about them and give them something that they will appreciate in the process. Flowers are always a nice gesture for women (or a single flower can also have a lot of romantic power behind it). It’s important to listen to what your spouse wants and buy things according to what they say. If they mention something they like, then you are guaranteed they are going to love it and the thought that went into it.
10. Look Into Each Other’s Eyes More
It’s interesting that the more we get to know someone, the less we make eye contact when we talk. But when we meet someone, all we can do is stare into their eyes. The eyes give a lot of information about how someone is feeling, what they are thinking, and what their intentions are, so you can gain a lot of insight by staring into your spouse’s eyes.
Eye contact also helps to create a bond between two people. It is a very intimate way of relating, and it is the single most important aspect of people falling in love in many different cultures. Getting lost in their eyes is more than just a saying!
Anyone who wants to learn how to rekindle a marriage should know this. A simple act of more loving eye contact will help bring back the spark, build trust, and create more intimacy in the marriage.
However, direct eye contact is also a way to convey anger or dominance, so it is important to work on building eye contact during times where anger or negative feelings is not an issue. If you look into your spouse’s eyes with suspicion or cockiness, then that will not have the effect you want. In fact, it may just piss them off altogether and cause a new fight.
One of the most important aspects of eye contact is mindfulness. This means you are not thinking about something else while looking into your spouse’s eyes. Instead, you are focused on them, what you are doing, and not judging anything that they say or do. It also means you are not being self-conscious and worrying about what they think, which will reflect in your eyes as being distant or uninterested.