The couple stands under the chuppah, a canopy of white surrounds them. They seem to be walking on clouds. You watch as they have eyes for only each other. Their smile stirs a memory deep within and you think to yourself, I had dreams like that once. I had passion. I felt that spark. Where did all that go?
As years pass we forget that we must rekindle the flame and not take our love for granted. Somewhere along the way we stopped caring as much, doing as much, and thinking how this will impact the one I am supposed to care for most in this world. Our marriage feels tired, we feel tired.
Do any of these descriptions depict your marriage?
- conversations bring on sarcasm or bitterness
- there is an undercurrent of tension and few laughs shared
- your spouse provokes emotions of resentment or blame
- you do not enjoy time spent together
If they do, you need a marriage booster. And it is never too late! Here are four ways to revive your marriage.
1. Take A Pause
Stress is a major factor that can eat away at the core of our relationship. We are so strained trying to keep it all together – whether it is our jobs, caring for elderly parents, or disciplining the kids – we don’t have much patience left to deal with our spouse. Stress makes communicating love and warmth difficult. Our tone comes off as angry and short.
The mezuzah on our doorway gives us an inspiring life lesson. Before you enter your home, take a pause. Look at the mezuzah, even give it a kiss. Remember that you are about to enter your ‘mikdash me’at,’ a mini sanctuary. This is a precious place where love can be found. Do not destroy this gift with a bad mood or sarcastic comment. If you must, take a moment and give yourself air. Unwind. Don’t just walk in and growl or ignore. Your family is your greatest asset. Resolve to respect the sanctity of your home through kind words, tone of voice and the smile on your face. Be a good listener. And if you know that you require a few moments of quiet, discuss this with your spouse to create a routine that works. This way you can ensure that when you are ready, communication is calm and inviting.
2. Give Positive not Negative
How often do you give a positive comment to your spouse? Whenever I ask this question there is someone in the audience who responds: Why should I give the compliment? What about my spouse?
If you truly want to upgrade your marriage don’t be concerned about keeping score. Do your part. Remember how eager you were to make your husband happy when you were first married? Do you recall how easily you complimented your wife or wanted to please her in the early years? Bring those days back. Fall in love again. Frequently communicate admiration and affection. Give words of gratitude for the acts we take for granted. Make a list of your spouse’s positive traits. Focus on the good – everyone has their good points! We just train our eyes to see what drives us crazy so we forget. Stop trying to change your spouse. You end up nagging or bickering. Instead accept your spouse and the fact that we all have our differences, and that’s okay.
3. Boost Your Romantic Battery
The battery isn’t dead; it just needs to be recharged. Research tells us that a way to rekindle the embers is by sharing a new experience together. Get out of your ‘same old-same old.’ Try a new restaurant, class or recreational activity together. Go bike riding or running on the beach instead of sitting at home on your laptops. Engage each other. Renew your connection through physical contact. Reinvigorate your intimate life. It is possible to live together and still feel lonely. Initiate and stop waiting. What we don’t realize is that men feel that they would like more physical intimacy while women wish for a greater emotional connection. These are one and the same we must only express ourselves better. Men should speak of love while women speak of desire.
4. Put the Relationship First
As we parent or put long hours into work our spouses often feel as if they come in second. So many husbands and wives have told me that their relationship does not take priority in their spouse’s eyes. A simple rule like no phones during dinner sets a tone in the home. There is no one else who is more important right now than your spouse. Staring at a screen while speaking to a spouse is not just rude, it is disrespectful. We must put our relationship first.
When we show our husband or wife that we are thinking of them during the day, we communicate our love. Don’t wait for a birthday or anniversary. Seek out little moments each day to strengthen the bond between you. Send a loving text, put a note into a purse, and pick up a favorite treat to show that you care.
Don’t be afraid to sacrifice for your spouse. We mistakenly believe that this is a sign of our weakness. Absolutely not! Love equals sacrifice. Yes, it is difficult for me to watch the kids while you take an hour in the gym Sunday morning, but I realize how much you need this time. I will not complain or be resentful. I am happy to know that you are taking care of yourself. And while I would rather stay home and have a quiet night I realize that you want to go out. I will go without griping because I realize that this means a lot to you. I will sacrifice for the sake of peace.
Now is the time to revive your marriage. Dedicate yourself to rediscovering the passion, the love, the deep understanding that connected your hearts. Find the energy to rekindle embers as you communicate respect, set aside time for one another, cherish your spouse’s company and live with marriage as a priority. Your marriage will be your life blessing.