Unhappy marriages are not uncommon. Take a survey and the results may surprise you. If the respondent were totally honest we’d probably discover that one out of every two marriages is unhappy; if not all the time at least part of the time. Of course, this would depend on the degree of happiness experienced. What’s happy for one marriage may be considered miserable for another.
As marriages mature, the definition of happiness evolves. When you were newlyweds you very likely were happy just to be together and a romantic evening consisted of a quick dinner and off to the bedroom. When newness fades and the body offers no new unexplored areas, it takes more to induce happiness.
The longer you’re married the more other interests take the place of each other. Each other used to be enough but with the passage of time and circumstance it becomes harder to reach a level of satisfaction. You mind is filled with thoughts of children, making the car payment or the in-laws coming over for dinner. What can be done to reignite the spark in your marriage?
The sparks used for marriage ignition are many and varied but if your desire is to relive some of the romantic days of yesteryear then you might try these on for size:
1. Reflect on the past together. Remind yourselves how it used to be so you’ll remember what you’re missing. Bring out old photographs to revisit past vacations and romantic getaways. While you’re reminiscing, be sure “your song” is playing in the background, even if it’s an old 45 rpm record. Discuss how you felt then as compared to today.
2. Give your spouse a small gift which says I love you. It doesn’t have to be big and expensive. It’s better if it isn’t. An unexpected gift is both a delight to give and receive. You don’t have to wait for a special occasion; this is just because you care for your spouse and want to show it. It’s a way to say thank you for just being there.
3. A note could be just as meaningful as a gift. Leave a romantic note occasionally in a place that suits your spouse’s lifestyle. Where does she or he spend most of their time when at home? Kitchen? Bathroom? A few words of love are all that’s necessary.
4. Be spontaneous and have a picnic. Do it without consulting the other. They do it in the movies, why not in real life? Have a nice food basket prepared and off you go to the park or spread a blanket on the floor. It’s the unexpected togetherness that’s important.
5. Take a stroll together. This is not a brisk walk to get it over with but time to hold hands and realize how much you still love each other.
Don’t dismiss these suggestions thinking they wouldn’t work for you. Give them a try and be creative. It’s doubtful they would make your marriage any more unhappy. Start with a surprise morning kiss for your spouse and watch the eyes light up.