Whether you are a newlywed, nearly wed, or married for a number of years keeping the spark in your marriage is sometimes tough to do. And if you grew up like many women your mother never gave you the first clue. (smile, wink) Thank God times have changed and there are plenty of places one can look for advice.
A good marriage is built on a solid foundation of mutual trust, love, and respect. When you first marry you hope those ingredients will last you a lifetime. The first few years of most marriages are usually easier (smoother) because your love is young and fresh and new. Young marriages are also easier/smoother because you are still learning about one another and yourselves—your lives as a couple are evolving. At this stage you do not have to work very hard to keep your love/romance alive, but this phase cannot last forever without a little help.
During the middle years of marriages things begin to get a little boring—well, some of you might not say boring, but you get the drift here. The once vibrant spark that flew between you and your partner has begun to get a little less bright or a little less frequent. Either way this almost always happens as you settle into your regular lives. Again, nothing seriously wrong at this juncture, but you can regain that vibrant spark if you want to try—and at this phase trying takes just a little effort in order to beget success. (smile)
As you and your partner age or mature in your relationship your dynamics change—the newness wears off, and the freshness can become really stale or very boring. Is your marriage yawning? Maybe your lives have become routine or mundane—in essence you are walking robots that move side by side through life, but seldom interact. Don’t laugh, this actually does happen—and more often than you think. If your relationship is in this phase it is time to “kick things up a notch”—as Emeril says when he is cooking on television—and bring the love, romance, and passion back into the foreground instead of having it lost somewhere in the background.
Some Tips for “Kicking it up a Notch”
Keeping the romance alive in your relationship is a lot like making a good rue. (Emeril again) The spices, butter, milk and/or other ingredients need be artfully blended in order to create your masterpiece sauce. Spicing up your marriage works very much the same. By the way, you can add your own twist to any of these things to—so be as creative as you like!
- Remember to say “I love you” at least once per day. I know it sounds simple, but you may be surprised to see (begin a tally in your head) how long it has been since you actually said those three little words that mean everything to your partner. So do this with regularity!
- Write love letters or poems to each other and stash them in places where your partner can/will be surprised—(and yes, maybe even his/her underwear/sock/pantyhose drawer or coat pocket)—are you getting the picture now?
- Take care about the little things because they mean more than you might think. (i.e. taking out the trash, doing the wash or dusting when he/she has a late or long day, maybe even preparing a special meal)
- Always forgive and forget. Hate and anger eat at the foundation of our relationships and slowly make cracks that will require more glue (work) to make them whole again. Also anger can cause health related issues to manifest where none were previously. Health and happiness go hand in hand. Forgiveness is good for your soul!
- Search for the goodness and beauty in your partner—-and this is not just skin deep! Recall what drew you to them in the first place. Was it their uncanny sense of humor? Or the way they smiled? Or their intelligence? Or their imagination? Or the way they combed their hair? Or that brilliant twinkle in their eyes? Or the first time they said “I love you”? Think back. Whatever it was cherish it.
- Make sure you share the same values and goals—and yes, this is best done before you say “I do”. (wink) Sometimes goals change as your life circumstances change, so remain somewhat flexible here. Many unhappy feelings can come about by not having the same life goals. Be sure you and your partner are working on the same page and in the same direction. For instance, do you want children now and your partner wants to wait? Did you never discuss this topic early on and therefore not have an inkling of where you stand? Alignment of goals is important—get it right.
- Be appreciative. It does not take a lot of effort or time to say “Thank you.” If your partner has gone out of their way to do something nice for you, be sure to thank them.
- Never go to bed angry. (Perhaps you’ve heard this one before and it is sometimes easier said than done. Buck up—it doesn’t hurt, not much anyway.) Just say you’re sorry! You will rest more peacefully if you do.
- Realize that you are never too old to kiss, hug, or hold hands. This is one of those things that come so naturally when your love is new and fresh (and your horny), but the newness can slip away before you know it’s gone. The power of the human touch can move mountains and make your partner putty in your hands! (wink)
It is not only important to marry the right person, but for you to also be the right partner. A marriage is a partnership that should be equal parts give and take. Sometimes life and circumstance shift those parts and one partner ends up giving or taking more than the other. Those shifts are natural and nothing to worry about as long as they shift back. If the shift does not come back that’s when the marriage ship becomes unbalanced or is possibly in danger of tipping over. It is at this juncture when concern usually sets in—at least it should if you care about your relationship. It doesn’t have to get to that point before we use the sage advice of others in keeping our sails trimmed correctly and the compass pointing in the right direction. (In case you’ve forgotten those tips please reread above.)
Really “Kicking it up a Notch”
Ok, so you read the advice presented above, but you want something a little hotter, a little sexier. Don’t worry there is a little something for everyone. Here it comes. Are you sure you’re ready? (smile, wink)
If you have a fine relationship, but the sex is what is stale or boring there are things you can do to rev things up. These are not singular activities so bring your partner along! (Note these things are not for those of you who are “nervous Nellies”) Are we ready to roll? (wink)
- Role play. Let your partner be you and you be your partner. Do the things that he/she normally does to warm things up before sex. Then move on from there. (Trust in yourself–you can be creative here—-you’ve got full rein. This can be really fun!)
- Dress up in costumes. If you don’t own any, you can rent them at your local costume store. If you like it (wearing the costumes), you may want to invest in your own costumes. (wink) Please be creative at this phase—-not your usual doctor and nurse—unless that sort of activity gets you excited—and who’s the judge? Only you and your partner. Maybe cowboy and Indian squaw? Maybe you’ve got the Madonna/whore complex? (Are you getting the general idea here?)
- Play Twister naked. For those of you who are younger you may not know what this game is—-ask your parents, older cousins/aunts/uncles/friends. This is a wonderfully fun game to play without clothing. If you want to be even more creative you can add a little massage oil—-the slipping and sliding make things even more interesting! (wink, wink)
- Play a little strip poker. If you don’t know the rules make them up as you go along.
- Plan a naked dinner where you eat everything with your fingers. Some dishes are easier to plan in this format than others and don’t forget dessert. (Maybe try the strawberries and cream. Or chocolate syrup and ice cream. Yum, yum!)
- Act out your favorite romance movies romantic scenes. Can’t think of any? What about “Nine and a Half Weeks”?
- Watch an x-rated movie together. (There must with a plot. Ok, maybe a plot is not important. Just cut loose and have fun!)
- Visit a gentlemen’s club with your partner. (This can be fun if you accept it with an open mind.)
- Pick up some new toys at the local sex shop and share them with your partner.
Those are just a few examples meant to point you in the right direction and/or stimulate your creative juices. There are many more that can be instituted easily enough. A good imagination is key here.
Candles and/or flowers are always a nice touch to create ambiance. (Especially the scented ones—candles that is.) Lotions or potions can add to the execution of some maneuvers. Those lotions or potions can scented or unscented—your choice. (Are you formulating your own plan? Good. And if not, you must be the lamest when it comes to creativity or imagination. Seriously now.)
Music is the universal sexual/mood enhancing potion—so don’t forget to get the right tunes to get your partner in the mood. Jazz, classical, or blues can be extremely sexy. If those are not your favorites then play something soothing and relaxing. And no, Aerosmith is not one that comes to mind. If nothing comes to mind try Yanni?
Don’t rush. Take your time and get it right. Enjoy the mood, the moment, and your partner!
What Makes a Marriage Work?
Too bad there is no universal secret recipe for keeping your love strong and your love-life alive. But don’t despair. Remember America was not built in one day and neither is a good marriage. A good marriage takes work, patience, and understanding—-yes, just like your job! Getting it right can last a lifetime.
There are no guarantees in life and love. There are no refunds or coupons with special prices or information that help us to succeed in a marriage or point us in the right direction when problems crop up. There are no express lanes or short cuts. Your marriage is largely what you make of it. Yet, despite those shortfalls there are many marriages that last a lifetime and many happy couples fifty years after they’ve said “I do.” You can do this too!
If you are a religious sort you can seek advice from your religious leader, but you can bet his/her version of what was just explained is going to be way toned down and a lot less fun! Recently there was a nice saying that went as follows:
(author unknown) “that marriage is more art than science” and [paraphrase] getting things right means knowing (learning) how to blend your brushstrokes (handle the paintbrush) in such a way as to create a masterpiece.
Practice being the painter and the painted. (smile) Realize that you do not have to paint a masterpiece every day, but doing so requires regular practice and a lot of what makes a marriage work is practice.
Remember that masterpieces are in the eyes of the beholder so each of us can execute our own brush strokes in whatever form or fashion we like—-you can use whatever combination of color or shading, be as bold or subtle as you feel. The idea is to try! Don’t be afraid to try a few things (experiment) before you settle on which works best for you and your partner. And don’t be afraid to fail because failure sets you up to try again!
Tying up the Loose Ends
Just like the theatre or building your home. Planning and timing are crucial to bringing your special plans to fruition. Some things to remember are: enthusiasm, time, props, and proper health/hygene.
Enthusiasm is very important. So make sure you do whatever it is you select (from the lists above or perhaps one of your own) to do to bring spice back into your love-life with enthusiasm and energy, love and intention. Don’t go overboard—-plan it to come off just like an audition. (Wink)
Planning the right time and having enough time to execute your love session is also of essence. Never be pressed for time. Allow things enough time to unfold and take hold. (i.e.Don’t make it on a night when you or your partner has an early curtain call the next day. Don’t plan it on a night you promised to spend with your children—if you have kids or the guys/girls—if you get a free night out away from your spouse.)
Make sure you are well rested so you have the stamina for the second act. (At least we hope there is a second act, but we may be getting ahead of ourselves here—wink.)
Please make sure you are clean and fresh. (and this goes for your breath too!) There is no excuse for smelly body parts or food particles in your teeth. So don your soap and paste and floss. Perhaps finish off with her/her favorite perfume/cologne.
If you have any health issues please clear those with a medical professional before embarking on any of these ambitious larks.
Remember the most important facet in this whole recipe is to have fun and to spice up your love-life, bring the r back in to romance, and maybe even get a little dangerous. (in a good way that is) You can do it if you set your mind to embarking on adventure. Really, you can.
Remember when your love was young and fresh? Remember how your heart used to skip a beat when he/she walked into the room or called you on the telephone? Remember why you said “I do”? Remember your promises and honor your love. You can have all of those feelings and emotions forever if you do what it takes to keep your marriage alive. I can’t promise you that it will be easy or that every item works the same on every person, but if you never make the effort you will never know the results. Are you ready?
Don’t take my word for it, give it (any of it, all of it, or none of it) a try. You’ve got nothing to lose and perhaps everything to gain. Go on, take a chance!