17 Jul How do I reignite my marriage spark?
I often see clients who are still married and want to do everything they can to get their marriage back on track.
A recent client told me that she felt they were off track but when she raised it with her husband he said he was perfectly happy and there were no issues.
Whilst it’s always good to work together to improve your relationship there are still lots of things you can do yourself.
1. Get some clarity. Take some time to think about what specifically you want to change. What is it that makes you unhappy or frustrated? Write a list of the areas you want to improve so that you are clear about your starting point.
2. Keep a balanced outlook. Write a list of everything you love about your relationship. Include all the things that you enjoy and make you feel good. Capture even the small thing like how you feel when you’re holding hands or when you’re partner makes the bed.
3. Honest and open communication. Create a safe space to raise the subject with your partner. A good way to do this is to start by talking about all the positive aspects of your relationship. Make it crystal clear that you love your partner and want to work on your relationship to make it better. Be careful not to blame them for anything but explain gently the areas that you want to improve. If you can handle it this way then you may find that they are more open to working with you.
If they are still in denial then don’t lose heart. It may be that they are scared they are not good enough for you and may be losing you and this is their defence mechanism. You can still make a difference on your own.
4. Brainstorm ideas. If you and your partner are working together then you can do this step together. If not then you can still do this on your own. Take the areas from step one that you want to improve and think of at least one thing that you can do right now to improve the situation.
Here are some ideas for you to consider:
– I want to improve our sex life: often the spark dulls in marriage especially after kids and stressful times. Think of the things that your partner used to enjoy and re introduce them. Eg dig out your nicer underwear from the back of the drawer, light some candles and create a romantic setting. Make more of an effort and see if your partner beings to reciprocate. If you can remind them of how it used to be then they may realise what they are missing!
– Make your partner feel special. Compliments, genuine praise and noticing the little things they do can make someone feel very loved. It only takes a moment and it’s free to do but the impact can be huge. If you boost their self esteem this can have a knock on effect on other areas as they start to feel appreciated and attractive. They will want to be around you for more of that!
– Plan in some quality time together doing things you both enjoy. It’s easy to get into a routine and forget to schedule in some fun. If you have kids you can find yourselves being mum and dad most of the time and forgetting your identity as husband and wife. If you lead busy lives even he best made plans get moved so make sure you schedule in time together and book it into your diaries as a priority event. If you can find something that gets you out of your normal environment that you both enjoy that will enhance the experience.
– Put up some photos around the house of the best times you had together as a couple so far. Seeing them as you go about your daily routine will remind of what is possible and encourage you both to have more of these times.
– Set a time to review your progress so you have a set amount of time to do everything you can to revive your marriage. Three months is a good amount of time to throw yourself fully into making some improvements. Don’t lose heart if it takes a bit longer but by writing down your concerns and areas of improvement at the beginning of the process it gives you clear markers to look back on and see how much things have changed.
All marriages have their ups and downs and some of the best marriages I know have had times when each of them have wanted to throw in the towel. It’s human nature and if you work at it you can overcome the lows. In fact it can actually make you a stronger couple in the end.