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I’m a big proponent of working at your marriage. My husband and I got married when I was 19 and he was 20 and found out fast that marriage wasn’t necessarily like what you see in movies. It is work! It’s work to learn each other’s little quirks… It’s work to discover how you fit together… And, it’s work to keep the romance alive when you’re married!
In fact, that’s the reason I think so many marriages split up these days. They don’t put in the work – they get married and think that either the romance is just supposed to magically stick around or the resign themselves to the fact that marriage changes things and the romance will eventually die out.
But, as far as I’m concerned, neither one of those is true…
You absolutely, 100 percent can keep the spark alive in your marriage and make your honeymoon phase last a lifetime. In fact, I recently watched an interview with Tara Carson of The Dating Divas on the Mom Conference where she talked about the five vital steps to keeping the romance alive in your marriage.
Here they are…
#1 – Be thankful for the trials
Okay, I can hear you now…
“Be thankful for the trials? You’ve got to be kidding me!”
But, hear me out…
Every single marriage is going to experience hard times and bumps in the road. Whether they split you up or you come out stronger for them is completely up to you.
When adversity hits – you’ve got problems with the kids, one of you loses their job, someone gets sick … whatever the reason – some couples turn away from each other, starting down the path to the divorce.
But, if you turn towards each other instead, you can not only stay together, you can build a foundation for a marriage that will strengthen day by day.
Remember… you’re in it together… so, embrace those trials and each other and turn to your sweetie when times get tough.
#2 – Be strong for each other
Don’t let anything I’m saying confuse you and make you think that my marriage is perfect or that I’ve got it all figured out… Nothing could be further from the truth.
There are days when I’m a hot mess – more often than I’d like to be honest – and we’ve gone through some really hard times.
When we were waiting to adopt our oldest daughter, we experienced setback after setback. Not one but two countries closed their doors to U.S. couples wanting to adopt AFTER we had filed our paperwork and paid a large portion of our fees.
There were days that all I did was cry and that was all right. You know why?
Because when I couldn’t be strong for myself, my husband was strong for me… And, I returned the favor.
There were times that it was all too much for him to and he questioned whether we were doing the right thing and if we should just give up. On those days, I was the one to remind him that we could make it through together and if we could hold on, God would bring our child to us when the time was right.
And, guess what? We went through it all again when we went through in-vitro to get our second child!
But, that’s the beauty of marriage. Only one of you has to be strong at a time so remember to be strong for each other.
#3 – Keep dating
Just because you’re married, it doesn’t mean that your dating days are done. In fact, far from it!
You have to continue dating your spouse if you want your marriage to make it and to still look at your hubby 30 years from now and feel your heart leap like it did when you first met.
If you’re not already making date night a habit, start now. You can start small at just one time a month but work up to a weekly date – this quality one-on-one time with your sweetheart is one of the best possible ways to keep the romance alive in your marriage.
If you need help coming up with fun date night ideas to light that spark, check out our post on 16 Memorable Date Night Ideas to Keep the Romance Alive.
And, don’t let not being able to leave the house stop you! Not having a babysitter is no excuse because you can still have a fun date night with your hubby without ever leaving the house.
Just wait until the kids are in bed and then spend time together – but you must follow these rules!
Rule 1 – It’s a date so dress like it: Don’t stay in your work clothes, yoga gear or jammies. Get dressed up as if you were going out.
Rule 2 – It’s a date so act like it: The point of a date night is to bring you closer together so get closer. Hold hands, kiss, touch and reconnect.
That’s it ladies so get busy dating your hubby!
#4 – Be intentional
Don’t let a day go by without doing something special for the man you love. It doesn’t have to be big… It just has to be meaningful.
Send him a special text message to tell him you miss him, he’s a great husband and father and the man of your dreams… or a sexy one (you know he’d love it!).
Do a chore that he normally gets stuck with or even make him something special to eat.
It doesn’t matter what you choose as long as you make a point to do something that will let him know that you love him and are thinking of him every, single day.
If you’re like me and can’t remember where you left your keys much less one more thing to do, write it in your daily planner.
You literally add a line each day that says “Do something nice for (your husband’s name)”.
That way you can mark it off when you’ve done it and you don’t miss it. You stop leaving your marriage up to chance and start being intentional about it.
Think of it this way…
It’s like filling up a tank of gas. You can’t drive forever and never run out so you have to regularly add something back to the tank.
By doing something nice for your hubby each day, you’re adding something back to your “Love Tank.”
#5 – Get away together (or not)
Getaways are great ways to reconnect so if you can, schedule them in.
But, if you’re like me and you have kiddos that you just can’t spend time away from regularly, why not plan a staycation? Your own little getaway at home.
You could transform one of your rooms to be your own little love shack, set up a tent in your backyard (or in your house) or even take over an entire portion of your home as your resort!
The key is to spend time – just the two of you – to feel like you did when you first got married.
Like a Fine Wine
Remember, marriage is like a fine wine…
It gets better with age – but, in the case of marriage, it takes work.
Start working at it now and keep the romance alive in your marriage using the five tips above and you really can keep that spark alive and make your honeymoon phase last a lifetime.
And, as a bonus, when you work at your marriage, you’re teaching your kids how to create an amazing relationship so that when they find their life partner, they’ll be able to create a happy life too.
I’d love to hear from you too. Leave a comment below to let us know how you and your hubby keep the romance alive in your relationship.
As always, I wish you a strong family, optimal health and smart incomes,