Where Did the Romance Go?
I hear people all the time talk about losing the romance in their marriages. Movies exploit this phenomenon. Guys in movies and in life talk about the lack of sex. Women talk about the lack of flowers or sweet surprises. I and my husband have been guilty of this as well.
Here is what I realized. It’s up to us to keep the spark. At least once a year my husband and I try to get away for a day or weekend. No kids, no animals, just us. These times together are great but they are not enough. We do date nights. Dinner and movie is always going to be dinner and a movie. We need to do things that allow and encourage us to communicate and lean on one another.
The surprise trip to Niagara Falls provided this type of experience. We did a few things that sparked our imagination and sense of adventure. We stepped away from the conventional restaurants and tried new things. We talked about our future. We made plans for our future. We discussed issues we were facing with our jobs, health and children. We really communicated and enjoyed each other’s company.
You do not have to go on a surprise trip to light up your marriage. However, I will tell you a few things to help reconnect.
- In “My Big Fat Greek Wedding II” the Aunt tells Tulla not to talk about their daughter while on a date with her husband. We want to talk about our kids, but when there is tension over how you discipline or the goals for your child…don’t talk about this on date night.
- Do something new. My husband and I are going to take a Mediterranean Cooking class. I have fallen in love with several Mediterranean dishes, but I am still struggling on making a few of them at home. This is a chance for us to learn something together. Every time we have Mediterranean food it will be a reminder of this event we participated in together. We have had to postpone our original scheduled class due to a work conflict, but we have it on our schedule to do. The next class he is going to choose.
- Try something out of your comfort zone. No I am not talking about joining a swinger club or something seedy. I mean go white water rafting or zip lining. If that is too extreme go to an outdoor symphony or theater performance. Make it something new and something you are not necessarily sure of. Push your limits a little bit.
- Explore the world around you. There is a lot of history around the area we live. My goal is for us to start checking things out. Not museums, actual sites, asylums, prisons and other strange historic locations.
- Do a project together. Joe and I have remodeled, painted, and various other home projects together. Have common goals and interests, then pursue them together. It helps you to appreciate each others strengths.
- Remember it is okay to be friends. The best marriages started off as friends, grew into romance and started anew with wedding vows. Part of a great marriage is being great friends.
- Do not be afraid to have time apart. Have some separate interests. I go to small women’s group at my church. I volunteer in a department without my husband due to our schedules. We also volunteer together in another area of our church. Part of appreciating one another is being able to take a breath apart, so you can appreciate time together that much more.
One area I know I can improve on in my marriage is how I honor my husband. I don’t mean waiting on him hand and foot. (Cause that ain’t gonna happen.) We are a sarcastic couple. That is who we are. I think part of it comes from the sense of humor we cultivated being in the field of corrections. We are irreverent, a little dark and very sarcastic. We are also blatantly honest. Do not ask our opinions unless you want them. If we are quiet we are mulling over the information, it is not that we are shy about sharing. We may be trying to determine how to share without saying it wrong. We spent many years telling people exactly how it is with no filter, that is not the normal world. We are working on our filters…it is a work in progress. My husband and I both are sometimes considered to be quiet, to ourselves people; when in reality, we are just trying to make sure we do not put out foot in our mouths. It is an aspect that I like and dislike about how we communicate. It is playful and fun, but when it is taken the wrong way…it gets ugly fast. I want to honor my husband with my words and action more than I am sarcastic with him. Consider the way you communicate with your spouse. Is that where the romance has died?
If you think the romance is dead in your marriage, chances are you have the defibrillator in your hands. Shock it back to life. You can do it. Keep going until your spouse starts mirroring your actions. Eventually the romance will be roaring again. Then you can enjoy your kids rolling their eyes and saying things like “you guys are too old to make out”.
Marriage takes work but it is not a job. All relationships take work. Our relationship with God takes effort in prayer, reading scripture and seeking His Will. Our relationship with children and parents requires work in making calls, visits and actively participating in their lives. Our marriage takes work. Why do so many of us put our marriages on auto pilot?
Get off the couch and make your husband his favorite dessert tonight. Husband, make breakfast for your wife tomorrow or pick up flowers at the grocery (not from her flower bed). Sometimes I just surprise my husband with his favorite candy, Reece’s. It cost next to nothing, but he knows I was thinking of him. Consider these ARKs (Acts of Random Kindness) toward your spouse.
Trust me, a little goes a long way.