If you’ve been married for over 5 years, your marriage may have gotten a bit routine. You don’t dress up for each other the way you used to or tell each other the little things that mean so much. If you’re looking to better your relationship and avoid the so-called “seven-year itch”, it’s important to remember that a healthy marriage takes work.
Secrets to Avoiding the Seven-Year Itch
- Date Each Other
It’s easy to fall into routine when you’re both working and taking care of the kids. However, it’s just as important to date each other now as it was back when you first met. Why? Because even though you’re married, doesn’t mean you always know the person the way you think you do. People change and grow during the course of a relationship, giving you an open opportunity to get to know each other over and over again!
Also, going on a once-a-week movie or dinner date gives you a chance to dress up, put on a little perfume or cologne, and remind each other what attracted you in the first place. Intimate conversation and gestures in a new environment can do wonders for keeping your relationship fresh and exciting!
- Write Love Notes
Another way to avoid the seven-year itch is to write love notes to one another. You don’t have to spend hours crafting poetry; just slip a Post-It note in his briefcase and tell him you love him and can’t wait to see him when he comes home. Or mention something thoughtful and kind she did the other day and slip it into her jacket pocket. Love notes are a way to say, “I still notice the little things and they mean a lot to me.”
- Do Things Together
Household chores are inevitable so why tackle them alone? Cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry is a lot more fun when you can do them with a partner. When cooking, try out new recipes together and really get creative. When cleaning, crank up the radio and sing off-key. Why not? A sense of humor is one of the foundations for a strong marriage!
Getting out and active is another great way to better your relationship and your health. Try joining a gym or go hiking together. Make it a point to go for a short walk together after supper. Whatever you and your spouse can do to reconnect will help deepen your bond.
- Give Compliments
In the beginning of your romance, you told her she was beautiful all the time. But with financial worries and getting the kids to the soccer field on time, the feeling is still there but the words don’t come as often. It happens in every marriage. We become settled and complacent, believing the other person should just know how we feel.
They do but it’s nice to hear it. Pay closer attention to your spouse. Did she recently get a haircut? Is he wearing a new shirt? Look for reasons to compliment your significant other and they’ll feel closer to and more appreciated by you.
- Be Thoughtful
If she’s running late for work, warm the car up for her. If he’s had a stressful day, offer him a relaxing back rub. Avoiding the seven-year itch can be as simple as paying a little more attention to what you can do to improve the marriage without being asked. Thoughtfulness goes a long way in bettering your relationship bond.
- Argue the Right Way
Every couple argues. It’s a normal part of being in a marriage. However, it’s important even during arguments that you continue to show respect for one another. This means not arguing in public, talking down to your spouse, or resorting to name-calling. When you and your marriage partner are in a heated disagreement, remember to focus on the subject of the argument, not each other’s shortcomings.
In other words, focus your irritation on the problem, not each other. The healthiest way to argue is to use “I” statements. Instead of, “You never pay any attention what I’m saying. You’re a jerk!” say, “When you continue to watch TV even though I’m trying to tell you something about my day, it makes me feel ignored and unappreciated.”
Oftentimes, we are ignorant of the effect our behavior has on others and having it pointed out in a non-confrontational way can go a long way in healing unspoken rifts.
- Give Each Other Space
In any relationship, there’s a such thing as too much togetherness. You and your spouse should spend time alone pursuing other hobbies and interests as well as enjoying time with friends. Time apart gives you perspective on your relationship and can help make time together seem that much more precious.
Remember the day you took your vows. It was one of the happiest days of your life. Just because you’re coming up on a milestone anniversary doesn’t mean things have to get dull. If your sex life isn’t what it used to be, improving your communication and trying new things in the bedroom could be just what you need to bring the spark back and keep your marriage fresh!
How do you keep the spark in our marriage?