Remember how I told you last week that marriage shouldn’t be hard work. Well it is. #hypocrite[Me, the Mr, and the World’s Largest Carrot Cake at a work event recently]
Mr. T & I have been married for 15 years, and I think years 10-15 have been the hardest work. Don’t get me wrong, years 1-3 were hard, but in a different way. When you are first married, you have lots of fights [sorry, it’s true], and you feel like you married this total stranger, but it’s easy to reconnect after those fights. Maybe it’s because you are younger and don’t have kids that cause extreme exhaustion, but in the early days I just felt like ‘making up’ was easier.
As time goes on and you start a family, buy a house (experience the joy of mortgage payments), and you become accustomed to each other, it can be easy to lose each other in the shuffle. The Mr and I have gone through phases where for days on end all we talk about is; school lunches, field trips, putting gas in the car, and paying bills. We let everything but each other be the priority.
So how do we make our partners a priority and keep the spark alive in our marriage. Once again I reached out to the fairy godmother of relationships Tara Cafelle for her thoughts, and she shared the tips below:
Now Tara is the expert on relationships, and I’m no fairy godmother, but I am an old married lady, so I can’t help but share a few ideas from my bag of tricks too. Before I share my tips, I do want to encourage you to think about what Tara has shared around intimacy. Growing up desi we aren’t always encouraged to prioritize intimacy (or talk about it, or acknowledge it), but it is an important part of marriage. If you are struggling to talk about personal issues like this with your partner there is no shame in reaching out to an expert like Tara.
[And just for comparison, here we are all dressed up for the another client celebration.]
So what are my tips for keeping the spark alive in your marriage…
- Use respectful language when speaking too or about your spouse (this goes for men and women). Early on in my marriage I noticed the Mr. and I going through a phase where we made fun of each other in front of other people – and I didn’t like it. I called us out and put a stop to it.
How you speak to your partner and about your partner to others builds trust, intimacy, and love. Kind words go a long way.
- Take an interest in each other’s interests. My husband and I are polar opposites when it comes to reading, movies, travel styles, food, and pretty much everything else you can imagine, which can pose some interesting predicaments.
You know what’s nice though, sometimes I watch sitcoms with him, and every once in a while he’ll go to a Hindi movie with me. It’s a subtle way of showing your partner that their interests are important, therefore, they are important to you.
- Non-sexual touch and intimacy is a must. Hold my hand, give me hug, rub my shoulders, and that’s it – full stop. The simplest way for my partner to remind me that I’m his priority on a busy morning with a million things going on, give me that quick half hug on the way out the door. Oh and for bonus points in case any boy is reading this…forehead kisses for the win.
If this post has you inspired to make some changes in your marriage or relationship, there is still time to register for Tara’s Super Couple Tune Up Workshop on November 19th from 10am-5pm. During the workshop she will be educating couples on relationship maintenance, and providing practical skills for recharging your relationship. If you aren’t local, Tara also has a great blog with lots of free resources, and she offers one-on-one coaching over the phone.