Spark up your Marriage
“It’s official”, Mary said to herself, “my marriage feels like watching paint dry”. She didn’t know what else to do; anytime her husband walked into the room, she had to pretend she was busy. These days, they could be in the same room for hours and not say a word to each other, and if they should speak, it always devolved into an argument.
Sex has become a fond memory, and the fierceness of their love had cooled to friendliness. It was all shades of wrong but divorce was out of the question.
Interestingly, Mary’s case is very common; there’s a funny phrase here in Nigeria and they call it “see finish”. But if we could truly see each other, the desire would not fade. It is possible to know everything about a person but not really know them.
Take a trip down memory lane and remember why you married that man. Do you remember all the long hours of sharing everything, sharing what’s going on in your heart and what you’re thinking about? I mean, you couldn’t wait to share your day with him.
So, what happened?
I’ll say life happened.
Jesus told us about the cares of life; if the cares of life are strong enough to take our gaze off Jesus, how much more your spouse?
What does it then take to light the fire again? It’s about creating new habits. Here are some habits you can build up to bring the spark back into your marriage.
Start kissing. This sounds like fun but it actually isn’t when you and your spouse have been living like roommates for some time. According to Dr John Gottman, you should kiss for at least 6 seconds; beyond a peck, that’s how long it takes for it to feel “romantic”. I don’t feel like it you may say, well we are Christians and we live by faith and not by how we feel. Kissing also has medical and emotional benefits.
Set aside time for each other. Agree on how long works for you with your spouse; switch off your phones, talk to each other, exercise together or play a game together. Whatever you do, let it be about just the two of you. It doesn’t have to be every day but choose a time and day (of the week) and stick to it. Consistency is one of the ways to create anything that lasts.
Share the highs and lows of your day. If I ask you “how was your day?” you’ll mostly just tell me fine. Instead of just asking this popular question, why not open up the floor by talking about what hit you most during the day, and also introduce “what about you too” questions into the discussion.
As much as possible, go to bed at the same time. Schedules are good for children and for adults too. This helps your sex life (yay!!!), helps with the kissing we talked about earlier, you can talk about your day and just drift off to sleep together. If you’re parents already, it is hard to be alone with your husband and going to bed at the same time might just be the time you get together – DON’T WASTE IT!!
There is a theory (from the Gottman Institute) on building a sound relationship called “Building Love Maps”. This is about being familiar with your partner’s world. What do you know about your husband’s dreams? Do you know what his greatest fear is? What is the highest aspiration of his life? What is his favorite way to spend an evening? His dream location for vacation? This is not an accusation but a gateway to intimacy. Try to know the answers to these (and more) and tell him yours too.
Finally, let brotherly love continue. This of course assumes that love is in existence. Let me share with you what I did when I got stuck in this kind of rut in my marriage. I took 1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 7 and I personalised it. While I am not where I want in my marriage, we are far from where we were. The Word of God works and is powerful.
You don’t need to do the seemingly huge things to bring back the spark in your marriage, it is more about sticking to these small habits and in time the spark will be back.
Written by: Olamide Adeyemi