Keeping romance alive in marriage takes commitment and intention if it is to remain healthy and vibrant. Neglect it and weeds will grow, take root and choke out the goodness of your life together.
My hubby and I have been married for 33 years. If votes were to be taken at the onset, we would have been leaders in the category of “least likely to succeed at marriage.” Life was a crazy balancing act as we attempted to join two lives laden with baggage from our past and the collective hurt we carried in our souls. We were a volatile tinderbox ready to explode at the first spark.
Early on, we were given two invaluable pieces of advice by a precious pastor from our home church.
- First, allow your spouse their own mad money to spend as they wish. It might be only $10, which is all we could afford for many years. This was a big deal to a newly married and financially challenged young couple.
- Secondly, date each other. We were encouraged to set aside time, trade baby sitters with other young families or simply sit on our backyard deck listening to rain and drinking ice tea after our littles were fast asleep.
Whatever it took, he encouraged us to bring romance into our home every day. We were taught it was not only “going out” which qualified as dating, but even more, it was the every day bits and pieces of life we shared, the moments large and small. We began building our family, investing into each other, one day at a time. Life wasn’t fancy or easy, but we didn’t give up. We are still doing it, knowing it takes a lifetime to build a life of love which will become our legacy.
7 Keys to Keeping Romance Alive
- Speak love often . It is often said actions speak louder than words. True, but your spouse still needs to hear it and you need to say it. I – Love- You. Daily.
- Give more than you take. Marriage is not 50/50. Overlap. Look for ways to romance your love in the big and small.
- Make time alone together a priority. This does not mean you, your spouse and your phone. It means alone. A.L.O.N.E. Take a walk, watch the sunset, dance to music only you can hear, dream. Great things happen when you spend time together on purpose.
- Learn the language of your love. Each of us gives and receives love differently. Big love and great value is given when you intentionally give to your spouse in a way which speaks individually to his or her heart. (If you have not read “The Five Love Languages” check here- it’s a timeless resource for speaking love to those around you.)
- Forgive. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. It can fester and get ugly while you sleep. Grudges are the same. Don’t allow them to take root and grow.
- Honor your spouse. Speak as well of them in public as you do in private. How you speak to others about them is a reflection not just on them, but on you as well. Build up instead of tear down. A wrecking ball can demolish in minutes what it took months to build. Harsh and demeaning words do the same.
- Listen. It’s becoming a lost art. Much like the practice of writing a letter it has fallen by the wayside in an era of busyness. It’s a huge gift only you can give to your Love. Time rushes by at the speed of light and we are easily drawn into the vortex of doing, going and running. When you allow your spouse to simply be, and you listen without fixing, judging or even helping it can refreshes a soul and heal a wounded and weary heart.
How are you embracing the strong moments of great big love in your marriage? Are you loving and cherishing your spouse with the best of you today?
It is a joy and delight to be guest blogging at Spouse Dates with Steve Pare and his stellar group of contributors! My name is Nancy Bouwens, Coach, Writer and Wonder Seeker. I blog about living on purpose, practicing simplicity and untangling knots at IntentionalLife.me . One of my greatest joys is traveling, being a wife to my sweet hubs, mom to three incredible children and a nana to six precious little people.