By Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz, The Official Guides to Marriage
By America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts.
Let’s face it – we love our spouse more than life itself. And frankly, we cannot imagine life without them! But the truth is, from time to time, our love for each other needs renewal. While love can be forever, it often needs nurturance, recommitment, and an occasional makeover. Love has its season for renewal.
Every so often, our “love affair” needs rekindling. Every once in awhile, we need to “strike another match” and rekindle the fire in our relationship. And the simple truth is, sometimes we need to fall in love all over again!
When your marriage starts to stagnate, when it starts to suffer from the doldrums, and when it needs resuscitation, rest assured, there are steps you can take to bring your marriage back.
All marriages go through bumps in the road. Marriage is not always fair, just, and beautiful. Over the past 26+ years, we have interviewed successfully married couples on five continents of the world that have been married for 30-77 years. Frankly, not one of these couples reported that their marriage was consistently at the “nirvana” level! Every successfully married couple we have studied has reported to us that their marriages had been challenged from time to time. Sometimes, they wanted to “throw in the towel” with their marriage. But in the end, their desire to save their relationship was more important their desire to call it quits. There are important lessons to learn from these couples.
Learning how to overcome the challenges and make it work is a true testament to why love and marriage can last a lifetime. Sometimes, your marriage and relationship needs nothing more than a “check-up.” Is it time for your relationship check-up?
All too often, the daily demands of life take us away from time together. But in the end, the relationship between the two of you trumps everything else. Your love for each other and your relationship, one to the other, is truly the fuel that keeps you going.
So here is the question of the day – how do you keep your love alive? How do you fall in love all over again?
Our research on successful marriage suggests five actions you can take to fall in love again – to incur the passion you once knew in your marriage. Here they are in nutshell:
1. Our research has revealed time and time again the importance of the “loving touch.” The human touch is paramount to the most basic of all human connections. So, the first thing you must do in re-establishing the passion of your relationship is to touch! Touch often. Touch much. Hold hands when you walk. Take turns wrapping around each other in bed at night. Feel the warmth. Feel the love. If you pass your spouse 100 times a day, touch them 100 times. By doing so, you are acknowledging their presence and you are telling them how much you love them. You cannot express love without the human touch. Get started today!
2. Engage in a process that allows you to re-establish the communication links between the two of you. We suggest that you start with these three questions: 1. Why did we fall in love? 2. Why did we get married? 3. What are our hopes and dreams for the future? The communicative links between the two of you are highly important and no love, no marriage, and no relationship will ever be jump-started again without the re-establishment of the communicative ties that bind. Getting serious about communication in your relationship is among your highest priorities. Get started today! Check out our “Seven-Week Program for Developing Ongoing Sharing in Your Marriage” in the appendix of our book, Golden Anniversaries: The Seven Secrets of Successful Marriage.
3. Work hard to have fun with each other! Dine out at your favorite restaurant. Spend a night in a motel. Take a vacation to Disneyland, just the two of you! Cook a romantic dinner at home. Whatever you do, do something that ignites the passion and the fun! Do something that takes your relationship “beyond boring.” Do something together that makes your lives exciting and fun-filled. Marriages can fall into the doldrums but it doesn’t have to be that way. Rediscover what makes you excited, what gives you a sense of adventure, and what makes your adrenalin flow! Successful marriages are not boring! Plan a passion starter today!
4. Upend expectancies! Do not always do that which is predictable. Here’s an example. One of the lovely couples we interviewed a few years ago told this wonderful story. Their life together was getting too predictable and too boring. At 85 years of age, they were both entirely too focused on “settling in.” They would sit in front of the TV, rarely talking, and content with their station in life. Shoot, they were both 85 years old they thought! But as they shared with us, it didn’t have to be that way. When Clarence came home from a golf outing one glorious Sunday afternoon, he was met by his beautiful wife, Grace, at the front door in her “altogether.” Grace thought, “What the heck, if I can’t get him interested in anything but golf and TV, I will just meet him at the door naked. Maybe he will get interested in me!” As it turns out, Clarence got the message. Of course, what happened after this homecoming episode they didn’t share with us! The most important lesson is this – Clarence and Grace decided that upending expectancies was a good thing from time to time! Try it. You be surprised at what can happen!
5. Tell your spouse how much you love them and why! Never, we repeat, never, fall into the trap that says, “I don’t have to tell him/her I love them, he/she knows I do.” Nothing could be further from the truth! People who love people are the luckiest people in the world, of that you can be sure. And to tell the one you love, “I Love You” and to do it often, makes them even luckier! Never take the one you love for granted. Big mistake! To love people is wonderful. To tell them you love them is amongst the greatest gifts you could ever give. Start today.
You see, the rekindling of love is not so complicated. Don’t make it so. Just take these five simple actions and you will re-ignite your love affair with your mate.