If your hubby sometimes feels more like your roommate, best friend, and co-parent than your lover, we get it.You’ve listened to the guy snore every night for years, he knows your weekly grocery list by heart, and he could spot your top Netflix pick in seconds.
And those are all beautiful things! But if you haven’t felt that heart-skipping-a-beat kinda love in awhile, try these eight easy ways to revive it.
Take a trip down memory lane
When you’ve settled into the rhythm of a marriage, the memory of your first date is eclipsed by other milestones: your wedding day, the birth of your first child, your five- or 10-year anniversary. But taking the time to relive the earliest days of your courtship can help revive those falling-in-love feelings. “We fall in love with someone for a reason,” says relationship therapist Jill Vermeire. “Daydream and get lost in the memory of those first dates in order to remind yourself that your partner is still that person.
Pausing to remember what brought you together and looking at the life you’ve built together is extremely important. Appreciation can be an amazing aphrodisiac.” Vermeire suggests re-creating the list of qualities you were looking for in a significant other to remind yourself how long it took to find the right person, and asking friends to help you recall what you said (or gushed) about your husband when you were first dating.
Don’t try to re-create the butterfly feeling
While it’s a good idea to relive the happy beginning of your relationship, you don’t want to over-romanticize it. The early excitement of falling in love is a wonderful thing, but what you have now is even better. “It’s important to remember that those sensations are actually related to an underlying fear of rejection, so there’s an element of risk that creates excitement,” says life coach and relationship specialist Ellen Hartson. “The sensation that brings back excitement is a quieter, subtle connection that’s more even, steady, and fulfilling.
While this feeling is less chaotic, don’t mistake it for certainty, because that can lead to stagnation.” Revel in the lack of butterflies. Appreciate the luxury and comfort of knowing you’re coming home to someone who’s totally committed to you.
Paddle against the current
The longer you’re married, the more likely you are to pay attention to the negative aspects of your spouse, rather than the traits you found adorable when you first fell for him. To counteract this tendency toward criticism, be more intentional about positive communication. In other words, work hard to stay in love. “During the courtship stage or the ‘Velcro stage,’ as I call it we automatically focus on the positive and make our partner feel valued and chosen,” says psychologist Harriet Lerner, author The Dance of Anger. “The longer people are together, the more this selective attention flips.
Don’t get lazy because the natural course of marriage is downstream. Fight the current.” She suggests ensuring your positive feedback exceeds the critical stuff by making at least two encouraging comments to your partner every day.
Get physical and not just in bed
When you’re falling in love with someone, you constantly look for ways to be in physical contact with that person and we don’t just mean when you’re naked. Reincorporating everyday physical gestures here and there can help stir up those loving feelings again. “Start small with a gentle brush of the arm, a pat on the back, holding hands, just putting your hand on top of his,” says Hartson.
Every gesture counts. The skin is the largest organ on our body, and physical touch is an important human need.” Before you know it, those little touches will translate to a deepened emotional connection.
Be a mystery
As much as you want to appreciate the safety of a committed relationship, it’s important not to get too comfortable. Investing in interests outside of your relationship creates a little breathing room, which stokes the flames of love and intrigue. “When two people know absolutely everything about each other, it’s not a recipe for romance,” says Lerner. “Develop a new passion outside the relationship. Get your blip off his radar screen not in a cold way, but in an I-have-my-own-separate-life way.
The more passion you have for life outside of your relationship, the more opportunity there is to rediscover love within it.” Doing a 30-day workout challenge or signing up for a photography class isn’t selfishau contraire, it will likely strengthen your attraction and bond with your husband.
Tell yourself you’re in love… again and again.
Whether we acknowledge it or not, we talk to ourselvesif not out loudnonstop. That inner dialogue can have a big impact on our relationships, from creating tension or resentment to fostering a sense of love, joy, and intimacy. “The biggest internal shift we can make is to look at what we tell ourselves about our spouse and how we dialogue with our partners inside our heads,” says psychologist Vagdevi Meunier, founder of the Center for Relationships. “When one person is feeling discouraged in a relationship, the first thing I want to know is what they tell themselves on a daily basis.
If you’re engaging in hopeless, negative, or judgmental self-talk, you’re actually having a stronger relationship with the spouse inside your head than the real person.” Shifting to more positive, vulnerable, empathetic self-talk with the partner in your head and in your lifecan help reframe your dynamic. In other words, instead of wondering, Do I still love him?, think, I love him because I choose to see all the things that make him wonderful.
Remember that the chase is never over
Even after he proposes, you say your vows, apply for a mortgage, and send the kids to preschool, it’s important to remember that your partner will never fully be “yours.” We’re not trying to scare you, but experts say that a healthy awareness that things can change on a dime may actually help you feel more in love with your partner on a day-to-day basis. “The truth is that there are no guarantees, ever,” says Vermeire. “At any moment a person can change their mind.
That’s why a marriage needs attention and appreciation all the time.” We don’t want you to stress about a theoretical relationship apocalypse, but valuing your spouse and making sure he knows that you do goes a long way toward rekindling and reinforcing the love that you may, at times, take for granted.
Let go of your resentments
If you have a chip on your shoulder because your partner isn’t taking out the recycling often enough or helping you make weekend plans, those little bitter feelings could be grinding down the love and goodwill you’ve created over time. So take a hard look at the expectations you believe your spouse isn’t meeting because they’re your problem, not his.
“One common cause of the spark wearing off is that we build up resentments,” says Hartson. “Expecting your partner to always be sexy, funny, reasonable, sensible, and accommodating is a set-up for bad feelings. To get the excitement back, first you have to get over your resentments and strive for acceptance.”
Even if these aren’t the core issues, it’s important to hash them out first with yourself, then with your husband so you can move on to discussing more deep-seated, long-term problems. Doing so will change the whole dynamic of your relationship, making it lot easier to communicate, connect, and feel more in love.
Romance-inspiration: every couple needs the squeeze!! Be romantic, be inspired to do more