It doesn’t matter if you have been married for ten months or ten years, it is normal for the flame of love and passion to weaken over time, but when you add certain “elements” to the relationship, it can reignite the fire between you. The truth is everything is exciting at the beginning of a relationship – it’s all new, after all. But, as you get more comfortable with one another and your relationship becomes “routine,” boredom and indifference can set in… Unless, you take steps to prevent it. Your marriage doesn’t have to be boring, and it doesn’t have to be “ritualized.” No, you can keep the passion sizzling between you with a little extra TLC.

Listed below are ways you can reignite the flame in your marriage:

Checking-In

If you want to get the fire burning in your relationship, you will need to re-connect with one another. What does that look like? Well, it could be as simple as drinking coffee or tea in the mornings or eating breakfast together, while you talk about your upcoming day.

Or, checking-in with one another in the evenings by eating dinner together and sharing your “highs” and “lows” from the day. The goal is to let your spouse know that you are there to listen and that you want to be involved in their life.

Kissing & Hugging When You Reunite

Jumpstart the passion in your relationship by kissing and hugging when you reunite. In other words, when you come home from work, greet your spouse with a kiss and hug to let them know you missed him/her. But, you shouldn’t just do this when they come home from work – do it any time you separate and reunite.

Even if it’s something simple like coming home from running separate errands, running down the street to get gas, coming back from a friend’s or relative’s home or event, or even coming back in from taking your four-legged baby for a walk. It doesn’t have to be extensive or drawn-out because the aim is to show affection to one another.

Getting “Handsy”

What does getting “handsy” even mean? Well, it means holding hands. Now, you can add other “elements” into the mix like hugging, kissing, and caressing to “spice up” the marriage. These simple gestures can go a long way in re-sparking the love and sexual chemistry in your relationship. How? Well, physical stimulation of any kind can trigger your body’s release of oxytocin, the “feel good” hormone.

As a result, you are calmer and in a better mood. It’s the same hormone that is released during an orgasm, according to studies. Another added benefit to physically touching? A reduction in stress, and as we all know, less stress can lead to more sizzle.

Changing It Up!

The truth is it’s easy to get in a rut when you’ve been with someone for a long time. You get married and get immersed in a daily routine. Then, the kids come along, and while that routine shifts, it’s still just a routine. The result? Being stuck in the same old thing day in and day out. Snooze.

There’s nothing worse, for most, than being stuck in a life of unending predictability. However, that doesn’t have to be your life. No, you can add some excitement to your marriage, just by changing it up – your life, yourself, your activities, your behavior, your marriage, your routines, and the sex, of course. In other words, break your routine and try something new!

For instance, if you typically do your chores and run errands – grocery shopping, on Sundays, use this day to do something fun with your spouse. Find a babysitter, if you have children, and do something together like go to church, explore a museum, go downtown and partake in the festivities, go see a movie you’ve been wanting to see, grab lunch at your favorite restaurant and talk about your future goals, volunteer at an animal shelter, go get couples massages, workout together, etc. Basically, take in the sights in your city.

Or, be spontaneous and do something you’ve talked about a thousand times, but never did like signing up for a painting or cooking class, or going horseback riding or skydiving. The thing you don’t want to do is become complacent. Why not? Because it can quickly dim the sparkle in your relationship.

Keep in mind that changing it up can also refer to sex. Sex can get pretty humdrum if it’s performed the same way all of the time. For instance, if you are always the one to initiate sex, let your partner initiate it the next time. Or, if you have a go-to position, try a new one.

Remember, the goal is to reignite the flame in your marriage – so go for it! Think outside-of-the box and make magic again in the bedroom. There’s no need to be bashful – you’re married, after all!

Surprise!

Be honest, when was the last time you surprised your spouse or vice versa? Last week, last year, or ten years ago? Well, if you can’t remember the last time you and your spouse were surprised by each other, it’s long overdue. If you want the fire burning again in your relationship, send your partner a sexy text message or picture, while he/she is at work.

Note: Don’t send anything too racy to his/her phone because you don’t know who will be around him/her when he/she opens it up. So, keep it sexy, but PG-13. Use code words and emojis to get your point across. And, snap a picture of yourself in a sexy outfit or send a picture of you showing off your best assets – i.e. your lips, abs, legs, feet, eyes, smile, dimples, etc. Sexy doesn’t have to mean naked.

Think about how it used to make you feel to get those sweet and sexy texts and pictures when you first started dating. Well, even if you don’t get them as much anymore, you can re-spark the fire in your marriage simply by re-starting this sexy game of cat-and-mouse.

Ditching Your Electronics

Have you ever thought about ditching your electronics for an hour or two a day? How about when you get home from work? Well, an excellent way for you to reignite the fire in your marriage is to free yourselves from distractions, and yes, I mean electronics – all electronics. So, do yourself and your relationship a favor and silence your smartphone, put away your tablet, and turn off the television.

Your favorite sitcom can wait. That juicy text from your BFF can wait. But, your relationship cannot. Choose to spend time with your spouse instead – talking, laughing, figuring things out, touching, and just being together.

Go on a romantic date, play UNO or charades together, sit on the front porch, rocking and sipping on your favorite hot beverage, cuddle in bed while talking about the future and remembering the past. Let your fascination or obsession with being connected to the world go, so you can reconnect with your partner.

Get Your Sexual Mojo Back

Mojo? Wait…what? Yes, you can’t reignite the flame without it. The truth is having a healthy and active sex life is important in a marriage. Therefore, it is vital that you carve out time to have sex on a regular basis. Don’t, however, pressure your spouse into having sex when he/she really doesn’t want to, because that will lead to a disaster.

Sex has to be mutual for it to be enjoyable. So, if one partner doesn’t feel up to the task that night, skip it. I know, it’s rough, but your spouse will appreciate your consideration and patience, which ultimately push him/her closer to you. Lastly, don’t be bashful in the bedroom – you’re married and sex is supposed to be fun – not an obligatory function of marriage.

Take a Stroll Down Memory Lane

When the passion starts to simmer down in your marriage, take a stroll down memory lane. In other words revisit the past. Think about your history together. Recall your happiest and funniest moments.

Think about what first drew you to your partner. Was it his/her smile or laugh? Was it the twinkle in his/her eye or the cute way he/she ate pasta on your date? Or, was it something super sweet like saving up to get you a piece of jewelry or take you on a fancy or fun date? Think about how all of that made you feel.

How did your spouse used to touch, hold and kiss you? Do they still do that today? If not, write down things you used to do to each other that you enjoyed and start doing them again.

Also, start revisiting places you used to go when you were dating – i.e. the old pizza joint, the park to feed the ducks, on a romantic dinner where you got all gussied up, out for ice cream or coffee, to the beach, to ball games, bowling, putt-putting, the movies, etc. And, while there hold hands, smooch, snuggle, and be affectionate. Who cares who is watching – this is about you and your spouse.

Talking

Sounds simple, but communication woes is the number one cause of marital dissatisfaction. It can be challenging to navigate how to communicate with your spouse, especially, when it’s a difficult topic. I get it. But, it’s necessary, if you want to have a healthy and happy marriage. Marriage takes work – a lot of work. And, sometimes is blissful and sometimes it’s hard – really hard.

Most of the time, however, it’s worth the effort. But, nothing will get resolved if you never talk to one another. I don’t mean just talking about the easy and neat things, but the challenging and messy ones too. So, if you have concerns, talk to your spouse about it, and encourage him/her to talk to you about theirs.

Nothing will get “fixed,” if it stays hidden. And, the longer you avoid talking, the more damage it will do to your relationship.

Planning a Romantic Getaway – Without the Kids

When was the last time you snuck away – just the two of you without your kids? I bet it’s been a while, right? Well, if the flame in your relationship is dying a slow death, consider saving up and going on a romantic getaway – out of your city or state. It can be a weekend or a week; it doesn’t matter.

The aim is to help you reconnect – mentally, physically, spiritually, and sexually. Honestly, spending some quality time away from work, routines, kids, and the daily stresses of life can work wonders in your bland marriage. Even just one night together – alone in a hotel – can help refresh yourselves and your marriage.

Seeking Help

Seeking helps sounds so daunting, doesn’t it? Well, just because you need reinforcements in your relationship doesn’t mean something is wrong with you or your spouse. We all need extra support from time-to-time. It’s normal and healthy. And, you don’t always have to be stuck in couples counseling.

Many times, it just means talking to someone about what’s happening with you, your spouse, and in your marriage. One way you can do this is by attending a marriage retreat. The best thing about these events is that they are relaxing and fun! Yes, fun!

It’s a good way talk about any issues with relationship experts in a calm and steady environment – minus the daily stresses and distractions back home. The goal is to provide support to you and your spouse, so you can reignite the flame in your relationship. It’s kind of like a working vacation. Not too bad, right?

And, the best part about it is that you get to leave with a toolbox of valuable “relationship tools” – i.e. healthy coping mechanisms, conflict-resolution strategies, stress management/relaxation techniques, better communication, and newfound appreciation for each other. Basically, all the ingredients to re-spark the flame in your marriage.

In Summary…

Good communication and reconnecting with your spouse are two of the best “elements” to keep the flame in your marriage burning bright for many years. And, although it seems like a lot of effort, it’s no more effort than you exerted when trying to snag your spouse when you were dating. Remember that? Waiting by the phone for a text or call or rearranging your schedule so you could be “free” to go out with your love interest?

Or, what about, making sure you always looked fantastic when going on a date with them? Look at all of the effort you made back then – and do it again. You have the foundation of love, respect, and commitment, now all you need is to reignite the fire. You don’t have to let the flame dwindle out; you can stop it in its track simply by being proactive.