10 Tips to spice up your marriage

couple with children

(By Jenni Holdsworth) It is possible to get that honeymoon feeling back: all you need is a little imagination and the willingness (from both parties) to really try. Here are 10 tips to spice up your marriage.

So, spring is here, flowers are blooming and there you are feeling like a tree, dead in the middle of winter. We’ve all been through it, that slippery slope in a relationship where the date nights have disappeared and the sex life has become as predictable as a drunken binge on Grey’s Anatomy.

It is possible to get that honeymoon feeling back: all you need is a little imagination and the willingness (from both parties) to really try.

Here are 10 tips to spice up your marriage:

#1. Use technology to get your point across

Sure, we’d all like to take the time to explain to our husbands exactly what we want and need, but between meetings, workouts, soccer and PTA, who has the time?

Instead of looking at your watch and thinking there’s just no time to talk to him about setting up some “one on one” time tonight, make technology work for you.

Send him a text telling him how much you miss him or what you wish you were doing to him right now. Send an email with a photo attached of some lingerie and a line saying, “I was thinking of picking THIS up for dinner tonight”.

Or if you’re somewhere private, send him a photo of yourself in nothing but a pair of heels and smile. At least one of these small gestures should give him the hint that tonight is not going to be another night spent catching up on reality TV.

#2. I think you’re both feeling “sick” today

Generally speaking, most couples have their vacation days planned the day after the new year, so taking a random vacation day doesn’t always seem feasible.

However, calling in “sick”, as long as you don’t make a habit of it, is always an option. When you wake up in the morning, lean over and tell him that you feel like staying in bed; that you BOTH need to stay in bed today.

Get up just long enough to get the kids off to school or daycare and then hop back under the covers ASAP! Spending the day doing nothing but exploring each other may be just the fuel you need to rekindle that flame.

#3. Make it a date

I know, you read this everywhere but to be honest, you really cannot underestimate the power of a good date night. Pick an evening or even an afternoon if that works better, schedule a sitter or take the kids to the grandparents and spend some quality time together.

Hit a new restaurant, take in a movie or even better go dancing and have some fun. Let go of the week and all of the details of your life and focus on just enjoying each other’s company. Trust me; all those details will still be waiting when you walk through the door later that night.

#4. Go shopping

Before you laugh hysterically, declaring that your man won’t go near a Zara or a shoe store to save his life, that’s not exactly what I had in mind. When I say go shopping, I mean hit a lingerie store or even better an adult store.

Explore the items together and commit to walking out with at least two of them; one that you would really love to try and one that he would really love to try. Be open to exploring and see where the night takes you. You just might be pleasantly surprised!

#5. Become an actress

No, I’m not suggesting that you fake your way through your relationship, (although I’m sure at one time or another we’ve all done this). Instead, rent a sexy movie like 9½ Weeks, Basic Instinct or even Bull Durham. Pick out a few of the sexiest scenes and reenact them together.

Sure, he may usually see you as (Insert name here); wife, mother and caretaker, but when you start dancing around and seductively stripping like Kim Basinger in 9½ Weeks, he’s certain to forget all of that and see you as SEXY … end of story.

#6. Make the most of a long weekend

You may not be able to take a week-long cruise together and likely have spent the bulk of your holiday budget on a week in Plett with the kids, but why not take a long weekend?

Talk to your husband and make a list of the top five places you’d both like to go, plug in alerts at sites like Thank U Travel and when a deal comes through, jump on it. Sometimes all it takes to spice things up again is a few days to focus on each other.

#7. Reminisce

Nothing brings you back to the days when you first fell in love like a trip down memory lane. Take out old pictures or videos and view them together. Revisit the place where you first met or where he proposed, then talk about why and how you’ve stayed together all this time.

Tell each other what you first noticed about the other person and when you first realised that you loved them. Then take a few minutes and list the top five things you still love about each other. Sometimes in the midst of being together all the time, we forget to do the simplest of things like talking to each other or complimenting each other. Give it a try and you’ll see how quickly you can fall in love all over again.

Sometimes in the midst of being together all the time, we forget to do the simplest of things like talking to each other or complimenting each other

#8. Hotel, motel, Holiday Inn …

Okay, we all have a home to return to and a bed to lie down in, but sometimes the redundancy of home/bedroom sex makes everyone want to pass. The next time the two of you are out for dinner or running errands, look around and see if there is a hotel nearby. Just the rush of spontaneity can count as foreplay.

Lean over to him and whisper in his ear, “I have to have you right now, I cannot wait until we get home.” Tell him you spotted a hotel up the street or around the corner and playfully demand that he take you there immediately.

When you get there, make the most of it. Make love like you did when you first met; without routine, without inhibition and without discussion. Just let your desires take you where they may. Trust me; you’ll be glad that you did!

#9. Get steamy

Taking a bath or a shower is like second nature. We all do it every day. However, the next time you are about to slip into a tub of bubbles or even a hot shower, invite your spouse to join you. Light some candles, throw on some music and spend a little time together getting dirty before you get clean.

It seems pretty simple, but so are most men. Often, just the sight of you all steamy and full of suds with the candlelight flickering off your body is all he needs to get out of his anti-romance mood.

#10. Get out of your routine

The biggest issue that most couples have when it comes to their sex life is routine. They know that 6:00 pm kids get bath, 8:45 pm kids are in bed, 9:00 pm news comes on and if one of you makes a mad dash to lock the door before tracksuit pants come on and heads start hitting the pillow, you just might have time to squeeze in some lovemaking.

STOP! Changing your routine may be the only thing you need to spice things up, and these changes can be simple. Maybe you wake up and make love early in the morning before the kids wake up.

Maybe you ask grandma to keep the kids an extra hour on a Saturday afternoon and forget the errands in favour of each other. Maybe you leave the tracksuit pants in the drawer and pull out a sexy night gown, or maybe you let him know that tonight you’re not settling for a just few kisses before he scores a homerun.

Let him know that tonight he’s going to need to hit each “base” individually and thoroughly and if he does, you’re more than happy to reciprocate. Just because you know each other and have already experienced sex together doesn’t mean it has to look and feel the same every time.

Try new positions, do it with the lights on or even sprinkle in a little dirty talk. Either way, stepping out of your routine will at the very least give you a fresh perspective on the experience.

Whichever tip you choose to try, remember this is the person you have committed to sleeping with for the rest of your life. The rest of your life is going to suck majorly if you’re already looking at sex like a scheduled chore that bores you to tears.

Take time to communicate and appreciate each other and take into consideration that love and relationships are work. Just like a fitness routine, you’re going to hit a plateau from time to time. You just have to decide; are you going to settle for that plateau or make an effort to break through it?

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