There are interactive activities and dialogues you both can do together that will help to deepen your marital relationship. You should be doing things together regularly to keep the spark alive. It is particularly helpful to try new activities together. There is no need to do all of these at once. Take just one or two that you think would be the most beneficial for the two of you to get started.
- Think of a behavior you each have that other people like or praise. Ask yourselves why you both share this. Talk with one another about your feelings as you think about this behavior.
- Video or audio tape about an hour's worth of being with one another . For example, at the dinner table, in the evening when the TV is on, or in the morning as you are getting ready for the day. Listen to it together a few days later. Share with one another how listening to this tape makes you feel. Also, what are your thoughts about your interactions? Is there anything you notice that's interesting?
- When your spouse is talking, make a particular effort to not interrupt one another. Try to not add your opinion until your spouse is completely finished making a point.
- This weekend, try to not ask your spouse to bring you something, get you something, find something for you, or serve you something. Instead, offer these services to your spouse. How does your spouse's reaction make you feel?
- Write down some ways in which you manage to instill guilt in your spouse. Be completely honest with yourselves. For one week, try not to use these manipulative behaviors. If you want to take it a step further, let your spouse know when you have stopped yourself.
- Watch an old movie together, or listen to some favorite music together. Talk about why the movie or music touches your hearts.
- Go to the library together and select a book for the both of you to read together. Try to choose one for fun and one about relationships. Create a mini "book club" type experience between you.
- Think about your past 10 years. Select two or three periods of time when you were really happy or when things seemed to be going right for the two of you. These are the moments when you are really glad to be alive. Talk with one another about what made that period of time so enjoyable. How does this reflection on your past make you feel? Are there any lessons you learned?
- If money were not a problem or a consideration, what would the two of you be doing now or how would you be living your lives? Compare this to how you are living now. How does the comparison make you feel? Is there anything you wish to change now? How will you put this into action and support each other's efforts?
- If possible, return to your childhood towns - either physically or mentally. Look for the streets you walked, the homes you lived in, the schools you attended, the playgrounds you played on. Share with one another your memories.
- Make some dedicated time for the two of you. Find a way to free up an afternoon or an evening where you won't be disturbed by texts, phone calls, children, friends, work, school, etc.
- Surprise each other! Do something unexpected for your spouse. Make sure you keep in mind your partner's likes and dislikes. Then discuss your thoughts and feeling about the way you surprised each other.
If you enjoy these types of activities to create intimacy, try getting a book of questions to keep this going! Having these types of talks will strengthen your bond and connection.
*Article updated by Marni Feuerman
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