When you've been in a relationship for a long time, it's easy to start to feel disconnected. The things that once made you feel excited and important now seem routine. The words that your partner once whispered quietly in your ear have faded away. The ordinary moments of each day are no longer as special or fresh as they once were. No matter how long you and your spouse have been together, it is important to try to rekindle the romance and nurture your marriage.
One way that you can help your relationship move from "strained" to "fantastic" is to start using simple words and gestures that say help you stay emotionally connected to your partner.
1. Use Nicknames
Do not be afraid to use pet nicknames with your partner. Even if you've never used a nickname before, sometimes something as simple as calling your loved one "Baby" or "Sweetie" can make him feel special. If your wife looks pretty one day, consider calling her "Hottie" or "Sexy." There’s no need to feel silly when you use pet names with your partner. In fact, many adults find that nicknames are a very effective way that you can convey your interest and attraction to your partner.
2. Use Verbal Affirmations
Another important way that you can demonstrate your affection is to try to be verbally affirming. For many individuals, learning how to say something positive to a partner can be tricky. If you've been fighting recently, your spouse might feel like your compliment is backhanded or that you're teasing her.
Make sure that you are very specific in your compliment and that your tone is even, calm, and gentle. For example, you could say, "I love that dress on you. The color is really flattering with your skin tone." Another option would be to point out, "I loved listening to you read a story to the kids.
You're a really great dad."
3. Do a Chore or Task
If there is a chore that your spouse hates doing, why not surprise him by taking care of it yourself? Something as simple as taking out the garbage, taking your dog for a walk, or even cleaning the dinner dishes can convey your love to your partner. Keep in mind that when you try to use a kind gesture to show your love, you need to avoid bringing up the topic later on. If you're going to be kind, do so without expecting reciprocation or thanks. While your partner certainly should thank you, never do something kind just to receive his praise.
4. Send a Text Message Just Because
Send a loving text during the day for no reason other than to check in on your spouse. No need to talk about who’s picking up the kids or what’s for dinner. Just a simple “hi” and a message that you are thinking about them and just wanted to check in.
5. Give a Random Hug
Give a hug for no reason and when it is unexpected. Hugs are guaranteed to be heartwarming. Giving a hug at random will send the message that you are caring and thoughtful. It is also an excellent way to show affection.
6. Plan Something New to Do Together
Novelty will help keep the spark alive in your marriage.
Doing a new experience together gets the bonding hormones flowing. But, go further with this and take the initiative to plan something for you both. Remember back when you were dating, this was a non-issue. Remember, you still need to date your spouse!
7. Affirm Your Spouse’s Point of View
You should always try to see your spouse's point of view. If you're arguing, having a difficult time getting along, or just having an ordinary disagreement, try to put yourself in his shoes. While it's normal to disagree, demonstrating that you understand what he's trying to say can go a long way in showing respect and love for your partner. Ask curious and insightful questions so that you can understand where your partner is coming from. Then let him, or her know you “get it!”
These tips are designed to help you connect more on a day to day basis with your spouse.
Most of these suggestions are small, easy tasks you can do without much effort. If some of these are new and not the usual way you behave, take a chance, and try them out. The response (and hopefully reciprocation) will make you glad you did so. You will be sending the message that you are thinking about and appreciate your spouse and your marriage.