Living happily ever after doesn't just exist in fairytales. But for real-life marriages, it's hard work and dedication that keeps the spark alive.
Whether you've spent decades together or just got married, staying in love is a mutual effort. When life gets busy with work and kids, the marriage may suffer if you allow it.
Date nights are a great way to spend some alone time, but there are other things to do together to break your routine.
Here are 7 easy tips to improve your marriage and deepen the bond with your significant other.
1. Break Your Routine
With kids, work, and everyday chores, life can get a bit boring and monotonous. Bring the excitement back into your relationship by breaking your routine. Instead of going grocery shopping and doing house chores for the weekend, plan a getaway somewhere.
The key to doing something fun and different with your time is reorganizing your schedule. You worked hard during the week and were too tired to go out, so on your days off or weekends, go out in nature and have a picnic.
Visit a neighboring town and book a bed and breakfast for just the two of you. Explore your own town like a tourist or spend an entire day doing nothing but enjoying yourselves and your marriage.
2. Go on Date Nights
If you want to keep the passion alive, go on a date night at least once a week. Make it a habit to spend a night together, just you and your spouse, talking, having a romantic dinner, or doing something fun.
Date nights will remind you to cherish your relationship, talk about your feelings, and shake off the stress. If you can't go out, have a movie date night at home. You can cook something delicious, open a bottle of wine, and watch a nice movie together.
You can also have a date night in your own backyard. Light up some fairy lights or candles, play soft music, and enjoy some dessert.
3. Try New Things Together
The secret to improving your marriage isn't in spending time together just for the sake of it. Instead, it's about doing fun things together, making new memories, and trying new things.
Sign up for dancing lessons or a cooking class. Go hiking, biking, swimming, or play sports together. You don't have to spend a lot of money or time to do something together.
Even if you don't have a lot of common interests, you can always watch a funny movie and laugh together. Even doing house chores together can be a great distraction from your daily life. Play some music while you do chores and be silly with each other. It's not the activity that matters, but how present you are in the moment.
4. Kiss, Hug, and Cuddle Often
Kissing, hugging, and cuddling is a scientifically proven way to boost your mood and feel happier. Long, intimate hugs help release oxytocin in the body. This is the 'love and connection' hormone that makes you feel in love.
Oxytocin is also released during labor to prepare the mother for bonding with her child.
It's a powerful chemical that needs stimulation in order to strengthen the neuropathways. This is why short pecks on your way out to work don't count. You have to consciously spend time hugging at least 30 seconds and enjoying it with your eyes closed.
Cuddle in the morning or at night before bed, and kiss passionately whenever you can. These are all bonding behaviors that give you that feel-good fuzzy feeling of being in love.
5. Talk About Your Feelings
Talking about feelings may not be everyone's favorite, but it's the easiest, most effective way to build a stronger marriage. In relationships, honesty and transparency are the foundation of happiness. Letting emotions bottle up or sweeping your feelings under the rug will result in arguments.
Open up to each other and talk about what's bothering you. Ask how you can help or if you can do something differently. Your spouse needs to feel safe with their emotions and know that you're always there when they need you.
6. Have More Sex
Sex and intimacy are two of the most important things you can do for your marriage. Always aim for quality and connection over quantity and getting it over with. You don't have to spend an entire day in bed if you don't have time, but even 10 dedicated minutes can do wonders for your love life.
Sex shouldn't feel like a chore for either of you. However, if you have a problem but can't get to the bottom of it, consider talking to a marriage help counselor. They'll help you communicate your needs better and find new ways to feel the passion in the bedroom.
7. Have Independent Interests
Marriage is a sacred union, but you and your spouse are two individuals with separate lives. Though doing things together can strengthen your bond, you should also have separate interests.
Finding hobbies that you enjoy on your own will help you focus your attention on something productive. This time apart will also make you miss each other more, and you'll have a lot to talk about.
Your personal time will give you both an opportunity to think of the little things that make your spouse happy. How much time you spend doing independent things is up to you. What matters is that you feel free and safe enough to do so, and enjoy your time together even more.
Use These Simple Ways to Improve Your Marriage and Fall Back in Love
Whether you've married for years or are newlyweds, keeping the passion in your marriage alive is hard work.
These 7 ways to improve your marriage can help you reignite the spark and spend more quality time with your significant other.
Did you like this article? Find more marriage tips like this in some of the other articles on my website where I share all things home, family, and lifestyle.