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I have been married for 11 years (12 in February), and I am happy. I don’t mean in the generic “yeah – everything’s great” that you tell people you talk to a few times a year, but the way you would talk to your best friend about your relationship with your spouse. I AM really happy. Marriage isn’t easy, but it has been worth every fight, smile, laughter, romantic, priceless moments, and shared intimacy.
I often compare marriage to an onion the same way one of my favorite characters did – it has layers. There is not just one thing or time and then you don’t have to worry about it for the rest of your life. It is a full time commitment that will bring you so much joy and happiness. With the New Year upon us, it is a great time to sit down and really evaluate your relationship with your spouse and make a goal of something you would like to improve.
One thing that my husband and I have done in the past is “Date Night”. This is something we are going to plan and do once a week. This is our New Year’s Resolution. Our first date night is going to be part of a fun “K-Y® DATE NIGHT Deal” that came in our K-Y® YOURS+MINE box. It includes a $50 value that comprises of 1 free meal for two people from PEACHDISH.com delivered to your door for an intimate night of cooking together, a $5 VUDU movie credit for you to stream right at home and the pleasure of K-Y® YOURS+MINE Couples Lubricants. Perfect for a date night in! We found it at Walmart in the same section you would look for other intimate products.
Of course every week we won’t be able to go out which is what most people think about for date night, but it could be as simple as making dinner together, cuddling on the couch and watching a movie, playing a game, talking, reading a book together, and many other activities. You can see a list of 52 fun and inexpensive date night ideas here.
I am sharing a list of ways to keep your marriage strong that have helped us over the years. I would love to know what you do too.
- Always say “I Love You”.
- The power of Touch. (I am not talking about intimately although that is nice too 😉 ) But rather holding hands, sitting by each other, Back rubs, snuggling on the couch, steeling a kiss, and even hugging will bring a new “layer” to your relationship.
- Put your spouse before yourself (in moderation). Support them, and their hobbies, work, and other needs and they should support you the same. Make sure they know you are interested in what they do, and expect the same of them.
- Write love notes. You don’t have to get fancy gifts for each other, but writing “I Love You” and expressing your appreciation to one another on paper can have a profound effect on your relationship.
- Accept each other’s faults. There are many things that can and should be overlooked on both sides. You may not like the way he folds the towels, but he may not like the way you make the bed. You accept the little things to make something bigger.
- Be vocal – with your appreciation. Express gratitude even for the little things. Need some ideas? “Thanks for cooking dinner”, “Thanks for washing the laundry”, and many other simple things will really make a difference in your spouse’s attitude…believe me…it is important.
- Focus on the good. Stay positive and remember the good things. This goes along with #5 – don’t nitpick at each other. Think of or express three good things for every bad thing you are thinking. Be a positive support system, side with your spouse and know when to “bite your tongue”.
- Don’t get comfortable – don’t take things for granted. Don’t stop dating, don’t stop giving each other compliments, make sure you still have plenty of intimate moments, and time alone together. Keep treating each other like you did when you were first married.
- Get to know your spouse. Talk with them, listen (really listen) to them and get to know and understand what they like and want. My husband mentioned causally that he wanted to start oil painting (he is an incredible artist) when we were looking at some art a couple of months before his birthday. I took the time to research and buy him the best oils and supplies I could find and surprise him with them for his birthday. He has very much enjoyed them and it showed him that I was paying attention and care about him.
- Keep your intimacy alive. If you have kids this can be even more challenging. We have four kids and can always find time to be together. A movie, game, or even time outside are great distractions for our kids so we can sneak away to our room for some alone time. Impromptu intimate moments are the best. One thing that we have had since we have been married is our “box”. We hide it under our bed and it is full of fun things that make those intimates more fun. One of our favorite things to keep on hand is K-Y® YOURS+MINE. Other things we include are candles, Tic Tacs, lotion, lip gloss, and chocolate 😉
I love being married. I love my husband, and I love loving my husband. We take time to be alone together and get to know each other. Keeping your intimacy alive is a very important part of marriage, and KY©Yours+Mine makes it that much better.
What tips and tricks you have to keep your marriage strong and your intimacy alive? I would love to know!
For more great tips and ways to improve your relationship in the New Year, visit K-Y.com