Every time I run into an old acquaintance it seems they always have the same question in mind—How’s married life treating you? To which I can only reply “Absolutely wonderful!” I guess I just don’t understand why you would separate married life from life itself, and for a semi-stranger to single it out just seems odd. Wouldn’t a better question be “how’s life treating you?” Maybe it’s the inquiry into my private life that catches me off guard, but this loaded question is just (in my opinion) a little a personal. You instantly calibrate and take inventory of the good times, and if there’s any hesitation in your answer it begs an explanation, elicits a strange look, or an awkward moment. Nine times out of ten the answer will be you are glowingly happy, but for those rare moments when maybe you're lacking some romance or simply just missing your spouse due to a deficit in quality time—that question can seem like a swift jab to the ribs. Thankfully, my “married life” is more often than not in a state of bliss, so it’s okay when some moments of hair pulling frustration pop up, or my willingness to take responsibility for my part in the marital “state of the union” is tested. Relationships are a very rewarding labor of love and empathy.
So, now that I got that little rant out of me, my original intention with writing this was to ask you. . . How’s your married life??? This is me encouraging you to take stock of the happy, sweet, loving, intimate, hilarious, and tender moments in your marriage because it’s pivotal to keep searching for ways to improve and infuse more love and romance into your relationship. Don’t wait for this unsolicited question to catch you by surprise. I find that practicing gratitude daily is a transformative way to channel some really great perspective into your daily “love forecast,” but when combined with the love is a verb concept, magical things can take shape.
Here is a list of ideas I use to communicate and express my love (regardless of time, stress, and budgetary conflicts), and need for romance without blaming my husband for not reading my mind or being the initiator. As the old saying goes, it’s a two way street, so meet in the middle—or something to that effect. Regardless, marriage is a beautiful work in progress.
Post-it notes hidden in his work bag which reads something sexy, loving, appreciative, or all three.
Be of service when he’s gearing up for a hectic week by check things off his to-do list (the chores around the house he’s been fixin’ to do, have his car detailed, take his shirts to the cleaners or cook an incredibly tasty meal for you both to enjoy together, etc.)
Spontaneously initiate sex when he least expects it.
Plan a weekly date night that involves candlelight (optional) and making your favorite adult beverages, it’s like a private happy hour just for you VIPs.
Go camping together. There’s something very romantic about being in nature. You could do this in your living room if you’re not ready for the great outdoors. But pitching a tent or building a little forte of love can be a silly and adorable creative experience.
Take a day trip to an unexplored place. Adventure brings out the best in us both, I could travel the world with Raul—and surely will little by little—and never get bored of taking in new scenery at his side.
Write a love letter which ends with a detailed list of reasons why they are number one in your heart. Make special mentions to the silliest of reasons like the adorable way they drink tea, or their irresistibly cute bedhead.
Do something active together. Whatever your favorite exercise may be, do it together every now and then. I find our moods are often uplifted after a good sweat session (endorphins are your best friends), and usually this leads to a sexy shower session.
Play games. Literally. Board games like chess, or trivial pursuit—insert whatever you’re into—can be an easy way to engage in a little healthy competition and unwind after a long day. But most importantly you will have great conversation and time to catch up with each other.
Be flirtatious! Just because you are married doesn’t mean you can’t bust a move, be cheeky, or keep them on their toes. You can be subtle, or straight forward with your approach, but it’s important to keep your partner feeling wanted.
Take it or leave it, but remember you are the architect of your life, marriage, and happiness!