- “Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?” – Groucho Marx
- “If you want to read about love and marriage, you’ve got to buy two separate books.” – Alan King
- “A wedding is a funeral where you can smell your own flowers.” – Eddie Cantor
- “I love being married. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.” – Rita Rudner
- “If you want to sacrifice the admiration of many men for the criticism of one, go ahead, get married.” – Katharine Hepburn
These cynical quotes hint at one of the problems I see in many marriages. The problem of a lack of romance. Do you remember how you pursued your spouse? Men do you remember all the little things you did to impress her, to show her your love, affection, and care? Ladies, do you recall how you chased him until he caught you? If your remember all these things, why did this pursuit stop? Somehow after we “won” the hand on that beautiful young lady or that handsome young man, we stopped pursuing them – romance slowly dies. Romance does not have to die!
Long term, happy marriages keep the romance alive.
Others often say of these couples that they act like teenagers when they are together. You can see the love in their eyes.The following five points are to help you begin to rekindle that chase. If your spouse was worth the effort then, isn’t she (he) now?
- Make ordinary times extraordinary. This is not as difficult as it seems. Simply slip notes of encouragement and love into work papers or pockets so they can find it while they are at work. Call or text during the day . . . just because. Say “I love you,” with an embrace and a kiss at the end of the workday.
- Make time for special occasions. In other words, KEEP DATING. Leave the children with family or friends and go out on a date. This does not have to be a full, expensive evening. This can be a trip to a fast food place and a walk in the park or at the mall. Just take time for the two of you. Now that our son is away at college, this is easier for us.
- Practice spontaneity. I know that practicing being spontaneous sounds like an oxymoron, but stay with me on this. As couples we need to be prepared or at least be open to the idea of the moment. We need to realize we can drop what we are doing, turn off the game and do something together for a while. Whatever you leave undone to be spontaneous will be waiting when you get back and you can check the scores or watch the replay for that game.
- Show appreciation. Say “thank you” to your spouse. Thank them for: taking care of the children, for cooking a wonderful meal, for taking you out to dinner, for what they do around the house, for what their job provides, etc. Thank them for being who they are. Tell them you love them for being them.
- Be compassionate. This is as simple as listening to each other and showing empathy to their personal and work struggles. This necessitates kind responses and conversation. This offers and provides assistance when needed. Compassion is a practical demonstration of the love you profess