Believe it or not, this is perfectly normal in marriages. We may not like it, it may feel uncomfortable, but just about everyone goes through it. Why?
Unfortunately, we often ignore the familiar. We may spend a lot of energy and use much creativity at the job, pay attention to how we sound and what we say to friends and co-workers, act delighted to see a neighbor or the mail person, and then come home and virtually ignore our spouse. It’s certainly understandable. At the end of the day we’re tired, cranky, hungry. It feels like “work” to put a smile on your face and sit and listen intently to someone else’s day. The last thing in the world you want to do is have to be “on” at home. I bet if you were having dinner with a friend you’d do it.
I know you’ve heard it before, but, here it is again. Marriage takes work. But this work can be lots of fun. So here’s your homework to get that spark back and reignite the flame.
- Remember the things you did when you and your spouse were dating? Make dates with him/her and do some of those things again.
- Tell him/her that they look sexy, pretty, handsome.
- Do you remember how to flirt? Try it on your spouse.
- Write a love note or x-rated note and slip it into their pocket or purse.
- Buy them something small and cute.
- You know those movies that make you think, “why doesn’t he/she do those things?” You do them. You be the initiator.
- When out with your spouse, try asking questions about them and then really listen to the answer. Reserve talking about the kids for when you’re at home. A date should be a date.
- Tell them why you fell in love with them.
When I’m working with a couple in couples therapy, I look at both spouses and say, “you do these things first”. In other words, don’t wait for your spouse to initiate the above. If you both start there won’t be any resentment.
Have a great time!