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7 Ways to Enhance Intimacy in Marriage

7 Ways to Enhance Intimacy in Marriage

Successful marriages last a long time. While working at the same place for twenty or thirty years can be monotonous, being married for the same amount of time should be anything but. In fact, successful marriages are so long-lasting simply because both parties actively keep things fresh. The love stories you hear about a couple on their 25th, 30th, or even 50th wedding anniversary all have one thing in common: they’ve done everything they can to keep the passion and intimacy in their marriage alive and growing.

They do so by:

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1. Not taking life too seriously.

Life certainly won’t be all fun and games, but that doesn’t mean you have to be serious all the time. Never lose the flirtatious personalities you had when  you started falling in love. Joke around with each other, play pranks on each other, even tease each other (nicely, of course). Be the one who can pull the other out of the dumps when they’re feeling low, and remind them how much there is to enjoy about life.

2. Follow passions together.

Find things you both like to do, and experience them together as much as possible. Don’t be afraid to try new things, either. I know I would never go to an art fair by myself, but I love exploring the different crafts and gadgets being presented while strolling through an exhibition with my wife. And she would never go to a Yankee game if it wasn’t for me, but we have dozens of inside jokes and memories that stem from sporting events in which we both ended up having the time of our lives. Always be open to an experience you know your spouse will enjoy.

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3. Be physically present and loving.

Being physical in a marriage doesn’t necessarily have to do with sex. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Remember when you were younger and used to hold hands all the time, or kiss each other goodbye or goodnight? Never stop doing that. Always show love and affection for your spouse, no matter how “used to it” you feel you are. You should never be used to hugging your husband or wife, simply for the fact that one day you might not be able to do so.

4. Write out your feelings.

Don’t just tell your spouse you love them; show them in words. Write them little love notes or poems, and send them letters (even though you live in the same house!). Putting your feelings into written words will not only mean much more to them, but doing so will also refresh in your own mind the reasons you love and care for them so much. If you feel like your relationship has hit a snag or has become somewhat stagnant, get out some fancy paper and write to your loved one exactly what you’d say if they were sitting right next to you.

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5. Give thanks and pray together.

Even if you’re not the religious type, recognize the spirituality and sanctity of your marriage. Look deep within your heart and soul, and within your spouse’s heart and soul, and truly get to the essence of what it means to be bound in holy matrimony. Recognize how incredible your life is having someone with you throughout the good and bad times, and give thanks to them, as well as to whatever higher being brought you together for the rest of your life. No matter what you believe in, true love is proof that there are mysterious powers beyond our control that guide us in our daily lives.

5. Spend quiet time together.

Take time to visit a place that is special to your marriage, and simply enjoy that time with no interruptions or outside thoughts. Take in the scenery together, holding hands while making a short, fleeting moment last forever. Let every other care and worry you have slip away, and know that in that moment, the only thing that matters is your relationship.

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6. Talk things out.

Like I said, not every moment in your marriage will be perfect. Rough times are unavoidable. But they’re unavoidable for a reason. Instead of trying to skirt the issue, or pretend everything is fine, don’t be afraid to talk about what’s bothering you. There’s nothing worse for a marriage than bottled up feelings that will one day explode in fits of anger or rage. If you feel like your marriage has hit a snag, don’t go to your friends for advice; they’re not experts in your relationship. Go straight to the source. Talk to your spouse about the problem you’re both facing. It will be much easier to work through whatever’s irking you than avoiding the issue altogether.

7. Give thanks and pray together.

Even if you’re not the religious type, recognize the spirituality and sanctity of your marriage. Look deep within your heart and soul, and within your spouse’s heart and soul, and truly get to the essence of what it means to be bound in holy matrimony. Recognize how incredible your life is having someone with you throughout the good and bad times, and give thanks to them, as well as to whatever higher being brought you together for the rest of your life. No matter what you believe in, true love is proof that there are mysterious powers beyond our control that guide us in our daily life.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm1.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on February 19, 2020

15 Positive Thinking Books You Need for a Happy Life

15 Positive Thinking Books You Need for a Happy Life

Books give us the opportunity to live vicariously through the lives of people with greater wisdom than ourselves. They stimulate our brains and help us not only solve the problems we struggle with, but also motivate and inspire us with new ideas.

One of the great things about people who think positively and live happy lives is that they love to help others do the same. There are countless positive-thinking books and these 15 are a great way to help you start living a happy life.

1. Man’s Search For Meaning by Victor E. Frankl

mans search for meaning

    This book goes through the horrific struggle of Viktor Frankl who survived holocaust concentration camps. The only thing that kept him going was his idea that everything, even the worst of human suffering, had to have meaning. If you’re struggling through anything in your life, I guarantee the words of Viktor will give you courage to press on and find happiness.

    2. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

    tuesday with morrie

       

      What is life’s greatest lesson? Morrie, a retired professor with a fatal disease, opts to use his predicament to share that message as opposed to just giving up and dying. Following the last few months of Morrie’s life will help you realize what is truly important in life.

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      3. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

      Lecture_Book

        Similar to Tuesdays with Morrie, Randy is a college professor who finds he has a fatal disease with only a few months to live. It is customary for professors at his university (Carnegie Mellon) to give a final lecture with the basis of ‘what wisdom would you impart to a large group of people if it was your last chance?’ Randy stays incredibly positive throughout and even keeps the lecture humorous and entertaining. Amidst it all, his wisdom is a powerful reminder about how to live a happy, full life.

        4. Earning Freedom by Michael Santos

        earning freedom

          Michael Santos was sentenced to 45 years is prison for selling drugs. During his term he fought hard to earn a masters degree and half of a doctorate (halted by the warden) while writing numerous books educating students about the criminal justice system. This book provides a fascinating window into his entire sentence (released in 2012) and how a positive attitude and strong work ethic got him through it. If he found happiness in prison through positive thinking, we can do it anywhere.

          If you don’t have the attention span to finish a long book, the following quick reads are shorter but just as powerful.

          5. The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper

          little engine that could

            This book has shaped childrens’ minds for years. It illustrates the undeniable fact that when you think positively and believe in yourself, you can accomplish extraordinary things.

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            6. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

            The_Giving_Tree

              Happiness is found in giving. What does it mean to love someone? What would you sacrifice for someone you love? This children’s book teaches a valuable lesson about unconditional love and what it truly means to be happy.

              7. The Dash by Linda Ellis and Mac Anderson

              the dash

                “When your life is over, everything you did will be represented by a single dash between two dates—what will that dash mean for the people you have known and loved?” (Linda Ellis) We don’t choose a lot of things about our life – parents, birthplace, etc. – but we can choose what that dash between those two dates means. This short book will give you a great perspective on making your life worthwhile.

                8. As a Man Thinketh by James Allen

                As-a-Man-Thinketh

                  “The outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to be harmoniously related to his inner state… Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.” (James Allen) This book might be short, but it is jam-packed with statements that will make you stop and think. We truly become what we think we are. Negative thoughts affect us more than we know. Positive thinking = happy life.

                  9. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald  Miller

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                  a-million-miles-in-a-thousand-years

                    You are the author of your story. No matter how boring or dull your life has been, you can always turn it around. Donald was in a rut in his life. He had no desire to get out of bed and found himself questioning the meaning of life. Eventually he realized he wasn’t a slave to a pre-written script. He used that mindset to turn around his thoughts, actions, and life. When the closing credits roll on the story of your life, what will people say? Never forget that you have the power to push your limits and live an interesting, happy life.

                    10. The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews

                    travelersgift

                      The Traveler’s Gift is a fictional story about a man who is overwhelmed with life and finds himself thrown into numerous true events from history – including Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. He interacts and learns important life lessons from seven different experiences. The book is full of ways to think more positively and find more success in life.

                      11. David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell

                      david and goliath

                        Malcolm Gladwell motivates you to challenge your preconceptions of underdogs and misfits in this thought-provoking book. When you break down the facts in the story of David and Goliath from the Bible, you find that David really wasn’t an underdog at all – he was the one with the advantage. This book outlines story after story after story of people who were at a disadvantage and learned to find the strength in their weakness.

                        12. How Will You Measure Your Life by Clayton M. Christensen

                        how will you measure

                          How would you feel if you got to the end of your life only to realize you had been measuring success wrong? Clayton provides a mass amount of wisdom and advice on how to live a life you won’t regret.

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                          13. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson

                          Dont_Sweat_Small_Stuff

                            The small things we worry about every day may not seem like a big deal, but they wear us down slowly and stop us from living up to our full potential. Learn how to get rid of those worries and negative thoughts and live a happier life.

                            14. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

                            mere christianity

                              C.S. Lewis, who used to be an Atheist, explains how he came to find meaning in life through Christianity. He breaks down all the reasons we doubt and falter in life and how living the principles of Christianity fixes our weaknesses. Lewis is famous for his deep, thought-provoking quotes and this book is no exception.

                              15. Bushido: The Way of the Samurai by Tsunetomo Yamamoto

                              bushido

                                Bushido is based on the Hagakure, a document that served as the basis for samurai warrior behavior. The document’s purpose was to shape the mind and the spirit of the samurai warrior.

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                                Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

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