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10 Simple Ways To Keep The Twinkle In Your Marriage

10 Simple Ways To Keep The Twinkle In Your Marriage

Married couples face a huge stigma from single people and the rest of the married world alike. We’re told that once you get married, you’ll get bored with each other, fight often and wish for your younger days. But that’s just a stereotype, and your marriage doesn’t have to be like that at all!

I may still be young, and I may only be 1 year and 4 months into my wife-life, but my husband and I haven’t gotten bored or sick of each other in the least, and I think that these actions are part of the reason why.

1. Don’t get stuck in front of the TV.

in front of TV

    Image by Iain Watson

    It can be really easy for both of you to come home from work and get caught up watching HOUSE re-runs until you fall asleep, but this lack of interaction is harmful to your relationship. Don’t get me wrong, a movie night once in a while is great. But when all you do together is watch TV, you’re not really interacting.

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    Instead, try going for a walk together or even cooking a meal together. Anything is better than silently staring at the same screen for hours on end.

    2. Be impulsive.

    impulsive together

      Routine is good for work and managing your weekly errands, but too much routine in your marriage can lead to feelings of boredom fast. Studies show that boredom in marriage leads to significantly less marital satisfaction even after 16 years of being together.

      Be spontaneous in how you live each day, even if it’s only through small things like going out to eat or procrastinating your laundry for another day. Random decision like that are sometimes all it takes to break away from the monotony of everyday life.

      3. Show that you care in everything you do.

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      love sticky notes

        Whether it’s making the coffee in the morning or packing a surprise lunch for your partner before you leave for work, there are a million small ways that you can show your favorite person how much you care about him or her. I, personally, like to write sticky notes for my husband and leave them around our apartment in places I know he’ll look. He never isn’t happy to see an “I love you!” sticky note tucked inside of his closed laptop.

        4. Have an “us” weekend.

        US weekend

          Having lots of friends is a great thing, and of course you and your spouse like to spend time with all of them. But every now and then, it’s good to reconnect by having a “just us” weekend. Sleep in ‘till noon, go out for a special dinner or marathon your favorite TV show together (this is my ONLY exception for rule #1 above). Whatever you want to do, just do it together.

          5. Surprise your spouse with thoughtful gifts.

          thoughtful gift

            Please note that thoughtful  does not mean expensive. Picking up any surprise gift that reminds your spouse how much you love them for who they are is a great way to touch his or her heart and keep your relationship strong. My husband surprise-orders graphic tees for me every couple of months, and I’m always amazed at how he finds just the right styles to match my personality.

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            6. Say the important things.

            things that matter

              While it’s great to feel comfortable enough with your spouse to assume that your feelings are obvious, saying how you feel now and then is important too.  Saying things like “I missed you today,” “I’m proud of you,” “You look great,” “You’re so fun” and other often-thought feelings can really help keep your relationship strong. You can be sure that your spouse really knows how much you appreciate them, and they’ll tell you how much they appreciate you too.

              7. Don’t skimp on sex.

              dont skimp on sex

                Sorry, but I have to say it: you just can’t lose your sex life to a hectic schedule or low energy. And I’ll admit it, this is something that I personally struggle with, but that I think is really relevant to a lot of married couples (and even non-married couples!). Sex is about more than just having sex, though. It’s about connecting with your favorite person and being close to him or her, which, consequently, makes it one of the building blocks of a strong relationship and marriage.

                8. Make time to cuddle.

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                cuddle

                  Of course, there’s also nothing wrong with just snuggling up to each other and talking either. Cuddling on the couch together for a little bit each day can be a really good way to spend some quality time together before you start making dinner, doing more work from home or running the kids to soccer practice.

                  9. Create a surprise special day.

                  special day

                    Aside from thoughtful gifts, another great way to surprise your husband or wife is to dedicate a random surprise special day to him or her and plan a day that’s all about them. Plan out a fun event or trip for just the two of you and don’t tell them about it until the day of.  Better yet, have them make plans to do something boring with you and then surprise them with tickets to see their favorite band, go to a pro sports game or take them out for a romantic picnic.

                    10. Talk about “us.”

                    talk about us

                      Lastly, one of the best ways for you to keep the twinkle in your marriage is to simply talk about your marriage together. Whether it’s reminiscing about when you first met, your first kiss, a funny moment the two of you shared together or things you’re excited to experience together in the future, talking about “us” is always a great way to reconnect and bond.

                      I hope these tips will help you and your spouse continue to feel head-over-heels for one another for decades to come!

                      Featured photo credit: Timothy Marsee via flickr.com

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                      Kayla Matthews

                      Productivity and self-improvement blogger

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                      The Gentle Art of Saying No

                      The Gentle Art of Saying No

                      No!

                      It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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                      But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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                      What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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                      But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

                      1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
                      2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
                      3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
                      4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
                      5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
                      6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
                      7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
                      8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
                      9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
                      10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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