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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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                      Last Updated on January 24, 2021

                      How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

                      How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

                      Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

                      For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

                      But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

                      It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

                      And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

                      The Importance of Saying No

                      When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

                      In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

                      Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

                      Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

                      Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

                      “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

                      When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

                      How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

                      It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

                      From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

                      We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

                      And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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                      At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

                      The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

                      How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

                      Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

                      But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

                      3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

                      1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

                      Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

                      If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

                      2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

                      When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

                      Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

                      3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

                      When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

                      6 Ways to Start Saying No

                      Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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                      1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

                      One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

                      Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

                      2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

                      Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

                      Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

                      3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

                      Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

                      Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

                      You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

                      4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

                      Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

                      Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

                      5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

                      When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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                      How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

                        Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

                        Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

                        6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

                        If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

                        Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

                        Final Thoughts

                        Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

                        Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

                        Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

                        More Tips on How to Say No

                        Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

                        Reference

                        [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
                        [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
                        [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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