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15 Love Spells To Keep The Love Alive In Marriage

15 Love Spells To Keep The Love Alive In Marriage

Every marriage goes through cycles. Here are some tips to keeping the love alive in your marriage:

1. Prioritize

On any given day, there are a million distractions: A child wakes up with a temperature, your boss moves a deadline up a week, or you’ve gotten sucked into the black hole of Buzzfeed quizzes. At the time, you really thought the priority was finding out which “Saved by the Bell” character you are.

To make marriage work, spouses must prioritize each other above all else. Take time each day to check in and give them your full attention.

2. Anticipate — and Ride Out — the Waves

Given our obsession with reality shows that focus on the wedding day and not the years of marriage that follow, many people mistakenly think marriage is one big party. It’s not. And the sooner you realize that, and accept it and commit to staying in it during even the rough times, the sooner your marriage will benefit.

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3. Schedule Time Together

Sure, that might not sound romantic, but it’s really the one way to ensure quality time. Time together could be as simple as eating together after the kids have gone to bed or scheduling a date night every couple of weeks (sans kids).

4. Give a Gift

Everyone loves getting a gift, but giving presents can be equally joyful. Even a small token, like a six pack of his favorite beer or a smoothie from her favorite café, can show appreciation.

If gift giving doesn’t come naturally to you, this gift giving guide will help steer you in the right direction.

5. Do Something Laughable

We’ve all heard that laughter is the best medicine, and it’s a salve for your marriage as well. Watching a funny movie or going to a comedy show are obvious ways to laugh together, but finding humor in everyday life is just as important.

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6. Reach Out and Touch Someone

OK, don’t touch someone else, touch your spouse. Obviously, sex is an important part of any marriage. But small moments of affection are crucial as well: dance, hold hands, kiss when you get home from work. These small efforts build a strong foundation of intimacy.

7. Relive the Beginning

Sometimes the hearts and flowers kind of romance that defined your early relationship seems like a distant memory. Break out the photo album, revisit early date spots, or tell these stories to your kids. Remembering what connected you at the start can help see you through.

8. Every Interaction Counts

Grand gestures and romantic dates are special, but they are not the roots of a relationship. Daily — even hourly — kindness, communication and respect about all of the “little things” of life often means there won’t be as many “big things” to confront later.

9. Open Your Ears

Part of solid communication is active listening. You need to confirm that you’ve heard your partner and understand their point of view before you can try to work out a problem or conflict.

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10.  Let It Go, Say You’re Sorry, Accept Apologies

We’re all tired of hearing that ubiquitous Disney song “Let It Go.” But it’s not a bad mantra in a marriage. There are going to be conflicts and most of the time they are trivial. When you need to, say “I’m sorry.” When your spouse says he/she is sorry, say “I accept your apology.” Simple as that.

11.  Create Something Together

You might be thinking, “Um, we’ve already done that, and they’re called children.” Point taken. But working together as a team will help you connect to each other as you work to accomplish a joint goal. Paint a canvas to hang in the spare bedroom, cook a new recipe together for dinner, start a two-person book club — these are all simple ways you can remind yourselves that you are a team.

12. Get Active

Sometimes getting out of your comfort zone and sweating a little is all you need to reignite the spark. A hike down a local trail or a spinning class at the local gym is a great way to have a shared experience and stay connected.

13. Be Grateful

No matter how solid you think your friend’s/neighbor’s/co-worker’s marriage is, it’s a relationship death knell to compare one to another. Be grateful that you’ve found a person to share your life with and make your marriage the best it can be.

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14. Try Something New

A cooking class, a day trip to a new town, an arcade visit — having a new experience will bond you and create new memories.

15.  Repeat

None of these tips are one and done. There is no silver bullet to a love-filled marriage. Sticking to your goals of strengthening your marriage and being a true partner is a life-long endeavor. Go kiss your spouse!

Featured photo credit: Carli Jean Miller via carlijeenco.com

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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