What do you do when his little quirks become major annoyances? How do you cope when his ability to make you smile just isn't as easy anymore? What do you do when you start to feel like you are falling out of love with your husband?
When time has passed in a marriage, what you once thought was a passionate romance now only seems like any old boring couple. Relationships, though, don't just start going bad out of nowhere. It happens by repetition, forgetfulness, busy-ness, laziness, apathy, self-centeredness, and taking one another for granted.
This doesn't mean your marriage is doomed for failure. There are thousands of ways you can add spark back into your romance, and feel more connected than ever before. Here are several ways you can fall in love with your husband again and save your marriage.
Resist being overly critical.
At some point, any person in a relationship can find themselves observing their partner through a critical lens. This lens can be clearly distorted, and make you nitpick things that aren't really problems. For example, when you find yourself cringing at the way your husband chews his food, or get overly annoyed when he has to run back into the house because he forgot his keys. This will only bring negativity into your marriage, and make you feel even more distant from love.
Instead of being critical of there every move, reflect on what you love and appreciate about your hubby. What qualities do you admire or feel amused by? If you like that they’re adventurous, keep sharing new activities. If you enjoy their sense of humor, be playful in your communication. If you value that they’re warm and affectionate, make sure to connect with them each day, rather than getting caught up in other things.
Clean up past messes.
Decluttering is an ongoing task for every household, and marriage is no different. You might not even realize it, but you are probably holding on to some anger towards your spouse for things they've done in the past. These little (and big) resentments can pile up over the years if they have not be addressed properly. It can dictate how you interact with your husband and hinder your ability to enjoy each completely and authentically.
Talk through these things openly, and then let them go. Trust that your husband heard your thoughts and concerns, and thoroughly apologizes and wants to move forward. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to get some help from a therapist if it's a problem that is bigger than you both can handle on your own. You’ll be amazed what a difference it makes once you have cleared out the old garbage, and you can start fresh.
Take a break from technology.
Technology can be a great thing in helping you keep in touch while you’re apart, but when you’re together it can also be a big distraction. Try to keep your phones, laptops, and televisions off when you and your husband are together at home. Switch them off completely overnight so that you can have uninterrupted quality time. It will make your husband feel like you are choosing him over Facebook, game apps and the like.
Instead of being on your iPhone, you can have genuine conversation with your spouse. You will learn more about them and the things they may be going through. You can take up new activities together, start a new show, or try out a new restaurant. Whatever you choose to do in that time instead, it will be more productive in building up your marriage.
Support your partner's interests.
In the early stages of a relationship, both parties are still seeing themselves as separate, so they maintain the aspects of who they are that make them feel like independently fulfilled individuals. Often, it’s these very qualities that made your husband fall in love with you and made you fall in love with your husband. It is so important to still strive to be your own person and build up the things that make you unique. You should also extend this encouragement for personal growth and exploration to your partner.
You should want your husband to be confident in who they are and feel they have never "lost" a part of themselves in the marriage. Maybe they previously had a hobby of taking care of fish aquariums they no longer are as invested in. Support them in taking up the hobby again by offering to visit a local pet store with them. This shows that you care about what makes them special, even if it's not one of your favorite activities.
Remember the old times.
One fun way to rekindle your marriage is by taking a little stroll down memory lane to think of all that you two have already been through. Remember when you first fell in love, where did you meet? What was your favorite restaurant or coffee shop when you were dating? What was it about your hubby that used to make your heart skip a beat? Was it the sound of his voice on the phone, or the way he smiled after you gave him a kiss?
These little tidbits can help remind yourself of how happy and excited you were to marry your husband. They probably have so many of the same qualities you fell in love with, but you may have just started taking for granted. Write a list down of all the reasons your husband makes you smile so you can show appreciation a bit better. Share with your husband some of the best memories you have had with them, and why they were so special. This helps open a door to love and affection.
Reconnect with who you were when you fell in love.
Don't give up intimacy.
Intimacy is both physical and emotional. It's no real surprise then that studies show that affection can make you feel more connected with your spouse. Being affectionate produces oxytocin in your brain, which helps promote feelings of devotion, bonding and love. Just holding hands or hugging for more than a moment can reignite a loving feeling between the two of you. Sharing how much you love him and expressing gratitude can also help promote these positive feelings.
With life being so crazy and hectic in today's society, it can be easily forgotten to show your spouse some affection. You get stuck in the routine of taking care of the kids, going to work, making dinner and going to sleep. This rut is detrimental to your marriage if not addressed. Make sure you are setting aside a moment each day to really express affection towards your husband. This will both you and him feel more connected.