Re-ignite That Spark!

The longer you're married, the easier it is to stop making an effort, trading comfort and complacency for effort and excitement. It seems a natural progression, to stop standing on ceremony and ease up, when next to each other. And then you have children, and "naturally" go from being lovers and partners to parents and roommates.

Responsibility becomes your mantra, and thinking wistfully about yourselves as a couple, the intimacy you shared, seems like self-indulgence. Isn't it natural for relationships to change over time? Isn't it selfish to crave what you had years ago instead of being satisfied with what you have now? The answer is no.

Make That Effort
A strong, bonded family cannot come from a distant, distracted marriage. If your husband and you don't value each other as partners, you're not going to make great parents. Putting the sizzle back into your lives as a couple - in the bedroom and outside it - isn't selfish. It's central to your happiness, as individuals and as a family. It may seem odd that what used to come so naturally to you as a couple when you first got together, seems to require thinking and planning now, and that's one reason most of us shy away from it.

After all, isn't intimacy meant to be spontaneous? Doesn't contrivance take the charm away to an extent? Again, the answer is no. Think back to when you last hosted a formal dinner party. You planned a menu, probably made a shopping list, spent time on styling the table and creating an atmosphere, maybe selected music and put thoughtful little touches into making it special.

Did the effort not build anticipation? Did compliments not spur you on to try new things? Did planning take away the charm of your occasion or heighten it? When a simple dinner party can demand so much from you to be successful, what makes you think your marriage - a dynamic, powerful, fundamental entity - deserves any less? This February, work on bringing the zing back into your lives as a couple, starting with our time-and-experttested tips right here.

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