Last month, Ryan and I celebrated our seven year anniversary. Including the time we dated and were engaged, we’ve been together for almost a decade (whoa – that’s a long time). While things aren’t always perfect, I think we’ve done a great job of keeping our marriage romantic and fun through lots of changes – career, moving, and having children. Here’s my top advice for staying together and keeping things hot.
Support your partner
When you were dating your husband, you probably did things that you didn’t want to do – like go to his favorite sports bar instead of a swanky restaurant, watch football for hours, and spend time with his family (without complaining). Now that you’re married, you don’t have to work quite as hard but you still should make time to do things that are important to him. That may mean going to a boring work event or watching a movie that you really don’t care about. Why? Because it’s important to show an interest in the things your husband is interested in even if you’ve been together a long time. Besides you might have a better time than you think you will, and your husband will appreciate you being there.
In good times and bad, a little appreciation can go a long way. Even doing small things like picking up dinner or the dry cleaning deserve a thank you. Or if your husband cooks dinner, offer to clean up (and vice versa). If you’re home with small children all day long, it can definitely feel like your husband had an easier day. Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t but keep in mind that he’s worked hard all day too. If he comes home late, instead of being upset, offer to make him a drink or give him a massage. For more tips on how to show your appreciation, keep reading 😉
Accept that things may change
The things we want can change over time – just because you and your husband had a conversation about where you were going to live, who was going to take care of the children, etc. 5 years ago doesn’t mean that you both still want that today. Be open to having conversations about changing jobs, going back to school, moving to a new place, etc. even if it’s easier not to. Remember that relationships work best when both people are happy and fulfilled. If your husband or partner seems less happy than usual, make sure you ask them about it and be open to hearing what they’d like to change (if anything).
When you’re having a disagreement or issue that seems like it’s never going to be resolved, it can be tempting to just table it – for a week or a month or a year. The problem with that strategy is the issue will come back and if you go a long time without working something out, resentment will build up and drive a wedge between the two of you. Keep talking (to a professional if needed) even when it’s hard.
Don’t fight just to have make up sex (but do have makeup sex when you fight)
What is it about sex after fighting that’s SO hot? I think it’s that you’re emotionally and physically already in overdrive which makes everything more intense. It’s almost worth making an issue out of something. Almost. Seriously though, fighting all the time gets exhausting and can take a toll on your mental health so try to pick your battles carefully and resolve them calmly. On the other hand, if you’re in the middle of a fight sex is usually the easiest and best way to just take a break and get some new perspective on what you’re arguing about.
Foreplay lasts all day long
Anyone who thinks that foreplay is 15 minutes before sex is clueless. Foreplay is an all day long event – the way you talk to and touch your partner outside the bedroom should usually have a playful, romantic tone. Tell your husband you’ll do something really special for him if he cooks dinner/cleans the garage/picks up the kids. Or surprise your husband and send him a sexy text that he wasn’t expecting – men love that kind of stuff. (Note: Be careful if your husband works in a setting where his phone is out in a public or messages automatically go to his laptop)
When you really love someone, you want them to be the best version of themselves. Love your partner for who they are, but push them to go for the things you know they really want. When they have a goal (career, fitness, family) ask them what their plan is and how you can support it. If they’re having a hard time reaching their goal, don’t let them give up on themselves. Don’t forget that pushing limits can be rewarding for both of you.