Do you want an awesome, amazing, mind-blowing marriage?
The answer to that question is usually a resounding YES! But, it is quickly followed with something like, “I could only hope for that,” or “Only in my dreams.”
“Based on my experience as a counselor, I think a lot of people feel like they are sentenced to a life of boredom when they marry,” says Darlene Karst, counselor, marriage educator and wife. “The reality is that could not be further from the truth … if you are willing to put effort into making your marriage fun, romantic, passionate and intimate.”
Most people would probably agree that it would be unusual for someone to be an exceptional mechanic, golfer, artist, or chef without training and a lot of practice. Yet people often expect to be excellent lovers and great at marriage overnight.
“The truth is, if you want to have an awesome, amazing, mind-blowing marriage, you have to set your mind to it and work to make it happen,” Karst says. “We might be in the middle of hard economic times, but that doesn’t mean it has to be tough on your marriage. You don’t need a lot of money to make your relationship more romantic and intimate.”
Karst suggests that there are certain things couples need to guard against because they are passion-killers in a marriage. When people think about passion and romance they often don’t consider how certain things can rob you of those feelings while others can set the tone. Consider the color of your room and the textures you have in your bedroom. Do they inspire romance?
“I always ask couples if they have a television in their bedroom,” Karst says. “If they do, I tell them to get rid of it. The bedroom should be a sanctuary where you can be together without distractions. Other things that can rob you of romantic moments include old worn-out nightgowns and underclothing, sports memorabilia and other things that clutter up the bedroom as well as fighting in your bedroom.”
With busy careers, children and outside commitments there is no question that life is hectic. Unfortunately, even the best-laid plans can end up out the window when a child gets sick, the boss hands out an urgent deadline or a disagreement comes along.
“More often than not, those things are exceptions to the rule and not the rule,” Karst says. "Therefore, I encourage couples to make a plan. Make sure you set aside time during the week to talk about children, bills, meetings, etc. Just as you set aside time for these things, set aside time to be together.”
If you are lacking in the creativity department, never fear. Karst gives these suggestions:
Take turns planning a special evening of pampering for your spouse. Think about what is important to your partner and plan an evening to indulge him or her. Be intentional about being with your partner physically and emotionally. Because men are so visual, one wife wore one of her husband’s favorite outfits and did things he really liked. On another night, he drew a bath for her and gave her a massage.
Do things differently. If you always make love the same way, change that so it doesn’t become routine. Consider these questions to help spice up your love life: What brings you the most sexual fulfillment? How often would you like to make love? What changes do you need to make to keep sex fresh and growing?
Teach the kids that your bedroom is your bedroom. When the door is closed, it means that mom and dad want a time-out. While this may sound totally unrealistic, it might surprise you how well it works once they get the idea.
Perhaps now is a great time to kick-off an ongoing celebration of your marriage. To learn more about having an awesome, amazing, mind-blowing marriage, click here.