I have a new spouse today! Oh, she’s the same person I married 45 years ago. But she’s a lot different than she was the day I married her — and so am I.
Every day, each of us becomes a different person than we were the day before. Sadly, many of us forget this fact and stop discovering just who our spouse is today.
When you do that, you might start feeling bored. Your relationship is routine, the conversations stale and the passion setting has moved from boil to simmer. You still love each other, but you’re not sure how much you like each other. You’ve become complacent — but you don’t have to stay that way.
So how can you spice up your marriage? Try these 10 simple ideas to rediscover each other and rekindle your relationship.
How to spice up your marriage
If you’re wondering how to spice up your marriage, you’ve probably been overlooking the tiny changes that have been taking place each day. Since things aren’t dramatically different today than they were yesterday, we assume they haven’t changed. If they haven’t changed, there’s nothing new to explore, right? That mindset can perpetuate a slow-growing acceptance of the status quo with no incentive to revisit the relationship.
Your relationship won’t change overnight, but you can begin taking tiny steps back to discovering each other. Talk through how you’re both different than you were on your wedding day. Share how you’ve changed, and let your spouse share how they’ve changed.
Be on a mission to discover what’s new in each other. Everything changes, including us. God told Isaiah, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” (Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV). He wasn’t talking about marriage, but it shows the pattern of change that characterizes God’s perspective.
Talk about what you would both enjoy doing together, and then agree on one to implement in the next week. You’re not looking for perfection; you’re just taking the first step to find that spice. Consider these options as you brainstorm.
1. Get curious on purpose
Start each day with the goal of learning what’s new and different about your spouse today. That will usually come from conversations where you explore the details of their day and ask questions.
2. Imagine your life without them
It might sound morbid, but it’s a great way to re-appreciate the things about your spouse that matter most to you. What would your life be like if they were suddenly gone? Then focus on gratefulness for what you discover.
3. Follow up on conversations
Listen carefully during important discussions, and then revisit key things your spouse mentioned at a later date. It shows you care and that their opinions and thoughts are important to you. There’s nothing wrong with taking notes during a conversation, either. If it feels strange, just say, “This is important stuff. I just don’t want to forget it.” Then pull out the notes the next time you connect.
4. Put the phone down
Choose a few times that are “no-phone” events such as family dinners or in-depth conversations. Leave the phone in a different room with the ringer off if possible or set a time frame for checking it (for example, don’t look at it for at least 20 minutes). On dates, trade phones so the other person checks to see who’s calling or texting and decides on the urgency. Consider if your use of technology or social media is causing distance in your relationship.
5. Share your appreciation
Tiny gestures go a long way if you want to spice up your marriage. My wife took three friends to lunch, and I happened to see her car when I stopped at the bank in the same center. I used my key to open her car, folded one of my business cards in half backwards, drew a single heart on it and propped it up on the dashboard. My short “love letter” surprised her and drew positive accolades from her friends when they got back in the car. That was probably a decade or more ago — and she still has the card. And also tell your spouse what you appreciate: For example, tell them: “I just need you to know that your hair looks really great tonight” or “I’m always impressed with the way you make people feel special, and you did that with our friends tonight. I noticed, and it was amazing.”
6. Shake things up
You’ve never tried Thai food? Skip your usual restaurant and branch out. What if you don’t like it? It doesn’t matter. You “didn’t like it” together, and you built a memory.
7. Hold hands to spice up your marriage
It’s such a simple gesture of caring, but we rarely see it happen if a couple has been together a long time. Make it a habit to regularly hold hands in public — not for show but for real connection. At home, don’t always watch television together from separate chairs. Scoot together on the couch and snuggle until the credits roll.
8. Be honest with yourself
Put yourself in your spouse’s shoes. Ask yourself, “If I was dating myself, what would bug me about me?” If it would bug you, why not work on it so you don’t bug your spouse?
9. Be kind
It’s easy to get out of the habit of treating each other with kindness when you’re together all the time. But kindness is the lubrication that keeps a relationship working. Remember, of all the things that God could have used to draw us to himself, we’re told that it was God’s kindness that drew us to repentance (Romans 2:4).
10. Dress up for dates
This doesn’t mean donning evening wear when you’re heading to a fast-food place. But when it’s just the two of you, occasionally dress one notch above normal. It makes the event a little more special, even for a burger and fries.
Do you find yourself bored in marriage and complacent in your communication? It’s not because your spouse is boring; it’s because you’ve quit being observant. How can you spice up your marriage? By remembering you have a brand-new spouse today. Pay attention, start exploring and enjoy the adventure!