25 total years together. Most days it seems like we got married yesterday, but then there are those days when we both think, "How are we going to get through another 25 years"? There have been many epic wonderful times but there have also been terrible low moments. The good news is the longer we are together the fewer slumps we hit. The bad news is once we hit a slump it becomes harder and harder to dig our way out. Let's face it after 25 years together who has the energy to work that hard? When we hit a slump we both retreat to our corners and just build a bridge without the other person. But since we decided we are in it forever we have to figure out how to dig our way out.
Below are some tips on how we escaped this last bout of marital blues;
Try a new activity.
We did something totally different. We rented a mobile home in wine country and stayed on a farm. We went blueberry picking. We herded sheep (a long story) but the point is we had never done any of those things before so this was something new that we shared.
Talk about it.
I used to think this was such ridiculous advice. But as we got older I notice that we talk less and less. Forcing ourselves to have an honest talk about the slump really helped. We talked about why we were there, how we got there and being honest about the fact that we really didn't have the energy to put into getting out of it took a lot of pressure off.
Tell each other your favorite moments from your past. Favorite dates you went on before kids. Your wedding day, the birth of your kids. Having years of history is an amazing bond. That fan only has to be flammed for those feelings to come back.
Hold hands, hug. Just connect physically. We get so busy and wrapped up that during our slumps we barely even say good morning or goodnight. Let alone give a kiss and hug. I am always amazed at what a positive effect the most basic pleasantries and efforts have on our marriage
Don't let distractions take over. It is so easy to just scoot through life "doing" life. There was no TV or internet. We were forced to figure out what to do without distractions
Know That You Made A Vow for Life
In the early years, we also went through some serious slumps. Once we took divorce off the table and out of our vocabulary things took a permanent upswing. Even during the slumps, there is a comfort knowing it is just a slump and not a possible end to your marriage.
As you can see, these are not complicated or difficult steps. Nevertheless, each one addresses a different aspect of your marriage in a positive way. Bringing these new behaviors into a mature relationship will allow you to enjoy many more years of marital happiness. Don’t be surprised if you begin to feel more content and connected than ever: It happens all the time. On the other hand, if you meet with resistance after repeated attempts, you and your spouse may need to see a therapist together.
You will be shocked and pleasantly surprised, by how different life suddenly is with less or no kids in the house. You can discover that fewer distractions naturally lead to more relaxed times and togetherness.
Making a marriage more romantic requires a concerted effort and commitment. It is constant work. Try just working on one thing at a time. Someone has to start the process. Don't wait for it to be your spouse.