I’m guessing you opened this article thinking it would be all about SEX. To be honest, if someone brought up the subject of spice in my marriage I would have the same thought. It wasn’t until about three years into my marriage when things started to feel “routine” and I found myself searching for more that I realized sex was only half of if we don’t do something now, my marriage is going to end up just another statistic.
It sounds silly and maybe even a little bit vulgar to place that stigma on my marriage after only three years, but I think that’s the exact problem most people don’t understand. It may take another five, ten or even thirty years for us to get to the point of no return, but the damage starts much earlier on. More often than not, without either partner having any idea.
If you asked me when I first got married my response be- that would never happen to my marriage. Don’t we all feel that way? I mean I don’t think anyone actually walks down the aisle believing their relationship will ever come to a breaking point, let alone, end. I’m not just talking about the big relationship enders like infidelity and betrayal either, I’m talking about the first small tear in a marriage that if left alone will continue to rip apart at every corner and before you know it, becomes so big it can’t be repaired.
For me, it was as simple as avoiding tough conversations, holding onto resentment, and getting caught up in the world around me. I didn’t even see it. I was promoting within my company quickly and I was finding my validation there. I resented my husband because I felt like I did everything for him and he couldn’t do the simplest things for me. I had gained thirty pounds because I was experiencing new feelings I didn’t know how to process. And, I was realizing for the first time in my life that I had needs and I wanted them to be filled.
This is the tough part, when you do realize something doesn’t feel good anymore and you don’t know what to do about it. I had seen so many failed relationships and I didn’t want to be one of them. So, I turned to the one thing that had worked for me in the past. I had gone to therapy after being held at gunpoint and it saved my life, so I sat down my husband and told him something was missing from our marriage and I wanted to go to therapy.
Little did I know, that one choice, would change our lives forever. Going to therapy was just the beginning, it was everything we learned in our sessions that gave us the tools and resources to get that spice back in our marriage and keep the flame alive. And for the curiosity in the beginning, it’s ALL led to ramping up our sex life, which is a very important component of a healthy marriage.
My passion for helping women stems from my own experiences and I want you to have everything I have- so here’s a few of my secrets that are now yours.
Get Into Therapy.
Ignore the stigma, fight the fight, because there’s absolutely no reason good enough not to go to therapy with your spouse on a regular basis. Therapy is hands down the greatest gift we have given each other as husband and wife. We live in a fallen world with all of the odds already against us, therapy equips you with the tools you need not only to survive, but to thrive. The best part is that you will be amazed how much you learn about yourself and your partner, all because you were brave enough to let your walls down and put your marriage first.
Healthy Communication Is Key.
They always say, communication is the key to a healthy relationship, but to be honest- how many of us really know how to communicate? I thought I was a great communicator, until I started going to therapy. That is when I also learned, communication is not just a great idea, it’s essential if either of you want to be happy.
Learn How to Understand Your Partners Needs.
Men and women communicate different. Period. What I learned through therapy was that my husband’s needs were far deeper than making him a nice dinner when he’s had a long day or bringing his favorite coffee to his work when I had a later morning. I learned that he had needs he didn’t even know he had, and although he had to be the one to discover them, it was my job as his wife to give him a safe place to express them.
Learn How to Express Your Own Needs.
Half of my pent up resentment towards my husband was because I didn’t know how to express what I needed from him. I expected him to always “just know” because I felt like I always knew what he needed. Once I learned how to express my needs in a way that he understood, it was like I had a whole new husband. He was the same guy all along of course, but I was allowing him the opportunity to put me first.
Talk About Your Fears.
It was a very profound moment when our therapist looked us both in the eyes and said, “In order to have a fulfilled marriage, you must share all of your fears with each other.” He wasn’t referring to my fear of snakes or running out of wine. He was referring to my fear of losing the man I fell in love with to comfort and complacency, my fear of infidelity creeping into marriage because I had seen it so many other times, and my fear of not having a supportive partner when we decided to start a family together. What I found as I expressed those fears, was a die-hard, loyal teammate who was in it to win it with me.
Prioritize Time Together.
This probably sounds like the easiest one of all. Don’t be fooled. It’s so easy put your relationship on the back burner because you expect it to be there when you get back. Our schedules are so busy with work, kids, friends, to-do’s, and everything else in the world. Your relationship cannot grow if it is not watered, so whatever you have to say no to so that you can say yes to your spouse, learn how to say no.
Close your eyes and go back to the very moment you walked down the aisle and promised the rest of your life to the one person you knew you didn’t want to live one day without. That promise still means something, don’t stop investing and get that spice back!