Marriage advice

Physical intimacy is important in a relationship, everyone wants affection! One top complaint from men in relationships is when the physical intimacy takes a nosedive. Unfortunately, when those snuggles and more become non-existent everyone can feel a little left out in the cold. Here are ten tips on how to rekindle the romance!

  1.  You know those little things she asks you to do, but they seem to slip your mind? Like, put your socks in the hamper, or take the trash out? Make a concerted effort to do those things so that she knows you are listening and that you do care about her comfort. No one feels sexy towards the person whose socks they have to pick up.
  2.  Send her sweet and perhaps slightly seductive texts during the day when you are at work. 
  3. Suggest taking a shower together, offer to wash her hair for her while you are in there. How luxurious does it feel to have your hair washed by someone else? Very, and it’s definitely hot. 
  4.  Plan an evening without her input. Hire the babysitter, pick the restaurant and take her to a movie that you know she wants to see at the theater. 
  5.  Run her a bubble bath. Then while she is luxuriating amidst the bubbles, bring in a tray with chocolate covered strawberries and a glass of wine. Do not allow children, pets or phone calls to interrupt her bliss. 
  6.  Rub her feet! Bonus points if you use a yummy scented lotion and extra bonus points if you paint her toenails for her. 
  7.  Write a sweet note and leave it in her car, on her pillow or in the bathroom. 
  8.  Wash her car for her. Bonus points if you do it without a shirt on. 
  9.  Tell her what is attractive about her. Not just “You have a great rack sweetie!”, but tell her what makes her special. “I love the way you laugh, it is so sexy.” is specific to her, not just a general compliment. 
  10.  Ask her what she needs from you, and mean it. Most dead bedrooms come from lack of communication between partners. Both people want to be close, but needs may not be met in other areas, which makes intimacy harder. 

With these ten tips hopefully you will be able to strengthen your bond and heat up the bedroom!

SMART START – New Year’s resolutions specifically for your marriage. . .

It is the time of year when many of us have made New Year’s resolutions. The most popular include things like losing weight or getting fit, getting the finances in order, organizing our life, an effort to quit smoking and reduce or stop drinking and even try to have more fun. I even read that fifty-percent of Americans say their New Year’s resolution is to spend more time with family and friends.

But what about a New Year’s resolutions specifically for your marriage?

Half of marriages end in divorce. Research has found that only half of those who stay married actually carry the moniker of “happily married.”  So, this year, make a resolution to prioritize your marriage. Couples that invest in their marriages have more satisfying, pleasurable interactions with each other because great marriages do not just happen. It’s time we all make some New Year’s resolutions together and focus on our relationships.

When you think about resolutions, you can’t get any better than strengthening your marriage.

Step one is to sit down with your spouse, grab a pen and paper, a glass of wine or cup of tea-this exercise is supposed to be relaxed and enjoyable-and brainstorm together some New Year’s resolutions for your marriage.

  1. Start with the positives. What do you both like and appreciate about your relationship? How can you enhance and highlight the positives?

Spending time alone together is essential for your relationship health. Commit to a monthly or weekly date night. If you have children, brainstorm about childcare. Besides hiring babysitters, you may be able to trade play dates or sleepovers with family or friends. Do not be complacent. Make a commitment or resolutions to have date nights in 2012. No more excuses!

If your romantic and passionate life used to be positive, but now has been neglected, pay more attention. Research by Barry McCarthy has found that if you are both happy enough with your sex life, it only accounts for 15 percent of marital satisfaction. However, if either of you is unhappy with your sex life, it can account for 85 percent of marital satisfaction. Commit to prioritizing your sex life. Set aside time for sex dates, read some fun sex self-help books together and commit to being more affectionate and passionate in 2012.

When you were first together as a dating couple, you likely had new, fun and interesting experiences together. Commit to trying some new activities, hobbies or outings together in the New Year.

   2. Remove the barriers. What gets in the way of marital satisfaction?

How do you handle conflict? Remember that conflict is inevitable in a marriage. Do not avoid conflict, but find productive ways to deal with differences. Are either of you guilty of using criticism, contempt, stonewalling or defensiveness? If so, how about a New Year’s resolution to eliminate these hostile interactions that are predictive of divorce?

Is work or technology interfering with prioritizing time together?  If either of you has a hard time with the work/life balance or relies too heavily on technology, social media, TV or video games, you might take a look at this issue together. How about setting some mutual agreements? Amazingly, 70 percent of families are now reporting using phones, computers or watching TV during meal times together. How about a resolution to have technology-free meals and technology-free evenings during your weeknights?

Conflict doesn’t mean that your relationship is in trouble – it means that you are two living, thinking beings with individual opinions. Both happy and unhappy couples disagree – how can any two people share a house, jobs, in-laws, pets or kids without an occasional spat? Everyone disagrees at some point – but when do you know that things are out of hand?

There’s a world of difference between constructive criticism and dirty fighting. With the right tools and mind set, conflict can actually become a path to deeper intimacy – the chance to be seen as you truly are, to accept your partner’s vulnerable and unique self, and to build a strong partnership.

Partnerships and couples need to have discussions, they need to solve problems, and sometimes they need to disagree, but they don’t need to squabble, argue, bicker, or fight. Fights are dramatic, which is not helpful to a discussion. If you have enough energy to create drama, you have more than enough to tone it down into a discussion. Here are a set of guidelines you may find helpful in arguing.

  • Remember the point of the fight is to reach a solution, not to win, be right, or make your partner wrong.
  • Don’t try to mind read. Ask instead what he or she is thinking.
  • Don’t bring up all the prior problems that relate to this one. Leave the past in the past; keep this about one recent problem. Solve one thing at a time.
  • Keep the process simple. State the problem, suggest some alternatives, and choose a solution together.
  • Practice equality. If something is important enough to one of you, it will inevitably be important to both of you, so honor your partner’s need to solve a problem.
  • Ask and Answer questions directly. Again, keep it as simple as possible. Let your partner know you hear him or her.
  • State your problem as a request, not a demand. To make it a positive request, use “I messages” and “please”.

Next time you have an argument, practice some of these guidelines and you will be amazed at how the interaction will change.

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