Have you been married or with your partner for a while and want to bring the spark back before you get to the point of needing to save your marriage?
Mark and I have been together for 35 years and married for 31 of them – yikes! Time really does fly. It seems like 1986 was just a day ago, and we were two kids playing on the same team in a weekend broomball tournament.
Sparks flew back then, but like with any relationship, it’s had its ups and downs. Certainly, it hasn’t always been rainbows and sunshine. No, ma’am. But with every challenge, we’ve come out the other side with a deeper love and understanding for each other.
First, I must pre-disqualify myself as a relationship expert. I’m not a marriage therapist nor do I pretend everything is perfect in mine. Mark and my relationship is a work in progress, and I’m only sharing a few things that helped us re-connect recently.
My hope is to keep you from having to save your marriage, before it gets to the point of no return. Here we go, in no particular order:
We hear it all the time, “Shut down electronics to reconnect.” It is ironic how ‘connected’ we are to the world these days, yet how unconnected we are from human interaction.
Mark and I fall into this trap a lot, especially since we have the Aging Youthful blog and my online lifestyle coaching program. Regardless, talking without electronics in our hands or laps has been the most impactful ‘reconnection’ secret I can share. How do we do it?
We recently bought an inflatable hot tub to soak our sore muscles after our workouts. It works miracles after long work days of bouncing around in a haul truck for Mark as well.
While the hot tub has been awesome for our bodies, it’s been a huge contributor to reconnecting our relationship. We didn’t need to save our marriage, but it certainly has given it a boost!
For the 30 minutes or so we are in the hot tub, we can’t have electronics in the bubbling water, and as a result we are talking more. We’ve always done the “how’s your day been” small talk when one of us gets home, but we’ve found our conversation goes deeper and we talk about more stuff.
We’ve also found it’s a great way to vet out ideas for the blog, my online coaching program and more! The $300 we spent on our Intex inflatable hot tub, is less than the cost of a session with a therapist if we had to try to save our marriage!
There’s also this thing about being in your birth day suit together for a while. It helps with another kind of connection, too.
This is something Mark and I didn’t do for years. In our younger days, we thought going to a bar and getting drunk was a date. Ugh, I am so glad I outgrew that! While we still have a drink or two if we go out to dinner, we do more than just sit at the bar.
We lived in the bush for 10 years, and at that time going on a date was such a chore, we usually had movie night at home thanks to Netflix! Now that we live in a town with a theater, we’ve been catching a movie when possible and circumstances allow.
We’d like to do more, but with our work and workout schedules (see #3), and all the crazy stuff going on in the world around us, one night a month is pretty awesome. Mark hates spending tons of money going to the movies and loves to complain about the cost of concession food, so I’d like to teach you a ‘save a ton of money at the movies’ hack someone shared with me!
If you live in the United States and are an AT&T customer, there is this little perk you get called Movie Twos-days. Every Tuesday, if your town has a theater that participates, you get two tickets for the price of one! (You may want to check about Covid restrictions and requirements.)
We usually eat before the movies, and we share a medium popcorn and drink, so in the end, the cost of dinner, movie and concessions is about the same cost of the movie without dinner. And we practice #1… no electronics are allowed, except for the pre-movie selfie.
We have practiced doing things together our whole marriage. For the first 22 years we raced sled dogs, so we were certainly doing something together. From scooping dog poop to training and riding for thousands of miles on the trail together, we spent more time together than we wanted to sometimes!
There were times the stress and work of having 30-50 dogs in your front yard almost had us seeking help in saving our marriage. However, at the end of the day, because we had a common goal, we always came back together. There was always something to talk about at the dinner table, and we always felt connected.
Find something to do together. Go for nightly walks, volunteer at the local soup kitchen, etc. If you need some inspiration, click here to get my 10 Things to Reconnect and Save Your Marriage pdf sent to your inbox!
What are some of your favorite ways to reconnect with your partner? Please share your ideas below!