Remember when you were a newlywed, and you just couldn't wait to be with your spouse? It didn't matter what you were doing, as long as you were together. You just loved being close. Those were good times, but now you've been married ten, fifteen, twenty or even more years and those sparks just aren't as strong as they used to be. Don't worry. Most of us have been there at some point, but it doesn't have to be flannel nightgowns and bland cooking forever. With just a little relationship maintenance, you will be seeing fireworks again in no time.
Plan a Romantic Getaway
This one seems to be a common idea for most couples, but unfortunately it is easier said than done. With children, a romantic trip can be put on the back burner in favor of taking the kids to Six Flags. However, that's not helpful to your relationship. Remember that happy parents are better parents. So send the kids to grandma's or a friend's house and head to a romantic bed and breakfast for a weekend or even better, a whole week. Drink wine, take a dip in the Jacuzzi, and pay attention to your spouse for awhile. Chances are you have missed each other even more than you think.
Pamper Your Spouse
Remember back to when you were first married, or even when you were dating and holidays, birthdays, and Valentine's day were a big deal? It has probably been a while since you gave your spouse a romantic gift, however, gift giving is one of the best ways to show someone you are thinking about them. You can go the extra mile and get your spouse a personalised gift from Gift Cookie with their name or a sweet message on it if you really want to melt their heart. Do something to let them know how much you appreciate the little things they do. Your spouse will definitely notice and appreciate the gesture.
If nothing else, it will get their attention, and it will probably make them want to pamper you too. You don't have to give them a huge present every week, but it will bring romance back into your marriage if you make a commitment to do one thing for your spouse every day. Something simple like bringing your wife a single flower or giving your husband a massage before bed will help with the little things that contribute to romance in a relationship.
Write Your Spouse a Love Letter
Sit down and make a list of all the reasons you love your spouse. Not the reasons you fell for him or her to begin with, but about who they are now. Some of those things will probably be the same, but you may discover you love new things. That's like starting a whole new romance. Leaving the note on your partner's pillow, or sneaking it into their briefcase will make this all the more fun. They'll be surprised to find the letter, and even more touched to find it is a love letter. You can bring romance back into the relationship in a flash by leaving your spouse love notes on a regular basis. Take a sticky note and write down your appreciation for them putting the kids to bed, or taking out the trash. Then, stick it to their bathroom mirror, or their nightstand—somewhere they are sure to see it. Having little notes of affection or appreciation will keep them going throughout the day and is just an extra way to show them you love them.
They Invented the Babysitter for a Reason
Some of the fire in your relationship might have fizzled at the arrival of children. It's not that you love each other any less, you just get so wrapped up in routines that involve snack-time, nap-time, and bath-time, that you don't even have time for yourself anymore, let alone time for each other. Some couples don't go out for years after having children, just because they get so used to their routines. However, an integral part of romance is having alone time. It can be tough to find a good babysitter, or find a night that is good to go out, but you need to forget about snack-time for one night and concentrate on date-time. Having alone time with your spouse will quickly bring back sweet memories of when it was just the two of you, and quickly help infuse romance back into the relationship.
Renew Your Vows
If you really want to bring that newlywed magic back to your marriage, think about renewing your vows. You can do this privately or have a big party. Either way, use this as a chance to celebrate your relationship and give it a jump start. Maybe even do it before you move into a new home, so it can almost be like starting over. If you want, go all out and go on a second honeymoon. After all a long-lasting marriage is definitely harder than simply getting married, so you should be celebrating.
Just because your love is older does not make it any less strong. Treat each other like you did when you were dating. It may take a bit more conscious effort, but the feelings will certainly be worth it. Marriage is never the end of a love story. It's only the beginning. So really, at ten or twenty years you're only halfway through your happily ever after. Take time to enjoy your life-long romance.