So another Valentine’s Day has come and gone and perhaps your expectations from your spouse were exceeded, or maybe they were dashed. Fortunately the truth is Valentine’s Day is more a contrived holiday from corporations to drum up their quarterly sales reports than it is a day to measure and take the temperature of your relationship. And despite some matchmaking companies claiming they have isolated a mathematical algorithm which can scientifically create a romantic connection between two people, in my opinion, after dating for what felt like an eternity and being married for 14 years, when it comes to love I have a few theories of my own.
Being in love and sustaining love with someone are two entirely different things. When you meet someone- and the stars align-for that brief moment you are shot with this insane amount of adrenaline mixed with lust. Sure you feel like you’re in love, but as one who has been shot with that arrow many a time I can tell you that, that perceived feeling of euphoriaÂ will more often than not dissipate. In my experience once the lust faded I was crushed by the reality that this person and I had nothing to say to one another once that physical excitement petered out, or that ultimately he and I had completely different ideas about what constituted a relationship and the maintenance of love (I required monogamy and he not so much).
In reality, true, gut wrenching, painful, fierce, all encompassing love is so much more than what you can ever imagine it might be when you think you’ve met the one. And while candlelit dinners, baubles and a bathtub for two are all great methods to heat up passion with your partnerÂ and attempt to reignite that initial “being in love” spark the two of you shared, real love and the maintenance of it- requires some real work.Â And chocolates, champagne and a hotel room sans kids, just won’t cut it.
As a married woman, even after 14 years, I still want to hold onto that feeling of being deeply and madly in love with my spouse. But more than anything, as a wife, I desperately want to keep that deeper spiritual and emotional connection with my spouse, which I know is what is truly the lifeblood of any committed and long term relationship. So, to that end, I’ve culled three of my favorite- ground in reality tips that will help you fall in love with your spouse all over again and with any luck make every day Valentine’s Day.
According to Ms. Karol Ward, LCSW, a licensed clinical social worker with a private psychotherapy practice in New York and author ofÂ Worried Sick: Break Free from Chronic Worry to Achieve Mental & Physical Health, a marriage is like a marathon, not a sprint and like any long race, a relationship needs awareness and adjustments along the journey. Ms. Ward offers these three tips that can help you stay connected to your spouse and truly reignite the deeper connection and love you share.
#1. Stop using your spouse as a emotional dumping ground.
Sometimes we end up using the time we spend with our spouse as an opportunity to complain about the same old issues over and over.Â If you are stuck in an emotional rut or unhappy in your career, seek a neutral party to figure it out and shift the time you spend with your loved one from complaining to connection.
#2 Love blossoms with security.
If you are behind in the big and small promises you have made to your spouse, now is the time to follow through. Whether it”s fixing the screen door, showing up on time for dinner or getting your taxes done, nothing creates emotional distance than not doing what you say you will do. Take a hard look at any outstanding promises you owe your spouse, and start working on that list.
#3 Good old fashioned compliments.
Yes, these still really work and even though your spouse may be startled to receive them out of blue, keep going. Acknowledge your spouse’s inner and outer beauty, their talents, and day to day achievements. We all want to be seen and being seen by the person who knows you the best, means a lot.