Overcoming bad habits that destroy romantic loveSubmitted in Marriage by Katie Nielsen on September 06, 2013
Luckily, love changes as your relationship evolves. Some of the spontaneity disappears, leaving warm companionship behind. However, that doesn't mean you can't still be romantic and passionate, it just means you'll have to be more intentional.
When you were first married, every moment together felt romantic. The mere fact that you got to share the same home, the same bed, the same name seemed new and exciting. The way you loved each other was fresh and passionate and just holding hands was enough to light each other's fires. If we always loved each other that way, we would never get anything done and would likely have heart problems by the time we were 40.
Luckily, love changes as your relationship evolves. Some of the spontaneity disappears. The heart-hammering, adrenaline-pumping, crazy passion cools, leaving warm companionship behind. However, that doesn't mean you can't still be romantic and passionate, it just means you'll have to be intentional with your actions. Some habits you fall into in the course of your marriage can act as barriers to romance. Here are some common habits to watch out for:
Dirty laundry of any kind can act as romantic turn-offs, but dirty socks probably bother me the most. When my husband gets home from work, he'll kick his socks off somewhere in the middle of the living room floor and I'll find them there a while later, crumpled and damp. Even with the dirty laundry hamper one room away, he can't seem to take care of his socks himself. The sight of those socks is enough to evoke a waspish comment from me, which puts my husband on the defensive and, despite not having seen each other all day, we quickly get tired of one another's presence. If dirty laundry is your turn-off, talk to your husband about it, don't make him guess what the problem is.
Especially when kids enter the picture, the best time of the day for you to be romantic with each other will likely be when you're in bed at night. But if you don't go to bed at the same time, romance won't even have a chance. Though your husband may find your snore adorable, it's not likely to throw him into passionate raptures. Going to bed at the same time will be a big step in the right direction for your chances at a romantic night. You might also consider dressing up a little at night on occasion. That baggy, gray night shirt might be more comfortable, but men are turned on by what they see, so a nicer nightgown or lingerie will help get his imagination going.
If you want to be romantic together, you can't expect to go from cold to hot in 3.5 seconds flat. If one or both of you are gone working or taking care of kids during the day, you'll likely be exhausted in the evening. Exhaustion is not conducive to the atmosphere necessary for a romantic evening. Sometimes after a long day of working and taking care of our son, all I want to do is sleep, but my husband wants to fool around. I hate having to tell him no, but I just can't summon the energy or the desire sometimes. A better way to approach the evening is to make sure you both have the energy and start kindling the desire earlier in the day. Send a few steamy text messages in the morning, make-out when your husband gets home from work, cuddle on the couch while you watch a movie, and by the time you go to bed you'll both be in the right mood for romance.
Taking your spouse for granted
There isn't a better way to kill romantic love than to take your spouse for granted. You might not even realize you're doing it. It happens when you assume your husband likes setting the table for dinner after a tiring day at work or when he assumes you love rubbing his feet before bed. Instead of taking each other for granted, take time to talk about what you appreciate about your spouse. Instead of assuming you give more to the relationship than your spouse does, assume you give less and then work as though that was true.
Romance isn't automatic in any relationship. As the passion of first love cools, you'll settle into a more reasonable level of ardor that is best maintained with consistent expressions of love over the course of your lifetime. Don't let yourself indulge in bad habits that will get your marriage stuck in a rut.
Katie Nielsen is an adjunct English faculty member at Brigham Young University - Idaho and mother of one.