When you’re busy working on being the best parent possible, it’s easy to neglect your adult relationship. Ashley H., for instance, says that after being with her husband for nearly seven years, their “love life is almost like a routine, and sometimes nonexistent.” She asks, “How can I get the romance back into my marriage?” The experienced moms community says it’s not impossible to get the spark back in your relationship, but it does take a little commitment. Here, they share six ways to rekindle your relationship.
Spend Time Together
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you want to put the romance back in your relationship, you have to actually spend time with the other person. After all, how can you get close if he spends all night on the couch while you go to bed early? Make it a point to spend time together after the kids are in bed, moms suggest. Amie T. recommends activities like playing video games together, watching movies, going for walks, or just cuddling together while talking. “The simple little things we do for each other just reaffirm our love for one another,” she says of her relationship.
Treat Every Night Like It’s Special
To get out of the rut of being exhausted after a long day of work and getting the kids to bed, Linda M. says, “change out of the flannel jammie pants and into a cute pair of boy shorts and tank or a pretty nightgown. Light the candles, set the mood, watch a movie, and do what comes naturally.” Ary S. agrees, noting that it takes simple gestures to make the night seem special — these “little things can make a huge difference” in your relationship.
Go on Regular Dates
Many moms insist on going on regular dates with their partners. Tina R., for instance, hires a sitter and goes on a date with her husband twice a month. “Our family lives four hours away, or we’d use them,” she says, noting that one date night is for just the two of them; the second date night of the month is shared with friends. She also recommends setting ground rules for the date, like dressing up and not talking about the kids, work, or house repairs while on the date.
If you really want to kick-start your relationship, then more effort might be needed beyond the regular date night. In those cases, moms suggest you get out of your typical environment, so you don’t have to look at the children’s things and take a mental tally of everything that needs to be done at the house. For example, Brandi W. says that she leaves her kids with grandma one weekend a month, and she and her husband head to a hotel. “Everyone will tell you that you need a date night. However, we have found that one weekend, once a month, is much better!”
Having sex can bring you closer. As she suspects is the case with many men, Lana A. says, “my husband thinks romance = sex,” so she makes sure she is eager to show him she cares. It may sound basic, but having sex works, Juniper M. says. After a year of feeling more like she had a roommate than a spouse, she and her husband rekindled their marriage by “pushing themselves to enjoy each other romantically.” She admits that prior to making a commitment to having sex more often, sex often seemed like a chore because she was preoccupied with not waking the kids. But adding new things, sounds, positions, etc., to the sex repertoire “helped make it new again.”
Go Out of Your Way to Let Each Other Know You Care
A relationship can easily slip into a boring routine if you’re just giving your mate a perfunctory kiss whenever you leave for work and not putting much more effort into it. To bring the romance back, “go out of your way to let one another know you care and love them,” Nikki S. says. This could mean giving the other person a few hours to himself, buying chocolate to cheer someone up, or telling them they are beautiful even if they haven’t showered or slept in two days and have a sick child hanging off of their hip. “Anything that gives you that fuzzy butterfly feeling” can help, she says. After all, Amber N. adds, romance is anything that makes your partner feel good about themselves and lets them know you love and cherish them.