Do you want to know the number one most important thing you can do to fix, build, and improve your marriage? Do you want to know how to get the “heat” back? Do you want to experience the same passion and romance that you did when you first got married? Are you tired of feeling alone, even though you are married, and want to feel that connection again?
In this article, we’ll tell you some ways to make this happen.
While there are many articles, books, movies, lessons, and more that try to teach the inner workings of love, our explanation is simple:
1. People that are deeply in love usually get married (or become a couple) and then they stay together—at least until they fall out of love. Enough love can help overcome a multitude of little things that may otherwise negatively affect a relationship. The feeling of being in love is something that once you have it you want to keep it and keep it at the levels that help you feel fulfilled.
2. People that have lost love for their spouse, for whatever reason, are more likely to want to leave their marriage. Some stay together for the children or because of finances or out of a sense of obligation or other reasons, but it’s not because they really want to be there.
If these two items are true – and they are for most couples – then it makes sense that the number one key to having a happy, lasting marriage is to find and keep the feeling of love for your spouse.
Simple? Yes! Easy? No! But it can be done.
Love that lasts past the infatuation stage, is fed by actions or words that another person directs our way. For example, most of us:
- Feel more love when our spouse regularly gives us gifts
- Feel more love when we are very satisfied with the amount and quality of sex we have
- Feel more love when we feel safe with a partner we can trust
- Feel more love when our spouse helps us accomplish our goals
- Feel more love when we feel that we have someone we that we can share our most private thoughts with
So, building the feeling of love is something that we can control. While some say that love happens at a deeper level that goes beyond actions, without the right words and actions that love won’t develop or last.
To build love, you’ve got to make showing love for your spouse a priority. One of the very best ways to do that is to learn about themake them a part of your daily life. The 10 T’s are powerful actions and attributes that help to build the feeling of love.
Here is more about the 10 T’s along with action steps to start using them:
Time: It was probably easy to spend time with your spouse before you got married. You probably went on regular dates, played together, and spent as much time together as possible. This helped you to build a connection – to begin the process of falling in love.
But what happens after marriage? We get busy. We get tired. We have to work. We have to deal with the kids. We’ve got a big project we are responsible for. We have to do this or that or the other instead of spending time together. Whatever the reason or excuse, we put something that helped up fall in love originally on the back burner! And almost assuredly, as we neglect this important T, the feelings of love will get less and less.
Action step: If you value your marriage and want to see it grow and prosper, make the time to rebuild the connection with your spouse. Plan and prioritize your day, week, and month to ensure that your love is given a chance. Make sure that you have time alone with your spouse as often as possible. This means no kids, friends, or other family. A good way to accomplish this is with a weekly date night.
Talk: Just like time, talking is normally easy and pleasurable before we get married. We shared everything (or almost everything) with our future spouse. We built up trust and feelings of love as we shared our hopes and dreams as well as our fears and frustrations.
What happens after we get married though? Too often, due to the busyness and stresses of life, talking becomes a chore. For example, we get tired of our spouse’s stories or details about their day whereas just a short while ago, we would have and did drop everything to listen intently.
Friends, family, and the population in general develop relationships through talking. If you see a handsome guy, you probably don’t’ go up and grab him by the hand and take him to the chapel to get married the first time you meet. The relationship starts with talking. And as we talk with others, we feel closer and, in some cases,, we start to fall in love.
Action step: Talk more as well as listen more. Share your hopes and fears without dominating the conversation. Let your spouse share their innermost thoughts too. Listen with interest. Pay attention to your spouse when they talk. This is something you can start today – just start talking in a way that builds the feelings of love. You won’t regret it – the payoff can be tremendous.
Trust: No one wants to be married to a liar or a person that they can’t trust. Trust is vital to feeling romantic, marital love. Losing trust is a surefire way to eventually lose the love in your marriage and if not handled, can even lead to divorce.
Action step: Commit to doing everything you can to make sure your spouse can trust you. No secrets, no hidden relationships, no spending money you shouldn’t, and no lies or dishonesty.
Touch: One important way we express and feel love is through touch. Touch may be the most significant factor in determining who is a couple. For example, I may work with and spend time with a pretty girl but that doesn’t mean we are “together.” We may talk, work as a team, trust each other, etc. But, without touch, of some kind, there probably is no real love. If or when we start holding hands or kissing, then we have the beginning of a relationship.
Action step: If your spouse is like the great majority of spouses, he or she needs to be touched on a regular basis. Each person has their own boundaries that we must respect, but most people in loving relationships want and need to be touched. Decide that you will start finding or creating opportunities for both sexual and non-sexual touch. Start at whatever level you are at. If touching has been off limits for a period of time due to bad feelings, don’t take it too far the first time you try to reconnect. For example, you may not want to try to start passionately kissing. Or you may. That may be just what you need to break a stale mate. Use your own good judgment but get it going and keep it going.
Teamwork: It’s nice to read about equality in marriage between husband and wife: Two equals but with possibly different roles. Sounds nice. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always happen that way. One starts being demanding or controlling while the other gets lazier and helps less. Or perhaps one gets jealous that their spouse gets to go outside to work while they are stuck at home with screaming children.
These things can threaten the feeling of teamwork and without the feeling that you are both in this marriage together—till death do you part—love will take a hit.
Action step: Learn to be a good teammate. Do your fair share in every aspect of your marriage and if there are questions about roles or what fair share means, discuss it with your spouse. And remember, neither you nor your spouse is the “boss” – you are loving partners.
Treasure: When we treasure our spouse, we treat them just like we would a real treasure. We believe that the most important person in your life should be your spouse. While some may disagree with this statement and say children come first or even parents, the fact remains that if you don’t treasure your spouse, you may start losing love.
Action step: Learn to build up, protect, and treat your spouse as if they were a king or queen. No, your spouse isn’t perfect – no one is. But if you look for the good and emphasize it instead of looking for the bad you’ll more likely find it. Start treating your spouse like the treasure they are, and you may be surprised to see that they start to act like one and even start treating you differently. Regardless of what they do or don’t do, though, applying this T to your daily life will help improve your marriage.
Tenderness: Kindness, being gentle, respect, affection, and more are all part of showing your spouse tenderness. People don’t normally want to marry or stay married to jerks – they like to marry nice people who treat them right. If your boyfriend or girlfriend never showed tenderness towards you while dating, it’s probably safe to say that you wouldn’t be married today. If you want to build or fix your marriage, include more tenderness.
Action step: Figure out what kinds of tenderness your spouse responds to—the kind they like the most. Then do more of it. No matter the current state of your marriage, if you show more tenderness you may be pleasantly surprised at how well your spouse reacts. Don’t make this harder than it is. You can start with simply being nice. Then add some of the other attributes and actions listed above over time.
Thankful: Be thankful for all the things your spouse does for you and your family. And don’t keep your appreciation to yourself. Tell and show your spouse how grateful you are for all the do.
Action step: Say “thank you” and mean it. Show appreciation in other ways—not just with words. And, make sure that you are sincere in being thankful. Fake thanks are almost as bad as or worse than no thanks.
Trade-Offs: Marriage isn’t always fair nor is it always smooth. This may be a reason you are reading this article about improving your marriage!
Things happen. People get sick. People change. Interests and hobbies change. Jobs change. To successfully navigate life as a married couple, learning to negotiate and to be happy with trade-offs is very important.
For example, he likes to watch football on Saturdays while you like to take the kids out to play in the park and you resent him for not spending time with the family. He doesn’t like you bringing this up every Saturday. How do you resolve common issues such as this one and don’t let it derail your love?
Trade-offs are all about “give and take” or compromise. Learn this skill and how to apply it, and you can avoid many rough spots in your marriage.
Action step: Learn how to create win-win situations. Be as interested in helping your spouse be happy as you are interested in making yourself happy. Remember you are in this together. Learn how to discuss things with your spouse coming from a place of love and do it calmly – no matter what the topic is.
Tenacity: When we get married, we promise our spouse (most times in the presence of witnesses and an officiator) that we will stick things through to the end. We’ll love each other, stay by each other, be faithful, etc. no matter what life throws our way.
It’s sad to see people who, after making such a solemn promise, break it. They fail to do their part, or the love naturally starts eroding due to neglect. Promises of lasting love become dreams (or nightmares) of the past.
Marriage doesn’t have to be that way though. It doesn’t have to end prematurely. As the saying goes, “where there is a will, there is a way.” That’s where tenacity comes in. With all the problems that couples in marriages face, those without the will or tenacity to see things through, normally won’t. And, that’s where the dream ends. Is that what you want or do you want to try to find a way?
Action step: Be willing to fight for your marriage. Find a way to make things work. Most of the time there are ways to work things out. Consider the last big argument you had with your spouse. If you are like many people, it wasn’t about something like a recently discovered affair, but it started about something like a discussion about where to eat or about the dirty clothes being put in the wrong place or driving too slow or something similar that got blown out of proportion. You want to get a divorce over dirty clothes or where to eat a hotdog? Hopefully, your love hasn’t eroded to that point but even if it has, these things can be worked out if you are willing. Decide to be willing and then do what it takes to save your marriage.
There you go. A few important things you can do to get started falling in love again.can help you learn even more about how to fix and rebuild your marriage.