Keeping the romance alive in your marriage, especially with children, can be a tricky endeavor. What can be even trickier is writing out advice on how to keep romance alive. Just because I find something romantic that doesn’t mean you will. Romance looks different from marriage to marriage and from one stage in life to the next.
With that said here are my 4 steps to keeping the romance alive:
1. Throw away the comparisons.
You just got married yesterday, your marriage will not have the same look and feel as the couple who has been married the last 30 years. Oh you have been married for 50 years? It is okay if your marriage doesn’t look like the newly weds. It is okay if your marriage has never resembled that of the stereotypical newlyweds. Your husband deploys, don’t try to compare the romance in your marriage to that of your sister who has her husband home every day. Parents of young children won’t get date nights the same as they used to.
2. Ask your spouse
Go to your husbands, ladies, and ask them what sort of things make them feel love the most. You might not get an answer right away. Some guys might not even answer. Still it doesn’t hurt to ask, they might just surprise you. As they answer you just listen. Their answers may not be what you expect, but they are what matters to them. Look and see if their answer fits in one of the five groups: physical touch, quality time together, acts of service, receiving gifts, or words of affirmation. (Want to learn more about the 5 Love Languages you can go to The 5 Love Languages.)
3. Ask for help
Ask your husband to help you learn how to show him love, if you are unsure how to do what he said he values. Or ask a trusted friend to help you come up with ways to implement your ideas. Get a babysitter. (A babysitter can be a friend, a relative, the teenager down the street, someone you pay, or someone who is doing this as a gift to you.) Hire a maid, so you can focus on things that matter (the people in your home.) If you can’t afford a maid, see if a friend will help you clean and learn how to find a schedule that suits you. Point is utilize your resources and perhaps discover new ones in the process.
4. Remember even the smallest actions can hold the greatest love
Grand gestures while sweet, are not always practical. Sometimes you can’t afford them. The person you married is just not skilled in that area of romance. When your husband brings home a bouquet of wild flowers, don’t dream of the dozen roses your friend got, but rejoice in the fact he saw those and thought of you. Maybe on your birthday he didn’t get you a card or even buy you a present, but instead he let you sleep in, take an extra long shower, drew you a hot bubble bath, or helped you with the dishes. The point is romance comes in many forms. Be on the look out for the little ways, just as much as the big ones. Don’t forget to show him you love him in all the little ways as well. Remember people and relationships change and evolve over time. Even if he valued something a year ago it doesn’t mean that is a priority for him right now. So be sure to repeat these steps often. Keep the lines of communication open.