‘We know from marriage and divorce research that it’s the everyday things – having fun, connecting and showing you care – that make or break a marriage,’ says Dr Debra Castaldo, author of Gifts Of Love (Xlibris Corporation). Try these fast little somethings to connect with your man again.
BRAG ABOUT YOUR PARTNER – and do it in front of him.
Even if he blushes up a storm, it’ll make him feel good to know that he’s appreciated.
BRING HIM HIS MORNING COFFEE, just the way he likes it.
A small, sweet gesture can go a long way towards making him feel loved – and makes him happy to reciprocate.
ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT
Had a rough day and need a hug? Don’t just stand there – tell him.
HAVE A QUICK MOAN (just not about each other).
‘It’s very detrimental to a relationship to pretend you’re always doing great,’ says Dr Brian Grossman, relationship expert and author of Learning To Listen: Did You Hear What I Think I Said? (Skillpath Publications). So vent about whatever’s bugging you: your mother, your job, a rude waiter. ‘You’ll immediately feel closer. And don’t feel pressured to come up with solutions; this exercise is more about sharing your feelings with each other.’
SHARE STORY TIME
Before bed, read novels aloud to each other – especially the good parts.
GO TO BED AT THE SAME TIME, even if you don’t stay there.
Mismatched schedules can make you feel disconnected. Try this: when one of you goes to bed, the other one climbs in too for a quick cuddle.
SHARE A SEXY DREAM IN FULL DETAIL
‘Our brains are the biggest factor in making us feel turned on,’ says Dr Ian Kerner, sex therapist and author of She Comes First (William Morrow). ‘After you’ve had sex with someone a thousand times, it’s the mental stuff that keeps things hot.’
HAVE A SEMIPUBLIC KISSING SESSION
Remember how thrilling it was in high school? It’s even better now.
WASH THE CAR, take out the rubbish or handle whatever chore he always takes care of. It’ll help you appreciate what he does for both of you.
BREAK OUT THE FANCY CHINA
You know, the stuff you usually only dust off on special occasions. Set the table with it, even if you’re just making burgers. You’ll instantly add meaning to an ordinary night.
ASK HIM AN OUT-THERE QUESTION
‘Relationships get stale when we think we know everything about each other, so genuine curiosity is the biggest turn-on there is,’ says Karen Kimsey-House, coauthor of Co-Active Coaching (Nicholas Brealey Publishing). Try:
• What’s your favourite outfit of mine and why?
• If you could be beamed to any place right now, where would you go?
• If you could go back to any shared moment in our past, what would it be?
MAKE A TOAST
When you have a moment alone to catch up, raise your wine glass and make a toast to your man, letting him know that there’s no place you’d rather be than with him and how grateful you are for his love and support.
GET SOME DISTANCE
If you come home in a terrible mood, take five. Sit in the garden or fetch the post so that you don’t lash out at your husband when you don’t really mean to.