Ready for your Spiced Up And Deepened Marriage?
This is Part 2 of 2 of 10 Ways To Go From Roommates To Red Hot Marriage
Last week we shared the first 5 of 10 ways to go from mere roommates to having a red hot marriage, and today we’ll be going a bit further on how to create your deepened marriage.
We have been discussing how to create a hotter marriage, and you might be surprised that we didn’t mention any hot new sex toys, games or positions to try.
None of those things matter if you don’t have a solid relationship.
Here’s the deal:
“Hot sex doesn’t lead to secure love; rather, secure attachment leads to hot sex—and also to love that lasts. Monogamy is not a myth.”
– Sue Johnson, from Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships
You’ll be able to figure out the hot sex part if you get the rest of these things down.
The key is to deepen your marriage.
Quick review if you don’t have time or the attention span to click to the previous post:
Your first 5 ways to deepen your marriage and go from roommates to red hot are:
- Intend it together
- Deepen your trust
- Really be present with each other
- Get curious
- Understand each other’s love languages
Now let’s dive in with the second half of our list of ways to go from mere roommates to having a red hot and deepened marriage.
6. Get more help
Getting some help can go a long way in deepening your marriage – and while I’m all for couples therapy, I’m not referring to professional help.
If you’re like many people, you may be thinking:
“We just don’t have time to go out on dates or spend quality time together.”
While a lot of the things that I’m mentioning don’t require exotic vacations or date nights every other evening, spending quality time together is definitely a good idea to recharge and take care of your relationship (we’ll be discussing more about that soon).
The truth is, you’re likely busy people and one of the reasons the passion and connection has eroded a bit is because of all the stuff that has come up in your life that has been prioritized over your relationship. Kids, business, careers, other family obligations, etc.
Adulting is a hefty responsibility these days.
You possibly have a demanding career or business, maybe a commute, kids and/or pets that rely on you, places to go, people to see, a home to keep clean…it’s a lot!
Even though “it takes a village,” we no longer live in villages, so a lot of responsibility has fallen on your shoulders.
So get some help with that load.
There’s a damaging and limiting idea that a lot of people carry which is that “I should be able to take care of it myself.”
Sometimes the best advice I give to a couple is to hire someone to clean your house (unless you happen to enjoy that).
Get some help.
There are great people out there who would love to take it off your hands.
You can always make more money, you can’t necessarily make more time.
7. Do something new and fun together
If you’re looking to improve your chemistry together, let’s talk actual chemistry.
The chemistry of love is way more complex than this blurb will do justice, but for our purposes here, we will discuss one neurotransmitter in particular, the one that fires abundantly when you’re first in the throes of romantic infatuation, which is a feeling that may be lacking right now.
That neurotransmitter is called dopamine.
It’s rich in the reward centers of your brain and is highly involved with addictions.
Novelty and new activities that are fun get dopamine firing, which becomes highly rewarding and pleasureful (I didn’t realize “pleasureful” was a word).
Do fun new activities together and get your dopaminergic rush flowing and you’ll start to feel a bit more addicted to each other too.
Some ideas to start with (though you can think of something even more fun, I bet!)
– Go for a run, jog, walk or hike somewhere new (getting your sweat on together in a new way not only stimulates dopamine but will get your endorphins and oxytocin flowing too – many bonuses there)
– Take a new class together that is fun, like a cooking class as in the movie Hitch (just avoid the shellfish if you are allergic
– Have sex in a different room or somewhere novel – be smart about this! Mixing things up a little will add more excitement.
Speaking of chemistry, touch can help big time in this department.
Here’s my ingenious recommendation:
Even if it’s not your primary love language (as we discussed in the last post), physical touch is an important aspect of any intimate partnership.
Touching each other more increases your level of oxytocin, a hormone that also acts as a neurotransmitter that is referred to as “the cuddle hormone,” or the “love molecule.”
Oxytocin has been shown to not only strengthen the bond between people, but is positively correlated with monogamy. It has demonstrated anti-depressant and stress reducing effects as well.
Touch has numerous health benefits in addition to deepening your connection. It’s shown to reduce one’s heart rate and studies have even demonstrated that petting an animal can decrease high blood pressure.
More satisfied couples in their relationships have higher amounts of physical touch, and notably, they reciprocate each other’s touch.
So if your partner is reaching for you, reach back. And reach for them too.
9. Appreciate More
Appreciation is perhaps one of the most powerful things we can access any minute we decide to.
While not completely the same as appreciation, gratitude is something you can exercise any time you wish!
You can’t really be negative and grateful at the same time.
There is always something to be grateful for – let’s start with the fact that you are a miracle.
And your partner is a miracle too.
As I’m sitting here listening to Sam Cook on my Van Morrison Pandora station, I’m feeling especially grateful to be able to write these words and listen to this beautiful music.
My gratitude knows no limit, and it’s a delightful indulgence to revel in it for just a bit as I let it overflow…this brain that still works a bit, my fingers that type, this MacBook- Oh This MacBook – the brilliant artists in the world who create beautiful music and that music even exists…
This is an effortlessly grateful few seconds – I could go on even more about my amazing partner and family and my health and body and this home and all the rest…I will spare you from my internal rampage of appreciation happening in this very moment, but let me tell you, it feels good!
Now it’s your turn – go for it!
Get your appreciation and gratitude on.
Consider all of those amazing qualities about your significant other and all that you have together, all of the wonderful things they do and all of the things that you can appreciate about them.
Make an effort to tell them.
You’d be surprised how many times I see two people feeling so distant from each other who care so deeply about each other and appreciate each other, but because they’ve been together for years and years they think it’s just assumed that they feel that way, and so they never say it!!
That’s maybe how you grew up, not hearing appreciation between people or not hearing it yourself, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need it, it doesn’t mean your partner doesn’t need it, and it doesn’t mean you need to carry out that tradition.
10. Idealize your partner – in a healthy way
There’s lots of advice warning you not to put your partner on a pedestal as well as the dangers of idealizing your partner.
However, a study published in Psychological Science (Murray, Griffin, Derrick, Harris, Aloni and Leder, 2011) shows that some degree of idealization is actually healthy for a marriage.
In other words, the recognition that your significant other may not be perfect, but is perfect for you (or close to perfect for you) is protective of your relationship over the long haul.
This mindset toward your significant relationship can help you be more compassionate and forgiving as well as less critical over the long term.
It can also help you feel better that you’ve found each other!
How else have you created a deepened marriage?
It’s my hope that these 10 ways of going from mere roommate status to red hot marriage ultimately will help you feel closer, more connected and will increase your intimacy together.
I’d love to hear from you how else you’ve deepened your marriage, so please let me know in the comments – you never know who you’ll help.
Here’s to your best, deepest, hottest and most fulfilling relationship,
P.S. My workbook for couples is another great way to create a stronger relationship together.