Get Out of that Marriage Rut

You swore it would never happen in your marriage. Yeah, we all did. That blah feeling of being more of a roommate to your wife, rather than her Captain America, Hero, Defeater of the evil garbage disposal and killer of three-foot spiders. The two of you have fallen into that same old, same old rut, where each day feels like the last. Your marriage has become about as exciting as the last season of So You Think You Can Dance. Yeah….exactly.

Maybe your wall-shaking sex life has been replaced by sleep deprivation and 3 a.m. feedings, or that promotion which padded your paycheck with an extra zero also made the office your new home address. Perhaps you can’t put your finger on what’s changed. Maybe you’ve both just grown bored with the sameness. It’s like that Big Head Todd & the Monsters song Bittersweet. “Morning light fills the room. I arise. She pretends she’s sleeping. Are we everything we wanted?”

Marital RutShockingly, even the world’s happiest couples have survived ruts the size of plane crash sites and gone on to have stronger, more playful and fulfilling relationships. But like your dad always told you, (or someone’s dad told them…insert voice of Peter Falk) “son, a marriage takes work, just like a garden needs tending. You can’t just co-exist and expect the honeymoon to continue. You gotta water it, fertilize it, pull up the weeds.) Okay, enough of the gardening metaphor.

While these suggestions don’t promise to replace couples counseling (if you need it) or offer the ultimate solutions to every second of marital boredom, they are tried and true methods for bringing the spark back into your relationship. They can be used once a year or once a week. And they’ve all been proven to help you look at each other through the eyes of lovers, rather than roommates.

1)      Make a playlist of songs from your dating days. Listen to it during dinner, while riding in the car together or doing chores around the house. It’s amazing how a couple of minutes of Just Like Heaven by the Cure can have you making out in the backseat again.

2)      Play games together. Remember when you and your wife were dart champs at the Saddle Rack? Put up a dart board in the living room and relive the passionate competition. Or what about those fun rounds of Strip Poker Twister. Or was it Twisted Strip Poker? What the heck? Try it again. Board games, card games, whatever kind of games….they’re are some of the best and least expensive ways to have a great time, laughing with your spouse. Give it a try.

3)      Have a flirtatious touchy, feely session of making dinner in the kitchen together. What is it about food and preparing it that can get our sensual engines racing…or at least make us feel more playful? While she’s chopping peppers, go up behind her and start massaging her shoulders…You get the picture. Just make sure she’s not the jumpy, high strung type while holding a knife. You may lose your manhood.

4)      Try something new…together. “My husband and I are going zip lining next weekend, just the two of us,” boasts Anne Parlanti, wife and mother of five (including an infant). Whether you plan your first cruise, change the oil in your car together or  go out and get yourselves arrested.  The point is…you’re doing it together.

5)      Send her sweet, mushy, sexy text messages. Rather than saying, “please pick up dry cleaning.” How about writing “Hey Gorgeous, pick up my dry cleaning and I’ll have something really special for you later on.” That may get you a little romance AND some clean clothes for tomorrow.

6)       Make a list of things about each other that you’re grateful for. She brings you coffee in bed each morning, greets you with a kiss when you come home from work each day, lets you win at ping-pong. Focus on all those things that you love about your wife, rather than the mundane thoughts of sameness.

7)       Make a point to be mentally present for her. So many women become alienated from their husbands because “he doesn’t hear a word I say!” Chances are you’ll never turn into her best gossip buddy, but listening and actually responding to her stories, observations and feelings will bring her closer to you.

Try the suggestions above. If you don’t see at least an improvement in your marriage, we’ll refund your boredom completely.

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Filed Under: featuredHusband 101Romance 101

About the Author: Angela is an award winning humor columnist, freelance writer and public speaker living in Middle Georgia, and the San Francisco Bay Area. She uses her keen insight and clever wit to help husbands understand the complex mechanisms that are their wives. “I like to think of as an owner’s manual for the average wife. Of course results may vary, but we’re all fairly similar whether we admit it or not.” Angela uses her background in psychology, the myriad of learning experiences offered through her ten year marriage, and input from her “in the trenches” audience members across the country as input for her articles.

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  1. CalBusGrad85 says:

    It’s ironic to me that we typically feel the “butterflies” when the person is who we imagine them to be, and we feel the “ruts” when the person isn’t everything we want them to be.  I agree the secret to happiness in a relationship is to everyday just celebrate who they are and learn to be happy with what is real, not imagined, and not perfect.  Live in the now and enjoy every moment and realize that you can’t take each other for granted and be happy.