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3 Ways To Put The Spark Back In Your Marriage

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3 Ways To Put The Spark Back In Your Marriage [EXPERT]
Make your marriage stronger than ever.
No need to panic when your marriage gets annoying or ho-hum.

You know the punch-lines to all his jokes. You're that couple who sit in a restaurant with nothing to say. At bedtime you never thought you'd be pretending to have a headache. "I can't make myself feel any different," one woman in my office told me tearfully. "The magic's gone."

"Sooner or later most partners hit an emotional brick wall," I told her. "Now your real marriage begins." Once you're past the initial madly-in-love stage, you have the opportunity to discover the down-to-earth blend of friendship and true intimacy that characterizes long-term happy marriages. How To Take The Monotony Out Of Monogamy [VIDEO]

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The writer Robert Johnson describes this kind of relationship as "stirring-the-oatmeal love," a calm and deeply nourishing contrast to the quick high we spike from a forkful of chocolate marble cheesecake.

Spicing up a stale marriage takes time and energy, but I see couples do it every day. You'll need to shift your focus from asking, "What has my partner done for me lately?" to "How can we work together to reenergize this relationship?"

Here are three steps to rediscovering each other:

1. Get out of your comfort zone.

Remember the spontaneous fun you two had in your dating days? Often couples settle into routines — him watching the game while you play Words With Friends, doing errands and home repair, partying with the crowd. How To Take A Successful Vacation As A Couple

Sure, these are comfortable, but there's nothing like going beyond your four walls to create a sense of shared adventure and a reminder of what makes you two special as a couple. That doesn't have to mean planning a pricey vacation. Take a walk in a neighborhood or on a hiking trail you haven't seen before. Try a new sport. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen.

2. Focus on appreciating the small, simple things.

Maybe he usually cooks dinner, you do the dishes, he takes out the trash, you vacuum — you're like a well-oiled machine and everybody feels taken for granted. Focus on small, more personal acts of generosity: Bring each other a cup of coffee, volunteer to walk the dog, offer a hug when your partner least expects one. Is Pre-Baby Marriage Counseling For You?

(The National Marriage Project recently reported that couples who reach out this way are far more likely to describe themselves as "very happy" in their marriage.) Make the effort to acknowledge your partner's small gestures of kindness with a smile and a thank you, and watch each other light up.

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3. Deal with conflict.

In a successful relationship we need to let go of certain things, or be patient about them, but that's not the same as sandbagging important issues that really need to be confronted in a safe and reasonable way. When we habitually block disagreements instead of working on them, we end up with hardening of the matrimonial arteries. Are You Good Needy or Bad Needy?

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Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Jean Fitzpatrick

Marriage/Couples Counselor

Jean Fitzpatrick is a New York psychotherapist and marriage counselor.  Jean's practice includes individual and couples, and she specializes in affair recoverypre-marriageprebaby and postpartum counseling. Jean is a member of the elite Marriage Friendly Therapists network and the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.  Jean has been interviewed in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, Women's Health, on CNN and in USA Today, the NY Daily News, and other media outlets where the subject is marriage and family life. Jean's articles on family life and emotional and spiritual growth have appeared in many national magazines over the past twenty-five years, including Parents,Working Mother, The New York Times Magazine, and Family Circle, and she has written 6 books on family life.  

Visit Jean's website:  http://therapistnyc.com

Follow Jean on twitter:  @therapistnyc35

Location: New York, NY
Credentials: LP, MA, Other
Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues, Infidelity / Affair Recovery, Marriage
Other Articles/News by Jean Fitzpatrick:

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