If you had to describe your marriage in one word, what would you say? Exciting? Fulfilling? Stimulating? Or would you say just the opposite? Boring. Dreary. Or maybe even – YAWN!

Boredom can sometimes sneak up on you, but if boredom has begun to creep into your marriage, you need to take notice because it can do a lot of harm to your relationship! The fact is, any marriage can become boring – no matter how fabulous it was when you started out. If you don’t care for and nurture your relationship, then your marriage is in danger of becoming boring – if it isn’t already.

When the excitement is gone

Like most of us, you probably gave your relationship more time and attention when it was new. And now, maybe you’ve been married several years and that newness has worn off – and so has your excitement. That can become a vicious cycle.

Marriages become boring when we stop spending time and energy on our relationship with our mate. Marriages become boring when our top priority becomes work or friends or the kids or something else besides our relationship with our spouse. When you get stuck in a "one-dimensional" marriage – where you just eat meals together, sleep in the same bed, have sex and talk about what the kids are doing in school – you’re bound to have a boring relationship!

How to have an exciting, fulfilling marriage

But here’s the deal – you’re not going to get that excitement and feeling of fulfillment back in your marriage unless you work on it. The fact is, exciting, fulfilling, happy marriages don’t just happen – they’re made.

So, how do you build a happy marriage and keep your marriage exciting – not boring? How do you get that chemistry back? Here are five keys to help you get that spark and excitement back into your marriage:

  1. Put each other at the top of the list. Move each other to the top of your to-do lists, just below your love for Jesus. You must make spending time together a priority, just as you did when you were first dating. We are amazed at how many people buy into the idea that "quality time" with their spouse and children is sufficient. Quality time is a myth. You need hundreds of hours of quantity time before you can enjoy real quality time.
  2. Confess to each other. Unresolved offenses block all kinds of intimacy – emotional, physical and spiritual. We know this from our own experience and from talking to countless couples whose love has grown cold. Trying to get close while those hurts remain is like trying to hurdle a 100-foot wall. It won’t happen.
  3. Get to know each other again. Most men tell us they were far more successful at connecting with their wives before marriage or before children. And many women report to us that as family responsibilities and challenges mount, they lose track of their husbands’ most heartfelt needs. Recapturing the joy in your relationship requires that you get to know your spouse all over again.
  4. Rethink your thinking. You probably know someone who is always negative, who always seeks the dark side of everything. Whether the subject is work, church or spouses, that person notices flaws and failures everywhere. What tapes are you playing over and over in your mind about your spouse? Can you change the way you think about him or her? Absolutely. We believe it is possible to fall in love again, and you have to do only two things: 1. Be willing to fall in love again with your spouse. 2. Control your thoughts. Change the focus of your thinking to the qualities that caused you to fall in love with your spouse in the first place.
  5. Rekindle romance and physical intimacy. Sex is part of this, but even more important is making sure your spouse feels cherished. Are you still having fun? The need for just plain "fun time" is very important. Decide with each other what fun time looks like for the two of you, then plan it. Sit down with your calendar and be serious about setting time for not being so serious. Agree that during fun time, you will be relaxed and upbeat with each other. This is not a time to deal with issues. Let your spouse rediscover you and associate you with pleasure.

Rekindle the joy of being married by learning to celebrate your oneness. As you do that, you’ll fall in love all over again!

Married for over 30 years, the parents of two adult daughters and five grandchildren, Dr. Gary and Barb Rosberg have a unique blend of insight and wisdom that touches people of all ages. Together with Gary's 25,000 hours of counselling experience and Barbara's gift of encouragement and Biblical teaching, they are equipping thousands of families through their interactive daily radio program, conferences and marriage and family resources.

Portions of this article were adapted from The Great Marriage Q&A Book, © 2006 Dr. Gary and Barbara Rosberg. All rights reserved. Published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. To order this resource or to find our more about the Rosbergs, visit Drgaryandbarb.com.

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