Bring The Romance Back into Your Marriage!
It IS possible to bring Romance back into your relationship, despite kids, jobs, financial stress, and the chaos of daily lives.
The bad news is, that of course it should be your husband who’s reading something right now about how to do just that; you’d like to be at the receiving end, not having even more work to do in order to CREATE what you want! From your point of view, romance is what should be there without you having to ask.
Well, there’s a bit of bad news, but with a silver lining.
The bad news is that if the Romance doesn’t exist already, you WILL have to do something to make it happen. The silver lining is that if you do it properly, it WILL work. Even with the least creative, least romantic husband! And the benefits will be tremendous and lifelong.
However, if you don’t do it properly it won’t last and you’ll have to fight the same battle over and over again in increasing frustration, until you eventually resign yourself to a life without romance (or shoot the jerk, not a recommended approach!).
Now let’s just get one thing clear here; I’m talking about Romance, with a capital R, not sex! As we know (but men have a hard time in recognizing), if we get one, the other is very likely to follow, and it’s likely to be very, very good! So I’m concentrating here on the Romantic Romance.
The key elements of doing it right are these (discussed in more detail further along):
1. You’re going to have to tell him, or better SHOW him, the kind of things you want. More on this in a minute, but the point is, that unless he was creative in your “courting” days (I still love that word but it gives my age away) he just doesn’t get it; it’s like asking him to crochet something, he doesn’t have even a clue what it is or how to start. So you have to make it crystal clear what you mean or you’ll be disappointed and frustrated, and he’ll be angry and frustrated. Hardly the desired outcome!
2. Then you’re going to sit down with him and schedule, FOR 6 MONTHS IN ADVANCE, one BIG date a month and, if it’s realistic, another “small” date a month. And because life sometimes throws curve balls at you, choose back-up dates for the Big date and the small date, each month. You’ll do this because if you don’t, it’ll be a 1-month wonder (or even a 1-week wonder) then you’ll both get too busy or too tired for romance, or something will come up, or you forgot to get the babysitter and now it’s too late, or … and the time just slides by and suddenly months have passed without a single date or flower.
3. Now, these chosen dates become SACROSANCT! You must stick to them! The agreement up front is that they will NOT be cancelled for any reason other than an absolute family or health emergency, or a job requirement where a job might actually be lost if someone doesn’t commit the evening (or the day) to work. And of course, if this does happen, you have the back-up date scheduled.
4. The two of you plan to make sure that the baby-sitting is completely taken care of, well in advance, so you have no worries about finding a sitter and you don’t spend the evening worrying about whether the kids are OK. Don’t let the expense of baby-sitting stop you; there are ways of getting free, highly-qualified, trustworthy baby-sitters. We’ll discuss these later.
Now, let’s look at two different levels of what YOU might want from the Romantic planning.
Let’s look at the lowest level first. The small date, and for severely challenged “starter” husbands perhaps the big date too, can be as simple as:
The old classic – a romantic dinner in front of the fire. Perhaps followed by taking a bath or shower together. Watching a movie together … curled up together on the sofa, like you used to do pre-kids. Make it even more special … buy a sinful chocolate dessert (or have one delivered).
Go back to your dating days and try the kind of looooong, passionate kisses you used to when that was as far as you were going, so you had to get the most out of them! Light some aromatherapy candles. Give each other a slow, sensual massage, complete with a massage oil. This is worth learning to do well, by the way … if you’re interested in a video or DVD of exactly how to do this for maximum mind-blowing effect (and brownie points) I recommend these. Then make one of your dates an evening where the two of you watch the tape and practice on each other. And laugh a lot while you do it!
Take a bath or shower together … then read each other chapters of a steamy, erotic novel. If you don’t know one, head here!
Take an evening, listen to some incredibly corny love and heartbreak Country songs (even if you hate Country!), then write one together. Make it heartbreaking, or funny, or whatever … it’s the togetherness that counts.
After a romantic candlelit dinner, sit facing each other, legs intertwined, and tell each other what, specifically, has made you the happiest in your life together so far. And what your dreams are for the future.
Meet directly after work for drinks, at some special place, even if you’re still going to come home for the evening. Or else have a type of “progressive dinner”… eat your appies at one place you’ve not been to, your entree at another, then dessert at another.
How long is it since you watched a live band play? Make a point of finding places with different types of music, and consider it exploring to go where you’ve never been before. Leave before the end to find a quiet bar or coffee shop or dessert cafe to talk about the evening, the band, the music, what you’d like to do next time … just talk!
Sign-up for dance lessons together. My Mom and Dad took lessons in their fifties, when they were empty-nesters, and danced once or twice a week every week for many years, until my Dad passed; dance is still the basis of my Mom’s social life in her 80’s! But what a great thing to start in your 20’s or 30’s or 40’s … and as we discovered, you won’t be alone! Dance lessons are HOT for people in their 20’s to 40’s. This isn’t necessarily veering away from big-Romance into sex, but … consider an inexpensive motel room for an evening! You’re away from home and the kids, and you can be completely yourselves, and it can also add a bit of “spice,” too.
Does a whole evening spent cuddling in bed, drinking wine, eating chocolates and watching old movies sound so terrible? Sandwich “touristy” stuff between dinner and drinks … have dinner, go visit a place together that tourists might visit (a park, beach, museum, whatever), then head for coffee or drinks to talk.
On every date, at home or outside, make a point of LOTS of touching. I mean LOTS. If you’ve ever watched the ice dancers like Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz, or Torvil and Dean in the old days, they are not allowed to separate during all their manoeuvres … they have to stay in constant physical contact. Try keeping as close as possible, for as long as possible, throughout your evening. In public or in private a hand on the arm, the shoulder, the back, or a touch to the cheek, says “I love you” quietly and discreetly. Make sure your husband knows it!
Now, in addition to the date itself there are romantic “teasers” that can be added by you or your spouse:
Put something special in the other person’s car, or briefcase, or lunch box …. somewhere that they (and ONLY they!) will find it. Inside a book that your spouse always reads, for example.
Leave a sexy note when leaving in the morning – perhaps promising an unknown something in the evening, or requesting an explicit something in the evening! You can buy a game with erotic suggestion cards … draw one at random in the morning, don’t look at it, put it in a sealed envelope and make the commitment to do whatever it says in the evening!
Now, there’s a whole additional level to this, IF you can get your husband “hooked.” It’s time consuming but it’s one of those things that once started, it seems to feed on itself.
It’s where the planning of the Big Date becomes a big deal, and demands a lot of thought, where the planning can be over a period of weeks … and should be done in secrecy! EXCEPT that it’s OK to build anticipation; in fact, it can be made even better by building anticipation … so long as the secrets are not revealed.
When there’s a week, or 2 or 3 or 4 between dates, that’s a lot of time to do some thinking and some planning. Let him know that it’s the details that earn brownie points here! (See my comments about the notebook, below.)
Fine, all these are fine and dandy but how do you arrange it so that HE comes up with the idea, HE makes the romance happen, HE arranges the baby sitter, books the restaurant, chooses the music club, buys flowers etc without YOU having to nag and remind him every time?
YOU HAVE TO MAKE IT CLEAR THAT THIS IS PART OF HIS JOB; THIS IS WHAT HE HAS TO DO AS PART OF HIS NORMAL ROUTINE EACH MONTH!
Then, you give him the magic tool: A little notepad with an attached pencil or mini-pen. You tell him, this pad has only one use: it’s to jot down romantic ideas for the dates, and help with the planning.
And on the first page you make a list of the things for him to consider, for example:
Names and phone numbers of the babysitters.
Phone numbers of friends.
* Do we need reservations?
* Is the weather important?
* How should the house look?
* What should we wear?
* Should there be flowers? A gift? A Note?
* What music at home? On the drive?
* What lighting?
* What movie(s)?
* Drive or Cab?
* Who’ll drop the kids off, or pick up the babysitter? And take them home?
* Leave a card or flowers or a gift with the maitre d’ or a waitress in advance?
* How can he make every other woman in the restaurant wish they were treated like this by their husband?
I hope you get the drift. As I said, unless he was creative in your dating days, do not assume he’ll suddenly know what to do now! You have to set him on the path to romance … then let him develop his own creativity as time goes by. Print this page! Set-up the first event yourself … then have him read this page, and set dates FOR 6 MONTHS. Give him the notebook.
A last word on babysitting: it doesn’t have to be expensive. You almost certainly have friends you trust, who also have kids, and who also would love the opportunity to have more time together. So on your date nights, arrange for them to have your kids, perhaps even a sleep-over … and return the favor for them. That way you know the kids are safe, perhaps they even get a “sleep-over” treat, and both you and your friends get your “date nights” without the added expense and worry of babysitters.