bored in marriage

How to Bring the Excitement Back to Your Marriage

We used to be that couple. Our passion was annoying to others, but when you’re a part of it, wow…that’s good stuff. But time can cause passion to go flat. Some become romantically bored in marriage. When kids arrive and mortgage bills keep coming, life occurs and stress builds. The marriage relationship gets put on the backburner, and you can wander into a dangerous place.

Romance isn’t a one-size-fits-all, but here are some tips I’ve learned that are universal to sparks between a man and woman. Are you bored in marriage? Here’s how to get the excitement back.

Kiss Her Like You Mean It

I see it in marriages all over, the obligatory peck on the lips. Too many times it means nothing. My wife and I used to really kiss like it was our job. Over time, a government agency could have declared it endangered; it became so rare. Kissing is important to marriage. When I kiss my wife with purpose and affection, her entire posture changes and I, in turn, fall more in love with her. Good things happen when you kiss her like you mean it.

Let Her Be Part of the Things You Do Well

Women love to see us at our best. For them, the passion begins long before the bedroom. Everything from being handy around the house, seeing us engage in the lives of the kids and family, when we initiate, those are all actions that elevate our attractiveness in their eyes. Work hard at what you can control: being the best you. It matters a great deal.

Putting in the Effort

Presentation is important. How we look, dress, and smell. When it comes to arousing the passions of a woman, scents are pure magic. For 20 plus years my wife has told me her favorite smell is my neck. I got really lucky in that regard. But all other matters of hygiene and presentation require full consideration. Put in that extra effort. Wear that shirt she likes. Dab on that cologne from your birthday. Your efforts could be rewarded.

Meaningful and Honest Communication

Sexual attraction is only going to carry romance so far. It’s not sustainable long-term. Remember when you fell in love and stayed up all night talking? Be open with her. You need to be vulnerable and honest. You also need to go with your wife on her emotional ride throughout the day. Empathize with her and vice versa. Connect on an emotional level rather than disengage. She needs to be your best friend.

While you work on impressing her, be sure to share this list with her and talk about ideas to revive to spark together.

Sound Off

What do you do to keep your marriage exciting?

  • BryanEW710

    That first item has me kind of confused. My wife gets annoyed when I “kiss like I mean it”.

    • Gary Abernathy

      It certainly takes both participating in “meaning it.” Kissing is such an intimate and personal thing between a couple, there’s no one right thing to say here. The path to sincere passion for your relationship could have a completely different entry point. Timing is everything of course no matter what it is. I’m certainly adept at annoying my wife, too 🙂 I know with her, kissing is important, and I’m very good at it with her when I really mean it. So I work on consciously making sure I do. And by doing so, it melts the walls we all build up during a day, and draws her into our special bond we’ve always had. The way she does that for me is totally different. I included the section of kissing in this article because that’s common to women. But it’s not exclusive. What is it that you initiate that when completely sincere draws her close to you with equal enthusiasm?

      • BryanEW710

        To be honest on that last question: I really don’t know. I don’t know if it’s just the season of life we’re in (we’ve got two kids and the oldest starts Kindergarten this year) or what, but I can’t think of ANYTHING I do that really draws her closer or melts any walls. I wish I had an answer to the question.

        • Gary Abernathy

          That season of marriage/parenting is super hard on the things discussed in this article. You aren’t alone. i can tell you that you have to have long term vision to get through it relatively happy. I used to consider often, “What is our relationship going to look like coming out the other side of this?” “Will we be strangers with the only thing left in common being our children?” I’ve seen countless relationships die that way. It happened to my own parents. They couldn’t wait for me to turn 18 so they could split. That wasn’t going to be us, I told myself, and I’ve been actively working against it all these years. Now I’m in the beginning stages of being there in that moment…coming out the other side. The kids are 19 and 15. Our marriage, our bond, has never been stronger. I’ll pray for your relationship, Bryan. And your strength and vision. I can see the sincerity by your words. I have faith you’re going to lead your family and marriage to green pastures.

          • BryanEW710

            I really hope so. I feel a lot of times like we just hang out, take care of the kids, and try to give each other a night off every once in a while. It doesn’t help that I’m rotten at showing initiative because I’m too worried about her reactions–which normally tends to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

          • Gary Abernathy

            What was it like when you first started dating seriously? Before engagements, weddings, kids, and building lives together. When it was just you two and nothing else much mattered. What was it like? That’s the heart of your bond. Physically, ours has always been – kissing. We used to (actually still do) call it “compatible kissing.” We’d laugh at how good we were at it together. To someone else we might be the worst kissers in the world…who knows or cares…but to us, we were made to kiss each other. Mentally, it was that we wanted all the same things from life. We were on the same page. And we genuinely liked and appreciated who the other was. What they were about. We still do. Completely different in gifts and talents, but working as a team with one unified goal. That’s always been the base. It’s been tested in every way possible the past 20 plus years, but that bond remains rock steady. Because we will it so. It’s an active choice to make. You’re in one of those tests. So think back…what was it like when you fell in love?

          • BryanEW710

            First: sorry I’m replying to this late. I was out of town for the weekend, and am catching up on what I missed.

            Hmmm…it’s a loaded question for us. We dated long distance (me in Ohio, her in Texas) until we got married. We found ourselves being pretty physical, which I’m pretty sure had a lot to do with the fact that we were only seeing each other like once a month, during which time one of us was on “vacation” from the rest of their life. Can’t help but feel like she especially felt the need to back off at some point.

            Quite frankly, I was amazed she loved me. I’ve never had a very high opinion of myself, and our early times were always colored with that feeling of surprised awe (I couldn’t believe my luck). I can’t help but feel like a lot of those anxieties have gotten the better of me, and that she isn’t as attracted to me as she used to be. What makes it hard is that sometimes, it’s all in my head and she’s fine–I find it hard to tell the difference.

            I find that I tend to not try to express affection as much when I don’t think her reaction is going to be good. I know I should just do it regardless, but all it took is once or twice of even feeling like I was going to get my head chopped off for it and I stopped.

          • Gary Abernathy

            There is a lot to glean from what you’ve said. It’s good that you’re able to both self-analyze and relationship-analyze with honest reflection. When my wife and I first started dating we were long distance, too, with me in NC and her in GA. That went on for the better part of a year, and we found ways to spend time together as we drew closer in bonding. But she put a big barrier on the physical, which might be why we became such good kissers. Because that’s as far as it was going. Ha! I’d never met anyone like her. I know exactly what you mean by feeling lucky to be with her. I still feel lucky, and I’m happy I do. I know she’s out of my league in several ways. That said, I know I bring at least a few worthwhile things to the table as well, and she’ll honestly tell you she’s lucky too. Our confidence plays a big role in a woman being attracted to us. It sounds like maybe that’s where you’re struggling. Self-confidence? A good man/husband/dad often spends so much time building up others, that he’ll forget he needs to keep building up himself continually. I’m not hideous or anything, but there isn’t a single physical trait I have that makes a woman think, “I gots to have me some Gary.” Ha. Any good fortune I have romantically with my wife stems all from self-confidence and mental connection. I mean, she likes my eyes and says I have nice calves, but that ain’t much to work with. She loves – me. Your wife agreed to marry you, so I’m going to assume she feels the same way about you, and I’m also going to assume it’s not because you’re the greatest lover in the land. She saw in you the potential to be a great husband and father, and that’s highly attractive to all women. 1. I think you need to cut yourself a little slack and don’t beat up on yourself. 2. Work on self-improvement and confidence. I do this in a variety of ways, starting first and foremost with my faith, in both action with it (service) and regular study of scripture. If you’ll read a chapter of Psalms and Proverbs every day, you’ll be amazed how it grows and strengthens you, paired with daily prayer (including the Lord’s Prayer). 3. Talk to her like you’re talking to me. Rational. Honest. I don’t know y’all as a couple, so perhaps that’s something you’re good at, or maybe you need a 3rd party to guide the conversation. A pastor or experienced faith-based counselor. We have a lot of resources here on the site for relationships and marriage, all written by men, husbands and dads going through the same things, so keep coming back and use the archives. This is exactly why the Merrill’s founded Family First. To create a trusted resource that works to build and strengthen the family and marriage. I’ve been honored to contribute to that mission for nearly a decade. Thanks, Bryan, for creating a great conversation here. I’ll be praying for you 🙂

  • CJ

    Reading over these four items, I am not sure if my wife or I will ever find excitement in our marriage. I want so badly to connect with her, but I feel that her flame died out for me years and years ago. And I have been going through some really bad bouts with unemployment over the years which brings out the worst in me as I fail to gain meaningful, productive jobs, so all she ever sees is the bad side of me. I pray daily that the Lord can reconnect our hearts, but I have to admit that after years of disconnect, I am not sure if my wife truly wants to intimately be with me spiritually, emotionally or physically. It breaks my heart daily.

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