Love is like fire. This analogy is so similar in both the positive and negative aspects. Love can make a garden look like heaven and if ignored, it can destroy everything that was built upon it. It brings warmth, it consumes, it glows, it attracts and it adds meaning to life.
I have been (and still I am) deeply in love. So in love that my knees felt week and wobbly, thin sweat streamed down my nape, and I felt shortness of breath. I used to go “woohooo!!” as soon as I see my mate. That wonderful feeling need not be quenched. Instead, that spark can be turned to deep burning coals of love. Like all flames, fuel is necessary. Every couple needs to keep adding the fuel, which is more often than not, inexpensive. The following are some simple fuels to help keep the flame burning for longer in the garden of love.
Keep the praises coming: Everybody likes to have his/her ego pampered. This is more important when it comes from someone you are intimate with. Lift up what you fell in love with; the sexy girl, the handsome man, the beautiful heart, the hardworking man… the aggressive go-getter, the smart brains, the hot guy, the amazing cook, the awesome gardener, the wonderful mother to your children, the trusting friend, the great lover, the wild one, the innovative husband… there are a million things in your spouse that are praiseworthy. Use them and see the flames glow in their eyes.
Remember those secret notes? Those beautiful notes left on the pillow, on the bathroom mirror, in the wallet, in his/her notepad/diary. You don’t have to be a poet to make them poetic and romantic. There are a thousand love quotes online to borrow and use aptly. A lovely text message in the middle of a workday saying “Just thinking about you” can change a dull day to an awesome day. What else can you scribble? A thank you note for the wonderful person he/she is; Or after a wonderful evening, a night spent together. A date proposition? Maybe an apology for having erred? or just a sexy silly joke? You decide what works best at that time.
Surprise!! Ladies love them, so do husbands. Random acts of surprises keep us guessing and loving more. A rose on one day for her, a chocolate for him on another day, A star gazing night just for two of you, or a massage session together. Adventure, cleaned dishes, breakfast in bed on a weekend morning, a movie night for two… Fill up the rest! Surprise your spouse, pleasantly.
Touch and play: Bonding does not just happen like magic. Just like children who form lifelong bonds, married couples need to keep bonding through touch and play. Is it childish? probably. Is it essential to the marriage relationship? Absolutely. Play keeps the mind and spirit young, while touch keeps the senses tickled with love. Sex games, brain games, teases and touch, hugs, dances, random kisses, holding hands while going for a walk, picnicking together, camping and even playing sports together increases the bonding. If a couple likes exercising, it would be great if they went to the gym together.
Keep exploring each other: Robert H. Schuller, a famous Pastor Crystal Cathedral and presenter of “Hour of power” program once said on his fifty-fifth wedding anniversary celebration, “I have been married to the same woman for over fifty years, and every day I discover something new about her!!” Your spouse is a mystery and puzzle that keeps you learning. As you learn about each other and about the world as a whole, make it worthwhile.
Correct each other with love: Human is to err; and boy, do you err!! The more you stay close together, ( which is inevitable) the more you mistakes each one makes. Some mistakes such as loading the dishwasher wrongly and overcooking someone’s eggs are mundane and can be just ignored. However, there are other ‘major’ sins that cause you to summon all your patience and restraint. At this stage, please avoid talking about it. Wait. Wait until you have cooled and down and are able to express yourself. Say it with love as you would tell a child. Tenderly. Lovingly, correct each other. In this way, you will be acting as each other’s mirror. Once forgiven, kindly let it go. Let bygones be bygones. Avoid revisiting the situations as it will only bring back the same negative feelings you are trying to overcome. Remember to kiss and make up! You complete each other.
Support and Motivate each other: There is a common proverb in Swahili that translates as ‘one finger cannot kill a louse’ (Kidole kimoja hakiui chawa). You need at least two fingers. The same applies to life challenges. When one of the spouses is facing challenges, the other should give a hand, a shoulder, an ear or just time to the aggrieved one. Sometimes all that is required is just quiet time together, with a cuddle. Other times is to let the other one go through the storm alone, if they ask so, and avoid being the interrogator. Instead, give a word of encouragement and reassure them of your faith in their ability and strength. if needed you can suggest options for handling the issue at hand. In this case, avoid being a know-it-all. Suggest; don’t dictate.
In conclusion, there are many ways/fuels that can be used to keep your marriage flames burning. Some require very little effort, while some will challenge your personality to the end. It either case, Remember that it is the same person that made your heart beat faster, and made you sleepless. That same person is now next to you; for as long as you live on this side of the sun. Your lover, your playmate, your confidant, your best friend, and mostly your soulmate. It is entirely up to you as a team to work through your relationship and have fun while doing it. Indifference is relationships murderer and should never be let in.
How do you keep your relationship flames burning? What makes you look forward to being with your spouse each day? I would really like to now. Please join the discussion below, on Facebook or Twitter. You can follow me on these pages as well.
To a fulfilled married life!!