5 Ways to Keep the Romance Alive in a Middle Age Marriage
By John Teng
One of the physical changes that I have been warned about as I get in to my middle age years is a declining interest in sex. Personally, now that I am approaching my mid-forties, I would say that I have noticed the beginnings of a decline in interest but I am not sure if that has to do exclusively with my age, or maybe a combination of the fact that I am constantly stressed and tired trying to help my wife raise four small children ages 10 years and younger with the youngest still in diapers! Long gone are the my unmarried without children days when I could come home late after a hard day’s work and look forward to having the rest of the evening to do whatever I wanted to do. That freewheeling lifestyle also lasted another two years after I got married, before our first child was born. And if my memory serves me correctly, I think the birth of baby #1 also marked the last time that I have ever watched a 30-minute TV show in its entirety. My point is that becoming a parent has diverted my attention away from a lot of things that I used to changed everything
1. Bring home Flowers. I’m speaking to the guys on this one. Guys, make sure you bring home flowers to your lady. Women love receiving flowers just as much after they are married as they did when you gave them to her while you were dating. And there’s no need to spend a fortune using one of those online flower bouquet services to get the job done. Where I live, I can go to my local supermarket and pick up 18 roses for $12.99. I just throw the flowers in the same shopping cart with the 4 gallons of milk at a time and the diapers and I’m good to go!
2. Go Dancing Together. My wife and I both like to dance so when we go to a party with a dance floor we’ll get on up and dance at least a few songs. I remember one year watching another couple at a Christmas party we both attended. I remember the guy had a beer bottle in one hand and his other hand was slung over the chair next to him. The music was pumping and the dance crowd was having a great time, and there sat this guy, with a blank stare in his eyes as if he was oblivious to about a hundred people jumping up and down to blaring music only feet away from his table. But what made this memory stick in my mind all these years later was the look on the face of his date sitting next to him. She looked sad. I never asked or found out exact reason why they both sat there that entire evening, but my impression was the guy didn’t want to dance and the girl did. Let’s not read anything more into this than necessary, but let it suffice to say that it is my personal opinion that good things will happen in your marriage if you go dancing together.
3. Give yourself a time out. Coming home to a house full of screaming children and a stressed out spouse who had just as crazy of a day as you did, doesn’t contribute to setting a positive atmosphere once the family reunites back at home at the end of a day. One thing to consider is to figure out a way for both you and your partner carve out a few minutes to “decompress” after a stressful day. Maybe that means surfing the internet for a few minutes or even just changing out of your work clothes and into something more comfortable, these few minutes can do wonders to help you center your mind before going back into the fray and figuring out why everybody is yelling at each other…just saying from experience on this one.
4. Say “I Love You.” I am half Chinese and one of the things that I have learned about this side of my family is that it is not common for my Chinese relatives to say “I love you” to each other. I have come to understand this as a cultural thing that has nothing to do with the intense affection that they feel for the important people in their lives. With that being said, my mother is German and Irish and told me that she, too, rarely heard the words “I love you” during her childhood. That’s why I’m so glad that my mother decided to break that tradition when she had her own children. I was constantly told by my mother that she loved me and it meant the world to me that she said those three words to me. As a father and husband, I slather those three words all over my people every single day. I want my children to grow up as adults with those three words burned into their memory of how their father feels about them even when I am no longer with them. Yes, actions do speak louder than words, but I’m sure no relationship has ever suffered from hearing the words “I Love You” from their significant other. Just say it!
5. Guard your Heart. This morning my gym trainer said to me “you see that woman checking you out, John?” The first time he said it to me it sounded kind of funny as if he was trying to motivate me to workout harder during our training session. But then he kept pointing out other women staring by saying “there, did you see that, she’s looking at you...what do you think about that!” I’m laughing as I write this, but my response to my trainer was actually kind of serious. I told him “yes, I can see they are looking, but I’m married and I can’t afford to look back. Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT oblivious to all of the hot women at the gym, but I am fully convinced that getting too close to another woman
personally aware of more than one good relationship among my friends that has gone south by someone allowing those emotions to any room in my heart to develop and potentially break the relationship of trust that I have with my wife. Maybe some of you reading this are able to be stronger or more mature about this than me, but I’ve been around long enough to know what some of my own weaknesses are, and I am fully aware that I could quickly get in trouble if I did not daily and vigilantly guard my heart and commit to be faithful to my wife. If you’ve got a good thing going, then don’t put yourself in a situation, as harmless as it might seem, that might potentially divert romantic energy away from the true love of your life!
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