UNIVERSAL MAN – EP 16 – MARRIAGE: KEEPING THE FLAME BURNING
“A good husband, makes a good wife.” – John Florio
In all long-term relationships, the challenge to keep the flame burning never ends.
In the early stages of relationships, life is bliss. You spend hours and hours together every week without distraction or hindrance. You may have also been a bit younger, in less demanding roles and had no children. Whatever, your situation, at some point life gets busier and the glamour of your wedding or even the beginning your relationship is gone… you’re left with the challenge of keeping the flame burning.
How do you keep that connection when you’re constantly on the move with incredible pressures at work?
Why does the flame flicker?
The simplest way to think about this is from a pure fuel perspective. In the early stages of the relationship you likely had several dates per week, loads of great holidays and life was more simple. You had more time on your own with your mates and you could invest heavily in your career without worry about missing out on home. You were fuelling the fire almost every day.
Now a date night is a thing. You have to schedule it in your diary to even get one. You’ve got greater pressures at work too and that can make you more distracted at home and likely so does your partner. The fuel or investments in the bank account have dried up so the flame doesn’t burn so bright.
And when it doesn’t the relationship strains. Small things can become big things. Everything from finance, parenting challenges, where to go on holidays or who is cleaning what, can become painful. And the biggest of all is the feeling that you and your partner are just spinning the wheels at best or even ever so slowly drifting apart. Why? Because the spark is gone.
But the principles of creating a fire remain the same. When you add fuel and give it some oxygen the flames grow.
Key Methods to Keep the Flame Burning in Your Relationships
- Date Nights – you have to book them, but so what. Make ’em happen.
- Little actions that speak louder than words that show you care. Like cooking her favourite meal, doing a load of washing, looking after the kids while she has a timeout. These are the small things that show you actually care.
- Build little traditions as a family or as a couple like Saturday morning breakfasts, annual holidays. These traditions are what create a closeness and unity as a family and partnership.
- Put the fun and energy back into your time off. Every now and then throw caution to the wind and crack an expensive bottle of red on a Tuesday, go and do something super fun on the weekends and have a laugh together.
- Every now and then do something that is an extra special surprise that totally knock your partner of their feet. This is the bigger thing like taking her away for a surprise weekend after organising someone to look after the kids, the dog or the house. It’s an extra special gift away from her birthday…make her feel loved.
- Have times where the phone and social media is totally off together. So much down time these days has couples sitting on the couch next to each other with their minds far off on social media or the internet. So create a few friendly rules around shutting these off. These might be making sure no phones at dinner and that is your time to reconnect 100%.
- Work hard on your own health and appearance. Be proud of your body men and keep it in good shape. This will not only give you more energy it’ll keep her attracted to you so you can dial up the goodness factor!
- Keep separate identities by giving each other some time out from the family to refresh and maintain your own friendships and hobbies
- Do one thing immediately that’ll add serious fuel to the fire.
- Create a tradition as a couple that you keep every week
Grego and Pricey