Putting the fun back into your marriage is easier than you think.
Studies have also shown that the most happily married couples are happy because they have a lot of fun together. How much fun do you have in your life? How much fun do you have in your marriage? Do you prioritise opportunities to be playful and have fun together?
1. Increase Positivity
Conflict is inevitable in long-term relationships and there is a need to be careful not to allow the conflicts to erode relationship satisfaction.
2. Prioritise Your Relationship
When couples are dating or engaged, that means carving out time to have fun together, especially if they are busy working, studying or planning events. When couples are married with or without children, having fun together is essential for relationship satisfaction and longevity. Make a weekly date together where the focus is to have fun and enjoy each other’s company. Try to inject fun and playfulness into your daily interactions too.
3. Protect Fun Times from Conflict
It’s important to protect your fun and romantic times from conflict. If you go on a date with your spouse and one of you brings up an area of conflict, a strong suggestion is that you “protect your fun time from conflict.” Discuss this approach ahead of time. When one of you starts an argument the other can remind them and say, “Let’s protect our fun time from conflict.” Agree to discuss the issue or problem in the morning over breakfast. Then take advantage of the opportunity to go out and just enjoy each other’s company.
Many couples have ruined Valentine’s Day, anniversaries and birthdays because they allowed themselves to indulge in an argument or problem focused conversation. In the beginning of a relationship, you likely had many opportunities to fully enjoy each other’s company. Recreate those possibilities no matter how long you have been together.
4. Try Something New
Studies found that just spending time together is not enough for relationship satisfaction. Ideally, couples need to spend time together around novel and different experiences.
New experiences activate the brain’s reward system, flooding it with dopamine and norepinephrine, which are the same brain circuits that are ignited in early romantic love. Couples that participated in “exciting” date nights showed a significantly greater increase in marital satisfaction.
5. Brainstorm Together
Be proactive and intentional about having more fun together. Make a list of activities that you can do together. Be conscious about increasing the fun quotient in your relationship. Be more open to new experiences.
Try an experiment by getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new together. Maybe this is the time for trying dance lessons, renting a tandem bicycle, taking a cooking class or reading a book together.
Credit: Michell Gannon Photo: Karolina Grabowska