This is the one thing everyone forgets to do at one time and point in their relationship. I have been there as well.
When we both already had one foot out the door to divorce we knew something had to change and change fast.
18 years is like an eternity to some. 18 years to me is not long enough to be with my husband.
When you started wondering if your relationship has run it's course ask yourself one question.
Do I love him/her?
I'm not asking if you are inlove. Only if you can say "yes".
If you can say yes then you can get back that butterfly feeling on both sides.
How did we find that seemingly lost love and connection?
1. We put love first. Our love comes before everything including our 7 children. I'm not saying we neglect our children at all. We do give them 2 parents that are madly inlove and happy.
2. We both sat down separately and made two lists: One is our needs the other our wants.
Choose carefully needs are things that we can't live without we have to have it to feel whole.
Wants are the extras that make you feel good but won't destroy you if you don't have them.
After making the lists give explanations for them. Men especially don't read between the lines. You have to really break it down and explain it.
Example: I need you to hold me when something is wrong.
Men will translate as well I hug you and say I love you. What am I doing wrong.
To explain it: I need you to hold me when something is wrong because I feel safe and know everything will be OK.
2. Set a time and date within a couple of days to read each others lists. Make sure you have no interruptions turn of the phones, TV, computer eliminate any possibly of being interrupted by kids.
A couple hours at least.
During this time you need to make promises to fufill each others needs and comprise on the wants.
3. Make a weekly meeting about the business side of your relationship. Same rules apply as above. The meeting typically takes 45 minutes.
During this time and only during this time catch each other up on what needs to be done for the week to following the meeting.
Appointments, car or house repairs, grocery list, school activities, extracurricular activities, bills that need to be paid, dry cleaning, anything that is a chore.
Make a list throughout the week for the business meeting so you don't forget to bring it up at that time. If you remember something decide if it is important enough that it has to be discussed any other time.
The reason for this is to make your relationship about love and not a business transaction.
4. The touching challenge: This you will do everyday at least 5x's each.
At least 5x's a day touch your partner in a living way.
A gentle brush of their back as you walk by. This just says I love you and I see you.
It can be any form of touching but bumping into each other trying to get in the refrigerator at the same time does not count.
5. Talk challenge :This challenge may seem insane or impossible but it really is easy to do.
Everyday at least every couple hours say something positive to each other. Even during work hours it can be done. Best part it takes less than minute to do it.
These are a few things we say to each other.
Hi Baby, I just wanted to remind you how happy you make me and how much I love you.
Nothing long but huge in the same breath. That little sentence can breakup a stressful moment for both of you.
3x's a week for 5 minutes. Talk about your future together after kids. Your hopes and dreams absolutely nothing about the kids, work, bills nothing negative. Only each other.
1x a week for 30 minutes : The same and more as above. No interruptions just looking into each others eyes.
6. Date night: Once a week is ideal but I realize it isn't always possible. If money is an issue then I have a solution for that too.
Date night doesn't have to mean spending money. It is only about the two of you spending time alone away from home for a couple of hours.
7. No technology after 7 pm until tomorrow.
No texting, no computers, tablets. If you can get away with turning off phones as well do it. Only answer the phone if you have too but make the conversation short.
Once the kids are in bed the rest of the time belongs to the two of you.
Watch a TV show.
Give each other massage.
If you don't always agree what to watch compromise. One night watch something they like to watch and another nigh watch what you like. Just do it together.
In total for an entire week you are only spending about 10 hours putting love first.
10 hours out of 168 hours really isn't a lot but it is so worth it.
My husband and I both run our 3 companies together, we both attend graduate school, homeschool 5 out of 7 of our children, and everything in between.
We both get really tired but we always put each other and love first.
Our children see mom and dad completely head over heels inlove and happy. They are learning what a healthy living relationship is.
I know that even after 18 yrs I still get excited when I see him. Our bedroom life is amazing.
There is more but I will add it in another post later.
I promise you if you make the adjustments. You will reconnect like you never have before.