Most people who get married believe that they will stay in love forever … that nature will just take its course and spouses will continue to feel the wonderful love that they felt through the courtship and early marriage. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Most people, in most marriages, find that they have times of feeling more in love than others and there are definitely times when they may not feel much love at all. It is also true that it is very easy to find yourself attracted to someone else … I mean, that is human nature to notice and appreciate others.

Those who recognize the “normal” gees and haws of marriage are more easily able to get past them quickly. Staying in love, seeing the positives in your partner and your marriage and focusing on them more than the bad helps keep the loving thoughts alive. Acting in loving ways with intimacy and fun, talking in nurturing and caring ways, all help as well. Here are some of our ideas about what you can do to help keep the love in your marriage.

Recognize that staying in love does not happen automatically. You cannot put it on autopilot. Keeping it has to be a priority in your marriage. It should not take a lot of work, but will require some effort.

Find a time or two during each day to think about your spouse, maybe look at a picture, and remember why you love him or her.

At the end of every day, talk together about three things that you really like and appreciate about each other and about the relationship.

Have regular rituals together where you celebrate your relationship and each other. These rituals may include lighting a candle and sharing a cup of tea every night after the children are in bed, a weekly date night, Sunday morning breakfast in bed. Rituals help to hold couples together.

Talk together about the future on a regular basis … both about the near future such as the weekend or a home project, a vacation that you want to take, etc. and also about far into the future as you think about retirement and growing old together.

Have a mind-set for yourself and a pact with your spouse that you want to stay in love and that all problems have a solution. Some may take a while to solve and some may require a professional “consultant” but together, you can figure anything out.

Author's Bio: 

Sally Connolly, LCSW, LMFT has been practicing family therapy for over 30 years. She has taught coursework in couple and family therapy for the University of Louisville and The Louisville Seminary. Sally and her husband, family therapist John Turner, have presented workshops, seminars and retreats for couples and singles with a focus on finding and maintaining healthy relationships.

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