A Routine Relationship
When you first got married, the thrill and anticipation of learning about someone new kept the flame alive. There were so many new experiences for the two of you to delve into as a couple that boredom or mundane routine was the last thing on your mind. Fast-forward a few years and what was once an exciting experience has now come close to being an “obligated responsibility”. Your life is routine, and it seems that you have learned everything there is to know about your spouse…. So now what? When you have been married 5, 10, or even 15 years to the same person, how can you learn new things about them or create new experiences?
People are Constantly Changing
Even if it seems that you know your spouse from their favorite color down to the types of foods they like to eat, there are still some things about them that you do not know or have yet to discover. The truth of the matter is that we are always changing, while those changes may not be drastic, they are changes nonetheless.
For instance, before your children came into the picture your favorite pastime might have been going out to the newest bar or club, and now that you have children your favorite pastime might be just to have a moment of silence to yourself… People change as life changes; their point of view changes as they experience new things. So, even if you’ve been with your spouse for 10 years, the opportunity to learn new things about them still exists … and below are some tips on how to do just that.
Participate in Daily Conversation
This one seems over-simplified, but communication is not something that should only be done when there is conflict or something that needs to be resolved – and sometimes this type of communication can become a habit. Talking to your spouse is how you learn more about them. You need to set aside some time each day to just sit down and talk with each other. It can be as little as 15 minutes per day discussing nothing more than how each other’s day was, but really listen. Showing interest in what the other person is going through is significant in keeping the relationship alive. It is amazing how a conversation about work could trigger a flashback of a childhood memory. True conversations can lead you to a deeper level of connection.
Try New Activities Together
The world is filled with exciting things to do so why not experience them with the one you love? Pick up a new hobby together such as cooking or dancing and allow the experience to build a deeper connection between the two of you. You might find that your husband is a great salsa dancer or that your wife is an expert at making omelets. Even if you don’t learn anything new about each other, there is something about spending time together doing something out of the ordinary that can really bring some excitement back to the marriage. You create memories that you can later connect and reflect on.
Try Each Other’s Hobbies
Well they say opposites attract. Maybe the wife is a homebody who likes reading books and going shopping while the husband is a socialite who likes to hang out at the pub or get outdoors and play sports. Have you ever tried participating in what your spouse likes? If you usually stay at home, why not get adventurous and go out with your spouse? You might find that you like it, or at least you get to see your spouse in the midst of having fun and enjoying what they like to do. Your spouse will see your willingness to sacrifice some of your time for them and do something they enjoy ,and your actions can create an even closer bond between the two of you.
Enjoy Alone Time
Are you wondering why alone time would count as a method for getting to know your spouse better? Well, if you’re always around each other, how can you ever get out and experience new things to bring back to the relationship? If your spouse never goes out and plays sports, how will he be able to share his experiences with you? If you never have time to read a book, how will you know what your favorites are? Time alone allows you to get a sense of self and also allows you to appreciate your spouse for their individuality. Time alone does not have to be months apart, even a few hours away from each other can eliminate the boredom and create more experiences, conversations, and connections for the two of you.
As you mature as individuals through your day to day life experiences it becomes more and more important to keep evolving as a couple. Getting to know each other better requires more than just being in the same space, it requires conversation and participating in new experiences both as a couple and as individuals. It can be very easy to fall into the hamster wheel of boredom and routine, but it is essential that you make a real effort to continue growing and getting to know the person you married for who they are at this moment.
Your marriage was once your most important investment. We’d like to help you keep it that way. If you are considering couples counseling, let the counselors at Orange County Relationship Center help you. Call us today at 949-220-3211 or book your appointment via our online calendar.