Kids driving you crazy? The Ex being particularly difficult this month? Do you feel like running away?
We’ve all been there. Second marriages face a laundry list of challenges first marriages don’t. With court dates, child support payments, feuding exes, confused kids, and the act of raising someone else’s child, second marriages can feel like second best. Don’t let your love fall through the cracks! If the romance is dying, give your relationship some CPR and get back on track.
1 – Choose Your Words Wisely
It can seem like your discussions always turn to the kids or the Ex. Learn to control that tendency and instead focus on your marriage and your life. Devote your time with your spouse to focus on just the two of you. Talk about your dream vacation, ask each other questions about your childhood…one winter night, my husband and I bundled up to sit under the stars on our front porch. Over a delicious bottle of red wine, we somehow got on the topic of scars.
We discussed the scars we had and how we got them. As strange as the topic sounds, it turned into a night full of childhood truth or dare stories, little league injuries, chemistry labs gone wrong, and ear piercings from hell (and yes, that last one applied to the both of us!). We both learned things about each other, and only each other, and it is still to this day one of my fondest memories.
2 – Declutter And Decompress
If you’re feeling like your life and home have been invaded by kids that aren’t yours, it’s time you take back some space. Designate a kid-free zone in your house. Personally, I cannot relax on the couch for the evening if I’m stepping over Legos and sharing the cushion with an Elsa doll. When I unwind at the end of the day with my husband, I want to enjoy a grown up atmosphere. Toys get cleaned up, and princess plates get stacked away. A couple candles get lit and jazz music plays softly while we catch up on each other’s days. The environment around us has a huge impact on our moods, and it’s important you give your marriage the type of atmosphere it needs to thrive. Do you and your spouse like rock music? Turn it up! Do you enjoy fresh flowers on your table? Make it a point to fill your vase with them. Do the two of you spend all day in a business uniform? Pull on your comfiest clothes and bring each other slippers after you get home. This is your marriage, there are a lot of nuts and bolts that make it function. Now figure out what makes it shine.
3 – Don’t Stop Dating
My parents have been together for forty years, married for thirty, yet they are still dating each other. My dad still brings home bouquets of flowers. My mom still dresses up for him on Friday night. They still hold hands in the car, they kiss hello and goodbye as well as for everything in between, and they explore new restaurants, hike state parks, and leave love notes on the coffee maker. I model my marriage after them because I’ve never seen two people more in love. The key to a happy marriage? Don’t interpret it as the end your dating life with your spouse. Work and kids can seem to try and take over your life as a couple. Push back, hard, and fight for your right to love! Host your very own happy hour in the kitchen, and mix up some new cocktails. Finally go for that walk by the river you’ve been wanting to take. Ditch the Netflix, and catch some live stand-up comedy, belt out some tunes at karaoke night, or even play hooky from work together and head to the beach. Don’t let your marriage become stale. You got married because you had so much fun dating…keep the good times rollin’!