It’s not always a party around here.
Not that we don’t have a good time or that we don’t love each other.
Because, of course, we do.
But there are some seasons that are tougher than others.
We both have so much on our plates that we begin to feel weighed down by the pressures and bills and time-constraints. Health concerns and relational-challenges. It all just keeps coming at us and life doesn’t feel as fun as it used to be.
And so a general heaviness sets in.
But we can’t let that go on like this for too long because it’s not only “not fun” – it’s not really right either. It’s not good for our health, not good for our family, and certainly not good for our relationship.
So something needs to change!
The funny thing is that the solution doesn’t have to be all that dramatic or expensive. It’s often those simple or relatively easy things that help revive our friendship and restore that spark.
A small investment with a big return.
Now in case you and yours ever find yourself in such a season? Here are some things that Matthew and I like to do when we’re stuck in a rut or are feeling the strain . . . .
A Dozen Things to Keep Your Marriage Fresh and Fun
1. Go for a walk in the fresh air.
When we’re crazy-busy and don’t have the time, or if we can’t get too far from the house, we will simply go for a walk. We might only walk up and down our long driveway, or possible wander out on the trails that go out into the desert behind our house. As long as we’re holding hands – sometimes talking and sometimes silent – we’re happy together.
2. Try a new place to eat.
Now this might just be us, but we love finding some neat little place to eat! Some place that we’ve never tried before. He and I especially enjoy all kinds of ethnic food – Thai, Mediterranean, Indian, Vietnamese – you name it! Yum.
3. Watch a funny or fascinating movie.
While watching movies isn’t usually my favorite thing to do, I’ll confess that it can be rather nice to “check out” and get a good laugh from a comedy, or temporarily disappear into another place or time in a well-done film. Just don’t tell our kids that I admitted, that okay? 😉
4. Cook up something new that you’ve never tried before.
I don’t know why this is, but trying out a new recipe or cooking up something special can turn an ordinary evening into a celebration. Caramel popcorn, onion rings, guacamole al fresco—we’ve tried them all! Five stars.
5. Invite old friends over that you haven’t seen for a while.
Do you know those longtime friends whom you just love . . . but never seem to get around to getting together? Call them up! Ask them over and order pizza. Then laugh over old times and get caught on on new happenings. We recently went out for Thai food with friends we’ve known since before we married. Talked about everything. Sweet for the soul!
6. Make new friends by asking interesting people over.
This is more my husband’s strong point than mine, but I’m wanting to grow in this. When you’re going through a hard time, it can be difficult to reach out when you feel like you’re merely hanging on. Yet we’ve found that it can be “just the thing” to lighten things up to focus on new people and new friendships.
7. Throw a party.
Small party or big party – it doesn’t matter! Open up your doors and let the festivities begin. Yes, it can require a bit more work (when you’re already feeling over-worked), but the benefits of fun and fellowship make it all worthwhile.
8. Tell him something you’ve never told him before.
Share a wonderful memory you have from your childhood. Tell him about that camping adventure or that silly experiment you tried. Maybe talk about your favorite book or biggest accomplishment. Then ask him about his too!
9. Step outside the usual routine.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to be a “creature of habit.” I like my routine. A lot. But there are times that shaking things up and doing it totally different is just what’s needed! I might surprise him and suggest we watch a late-night movie (we’re usually in bed by 10pm) or challenge him to a boardgame together. Woohoo!
10. Sneak away with only the two of you.
You have all kinds of reasons why you can’t. So many responsibilities, not enough time, and can’t afford it. I get it. I really do. But do it anyway. There is no better investment than in your marriage. Make it a priority, even if it’s not “screaming” at you in the way these other things are in your life.
11. Lighten up with a good laugh.
I’m not sure I should tell you this, but the truth is that he and I are both big teases. He is worse than I am, but I find great satisfaction in catching him off-guard with a joke of my own now and then. We flirt, laugh, and play practical jokes on each other often. It’s one of our “secret” ingredients. 🙂
12. Pray for one another.
When my eyes for him are clouded with the stress and strain of our situation, I ask God to give me “fresh eyes” for my husband. I pray that He will restore our love for each other and infuse new life in our relationship. He has always been faithful to answer that prayer.
So be sure and invest in your marriage. Don’t let the urgent and the heavy keep you from enjoying one another as God intended. Keep it fun and fresh.
Try one of these ways . . . or maybe all twelve!
*What are some of the ways that you like to bring light and life into your marriage?
Lisa is the happily-ever-after wife of Matt Jacobson and together they enjoy raising and home-educating their 8 children in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She encourages women to embrace the rich life of loving relationships and the high calling of being a wife and mother. Lisa is the author of 100 Ways to Love Your Husband and her husband is the author of 100 Ways to Love Your Wife. Matt and Lisa are also the co-hosts of the FAITHFUL LIFE podcast where they talk about what it means to be a biblical Christian in marriage, parenting, church, and culture.