Ask Dr. V: Spice Up Your Marriage
Venus Nicolino, Ph.D. of clinical psychology, answers your questions in this section. This week: spice up your marriage
Dear Dr. V,
“Marriage is like the witness protection program; you get all new clothes, you live in the suburbs, and you’re not allowed to see your friends anymore.” (Jeremy Hardy)
That’s how my husband and I have been feeling! What can we do to spice up our ten year marriage? Valentine’s day is just around the corner and we were thinking this could be a perfect time to “do” something.
Johnny and Jen from D.C.
Dear J & J,
Valentine’s Day is an ideal occasion for spicing up a marriage but I hope you’re not adding the spice or the sizzle only during the month of February. You can do a tiny gesture once a day, every day, to breathe life into a marriage where boredom has occasionally set in.
If every man and woman wrote down in their agendas what they would do for each of the 365 days for their spouse, the country would have no need for divorce courts. Spicing up a marriage is equivalent to making it more exciting; for those in precarious relationships, spicing up a marriage is a genuine attempt at saving it. What you say and what you do can melt pent-up frustrations and heal old wounds.
Spicing Up a Marriage: Hers
I can’t possibly provide 365 different spices but I sure can whip up a few tricks for you to thrill her so that she’ll love you just as much as she did when you popped the question. Try these on for size …
* Give her a spa certificate and tell her to spoil herself.
* Compliment her nail polish color.
* Invite her for a drive out in the country and explore the large wilderness holding hands.
* Buy her favorite bottle of perfume.
* Call a radio station and ask them if they’d broadcast your love message for her.
* Take her to Disneyland and have your picture taken together in the photo machine.
* If she does the cooking, tell her you’ll cook for a change.
* Slip her love notes in her purse.
* Buy concert tickets to her favorite artist.
* Ride a hot air balloon together.
* Buy her a balloon (with her name and heart on it).
* When she’s wearing a new dress, say, “You look stunning” instead of “How much did you spend for it?”
* Go to the circus and buy her a huge stuffed animal.
* Surprise her at the office by dropping by with a bunch of roses.
* Hire someone to sing her favorite song.
* Wash her car.
* Present her with a CD that you made for her.
* Take her dancing.
* Buy her lingerie and an oversized T-shirt (and then tell her both turn you on)
* Install a faster memory chip on her computer so she can finish her work quicker.
* Speaking of computers, have a graphic designer create a screensaver with her baby picture on it.
* Give her a foot massage.
* Scatter potpourri all over her bath. Buy her a bubble bath set.
* Send her an email during the day just to let her know you’re thinking of her.
* Hug her when she’s upset.
* Go watch a film and buy popcorn.
* Ask her what her first kiss felt like.
* Buy her a poetry book.
* Or … compose a poem about and for her.
* Take out the garbage without her reminding you.
* Say “I Love You” twice: once on waking up and again before going to bed.
Spicing Up a Marriage: His
Men are such practical creatures that you know instinctively what would delight them: pliers or a new set of razor blades. But then again, some men are romantic and have a sensitive side to them, so use your imagination … and discretion!
* Buy him a new set of tires for his bicycle (or his car).
* Tell him, “What would I do without you?”
* Ask him another time, “Do you know how much I care about you?”
* Buy him his favorite bottle of wine.
* If you pack his lunch, slip a note in his brown bag saying, “thanks for just being you.”
* Rub his shoulders when he comes home tired from the office.
* Pay for his haircut.
* Offer to pick up his clothes at the dry cleaner’s.
* Serve him breakfast in bed.
* Play jealous (even if you’re not). It’s a great way to massage his ego.
* Order flowers and have them delivered to his office.
* Buy him a neon-colored case for his cell phone. Throw in a new ring tone.
* Wink at him and say he’s gorgeous.
* Get him a set of backup recovery disks for his computer.
* Say, “I love you.”
* Say “I love you” again (this isn’t a typo).
Worth the Effort
Spicing up a marriage is a monumental task, but certainly well worth it. If we reached out for the spice rack more often, the marital relationship wouldn’t be so bland. We should be vigilant about boredom and indifference. As soon as our marriage begins to falter and is teetering on boredom, we could be on the brink. Why wait until the symptoms show?
Don’t allow keeping love alive to be a full time job. Incorporate it into your way of life. We can’t be too engrossed in our daily routine that we forget about what it was like in the courtship and seduction stage. You might say, “But you’re being unrealistic. There comes a time when passion and intense love have to make way for the real demands of life – children, finances, health, community, challenges at work.”
You may be right, but my opinion is this passion and intense love doesn’t have to be replaced by the real demands of life. Yes, we need to deal with problems and face them immediately, but who says we can’t work at the same time in keeping the flames of love burning? This is when we should push our imagination to the limit.
Note: All information in the Ask Dr. V column is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnosis and treatment, please feel free to call or email Dr. V, or consult your doctor.
Please feel free to email Dr. V a confidential question (from you or your guy) for posting at DrVenus@TheSavvyGal.com; questions may be edited for grammar and length; emails are only read by Dr. V
visit her Web site at www.talk2drv.com