Expert Advice From Maria Tansey: Keeping The Romance Alive Post Marriage
We are thrilled to introduce to you our brand new BCME Expert Panel member, Master Life Coach and NLP Practitioner, Maria Tansey.
Maria works with clients in various stages of relationships; engaged, newly married and in long term partnerships. She’s here to help you strengthen your relationship with yourself and with your partner, for you to fulfill your relationship goals and lead an even more balanced and fulfilling life. Her coaching focuses on the future and your beliefs, values and needs. It will improve communication, restore harmony and ensure you are heading in the right, and the same, direction.
Each month, Maria will be giving you, our readers, expert advice on all things relationships, marriage and communication with your loved ones. This month, Maria shares with us her top tips for how to keep the romance alive once you’re married.
Over to you Maria…
Do you feel like romance is something that is only supposed to happen before you get married? Do you think romance is more or less important after you get married? What does romance actually mean anyway? Well, the dictionary says that romance is; “To try to persuade someone to love you”. Surely once you’re married, you can stop persuading your partner to love you, because you already know that they do?
Let’s take a quick glimpse at what life might look like before and after marriage, in terms of making an effort in your relationship…
When you’re dating, you work hard at making an effort; going out for meals, asking questions about their friends and their family, asking about their hobbies, and you are genuinely interested in their work and their life. You wear makeup, do your hair, nails, lashes and wear nice outfits. Fast forward six months after the wedding (or even six weeks!) and a Friday night now consists of staying at home together sitting in your pajamas and watching Netflix, without the hair and the makeup now!
Ahh that wonderful feeling of finally being able to be yourself completely relaxed with judgement and with someone who totally loves you. That feeling is priceless, and it is one of the nicest things about being married.
Spending time at home in the beginning can be novel and perhaps you’re wearing cute pajamas (ones that match!) having a nice time flirting together…And then what happens? Fast forward another six to twelve months, and the pajamas don’t match anymore, there’s no flirting, maybe the conversation is lacking, less effort is being made and there are definitely less nights out. Suddenly you realize that you’ve turned into best friends (not best lovers!) and your relationship is great in many respects, except the romantic side. Note to self – You’re 35yrs old not 85yrs old!
If you’re about to get married or you’ve been married for a few years, here are three important factors to help keep the romance alive (or bring it back!):
♡ Keep your own space. Absence really does makes the heart grow fonder.
Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you have to do EVERYTHING together. You have become husband and wife and not con-joined twins! Let each other have some space to breathe. It’s not healthy to spend every single day or night together. Arrange a girl’s night out (or two) every month with your friends or work colleagues and encourage your partner to do the same. When he does go out, don’t make him feel guilty for ‘leaving you at home all on your own’.
Agreeing to be married does not mean giving up the rights to everything else in your life. No one should be made to feel guilty about catching up with friends or family. Enjoy enough time apart so that you keep remembering why you chose to be together in the first place.
Be spontaneous, not everything needs to be planned in advance, nor do you need to seek written permission to go out, even by yourself. Keep a little mystery and don’t ask your husband for a detailed itinerary when he is just going out to get his haircut and running a few errands. Let him freestyle for a few hours…I promise he will come home!
♡ Communicate like you “love each other.” Remember why you got married in the first place.
Treat each other with the same care and respect that you did before being married. Don’t begrudge your partner any happiness or talk negatively behind their back, and definitely not to them. Remember, you are supposed to be each other’s number one fan. Focus and recognize each other’s strengths rather than waiting for each other to make a mistake and then criticizing. There can be, and will be, plenty of other people around who can criticize us, and partners should not be one of them. Draw your husband in, don’t drive him away! There is nothing more romantic than hearing ego boosting compliments from your partner. And remember if you don’t say those things to your partner, then someone else just might…
Don’t forget to apply the same small pleasantries that you would do for someone at work or a visitor to your home. Be courteous, be kind, be supportive and be sympathetic. “Manners maketh man”. Treat your partner like a VIP. Listen to understand, listen without interrupting, listen without giving advice, listen without judgement. Listen with love. Just LISTEN.
♡ Go on regular date nights and fall in love all over again.
Dates nights can seem like a lot of effort, especially when you’re used to relaxing in your pajamas together at home watching TV and especially if neither of you can be bothered. You probably both have a full list of excuses; I’m too tired, it’ll be too expensive, I can’t be bothered to get ‘dolled up’, I’ve got nothing to wear and the list goes on, and on. Have you turned into the couple that only goes on a ‘proper’ night out together when you’ve been invited out to a friend’s birthday, a brunch or some other event with friends? Otherwise you would stay at home (every night)….
You have no problem getting dressed up and going out when other people are inviting you but this is not a date night. Ask yourself, when was the last time you decided (as a couple) to go out for dinner or drinks or another activity together, just the two of you, as a couple? Reinvest in your relationship by planning some nights out together, enjoy each other’s company and conversation, make an effort to get dressed up for each other, laugh with each other, flirt with each other, improvise, role play, learn new activities together. Life is not over because you got married. Your married life is only just beginning, so put some love back into the life!
If you are planning to start a family, these habits are even more important to start practicing now in order to keep the romance alive once the baby arrives!