How I Keep My Millennial Marriage Fun
By Ashley Alt (Guest Post)
Speaking from someone who has been married for a brisk two years, one would think I may still be floating in some version of the honeymoon phase. And he/she would be incorrect.
Because my relationship with my now-husband was sped up by an unplanned pregnancy (surprise!), our focus over the last five years has been on us as parents, not as partners. Now that our son is a self-sufficient, on-his-way-to-becoming-an-independent human, we have loosened the reins on his invisible leash, which has opened up space for our marriage.
Our initial attraction to one another was largely physical. Aren’t they all? It was the classic case of not being able to take our hands off each other, those giddy feelings you get only at the brink of a new and exciting relationship.
Now, six years into our coupledom, getting back to those early days of intense sexual attraction is really what works for us as a married couple when we need it most — whether we’re working through an argument, caught in a rough patch, or simply feeling bored with each other.
Here are 5 things I routinely do to keep my marriage alive
1. I dress up.
And when I say “dress up,” I don’t mean I spend 3 hours in the bathroom curling my hair, shaving my legs, and forcing myself into a bodycon dress and stilettos. One, that isn’t my style, and two, who really has time for that?
My “dressing up” is really anything other than joggers or leggings. Anything that is playful or colorful, like rompers or jumpsuits, makes me feel playful, which makes me want to flirt and dance around Jake. And because his favorite outfit to see me in is a fitted pair of jeans and a white tee-shirt (he’s very James Dean), I’ll throw that around every once in a while, too.
2. I experiment with my makeup and hair.
Variety is the spice of life, yes? Variety also keeps a marriage spicy, and for us, it’s more about looks than spontaneous vacations and exotic cuisine. To keep things fresh in the eyes of my beholder, I most recently dyed my hair pink, which is making me feel more flirtatious, young, wild, and free, which is carrying over into our relationship. Because I’m endlessly curious as to how different looks will elicit different behavior (and because I’m a bit of a lipstick snob), I’ll swipe a red, purple, or pink lipstick on every few days to make him do a double-take.
3. I surprise him with his favorite snacks.
I can’t tell you how many arguments could have been avoided if only the right snacks were in the kitchen. The saying “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” is painfully true. And it’s a (dead simple) marital principle I swear by.
4. I send the occasional naked pic.
Not so original, but very effective. There’s nothing more (pleasantly) surprising than reaching down to answer a work email only to find a seductive photo of your wife. I like doing this when he least expects it, like when we’re both working from home.
5. I write funny notes.
Nagging is a terrible form of communication, and it’s especially ineffective on someone as stubborn as Jake. One day I got so tired of him forgetting to take out the trash — his only domestic responsibility — that I started slapping “I will take out the trash today!” post-its on his bathroom mirror. It makes him laugh, and more importantly, it makes him take out the damn trash.
There you have it. I hope you gained some new and sizzling inspiration for your own relationship here. Hopefully, by the time our daughter comes along, it won’t take us another five years to prioritize our relationship over baby music classes and kids’ birthday parties.
*Important! Might I just add that everything I do to keep my marriage fun is actually, truly, a treat for me personally. But that can be our little secret.
Ashley Alt is a writer based in Connecticut. She is currently working on a memoir focused on the motherhood identity crisis and believes our weirdness is what makes us great. You can sign up for her mindset newsletter here.