How to Keep Your Marriage Fun (Years After the Honeymoon!)

posted: 12/28/15
by: Katie Morton
Smiling mature couple having coffee on sofa

The first year of marriage is a whirlwind, between the wedding parties, the honeymoon, and settling into life together as a couple, you ponder your future and look forward to your hopes and dreams. In the early days, even a joint trip to the grocery store can be fun!

As the years pass, demands on our time and energy can make marriage feel more challenging. How do you capture the spark and energy of those early days when the pages of your wedding album are starting to yellow? Here are some simple tips to reinvigorate the fun of those early days.

1. Schedule time for fun

It may seem counterintuitive that you would need to schedule fun, but if you don't, then it may not happen. Busy schedules and demands of life can pull us in all directions--jobs, kids, sports teams, hobbies, and aging parents who need care.

Experts say that it's important to put your spouse first when scheduling your commitments, because it's all too easy to unconsciously push your spouse to the bottom of your list. Try to set boundaries on your time and make sure you schedule a night out to keep the fun going. Make it a priority to stick to a schedule of date night, schedule a sitter, and honor that date night commitment as you would any other time slot in your calendar.

To make it spontaneous, trade off who plans the date night so the other spouse is surprised!

2. Rekindle what brought you together

When you were dating, you spent time together doing certain fun leisure activities. What did you like to do then? Was it running, taking the dog to the dog park, trying out new restaurants? Whatever activities you enjoyed while dating, try to rekindle those times. Bonding over something you both enjoy while recreating the ease of early days will make you smile.

Some say that recreating your first date can bring up fun memories and laughs about how far you've come since that fateful outing.

3. Scare yourselves

Doctors say that our physiologic response to fear is medically similar to sexual stimulation. A faster pulse, breaking out in a sweat--fear can be exciting in a controlled environment. For the tamest of us, a horror movie can provoke this response. For those of us who are braver, think roller coasters, or even skydiving. Conquering fears with your spouse creates arousal and makes you feel connected, since you overcame an intense situation together.

4. Run away together

Each couple needs some time away from the daily grind. You don't need a tropical vacation (although those are nice) to rekindle fun times. A simple change of scenery in the form of a day trip can encourage laughter and new conversations.

If you can't get away, or if you'd rather have a staycation, mix up your usual routine. If you usually do Italian, try Thai. Try a different driving route; if your spouse always drives, you should take the wheel. Sometimes little changes and short outings can be enough to cultivate vibrancy.

5. Try something new

Honestly, it doesn't matter WHAT that something new is, just that's something novel. The goal is to reveal a different side of your spouse, and let you view each other in a fresh light. Some ideas: Cooking class, kick-boxing at the gym, or ice-skating lessons. Anything that challenges you both to get out of your comfort zone is a good thing.

Keeping your marriage fun is worth the effort when you rediscover your spouse's playful side.