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Posted on September 26, 2016 by Christine Crosby in 

Rut Busters: How to add the spark back in your marriage

Rut Busters: How to add the spark back in your marriage

By Malini Bhatia

When you get stuck in a rut, it is easy to feel a sense of resignation and even hopelessness. This is particularly true in a marriage where the routines of everyday life seem to dominate every waking moment with an endless round of household duties, caring for kids, work and all the other demands.  

After several years of marriage, you may start to feel like you and your spouse are living separate lives together. You share the same house and even the same bedroom, but essentially you have drifted apart to such an extent that you no longer feel that connected. This can happen very easily especially if you let your relationship slide, and you find yourselves slipping into bad and neglectful habits. Like most important things in life, relationships need constant maintenance; otherwise, they will fall into disrepair and ultimate breakdown.

Thankfully there are ways of snapping out of the rut and travelling on the wide open road again where you will find the spark of spontaneity returning.  Here are a few rut busters to get you started:

Make a choice…

The fact that you are reading this article must mean that this topic is resonating with you and your marriage in some way. If you recognize that you have somehow slipped or drifted into a rut, then today is a great day to make a choice. You can decide that you no longer want to do same old same old with your spouse. Remember, if you keep doing the same thing you will keep getting the same result. So do something different. Even the smallest thing can have a ripple effect and bring back the spark in your marriage.

rut Remember when…

The first thing you can do is remember when you and your beloved first met, how you fell in love, your first kiss, how you proposed and how you felt on your wedding day…  As you reminisce about all that you have been through together, allow yourself to appreciate the wonder and awesomeness of your relationship. Of all the people in the world, you two have chosen each other to spend the rest of your lives loving and caring for each other. So don’t let the daily grind rob you of the treasure that you have in your marriage relationship.

Sweep out the conflict cobwebs…

Part of being stuck in a rut can be unresolved conflicts which seem to eat away the ground beneath you, digging that groove deeper and deeper. Maybe it’s just little things, petty irritations which have accumulated over the years. When you are busy (as we all are) there is the temptation to sweep things under the carpet, or to ignore the cobwebs in the corners for the sake of peace and because you don’t want to ‘waste’ time. Unfortunately, all that dust you have piled up in the corner under the carpet starts to overflow and cause allergies and infections, resentments and bitterness which drive a wedge between you. Rather set aside time to be open and honest with each other. Say sorry, ask forgiveness and hold each other’s hands while you start climbing out of the rut together.

Get in touch…

rutSpeaking of holding hands… affectionate touch is an amazing way to reignite the spark and get you out of the rut. Don’t just sit there on the couch – put your hand on her leg, run your fingers through his hair, snuggle closer and let each other know that you enjoy being close. Take a bath or shower together, and if you walk past each other in the passage, take time to steal a quick (or long) kiss.

Change up the routine…

Routines are great and in fact essential to the smooth running of a stable and secure household. But don’t let the routines lock you into a rut that is like a prison. Take a break sometimes and do something different. Go for a picnic in the garden or at the park. Get up early to watch the sunrise before you rush into the rest of your day. Surprise your spouse by waiting outside his or her work at closing time and suggest a special evening at some place you’ve never been before.

Notice the little things…

It’s easy to miss the little things you do for each other every single day, so step back a bit and really take note of those things your spouse says and does which make your life as rich as it is… from the meals to the cooking and cleaning, as well as everything he or she does for your kids. Take a moment to hold her close, look into her eyes and say, “Thanks for making us meals every day, I really appreciate that!”

Learn to laugh again…

Laughter is not only good medicine but also a sure way to ignite the spark in your marriage again. Try to find some way to make each other laugh or smile every day. If you see something funny or hear a joke somewhere, make a note of it to share with your spouse when you are together. Download or rent a comedy or go to your favourite comedian show together. When you are in a rut it is often hard to see the funny side of things, so take a step up and learn to laugh with your spouse again.

Redefine your dreams…

When you first got married you may have had all sorts of dreams and goals, but as time has gone by those may have changed for one or both of you. It is important to sit down together and redefine your hopes and dreams for the future. As you decide on the common goals you want to reach for, both together and as individuals, you will no doubt find the spark of passion glowing a bit more brightly as you leave the rut firmly behind you, in your past where it belongs.

RUTABOUT THE AUTHOR:  is the founder of Marriage.com, a website dedicated to providing value in every marriage. Marriage.com provides resources, information and a community that supports healthy, happy marriages. Malini has global experience in international management and communications, and lives in Los Angeles with her husband of 11 years and two daughters.

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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