How to Add Romance to Your Marriage

Many couples who get married love to settle down to their new life together. Once married, many people focus on getting a house, starting a family, and building their careers so they can provide for their families. While this is the natural and admirable thing to do, often romance gets put on the back burner as a result. A lot of couples who have been married for some time find that the level of romance in the relationship all but disappears because they have so many other commitments to deal with. This can take some of the magic out of the marriage even though you still love one another.

Well, being romantic with one another doesn't require a huge amount of time or money, so it is something you really need to work on. Of course, romance should be a two-sided thing, so both of you need to make an effort to surprise the other with little romantic gestures. When it comes to the physical side of the relationship, there are always aids you can buy to make things more exciting such as being able to buy dildos online. However, when it comes to romantic gestures, you need to give it a little more thought.

What Gestures Can You Try?

So, what sorts of romantic gestures can you try if you want to impress and romance your partner? Well, there are lots of different ones that you should try, some of which include:

Regular Date Night

One of the things you can try is a regular date night, which means that you and your partner can look forward to quality time as a couple on a regular basis. Many couples now aim to have a date night once a week or fortnight, as this enables them to escape for a few hours and go back to their dating days when romance was alive and well. You will find plenty of options for your date night from meals out to a trip to the movies or a night out for drinks.

Romantic Trip Away

Another option if you have the budget available is to arrange a romantic trip away every so often, as this will give you both a change of scenery. You will get to spend a few days together privately without distractions, and you can look forward to quality time as a couple. You don't have to spend a fortune either, as you can find some very affordable options from a few days in a cottage to a camping trip for couples.

Lovingly Cooked Meal

If you want something simple, affordable, and touching in terms of a romantic gesture, cooking a romantic meal from scratch for your partner is a great idea. You can get ideas and recipes online, and you can cook some of their favorite types of food as a culinary surprise. In addition, you should make sure it is beautifully presented, and create an intimate setting with candles, soft music, and a nicely laid out table.

Afternoon Picnic

Another option you can consider is whisking your partner off for a romantic afternoon picnic somewhere. Choose a location that is not too far but that also has great scenery and a romantic setting. You could go to a beautiful park or head to the beach. You can then settle down, enjoy some delicious picnic food and cold drinks, spend quality time together, and watch the world go by as you relax and enjoy some fresh air.

Day of Romantic Fun

If you and your partner love thrills and excitement, another option you can consider is a day of fun and adventure at a theme park. There are lots of great theme parks you can choose from, and you can look forward to a unique and memorable experience. You can stroll arm in arm as you take in the fun that surrounds you, enjoy the adrenaline rush of the rides, and just act like kids again for a few hours. This is a great way to enjoy some lighthearted romance and let some fun back into your lives.

Cozy Movie Nights In

Of course, you do not have to go out in order to enjoy being romantic with your partner. One thing that many couples love to do is cozy up together on the sofa and watch back to back movies. These days, this is easier than ever thanks to movie streaming sites. Even if you have kids, this is something you can do once they have gone to bed without the need for a babysitter. You can get together a list of movies you both want to watch and then settle down with snacks, drinks, and one another for a night of cozy entertainment.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Another way to add some romance to your marriage is to take a trip down memory lane to the place where you had your first date or where the proposal took place. This is a great way to enjoy a little nostalgia as well as to stir up some romantic memories. You could also choose a location that is special for some other reason – what matters is that it is meaningful in some way.

Don't Forget the Basics of Romance

All the above provide you ideas and inspiration when it comes to romantic gestures and doing things that involve quality time together. However, you should also remember the basics when it comes to romance. It may be that you used to tell your partner every day how much you loved them, or you always used to pay them compliments. This may have stopped over time, but you should make a concerted effort to revive it. You may not realize it but those words probably meant a lot to your partner, and this is a lovely way of being romantic with your partner on a daily basis. You can even do little things like leave notes around to tell them you love them.

5 min read

3 Healthy Ways to Relieve Stress Each Evening (Instead of Reaching for Another Cocktail)

When we envision a person who is suffering from substance use disorder (SUD)—defined by having a history of past misuse, experiencing increasing mental health symptoms, or having a family history of addiction—we often picture someone waking up and instantly grabbing their first drink. However, in my experience working with those battling SUD for nearly a decade, I've learned that everyone's relationship with alcohol looks different and having a few too many drinks at night can be just as dangerous.

The time of day, amount, or type of alcohol one drinks doesn't define if they suffer from SUD or not—it's the compulsion to drink. By focusing on healthy stress relievers and implementing them into your daily routine, you aren't just avoiding another glass at night, you are curbing any inclination for SUD that you may have.

While you may feel the desire to reach for another drink after dinner and putting the kids to bed to relieve some of the stress you incurred that day, there are other things that you can do that are much more beneficial to your mental health and wellbeing.

Risks of Reaching for Another Drink

Reaching for another cocktail or glass of wine can feel like a great way to relieve the stress of the day at the time, but over time it can actually lead to the opposite. Excessive drinking is known to lead to increased anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders such as increased risk of family problems, altered judgment, and worsened sleep quality. These can all lead to increased stress and create a continuous cycle I have seen in many of my patients, which often prove difficult to break.

Increased alcohol consumption can directly impact an individual's mood and temperament, too. In my patients, I've seen a connection between increased alcohol consumption and irritability, fatigue, and loss of interest in activities that previously brought that person joy—activities that people should always put time into, especially right now during the pandemic.

While drinking in moderation doesn't have serious implications for some, others are already at increased risk for SUD. One drink per day is considered moderate for women, while eight drinks or more in a single week is categorized as heavy drinking. It's important to monitor your intake—whether you are at increased risk for SUD or not. It is all too easy for one glass to become another, and then another. And if you keep reaching for just one more drink, you can start to build a tolerance, as it requires more and more alcohol to achieve the desired effect. This can result in dangerous, addictive habits that will alter your life, and the lives of those who care for you.

Three Healthy Ways to Relieve Evening Stress

Stress relief from alcohol is short-lived, but choosing healthier, alternative stress relievers can provide long-lasting benefits for both your mental and physical wellbeing. At Wellbridge, our team not only focuses on treating addiction but also on teaching healthy habits to support ongoing sobriety. And many of these learnings can be implemented to avoid addiction by handling stress better as well!

Below are three healthy stress relief ideas you can implement into your routine:

  1. Mindfulness exercises can be a powerful and mentally stimulating stress reliever. Throughout our therapeutic program at Wellbridge, we provide different opportunities to cultivate mindfulness. For example, breathing exercises, such as box breathing or diaphragmatic breathing, mindful walking, and progressive muscle relaxation. If you're looking for entry, guided meditation, check out this YouTube channel where experts post mindfulness exercises each week.
  2. Human connection is invaluable. Whether it is your spouse, your children, a friend, or even a therapist, connecting with someone else can be a great way to relieve stress. The additional perspective that another person provides can also help us feel that the anxieties and stressors we are experiencing are more manageable. If you are feeling increased stress from loneliness or isolation, reach out and schedule a Zoom coffee hour with a friend, or call a loved one to check-in and chat.
  3. Physical activity is an excellent stress reliever as well, for so many reasons. Not only can it help us get our mind off of stress, it enables our bodies to release endorphins and provides long-lasting physical health benefits. Physical activity doesn't need to be a full-blown workout if you don't feel up to it, or simply don't have extended periods of time to dedicate to a longer exercise regimen. Even a short walk or some stretching can go a long way towards improving your mood. I enjoy following guided, online yoga practices for both mindfulness practice and physical activity.

Despite my years working in this space, I am no stranger to giving in to stress. However, I've learned that by allotting myself a little time each morning and evening for activities that set a positive tone in my life—like meditation, journaling, and exercise—I've been able to better manage my stress and feel more prepared for heightened periods of stress. Do I manage to set aside personal time every morning and evening? Definitely not—life happens! But by doing our best to take regular time out for ourselves, we're all certain to be in a better place emotionally and mentally.

Putting Your Mental Health & Wellbeing First

It's important to also recognize that it isn't just stress that causes us to reach for another drink at night. With the added pressures and responsibilities of women in today's world, having another glass of our favorite drink at the end of the day can often seem like a quicker and easier option than other healthier ways to relieve stress.

However, it's essential to put your mental health and wellbeing front and center in your priority list—something that many women struggle with. But just like the oxygen masks on an airplane, you can't take care of others if you don't take care of yourself first. By focusing on implementing small, healthy habits and making them a seamless part of your daily routine, you ensure that you can show up in all aspects of your life and for all the people in your life.

If you are struggling with increased stress, be specific and honest with your support system about your need to preserve your mental wellbeing. Prioritizing your needs will help you be there for other people you care about in your life.

I always refer back to a quote from a Dar Williams song—a song about therapy no less! "Oh, how I loved everybody else when I finally got to talk so much about myself." Talk about your needs with others and find time to develop healthy coping habits. And if you feel as though you've already created an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, discuss that relationship with a medical advisor to learn if advanced treatment is the right option for you.