Break Out of Your Relationship Rut
- Next1 of 12Jupiterimages/Thinkstock
- Previous Next2 of 12Stockbyte/Thinkstock
- Previous Next3 of 12Jupiterimages/Thinkstock
- Previous Next4 of 12Stockbyte/Thinkstock
- Previous Next5 of 12Stockbyte/Thinkstock
- Previous Next6 of 12Image Source/Getty Images
- Previous Next7 of 12Goodshoot/Thinkstock
- Previous Next8 of 12Jupiterimages/Thinkstock
- Previous Next9 of 12Thinkstock
- Previous Next10 of 12Thinkstock
- Previous Next11 of 12Jupiterimages/Thinkstock
- Previous Next12 of 12Simon Potter/Getty Images
- Break Out of Your Relationship RutHow to Stop Fighting With Your Spouse
- Creative Hobbies & Crafts to Inspire You
- How Birth Order Affects Your Relationships
- Surprising Ways to Spice Up Your Marriage
- 20 "Good" Mistakes You Made in Your 20s
- April Fools' Pranks to Play On Your Partner
- 11 Amazing Images & Moments From 1954
- Married and not over your ex? How to deal
- 10 Traits That Cheating Guys Have in Common
- Ken Looks Back at 53 Years of Barbie
- 12 Things Men Never Notice About Women
- 8 Books to Read Before Seeing the Movie
- What to Shop, Watch & Read in April
- Nighttime Rituals That Will Improve Your Day
- 8 Morning Rituals to Improve Your Entire Day
- Unorthodox Parenting Techniques That Work
- 8 Things You Never Knew About Your Dreams
- Incredible Firsts for Women in the 21st Century
- 10 Things to Watch, Shop and Do in March
Get Un-Stuck1 of 12
By Woman's Day
With the pressures of work, family and packed agendas, ruts happen to the best of us. "When you slip into a relationship pattern that breaks down your power as a couple instead of building it up, you run the risk of permanently disconnecting from your partner," says Laurie Puhn, J.D., couples mediator and author of Fight Less, Love More. Read on for five common ruts and how you can discover a livelier love life.
Rut #12 of 12
You always have the same-old date night. Can your last few rendezvous be summed up this way: Dinner + Movie + Saturday? "Having a designated night out may work for some couples, but I personally loathe the term 'date night,' because eventually, anything routine can become stale," says Jessica Denay, author of The Hot Mom’s Handbook.
ON WOMAN'S DAY: How to Get Your Marriage Back on Track
How To Fix It3 of 12
"Don't be afraid to change it up; staying in can be fun and romantic, too. Plan a 'Night in Italy,' and make homemade pizza or pasta together after the kids are in bed, open a bottle of Chianti, serve gelato for dessert and rent The Italian Job," Denay says.
ON WOMAN'S DAY: 10 Exercises for Better Sex
Rut #24 of 12
You’re always arguing about something. If you’re bickering all the time, then Puhn suspects that you're waking up in the morning looking to be offended by your mate. "Chances are your partner hasn't gotten worse since the first date, but rather, you've started to pay more attention to the negatives," she says.
ON WOMAN'S DAY: Get Past the Same Old Fights
How To Fix It5 of 12
Instead of looking for things to nitpick about, try to notice and compliment the positives in your mate. This doesn’t mean giving up your power, letting something fester or never standing up for yourself. But if you remember to simultaneously give your partner positive feedback whenever you have an issue that needs resolving, then you’ll both be less defensive.
Rut #36 of 12
Sex has become routine. When your sex life is great, it's 10 percent of the relationship. When it's on the rocks, it becomes 90 percent of the relationship. "After a few hundred repetitions of your tried-and-true sex routine, it can easily become stale and boring," says Joel D. Block, Ph.D., author of The Art of the Quickie. "And left unattended, that boredom in the bedroom will spill over to the entirety of the relationship."
How To Fix It7 of 12
Consider a quickie. "Occasional spontaneous sex is just what’s needed to bring back the glow of the early days," says Block. The good thing about a speedy sex session is that it keeps you physically connected to your partner without adding too much time to your already-packed schedule. Block suggests that you actively start looking around your home for fantastic quickie spots—and don’t be afraid to mention them to your partner when you find them.
Rut #48 of 12
Your relationship took a backseat when you had kids. Kids require near-constant attention. Unless you put effort into maintaining your connection with your partner along the way, you may grow apart by the time the youngsters are ready to leave the nest. “The exhaustion and effort required to care for young children leaves little to no time for couple's activities—unless you're aware of it and make the decision to put your relationship first in small ways," says Puhn.
How To Fix It9 of 12
When you or your mate walk in the door, greet each other before or at the same time as you greet the children. And make your mate's greeting extra special with a lingering kiss and a hug. This little gesture will remind you both that you’re a romantic couple, not just two people going through the routine of raising kids.
How To Fix It10 of 12
Another solution is to creating a designated "adult" space. "Declare your bedroom a toy-free zone and keep photos of you as a couple near the bed. It's important to keep your bedroom your sacred space as husband and wife, not mom and dad," says Denay. "It's hard to get physical if you have kids in the bedroom or if you are rolling over on action figures."
Rut #511 of 12
You forget affection. Keep your relationship from feeling too platonic by making sure that nonsexual touching is a part of your everyday interaction with your partner, advises Block. That means a warm hug, an arm around the waist, a shoulder massage or caressing your partner’s hand. Men especially respond to touch as a conveyance of affection, and it fulfills an intrinsic need for attachment that everyone craves.
How To Fix It12 of 12
"Take a minute or two to leave a sexy note on the bathroom mirror, or write a naughty letter and hide it in the book he's reading,” suggests Denay. Or create a "Love Arsenal" and "fill a box with his favorite candies and romantic cards so that when you want to show him you care, you have the goods on hand," says Denay. "The romantic quotient is turned up a notch when someone finds something unexpected, and the benefits you'll reap are worth a hundred times the effort."
- How to Stop Fighting With Your Spouse
- 11 Clever Decor Ideas For Small Patios
- Save Using These Shopping Codes
- Your Ultimate Guide to At-Home Self-Tanners
- 12 Festival Outfits Inspired By Celebrities
- 11 Affordable Ways To Decorate A Blank Wall
- Glo's Latest Obsession: Daily Floral Finds