If your relationship feels like it’s slipping away, I want to tell you about a secret ingredient for how to save your marriage from fading out.

This secret ingredient is something we all have—but don’t always remember to use. And if you don’t use it, a marriage bond that started out strong will slip over time unless this ingredient is present.

In this blog, I’ll share with you that secret ingredient—and 3 tips for adding it back into your marriage. Please keep reading…

Your Marriage: Fading Fast?

People can grow apart for a variety of reasons:

1-    Boredom

2-    Lack of similar interests

3-    Communication problems

4-    Intimacy issues

5-    Stressors outside of the marriage

Once the ink is dry on a marriage contract doesn’t mean your work is done. To keep a relationship growing and moving forward (as we looked at in Monday’s blog) requires some effort on the part of both spouses. It’s work, but it can be fun work—not drudgery. And you need a secret ingredient to help create the glue that keeps you together—especially if you’re trying to save your marriage.

Now, if you’re thinking the secret ingredient is sex—please guess again. While sex is a very important part of an intimate relationship, there is something that predates even your physical relationship with your spouse, and that would be curiosity.

When you first met the person who would become your spouse, there was some spark between you (or maybe it took a few dates to ignite). You looked at this person and couldn’t wait to learn more about them: you wanted to know what he or she thought, their ideas, their passions, their likes and dislikes. No detail was too small for you to treasure.

Then, you got married… and maybe began to think you knew everything there was to know about this person. After all, you’ve shared a home, bed and meals with this person for a good length of time. If there was anything new, you’d know about it.

As curiosity dies, so does your marriage bond.

Get Curious, Revive Intimacy

In the blog posted on Monday, we looked at change and growth in a relationship: it happens, whether we realize it’s happening or not. You are probably a slightly different individual than the one you were the day you got married. Most people will say, “But I haven’t changed a bit.”

Think about it: do you hold the same job? The same views in politics and other important issues? Is your haircut the same, or your clothes? Have you developed new interests, read new books, gone to new places—and they’ve affected the way you view your world?

This is change. It can happen incrementally, or something may prompt an overnight change, such as a health scare. Your spouse is in a state of change, as well, which means there are new things that you could be learning about him or her—if only you’d implement the special ingredient of curiosity.

Here are 3 tips for implementing curious and regaining deep intimacy with your spouse:

Tip 1: Assume Nothing, Ask Anything

Ask your spouse about his/her likes and dislikes: has something changed? Make a game out of trying to learn something new about your spouse each week. And, share something new about yourself. You may surprise each other.

You don’t want to be extreme in this and ask if their long-standing hatred of a certain food has suddenly changed. But maybe there’s a new type of cuisine they’ve tried that you didn’t know about and didn’t realize they liked.

Tip 2: Practice Good Communication

You could talk about news topics, and instead of assuming you know what he or she will say, ask what they think about the topic. It’s a chance to share intimate time together, communicating. Listen to what your spouse says instead of rushing to fill the space or assuming you know what they are going to say and overriding them.

Tip 3: Plan an Outing

One way to learn something new about your spouse is to get outside of your comfort zone: plan an outing somewhere, whether it’s a walk in a local picturesque town or to a restaurant you haven’t tried before. New surroundings can spark memories, dreams and ideas—and you may learn something new about your spouse simply by being away from the familiarity of home.

My best to you as you learn new things about your spouse.

Do you feel the luster of your marriage has faded with time? To what do you attribute this?

Are you still curious about your spouse?

Do you feel your spouse thinks he/she knows everything there is to know about you? Would they be surprised to learn different?

Please share your ideas and personal experiences on this topic with other members of the community.

Wishing you hope and healing for your marriage,

Stephanie Anderson

Editor-in-Chief

Marriage Sherpa

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