Many couples look at each other after a certain number of years and say to themselves, “Is this all there is?” Aging, graying, we don’t look the same as we did 20 years ago. Often, the sexual flame is gone, as is the ability talk to each other. If you have children, conversations have revolved around their needs for so many years that you don’t know what else to talk about. How do you rescue this relationship? How do you find things to talk about? Sorry to disappoint, but I am not going to give you tips like you would find in Cosmopolitan such as “The five most effective sex toys to liven up your marriage?” No, I am going to give you much more practical advice, advice that will help your marriage grow in the long run: take some classes together and learn something new.
What saved my marriage entailed taking some classes with my husband, which meant we spent an extended period of time with each other, learning something new that we were both excited to discuss. And in my experience, communication is the key to keeping the flame alive.
I had been taking pottery classes for about two years when I suggested to my husband that he try it. Once a week, we would meet for a light dinner, and then go to class together. Although we worked on different projects in different rooms, it was nice to both be there, hanging out with the other students, learning new skills and having fun. We did join forces for one project: we decided to make tiles for our bathroom walls. He rolled out the clay and cut the tiles, and after they were bisqued, I glazed them. We have a lot of pride in our new bathroom, created by both us of, sprung from many conversations of what we wanted.
Another class we take is jewelry class. We have to travel 1 1/2 hours to get to class, so we have extended time in the car together. This gives us a chance to relax and chat. During class, we learn a lot that we talk about later. After class, we go to the small city nearby, have dinner and then spend some time in the local bookstore. We have set up a small studio in our basement for jewelry making, so many evenings we are down in the studio, working on projects, listening to music, and just spending time together.
Communication is the key for keeping the flame alive, and learning new skills gives you and your spouse something different to talk about, and the opportunity to see him or her in a new light. My husband is a very good designer, of both pottery and jewelry. I never knew he was so creative and had such a good eye for design. I see him differently now, which adds to the spice in our marriage. This simple practice has really cemented our bond, because we have new, shared interests. It doesn’t have to be art, it can be anything you can share: sports, either participating or watching, travel, shared projects. Just make sure that what you share involves some learning, because that gives you a lot to talk about and share, renewing how you see each other and the spice in your marriage.