“How do we spice up marriage?” is a question we’ve been asked often. And one we’ve asked ourselves, occasionally! We’ve found that a blend of romance, adventure, fantasy, and old standards put a smile on our faces and the old spark in our eyes.
Again there is the question of what does one mean by “spice up marriage?” If you’re looking for new sexual positions, this is the wrong place. Our interpretation is injecting playfulness and fun into your relationship. We believe that when you are having fun doing things with and for each other, the warm fuzzy feelings grow along with emotional intimacy and commitment to one another. Here are some of our ideas to spice up marriage to make playfulness and fun a bigger part of your relationship.
- We enjoy board games like Sorry, Scrabble, and UpWords.
- Card games like Canasta and Uno.
- Outdoor games of “skill” like Croquet, Miniature Golf, and Bean-bag Toss.
- Active games like Tennis, Bowling, and Golf (we only play par 3 courses as the full course costs more than we can afford and takes more time than we generally have)
- You don’t have to be great or even good at these games to enjoy playing them together. Mike is MUCH better than I am at tennis, bowling and golf. He plays at his own level at bowling and golf and, when I ask, will give me tips to improve my game.
For tennis, where our skills are tremendously lopsided and I’d rarely get to the ball if Mike played his best against me, Mike handicaps himself to come down to my level. Because he takes an attitude that this is something he can do for me that lets me share something he loves with him, he has fun doing it as well. Read on to see how far he has to go to even the playing field:
- He’s right-handed but plays tennis left-handed with me.
- His “out” lines are the singles lines while I get to hit within the doubles lines
- If my service is pretty close to the line, it’s good enough, his has to be in the service square
- I can hit anywhere in the court, he hits the ball back relatively close to me…unless I’m doing exceptionally well, in which case he gives me more challenging shots.
These odd rules would drive a genuine tennis partner crazy. But always keep in mind that one of the sexiest things you can do for your spouse is to let your actions show your love… which is perhaps the best way to spice up the marriage.
By Letting me share this piece of his life, genuinely having fun playing with me, not criticizing my errors, but commenting when I get something right – he genuinely expresses his love for me through his actions. We both have fun playing with our modified rules.
- Work out together – at home or at a gym; when you exercise you have more energy; when you have more energy you have more enthusiasm for everything and your attitude tends to be more upbeat; enthusiasm and an upbeat attitude go a long way towards putting playfulness and fun in a marriage
- Go for walks, go hiking, ride your bikes – spend at least an hour a week being physically active together. Consider setting a physically challenging goal, like the Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI), the walking a half marathon, or participating in a 100 mile bike ride, like the one held annually out of Columbus, OH, to raise funds to find a cure for cancer, the Pelotonia.
- You’ll be surprised how easy it is to open up and talk when you’re walking or hiking together. Having a destination in mind adds purpose and direction to your efforts. And, believe it or not, a bit of sweat, a handful of granola and an incredible vista truly can spice up marriage.We spent an entire summer taking longer and longer hikes in preparation for an assent up Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48 states. It is not a technical climb, merely 22 miles round trip with a 6,000 foot change in elevation. It took conditioning and commitment and it was really fun to do it together.The feeling of success we achieved when we completed the trip in one day was an emotional high. Not your cup of tea? Find something else equally challenging to use to spice up marriage for you.
- Volunteering with your local department of recreation, near by forest preserve, state or national park is also a great way to get physical together. Trails need to be maintained, litter picked up, trees planted. And virtually all of these places have volunteer groups that would appreciate your help.
- Even trash can spice up marriage! Consider adopting a mile or two of highway in your area. You’ll get your names on a highway sign, a sense of pride in your community and plenty of exercise and time to bond with your spouse.
Get an Adrenaline Rush
- What get’s people’s adrenaline flowing is highly personal. Comfort zones have very different profiles. We’ve done some things you may find crazy: we’ve gone hang-gliding, parachuted from a plane, rafted without a guide down class 5 rapids…these were an adrenaline rush for us – what would get your blood flowing? Sharing exhilarating, even scary, activities together will spice up the marriage.
- Here’s one of the scariest things I’ve ever done: I camped in a tent in South Carolina after we’d seen alligators lounging in the sun not a half-mile from the campground. I don’t care how civilized they told me the place was and how they’d never had a gator enter the campground, my heart was going a thousand miles an hour. It was a true bonding moment for the two of us when we couldn’t sleep because of the noise. At first, we thought we must have pitched our tent too close to a highway – only to figure out it wasn’t traffic noise we were hearing but BUGS! I was a mess. Talk about an adrenaline high…so that did it for me. What would spike your adrenaline?
- Our daughter loves roller coasters and her idea of an adrenaline rush would be to head to an amusement park and spend the day on the coasters. Since even the idea of standing in long lines in a crowded place sets off Mike’s claustrophobia, this is not something that we would do to spice up the marriage. (Are you getting the idea that this is a highly personal issue? I hope so!)
- If you have never been on stage or spoken in front of a group, participating in community theater, trying stand-up comedy, or joining a Toastmasters Club could be a rush for the two of you.
- Taking race-car driving lessons, learning to ride a horse, attending a space camp, experiencing weightlessness, or going to clown college would provide an adrenaline rush to some couples. Find something that excites both of you and get your energy flowing!
- If you have a fear of flying, hate to take elevators, have a fear of heights, or another phobia, having your spouse join you as you work through your phobia would be another way to share an adrenaline rush.
After you’ve ruminated on these ideas, and implemented a few of them, you’ll undoubtedly come up with others that are just perfect for the two of you. We’d really appreciate it if you would share ideas you have to spice up the marriage.