From my experience, the "five magic hours a week" is an essential ingredient in making a marriage work (though some weeks it's more like 2-3 hours…but the intention is there). Our 27th wedding anniversary is coming up next month, and I'm often surprised that I love my husband Mick as much as I do. We were both married before, and we both value the efforts we continue to make towards having a good relationship. When we don't carve out time together, we miss out on the pleasure we get from each other's company. Here are a few things I've learned:
*When you come home at the end of the day, give your spouse or partner a kiss before you do anything else. It's especially good when you can do that in front of your kids. It makes them happy and secure when they see their parents treating each other well.
*If you don't feel like having sex, talk with your partner about ways to be intimate that you both can agree on. For example, I love to watch a video and have my feet rubbed. I'm happy to give my husband a back rub at the end of a hard day. And I love laying in bed together, drinking port, and talking about old times and our kids.
*If you feel stressed, asked to be touched in ways that help you relax. If you're partner isn't so good at asking, surprise him or her with some unexpected attention.
When my husband gives me a hug or kiss I'm reminded to stop and enjoy the moment, and be grateful. Love is a skill, not just an emotion.
Rona Renner is an accomplished parent educator and the radio host of Childhood Matters. Rona is the parent of four children, ages 19-37, and has been a registered nurse for 40 years.Click here to listen to Rona Renner's December 16, 2007 radio show on a similar topic. Join Rona and guests, Joshua Coleman, PhD, parenting and relationship expert and author of The Marriage Makeover, and Rona's husband, Mick Renner, PhD, as they offer ideas for creating a healthy and happy environment for your family and give you tips for making-up after a fight.