It’s a slow trickle over time.
“Counselors will tell you that the leaks in a marriage or love relationship are a hazard of daily life,” says Drexel Gilbert, author of 30 Days to Better Love: A Guide for Men.
“Careers, children, bills and a variety of daily responsibilities add to the problem, one drip at a time.”
But, she says, men who haven’t given as much attention to the relationship as they should can reignite the romance through simple and inexpensive actions.
“You don’t have to plan a European getaway to let your wife know how special she is to you,” Gilbert says.
Instead, she suggests:
- Give her flowers every day for a month. Women love to receive flowers even if some of them insist they don’t, Gilbert says. It needn’t always be a bouquet. It can be a single flower. It can be a flower picked from your own garden. “In a pinch, it can even be a daisy you draw on a piece of paper and leave with a sweet note on the kitchen counter,” Gilbert says.
- Sit beside her. If you’re sitting in an easy chair while your wife is on the sofa it’s time to make a move, Gilbert says. Sit beside her as you watch television, entertain guests, read, talk or listen to music. “A psychologist once told me that a couple’s physical distance implies the level of their emotional distance,” she says. “He also said that couples who routinely sit beside each other are likely to be more affectionate in their relationship.”
- Talk to her. This one is exceptionally easy – or at least should be in theory. In reality, while a lot of talking goes on in relationships, it’s often about the kids, bills, chores, careers or car repairs. Gilbert suggests making a conscious effort to have more meaningful conversations. Watch a movie together and talk about why you did or didn’t like it. After church, talk about the sermon and how it might apply to your lives. As you drive down the road, turn off the radio and ask her opinion about something that’s important to you. “And the second part of that is really listen to what she has to say,” Gilbert says.
- Be a gentleman. “Somewhere along the way in the struggle for equality and the battle for respect in the workplace, we forgot that it’s still all right for men to be courteous to women,” Gilbert says. Open the car door for her. Hold her chair at the restaurant. Stand up when she goes to the ladies’ room and stand up again when she comes back. Hold the umbrella over her head even if it means you get wet.
“Putting the romance back into a relationship is not rocket science, but it does take effort,” Gilbert says. “You’ve got to try. If you’re planning any New Year’s resolutions, this would be the perfect one.”
Drexel Gilbert, author of 30 Days to Better Love: A Guide for Men, www.drexelgilbert.com, has more than 30 years of experience working as a journalist, TV news anchor, newsroom manager and public speaker. She also is author of five children’s books. She and her husband, Wesley, live in Pensacola, Fla.