Success in marriage is not so much about finding the right person as it is about being the right person, says Dr. Ted Raddell, PhD, Counseling Psychologist at Cleveland Clinic’s Beachwood Family Health and Surgery Center. With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, he offers the following tips to put romance back in a marriage.
- Little things mean a lot - Write a heartfelt message on a sticky note and place it somewhere that your spouse will find it during his or her day such as the bathroom mirror, the checkbook, remote control or car dashboard.
- Date in - Surprise your spouse with a romantic evening at home. Order his or her favorite meal from a local restaurant, light candles and put on his or her favorite music. You can watch a classic film like “Casablanca” or have his or her favorite game out ready to play. Special evenings just need a little creativity and don’t have to strain your wallet.
- Send Your Spouse on a Wild Goose Chase – First, buy a simple gift like a pair of earrings for your wife or two tickets to a sporting event for your husband. Hide the gift in the house. Create and hide clues that will lead to additional hidden clues. By the time they find the gift, they will be smiling from ear to ear.
- Practice fondness - Having basic respect for, fondness and positive feelings about your spouse are crucial to the long-term success of a relationship and are antidotes for contempt - one of the main destroyers of marital happiness. Take time to remember why you fell in love with your spouse and what makes you cherish him or her. Jot down the things you appreciate or admire about your partner and make a point to mention it to them.