Recently my husband and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary – military family style. He worked late tending to an issue with one of his soldiers while I sipped on a glass or red cursing military life and the fact that the meal I prepared was going cold. I realize that I’m disappointed but not mad. Since becoming a military spouse I’ve learned that special occasions often unfold very differently than we had planned and I’ve saved myself a lot of grief knowing how important it is to manage my expectations. So I use the time to think back over our lives.
It seems like yesterday that we said “I Do”, but a lifetime has passed since that day and despite the challenges we work together to keep our relationship strong. So many memories, challenges and incredible moments that come to mind, and I can honestly say I’d do it all over again. But it’s hard work to keep a relationship going and in the past I’ve shared tips on how we do it in my Bulletproof For A Better Marriage Series, but you can never have to many tips or strategies for making your military marriage better right? So today I want to share some tips that you can put to use in your relationship right here right now:
- Kick it up a notch: While I’m all for yoga pants and t-shirts for comfort, I have to admit that a ponytail, make-up free face and cozy lounge wear may not be the choice that will spice up your love life. In the hustle and bustle of balancing all that we have to do as military spouses it’s important to take the time to let your sexy out every now and then. Ditch the mom clothes, done that “special occasion” undies and watch the sizzle pop.
- Have a playdate: Whether it’s prepping for deployments or getting ready for yet another PCS it’s easy to let the seriousness of our lives take over. As a military couple we have to deal with a lot of heavy stuff and it’s important that we don’t forget to put some play back into our lives. Get creative and find ways to play together in and out of the bedroom
- Put out the welcome mat: All too often as we get comfortable in a relationship there is a tendency to take each other for granted. We stop doing all the little things that made us fall in love in the first place and we wonder where the spark went. The best way to keep things lively is to treat each other like you would treat a guest. Getting up for a beverage, ask if the other person needs anything. Greet one another with passion and excitement when you walk through the door at the end of the day. Be polite and attentive when your partner is trying to have a conversation and stop taking one another for granted! Remember it’s the little things that REALLY matter and make all the difference in whether or not your relationship is thriving.
- Change it up: Whether it’s in the bedroom or a tweak to a stale evening routine, sometimes changing it up is the perfect way to ignite a long stagnate spark. Routine can be comforting but it can also make us lazy and boring. Romance and relationships take effort and creativity to grow.
- Connect & Communicate: In a time where text messages and social media are such a big part of our lives, it’s easy to fall into a pattern where technology is your preferred method of talking to each other. But if you are looking for ways to strengthen your relationship, tech is truly the kiss of death. Recently I took 10 days away from all social media and the impact it had on our vacation and our love life was incredible. Find ways to connect with one another in a real and engaged way and watch the passion come alive.
- Be Vulnerable: The challenges of military life can be vast and it’s easy to close ourselves off as a way to protect ourselves from the pain and frustration. But when we do that we also prevent our relationships from growing. Do your best to talk about the big stuff and be vulnerable with one another. No relationship is perfect, but strength comes from both of you committing to working through the tough situations and being real with each other about your feelings and worries. (I KNOW this is a “can of worms” topic – one that I also struggle with as a military spouse and something I will elaborate on in the months to come – so stay tuned)
- Laugh Together: In all of my time with my husband I think the thing that I always come back to when someone says “What is the thing that keeps things together” it’s the fact that we can laugh together even in the worst of times. We get each other at a core level and can enjoy the simple things in a way that I can’t with anyone else. Being able to be silly and laugh together is a gift that I treasure and his ability to make me giggle (and snort 🙂 ) is the greatest aphrodisiac that there is.
How do you bring the SEXY back into your Military Marriage?
~Judy Davis, the Direction Diva is a motivational speaker, author and lifestyle blogger as well as a military life and teen suicide prevention expert. Co-founder of DASIUM, Judy’s books Right Side Up and Warning Signs: Is Your Teen at Riskare go to resources for families and her websites are filled with tips, inspiration and resources for those looking for direction. Connect with Judy at TheDirectionDiva.com