In the movie Castaway, the main character Chuck Noland, played by Tom Hanks, is stuck on a deserted island. At one point, he is trying to start a fire by rubbing a stick on a wood plank near dried up grass. Despite his best effort, he can’t seem to get the fire started. It’s only when the plank splits a little that the air is able to get through from the bottom to feed the fire. It wasn’t until he applied both heat and air that he was successful.
Some of our marriages are in need of a little fire. You bring your very best effort to everything you do—especially marriage. The best marriages always involve work, planning, reflection, re-evaluation, and reality checks. Perhaps your marriage is in need of a little fire. Here’s how to spice up your marriage this summer.
1. Take a week without the kids.
Give the kids the gift of happy parents. Believe us, they’ll be fine with their grandparents. Seriously, one of the best ways to be a better parent is to take care of your marriage first. Here’s a tip, dad…plan a week that tells your spouse you’ve been paying attention to what she likes to do; then invest yourself 100%.
2. Recreate a date from before you were married.
Was it dinner followed by a walk on the beach? Maybe a picnic at a favorite park? Did you borrow a friend’s convertible and drive across the state to see the sunset? Do some research, ask her out, and replicate the date!
3. Take a marriage seminar together.
Marriage classes are not reserved for couples in trouble. Check around for a seminar or a small group that’s all about relationship building. Then plan a quiet dinner to talk about what you’ve learned. Talking and listening are two of the “sexiest” moves a husband can make.
4. Initiate a “One Surprise Per Week” summer program.
Plan out your summer. Ten weeks, ten surprises. No need to spend lots of money. One week is a late-night run for ice cream. Another could be a breakfast date. Then you could schedule a dance lesson together, or (if the week without the kids isn’t practical) an overnighter at home by yourselves. The key is, you do the legwork and she enjoys the surprise. Use your imagination.
5. Try a two-month compliment initiative.
This, again, takes planning and deliberation. The initiative is subtle and naturally builds on itself over time. Take care not to be unrealistic or patronizing. Tell your wife she’s beautiful. Point out a great choice of outfit. Tell her when she shares an insight you think is wise and wonderful. Let her know you admire the way she is with the children. Praise her cooking. Thank her for being herself. Tell her how amazing it is to wake up beside her in the morning. Compliment her skin, her eyes, her tone. Tell her you love her, that you’re crazy about her…you get the picture. And wives can do the same for their husbands.