Twenty years ago, I got married to my favorite person. It was a bitter cold day in Saint Louis, but I wasn’t cold at all. I was madly in love.
The first time I saw Joel, was at church. Everything about him was impressive. I could hardly wait for the meeting to be over, so I could go talk to him. I walked right up to him and said, “Hey, why haven’t you asked me out yet?” He looked surprised, but quickly responded, “Because I would have to get your boyfriends’ permissions first.” I smiled and told him that I didn’t have any boyfriends, just two full time jobs. He decided that it was ok to talk to me, so we spent the rest of the day together. We talked, we laughed, we asked questions about our future plans, hopes and dreams… and then we kissed. It was magical and I knew that day, that he was the one for me.
Twenty years later, I still love him. I don’t know what makes a marriage great, but I know what has made our marriage great. I’m not going to list the usual things like listening, apologizing, appreciating and doing housework together. Those things help every relationship. I’m going to tell you some of the secrets that have made my marriage hotter.
I married Joel because I thought he was super hot. I know that sounds vain or petty, but looks matter. His attractiveness was the first thing that I noticed about him. He was a blond-haired, blue-eyed, hottie with a great shoulders. I wanted to get to know him. I wanted to get close to him. I wanted to kiss him, touch him, and I wanted to have cute little babies with him (and I did).
Attraction matters and I want to be attractive to him. I want to exercise, I want to eat right, I want to dress sexy and I want to rock a smoky eye. I want to take his breath away when he sees me. I want him to want me. If there is not a burning desire in marriage, then all you have is a really great friendship. I have friends, I want a lover.
We had our first baby the day after our one year anniversary. We loved having a little family and couldn’t wait to have more. When our fourth baby came along, we were growing apart. When I finally got the kids to bed each night, I was tired and so was he. We still loved each other, respected each other and spent time together, but we didn’t go on dates. I felt unappreciated and my husband felt unloved. Some of the fire and romance was gone.
So we decided to change. We decided to date. Every week, every single week. We got a sitter and we left the house. We took turns planning our dates (early in the week). Sometimes he chose dinner and a movie, and sometimes I took him to salsa dancing lessons.
It was work, it took effort and it cost money, but it changed us. It changed our marriage. I began to look forward to the weekends. I looked forward to dressing up and trying new make-up ideas. He looked forward to a night out, and the passion that followed. We both fell more in love.
Dating has been good for our kids. They know that every week, mom is going to spend an hour getting ready and dad is going to put on some cologne and a nice button-up shirt. They know that they have to get along without us, for the night. They know that our marriage is important.
Dating is not enough for us. We also need overnight weekend getaways and a week-long vacations (at least once year). It is the best marriage insurance that money can buy.
3. Talking and Great Sex-
You can’t have great sex if you never talk. You can’t have intimate conversations if you never have great sex. My marriage thrives on great conversations and great sex. It has taken me 20 years to understand my husband and the difference between men and women. I would still be clueless, if he didn’t explain his thoughts and desires to me. I had to ask a lot of questions and listen without judgement. I had to be open and vulnerable.
We talk about desire, passion and sex. I ask what he likes and he asks what I like. We try new things. We read books and constantly learn more. Talking and great sex are vital components of our marriage.
4. Think like a cheater
Sometimes a marriage can get dull. No one always looks their best or acts their best. Sometimes all we can see are the flaws (why doesn’t he help more, why does he wear that ugly shirt, why doesn’t she appreciate me, why does she spend all of her energy on the kids…). Sometimes we forget the great things about our spouse. We spend too much time complaining and not enough time chasing.
An affair is appealing, because a lover only sees all that is great in your spouse. A lover ignores all of the flaws.
Act like the lover who wants to steal your spouse. See all that a lover would see (wow, he has great eyes, and strong arms, and he’s smart, he’s funny, and he’s tall…). Say all the things that a lover would say (‘I want you soo bad’, ‘I can’t wait to get you alone’…). Do all of the things that a lover would do (send racy texts, leave a sexy gift in his car, kiss passionately…). Be a lover and a spouse.
I love my husband.
We work hard to be attractive, we date, we understand each others sexual needs, and we have hot love affairs with each other. That’s what makes our marriage hot.