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Having a lasting marriage isn’t easy. I think anyone would tell you it takes daily patience, love, understanding, patience and, oh! Did I say patience? It takes a general “want to” attitude and unconditional appreciation for the other person to happily be together and stay together. That’s the whole idea, right? To share a life with someone that’s filled with laughs, kisses and memories. It’s those little things that build over time and create a bond that’s tight, close, wanted and needed.

couple in bed

When something in that “marriage formula” isn’t working, it seems to throw everything else off. An area where I often see this happen is intimacy. You know, the time you get with your special someone where it’s just the two of you, alone, close, warm, happy and…? How you spend this time says so much about the depth of your relationship. The depth you can create during this time could add years to your marriage and maybe even help it last forever.

>> Read more: Why Spicing Up Your Sex Life Could Improve Your Marriage

A little spice goes a long way. Do I mean long stares into the eyes of your lover? No, not always. I mean creating a moment both of you can share. Not just watching the same TV show, but learning something, trying something new, being adventurous, being spontaneous, sharing something or building something. I know that’s a lot of “somethings,” but that’s because the options are endless! The idea is to consciously create, which sometimes means carving out time to be close to the one you love in an intimate and one-on-one way.

Every relationship needs a little separation time from the demands of being an adult, being a parent and managing a busy schedule. Don’t think that for one second they don’t need to feel your love. So show them! Make it part of your daily routine to laugh, kiss and make memories together. And sometimes just hit it out of the park with a total from-the-heart gesture that’s personalized from you to them. Not only will it feel like Valentine’s Day every day, but as the days and years go on you’ll have discovered new things about each other, experienced a lot of “firsts” together, share timeless memories and most of all you’ll know how the other feels by their actions, their words and by the closeness you share knowing that both you and your spouse wanted to put in the effort it takes to have the lasting marriage so many people want. Here are some places to start.

>> Check out this Baby Makin’ Playlist to set the mood for your time together.

Start going to bed together if you don’t already. Once you start going to bed together every night, spice it up with a little unexpected wardrobe change to surprise him! Think heels and pearls only, or maybe slip into his favorite jersey, button up shirt or neck tie. Just catch him by surprise and enjoy his reaction!

>> Read more: Improve Your Sex Life By Sharing The Responsibilities

Try surprising him in the shower in the morning before he goes to work.

Send a sweet but sexy text message during the day wishing him a good day and telling him you can’t wait to see him that night. Note: Do not do this daily. Warning: It loses its effect. These sweet little messages are great right after the morning in the shower or after an intimate night. Not just because it’s Hump Day!

Plan an impromptu weeknight date night to a favorite restaurant for a quick bite, drinks or both!

Surprise him with tickets to his favorite sporting event. Maybe even coordinate it with a friend of his and his wife. No-kids night with friends on the fly is always a great relationship recharge. Sometimes it’s fun to feel like you’re still dating. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself. Don’t buy a ticket for yourself if you can’t hang like one on the guys. Let your hair down and have a “guys” time with your guy! They love that!

>> Read more: Improve Your Marriage Without Therapy

Invite his family over for a backyard BBQ and serve some of his favorite dishes. Just something off the cuff and no big deal, but obvious that you put in some thought and thought he would like it.

Get active together. Learn a new sport, dance, hike, bike or a work out.

Couple rock climbing

Learn something together, like a foreign language, investing, building/remodeling or gardening.

Take a trip. This is my personal favorite. Make a list together of all the places you’d love to go. Plan times of the year that are best for the two of you to get away together and mark it down. Use the list you make to visit somewhere like TripAdvisor to research and set up alerts for when flights and hotels have great deals on the places you want to visit. Researching destinations together isn’t just fun, its inspiring! There is no better way to spice up your marriage than experiencing a new place together for the first time.

>> Check out this article for more tips to spice up your love life.