Create a rut free relationship

Spicing Up Your Lives in the Midst of Your Routines

I promised you last time that we’d talk about how to get out of ruts that most couples get in from time to time. So, here goes.

All couples who are still in the pre-marriage stage of their relationships put their best feet forward and are careful to have fresh deodorant, clean underwear, clean teeth and breath and all the other best behaviors designed to “catch” the prize. Once they finally say, “I DO,” much of that exemplary behavior begins to slack off. Romance will always fade unless it is embraced as a primary need.

If you are one of those couples who still expects romance to be something that happens to you, you’ll get more and more into your routines and ruts. Romance happens when you plan intentionally to keep it alive and well. No exceptions. Here are four nuggets to consider as you make plans to keep your relationship vigorously alive and well.

Simple Random Acts of Kindness:

  • Quick sticky note you find in your briefcase when you got to work.
  • The SHMILY note written in steam on your mirror in the morning (See How Much I Love You)
  • The special card you find tucked between your clothes in your suitcase when you are traveling on business
  • The single rose you bring home for no reason at all
  • Remembering birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s/Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day (BTW these are four of the five times you should bring flowers home…the fifth one is just-for-the-heck-of-it) But those are minimums.
  • The unsolicited foot massage or back rub at the end of the day.
  • The snuggling at the end of the day (We have a chair and a half that is just big enough for TGR, me and our red toy poodle, Tandy. Great place to sit at the end of the day.
  • Sneaking up behind each other in the kitchen for a quick hug or pat on the butt…even in front of the kids. It’s important for kids to see that it’s not only healthy and normal, but expected that moms and dads touch each other affectionately and kiss in front of them. They’ll think it’s gross at first, but trust me, the message gets delivered that mom and dad really love each other.
  • It continues with those fun things that you both like to do that are made part of your regular routines. For us it includes:
  • Barbecuing in the backyard.
  • Dinner with friends
  • Traveling to Santa Fe, Louisville or Cannon Beach to visit family and friends that are like family
  • Books on tape rented from Cracker Barrel or borrowed from the public library on road trips
  • Reading together
  • Watching movies or our favorite TV shows


  • Have dates on purpose and schedule them like any other critical appointment
  • One couple we know has agreed to plan at least 6 dates per year each and no date can be repeated. (Just going out for dinner doesn’t count)
  • At least once a month take an over night somewhere. Put it on the calendar
  • Once a quarter, especially after children, take a long weekend just for the two of you. Go pamper yourselves.


  • We make something special about celebrating wedding anniversaries. We take turns and surprise each other. Lots of fun!
  • Special days: Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Birthdays. Plan them on purpose.

Traditions: (these are things we do routinely and regularly for each other)

  • Chivalry (holding doors and chairs, etc.)
  • Regular church participation. We hold hands during prayers
  • Having lunch after church on Sundays where we give each other undivided attention. It’s a device-free event where are face to face
  • Sitting on the porch and rocking and talking at the end of the day
  • Promise to communicate with each other fairly and resolve issues quickly
  • Giving each other a reasonable expectation that we can get what we ask for in our relationship
  • Setting an example for our children on how parents and spouses are supposed to act
  • Praying for each other every day
  • Building each other up in public – ask The Gorgeous Redhead!

Let us hear from you. How do you create an on purpose marriage?

passionate and free

One Final Note

Do these things often and do them well…repeat regularly.