By Edna Aryatuha
Imagine a portion that guarantees enduring love. Take it and your relationship will never go stale or ruined by sulks and suspicion, you will even grow old together happily. Sadly, ‘Anti-Split’ hasn’t been invented yet so we have come up with our own formula. We consulted everyone including sexperts and grandmothers and discovered the secret ingredients that make love last.
Stay together through the hard times
Try to be honest, but don’t be cruel with the truth. Refrain from telling him exactly what you think of him if it means unnecessarily hurtful. Both of you list five nice things that you used to do for each other and gradually introduce them back into the relationship.
Write down everything that attracted you to him, and when times get tough, check out the list to regain some perspective. Don’t let anniversaries pass by you. Put disagreements on hold to celebrate your past, present and future. Make a rule to never argue or put each other down in public.
Ways to defuse a row
Anyone can cope with a pinch (“I wish you wouldn’t leave your towel on the bathing room floor”), but if you ignore the pinches, they will eventually lead to a crisis “you’re lazy and thoughtless”. Don’t ignore the pinches and then there will be no crunch.
Set an argument curfew so that you will never go to bed on a row. During a row, say, “you know I love you, don’t you?” to reconnect and stop things getting out of hand. Have a ceasefire during a heated debate. Allow your partner to speak uninterrupted for 10 minutes, without saying ,“yes, but”.
Then it is your turn. Agree on a signal that you can give when you feel a row escalating. For example, holding your hands up, when you use this, it will act as a trigger to calm the atmosphere. If all else fails, make each other laugh by using pretense to get your point across.
You won’t angry for long. Not speaking childishly. If he is sulking, remind yourself it is the strong person who makes the first. Don’t try to change each other. You should stop phoning each other every lunch time to prevent your relationship from becoming a routine. Un expected calls feel more special.
Talk, talk, talk
Before making up after a row, imagine a positive outcome. Have discussions outside the house. Go for a walk and give your relationship a fresh perspective. It is easy to let the niceties slip in a relationship, don’t stop saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.
If you’ve got a complaint, begin with “I felt upset when…,” rather than, “you really annoyed me when…,” it removes the criticism and stops him from being defensive. Next time you get annoyed, imagine your partner is a colleague at work you would never completely lose it with them, would you?
Remember you’re accountable for everything you say, meant or not. So think before you speak. Thank your partner when he has done something you really appreciate. It creates a positive mood. If you are out with a very big group of people, rest your hand on his arm now and again to stay connected.
Turn to watch your partner when he speaks. It shows you value each other’s opinion. Most couples who end up battling in divorce courts have experienced a breakdown of trust. Communicate about everything to stop this happening.
Make special romantic gestures. If one of you is ill, a delivery of chocolate shows you are thoughtful. Add a touch of romance by dropping one to two fresh violet flowers into a glass of dry white wine-they are edible and they sweeten breath.
Scents have an amazing power to change your mood, spray your bed with linen with light rose fragrance. There is nothing like realizing you still fancy someone you have been with for years. Scrubbing up for a special night out occasionally certainly helps! Try and make each other laugh. It might be a cliché but it’s important.
Make him want you even more
Turn off your mobile occasionally to make him try harder, like he used to in your early dating days. Don’t let him watch you get dressed. It ruins the element of surprise when you appear in front of him looking amazing.
Change the light bulb in your bedside lamp to a lower wattage; with a peach glow it is very flattering to get naked by. It is fine to walk around in a baggy tracksuit as long as you have sensational lingerie underneath.
Reinvent your relationship
Share new fantasies by playing this game, write down three fantasies each, number them one to six, then roll a dice and act them out. At a party, stand on the opposite side of the room to your partner and watch him, thinking back to the first time you set eyes on him
It will remind you what you love about him. You can’t turn time back but you can indulge in a nostalgia night. Go to town or bar where you first met and reminisce.
Make time for a daily cuddle, it is always worth it. Always look at each other. Always look at each other. New couples spent like 75% of the time looking at each other, but in long term relationships this drops 30-60%. Maintain a social life separate to your partner.
If you stay joined at the hip you will both get bored. The happiest couples are the ones who balance their time together and aren’t afraid to pursue interests of their own. If you hate watching football matches and he also hates shopping, make sure you compromise now and again. If your spouse always forgets anniversaries don’t get annoyed just set up phone reminders for important dates.
Keep the green monster in check and he will respect you more. Show you trust him by letting him do his own things, without giving him the third degree and he will happily divulge all that information. It is a sneaky trick but it works.
If you want something from your man, tell him straight away, playing games creates insecurities. Cherish those moments of intimacy where only you two share a joke.
Make home sweet home
Agree to give up on annoying habit each. By all means discuss work stresses but don’t over load him. Instead have a phone moan with your friends sometimes. After a stressful day, just touch base with a few kisses then have half an hour alone to wind down.
Ensure an evening out starts smoothly and avoid bickering. If you are supposed to be going out at 8, be ready by 7:30. Don’t take over the room with your stuff. Allocate ‘his’ and ’hers’ and respect them.
Super size your sex life
Don’t wait for the bed time to make a move on him. Hide a note in his wallet describing what you have got in mind for later. Resolve to have only day sex for a month. It will make you more imaginative. Tell your partner about the last time you really enjoyed sex with him, using a very specific word.
Then say the word frequently to trigger his memory. If you have a free standing mirror in your bedroom, angle it towards your bedroom. It is not only a turn on, it is an intimacy builder too. Porridge can be sexy! A bowel a day improves blood flow, which helps increase the stamina between the sheets.
Long term relationship sex can sometimes take a nose dive; you have to make a deliberate mental effort. Try having sexual thoughts during the day, then see the difference it makes in the evening. Regularly ask your partner what he likes in bed.
Having satisfying sex is about being thoughtful. Invest in help; a house girl can help do the house work leaving with enough time to have sex.