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9 Tips for a Hot and Healthy Marriage

Nine tips to improve the quality of your relationship and reconnect sexually

1. Have boundaries set around your immediate or nuclear family. Have individual, couple, and family time built into your routine and pre-defined lines of connection with each spouse's family of origin. This means you have clear boundaries around how much time you spend with your parents or extended family and your spouse's parents or extended family. Your relationship and family must be the first priority.

2. Touch each other often. Have a good connection around non-sexual physical touching, hand holding, laying together, and sitting on the couch next to each other. Establish a routine to kiss when saying hello and goodbye each day.

3. Say I love you to one another. Hearing this feel reassuring about the way your partner feels about your relationship. It's a small gesture that can keep your connection alive. Call each other during the day to say it if you miss your chance in the morning.

4. Have regular physical intimacy dates. Having an ongoing sexual relationship in your marriage is important. Couples in their 20s have sex an average of two to four times a week. Couples in their 30s typically have sex twice a week, and couples in their 40s and 50s have sex once per week. Pay attention to the frequency with which you're having sex. Try not to be sexual less than twice per month, because you may slip into a routine that doesn't give priority to connecting in a physical way. Maintaining your physical connection gives your marriage staying power and protects it from the stresses of life. Create time either spontaneously or planned, to follow through with regular sex and intimacy. Your sexual relationship should be a tension reducer, not a tension producer.

5. Compliment your partner in front of other people. Not only is it a nice thing to do, but it also helps your partner feel a deep sense of attachment to you and builds their self-esteem. It's also good to model for your children so that they see you being complementary to one another.

6. Every so often, have sex using a different sexual script. By mixing up your usual order of kissing, foreplay, and intercourse, you can reconnect in an amazing way. By mixing up the script, you take ownership of pleasure and eroticism in your marriage. Nothing is hotter than feeling desired and having a partner who takes charge of the sexual relationship.

7. Regularly give each other small gifts or gestures of love and care. Write your spouse a loving note, get them a special treat when you go grocery shopping or come back from a business trip. Write "I love you" in lipstick on the bathroom mirror one morning. By pay attention to these small but moving gestures.

8. When you are being sexual, open your eyes. Feel even more daring? Lock eyes during your orgasm. This involves courage and letting your partner really see you, which is the essence of true intimacy. Your partner will have never felt so loved, connected, and prioritized. Better than any romantic getaway, you can do this at home anytime.

9. Have weekly dates to keep your connection stay alive. Also consider weekly business meetings to discuss ongoing family "business" including the division of roles and household duties, weekly plans, and other items that need to be discussed. By keeping these conversations separate, date night can be about connecting, talking, and being physical, while organizational "business" night can be about problem-solving and collaborating as a team during the week.

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