Some people believe that the day actually starts with the evening before, and this is not a bad way of looking at life.
Having a good night’s rest is essential if you want to be on top of the word when the sun comes up. And the best way to have a good night is to pay attention to your bedtime routine.
Yes, bedtime routines are not only for kids, but each and every one of us can benefit from a healthy routine, and especially if we are married.
In fact, the quality of the bedtime routine of a married couple may indeed be an accurate indicator of the quality of their marriage relationship.
If you have been married a few years and you feel the sparkle has somewhat evaporated, then have a look at these seven bedtime routines and see how you can bring back a healthy glow to your marriage.
Many people who are now divorced will tell you that they very seldom went to bed at the same time as their spouse.
One would stay up late watching TV, or catching up with work, while the other went to bed.
Bedtime is one of the most important and special times of the day, so if you aren’t together then it probably means you aren’t together much at other times either.
Going to bed together, and not too late, is a conscious decision you can make to show each other that you choose togetherness rather than the slow drift of living separate lives which can happen so subtly.
Once you’ve made it into the bedroom, see it as a ‘sanctuary’ for the two of you.
If you have a TV in your bedroom, decide on a time when it goes off and stays off. And the same goes for your cell phones, ipads, tablets and any other electronics you might have.
If you need an alarm to wake up in the morning, make sure that is in place, but all the rest can go.
Surely you don’t want all those other people on the TV / Facebook/ Whatsapp or whatever invading your own private space with the one you love?
Do your marriage a favor and switch off all the gizmos and gadgets as part of your healthy bedtime routine.
While you and your beloved are getting undressed, taking off your makeup, having a shower, and putting on your pj’s, it’s the perfect time to get caught up on your day.
Tell each other about your highlights and lowlights, your concerns and joys.
Keep this time for sharing how you really are, rather than the quick snatches of conversation you may have been able to have at dinnertime.
Conversation, or rather communication is one of the primary factors which keep a marriage relationship strong and close. No wonder lack of communication is also a major reason for the breakdown of relationships.
So talk, talk, talk, and more importantly, listen carefully to each other.
Once you start enjoying this bedtime routine you may actually find yourself looking forward to it all day long. After all, the best foreplay is what happens before you get into the bedroom.
In fact, you can get ready throughout day by sending a loving little text message out of the blue, or perhaps a little note tucked into your beloved’s pocket or lunch bag when they’re not looking.
Then of course there are all the practical things that you can do to show how much you care, like loading the dishwasher, folding the laundry, or making a relaxing cup of tea for your spouse.
If you make a point of doing intimately loving and thoughtful things for each other every day, by the time you get into the bedroom in the evening, you will both know for sure that you are loved, wanted and desired.
As one thing leads to another, don’t be afraid to try new ways of touching – with your partner’s consent of course.
There’s nothing like a massage to make you both feel relaxed, especially after a long stressful day. Help each other to unwind and enjoy the safe space that you have with one another where you can just be yourself and be refreshed to face the world again tomorrow.
Enjoy the privilege and blessing of intimacy and sex as much as possible in your marriage relationship.
Even when you drop off to sleep later, regardless of your preferred sleeping positions, try to stay connected throughout the night with at least one part of your bodies touching each other.
But before you sail off to dreamland, don’t forget to say a prayer together or perhaps read a short portion of your favorite devotional book together.
A wise person once said that the couple who prays together stays together.
As human beings we are more than just a physical body – there is also the soul and spirit.
In this most intimate relationship of marriage it is vitally important that all levels of our being are connected and nourished on a daily basis. So make it a priority to get spiritually connected with your spouse as part of your healthy bedtime routine.
One last thing: instead of a mumbled ‘nite nite’ make sure you give your beloved a good goodnight kiss.
Even if you don’t say it in so many words, that kiss will convey the message that you enjoyed being with them today, that you wish them a peaceful night’s sleep, that you will be there throughout the night, and that whatever the day may hold in the morning, you will be there to face it with them.
While your routines are important, one of the most powerful things you can do to reinforce them is change your environment.
How much more peaceful and romantic would your nightly experience be if your bedroom was designed for intimacy?
Be sure to check out this workshop we did with a professional designer to help you makeover your bedroom…no matter your budget or skill level:
Put this advice into action and you’ll take your health and marriage to the next level. Sweet dreams!
Author Bio: Sylvia Smith is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage.
Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.