10 Ways to Reignite the Flame
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Heat It Up!1 of 11
By Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn, real-life married couple and coauthors of You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up ... A Love Story
It may be a warm, sunny day outside, but your marriage feels like a brutally cold February morning on the windswept, frostbitten plains of North Dakota. Here are 10 tips to remedy the situation.
Agree with Her2 of 11
He says: Whatever it is that you are disagreeing about, tell her she’s right. Then add that you can’t believe that she puts up with you, and, while you’re at it, how lucky that such a flawed and difficult person as yourself has such a loving, forgiving and wonderful wife as her. I’ve never done this, but Annabelle assures me that it would work like a charm.
Don’t Say Anything3 of 11
She says: This may be a classic film staring John Cusack, but it shouldn’t be the subtitle for your marriage. Don’t ever say things like, “It makes me feel like your mother when I pick up your socks in the bathroom.” Yeesh. Whenever you start to hear yourself say the words: your/my mother, your/my father in connection with your partner, run (don’t walk) to a therapist/girlfriend interfriend-tion.
Plan a Getaway4 of 11
He says: Fly her to Paris for the weekend. If the state of the economy prohibits this, take her to a weekend getaway spa. If you don’t have enough cash on hand for that, order in Italian, crack open a good bottle of wine and watch the travel channel. If Italian food and good wine is too expensive and you can’t afford basic cable anymore, I suggest you try the next tip and pray for the best.
Enlist Sensual Help5 of 11
He says: All I may need for ignition is a little free Internet porn, but that’s not going to do it for Annabelle. Instead, try an erotically charged classic film like The Night Porter, Last Tango in Paris or anything in which Penelope Cruz loses her temper and speaks really fast in either Spanish or English.
Buy the Damn Lingerie6 of 11
She says: I am not a sexy lingerie girl, but Jeff loves it. I broke down recently and purchased a really cute, totally impractical, can-only–be-worn-with-nothing-else-on pair of panties. I haven’t modeled them yet, because I’m still mad about the cost, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Make New Friends7 of 11
She says: There is just nothing better than old friends, but going out with a new couple is a great way to inject new energy into your marriage. My husband was so cute and charming the last time we did this, three days later I was still smiling at him, a year-fourteen-of-marriage record!
Dress Up8 of 11
He says: Clothes make the man. Get out of your T-shirt, shorts and flippy-flops and put on a nice shirt and sports coat, even it it’s just to go to the movies. I don’t get what guys have against clothes. Ever catch a movie with Cary Grant? The man would play tennis in a tuxedo and women loved him. Be a little eye candy for your wife.
Tell Him to Go Out9 of 11
She says: Recently my husband declined an invitation to get together with his best friends from college, saying he didn’t feel up to it. I called his friends and asked them to call and e-mail and encourage him to go out and complain about me. He went, had a great time, and I’ll never know what he said about me, but that’s okay. (And it took everything not to say, “See, I know what’s good for you…”)
Play Opposite Day10 of 11
She says: Remember when you were in grade school and opposite day meant wearing everything backward or saying the opposite of what you meant? Silly but fun if you didn’t examine it too closely. Same thing in marriage. If I tell my husband he should get up and get to work, we have a very, very, very bad day. However, if I say, “Hi, sweetie!” and tickle his neck he feels so guilty that I’ve been nice that he gets up anyway. Try it — you won’t like it. Just opposite kidding.
Make Money!11 of 11
He says: Make a ton of money any way you can: Win the lottery, sell a spec script for a million dollars, rob a bank, invent the next great Ponzi scam, whatever — just make a ton of it, throw it all over your bed, take off your clothes and jump in it. Your spouse doesn’t even have to be there. Ignite? You’ll be on fire!
For more Annabelle and Jeff, visit their website, here.