How to Spice Up Your Marriage, According to an Expert

How can I make my marriage sexier?
on June 20, 2024
Read time: 10 mins
by Laura Caruso LMHC

What words come to mind when you think of your marriage? 

Safety, security, and stability are usually some of the first in line. The word ‘spicy’ however, may not even make the top five. 

It’s common lore that all marriages are doomed to turn boring and repetitive, but even the hottest romances can cool off if you’re not stoking the fire! Life has a funny way of turning passion into predictability. Between work, kids, and the daily grind, it's easy for the excitement to take a backseat. But who says marriage has to be mundane?

So, are you ready to turn up the heat and make your marriage sizzle again? Discover how to spice up your marriage, with our expert tips and tantalizing tricks that will have you and your partner falling in love all over again.

Do married couples get tired of each other?

When you first walk down the aisle, you might scoff at any suggestion of boredom in your marital future, as everything feels so new and fresh. 

However, marriage is not plain sailing as to make it work long-term, you have to put in the work. While we would be reluctant to say that all marriages get boring, the dynamic of long-term relationships can lend itself to emotional distance as the years roll on. 

As couples get comfortable, the routine that formally feels sweet can now feel stagnant. As the elation of the honeymoon phase drifts away, you might feel like you’ve grown tired of your partner — even though this isn’t necessarily the case. 

Routine isn’t a negative in a relationship, but if it feels monotonous, it’s tempting to reminisce about the early days and compare this to your current regime. 

“Marriages run stale without intentional effort to maintain intimacy,” says Laura Caruso, a licensed therapist and relationship expert. 

“If the monotony of daily life starts to wear us down, we shift into autopilot, which negatively interferes with our ability to connect with our partner. This is a natural part of a relationship’s evolution that can be repaired with intentional intimacy.”

It’s all about making the effort to inject some life (and spice) into your routine, ensuring that you both feel heard, seen, and fulfilled with your partner by your side. 

How can I spice up my boring marriage?

If you feel like you’re bored with your marriage, not all signs point to break-ups and divorce! Opting for a positive mindset can help get you out of this rut, with very simple changes making a huge difference. 

“Relationships are complex and require an incredible amount of effort to maintain,” says Caruso. 

“Noticing the spark has faded is not an immediate cause for concern. Instead, focus on how you can reignite the spark together, and appreciate how your relationship deepens in the process.”

When couples think about spicing up their relationship, there’s usually a focus on achieving better sex in marriage. While this is always an important element, it isn’t everything! Spicing things up starts with building your emotional intimacy and well-being, with new routines shifting your dynamic and making things feel more romantic. 

Expert tips to spice up your marriage emotionally 

  1. Make the time. In a long-term relationship, your priorities can shift over time — with your date nights often becoming few and far between. “Create time for connection in existing routines, like sharing a morning coffee or walking the dog together,” says Caruso. 

  2. Express gratitude. It might seem simple, but sometimes you forget to tell your loved ones how much you love them. “Get into a habit of expressing gratitude and appreciation for each other,” says Caruso. “Acknowledgment of one’s role in the relationship, even for the small things, greatly improves the emotional connection.”

  3. Start with affirmations. Another simple way to bring some love back into your routine. “Start or end your day with affirmations about your love and commitment. Simple “I love you” or “I’m grateful for you” statements can go a long way,” says Caruso. 

  4. Spend quality time together during regular date nights. Date nights aren’t just about getting dressed up and going to a fancy dinner (even though that can be fun!) It’s about carving out that intentional time to be present. “Try new activities or revisit favorite places to keep things exciting,” says Caruso. 

  5. Have regular emotional check-ins to discuss how you're feeling and any issues that need addressing. “This helps to keep both partners in tune with each other’s emotional states,” says Caruso. It should feel like a part of your relationship routine, and a safe space for you to connect with your emotions. 

  6. Engage in hobbies or activities you both enjoy. Another simple way to renew your connection, that can sadly get pushed to the wayside in a long-term relationship. “This shared time can create new memories and strengthen your connection,” says Caruso. 

  7. Create relationship rituals. Routines don’t have to be boring, they can actually help you create that emotional connection. “Establish rituals that are meaningful to both of you, such as a weekly walk, a special dinner, or a nightly routine,” says Caruso. “These rituals can create a sense of security and belonging.”

  8. Choose surprises.Surprise your partner with small gestures of love and thoughtfulness. It could be a love note, a favorite treat, or an unexpected outing,” says Caruso. 

  9. Active listening. You might say that you listen to your partner, but do you really listen? Tune into what your partner is saying and try and see things from their perspectives. “Prioritize active listening by giving your partner your full attention, acknowledging their feelings, and responding thoughtfully,” says Caruso. 

  10. Go back to happy moments. When things get tough, it can be helpful to go back to the good moments to realign your point of view. “Reminisce about happy memories and milestones in your relationship,” says Caruso. “This can rekindle the initial excitement and remind you of your journey together.

How do you improve your sex life in marriage?

Now, on to the juicy stuff, spicing up your sex life!

While passion and sex are often associated with the early days of your relationship, findings indicate that sexual activity remained an important component of long-term marriage despite the existence of factors that interfered with or prevented sex from taking place.

Even despite these obstacles, sex remained present and important thanks to the commitment and stability that long-term relationships provide. 

So, while day-to-day marriage isn’t always “sexy”, with a few additions… We believe we can help you spice it up in no time. If you’re looking for a place to start, we hear our Sex & Intimacy content in the Paired app is a great place to start. 

While you wait for your partner to answer your Kinky Sex Bucket List…. 

Our expert, Laura Caruso, has a number of simple tips to improve sexual intimacy in marriage that you’re going to want to bring into the bedroom ASAP. 

Expert tips on how to bring back intimacy in a marriage

  1. It’s not all about having sex. “Incorporate more physical touch into your daily routine,” says Caruso. “Hugs, holding hands, and cuddling can strengthen your emotional bond.

  2. Turn good sex into great sex by going out of your comfort zone. This doesn’t mean you have to do anything you dislike or that makes you feel weird, it’s about being open to trying things for the first time as a couple! “Experiment with new sexual activities, positions, or fantasies,” says Caruso. “This can add excitement and novelty to your physical relationship.” Whether it’s experimenting with role play or spicing things up with sex toys — switching things up could be just what you’re looking for. 

  3. Make time for intimacy. Put intimacy back on the to-do list. “Scheduling regular intimate moments ensures that you both prioritize and look forward to connecting physically,” says Caruso. It’s about spending time together, with emotional and physical intimacy going hand in hand. 

  4. Choose openness. Talking about your desires and opening up about your needs doesn’t have to be intimidating, it can actually be a kind of foreplay. “Have open conversations about your desires, fantasies, and boundaries,” says Caruso.  “Understanding each other’s needs can lead to a more fulfilling physical relationship.”

  5. Get out of your rut. If you want to bring back that fun and spicy energy you felt on your first date, you have to make that extra effort. Introduce fun sex games to spice things up or invest in that romantic touch when you can.  “Set the mood with candles, soft music, and other romantic elements,” says Caruso. “Creating a special environment can enhance the experience.”

  6. Boost your libido. While you might fixate on actually making love, there are so many outside elements that can help boost your and your partner’s libido. Engage in physical activities together, such as working out or going for walks. Physical fitness can boost energy and libido,” says Caruso. 

  7. Start flirting. Tap into your partner’s love language and bring back the flirty energy into your relationship. “Keep the spark alive by flirting with each other through texts, notes, or playful touches,” says Caruso. “Building anticipation can make intimate moments more exciting.” Sending that flirty text message might not seem like a big deal, but these words of affirmation and encouragement could be huge for your significant other. 

  8. Be present. No matter how many years of marriage you’ve been through, it’s important to actively connect with your partner. “Focus on being fully present during intimate moments. Mindfulness can heighten sensations and deepen the connection,” says Caruso. 

  9. Bring back foreplay. Sex isn’t a race, and it certainly isn’t about who can get to the finish line first. Take orgasm out of your eyeline and instead focus on the little things that provide your partner with pleasure. “Engage in sensate focus exercises, where you take turns focusing on each other’s pleasure without the goal of escalating to orgasm,” says Caruso. “This can help build a deeper physical connection.”

  10. Take your love life out of your living room. Sometimes stepping outside of your daily routine can do wonders for your connection. “Take a break from daily routines and plan a romantic getaway. A change of scenery can reignite passion and provide an opportunity to focus solely on each other,” says Caruso. (And maybe stow away some sexy lingerie in your bag!) 

  11. Bring back the element of surprise. That doesn’t mean initiating sex out of the blue, but it means switching up your routine and bringing intimacy back on the agenda. Surprise your partner with unexpected intimate gestures, like a spontaneous kiss or a surprise bedroom experience,” says Caruso. 

  12. Look for support. While your best friend will always be a support, it’s important to seek advice from different places. “Read books, watch educational videos, or attend workshops on sexual intimacy together. Learning new techniques and perspectives can enhance your physical relationship,” says Caruso. Or, you can try a session with a sex therapist who can help you start a new leaf. 

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