“Romancing your spouse?”  Ok, I can already hear you yelling at me!  I know, it’s a strange concept, but hear me out.  Some of the longest-running marriages have lasted because of this very concept.

 

You may be thinking that this has nothing to do with Bipolar Disorder, but it does.  Even the best of marriages has some strain on it – the pressures of day-to-day living, at the very least.  However, Bipolar Disorder puts additional pressure on your marriage because of the issues you have to face in dealing with the disorder, whether you are the survivor or the supporter.

 

No matter how long you’ve been married, the suggestions in this article can put some “spark” into your marriage.  And if you’ve only been married a short time, putting these suggestions into place now can help ensure a long, happy, healthy marriage (of course, you will still have to do some hard work yourself to make that happen as well!).

 

How to Romance Your Spouse:

 

  • The “Five-Second Kiss”:
  • You know that quick peck you give each other when you wake up in the morning or go to sleep at night, or when you say hello or goodbye to each other?  Well, that’s sweet and all, but try making it last for five seconds!  Bill and I have implemented this simple strategy into our marriage and, believe me, it really does make a difference!  The first couple times that you try this technique may be a little awkward, but after that, you will discover (re-discover) the romance that a simple kiss can bring to your marriage!

     

  • The “Un-Birthday” Card:
  • It’s wonderful, isn’t it, when you actually remember your wife’s birthday?  And when you give her that perfect birthday card and she smiles, holds it to her chest, and goes, “Ahhh?” (tears optional)…And then you get that ooh-y feeling inside, knowing that you did the right thing and made her feel all special.  Well, try getting her an un-birthday card!  Surprise her with a card when she least expects it – maybe when she’s had a hard day (hard week) at work, with the kids, or especially if she’s been struggling with bipolar symptoms.  You’ll be the most romantic husband-of-the-year!

     

          3.  The Romantic Dinner-for-Two:

    Wives, remember when it was just the two of you?  Before the kids.  Or even if you don’t have children, before your lives became so busy.  Or before Bipolar Disorder seemed to take over your lives.  That doesn’t have to happen (especially the bipolar part)!   If your husband is working, this is easy – he is already out of the house.  If he is on Disability because of his disorder, this may be a little trickier, but call on someone in his Support Network to help you get him out of the house for awhile so you can pull this off.  If you have children, find someone who can watch them at their house.  Then, cook a romantic dinner-for-two (candles NOT optional).  Play some quiet music in the background.  Make sure there are no other distractions.  Dress in such a way as to please your husband.  Try to recapture the time before your lives became so hectic.  Talk to each other!  Remember that the key to this is romantic!

     

           4.  Have a “Date Night”:

    Yes, I know you’re married.  That’s exactly why this suggestion works so well!  Bill and I picked Friday night as our “Date Night.”  We have three children and two dogs living under our roof now, so things tend to get a little noisy, to say nothing about crazy!  Our salvation?  Date Night!  Now, Date Night doesn’t have to be expensive – because of my Bipolar Disorder, I live on Disability (Bill is still waiting for his), so our funds are definitely limited.  But that’s part of the fun; the challenge – to come up with creative, inexpensive things to do on our Date Nights!  We usually start by going out to dinner, so we look for coupons in the paper for local dining places (can Arby’s count as a “dining place?”).  Saving change can help with this, as you wouldn’t believe how much change you can save, and how it adds up!  Our Date Night before Christmas, we went to the Food Court at our local mall for our dinner, then “people watched” the last-minute shoppers.  We had a blast!  Sometimes Date Night is simply going out for coffee together and talking for hours, remembering that, underneath it all, we are still best friends!  Having Date Night once a week definitely helps us keep the romance in our marriage.

     

           5.  The Romantic Surprise Get-Away:

    Either of you can do this.  Plan a romantic Surprise Get-Away for the two of you.  This can be as simple as camping in the back yard or as complicated as a cruise or a trip to Europe.  You can plan it by yourself or get a family member (or other member of your or your spouse’s Support Network) to help.  It may take you a week (saving grocery money) to save up for it, or it may take you months to save up for it.  The key words are romantic and surprise.  You know your spouse better than anyone else.  This is going to take some thinking and some planning on your part, but believe me, it will pay off in the long run!

     

    Most people know that women love a romantic man, but men like romance in their relationship as well!  Either way, keeping the romance alive in your marriage will help to ensure that you will have a long, happy, and healthy marriage, in spite of the fact that you (or your spouse) have Bipolar Disorder.