a special feature by V. Nicholas, grandmother extraordinaire*

I’m writing this as a 65-year-old grandmother of four, who has been happily married 30 years to the same wonderful man. Our past 30 years have flown by filled with raising kids, working, births, deaths, graduations and all the routines that make families special.  Now that those years are behind us, it’s time to refocus on why we got married, our plans and what our marriage will look like for the next 30 years – one day at a time.

What I really want to talk about is our Love Life. What follows are 3 of my Top Six Tips for rekindling your marriage, and making your love a lasting, new priority.

Tip #1 – Declare (again) that this marriage is forever – “…til death do us part”
Renew your vows – which means have another wedding reception. Think of the hundreds of birthday parties you’ve given over 30 years but how many times did you celebrate yourselves? Plan a “Renewal of Vows and 30-Year Anniversary Celebration” at any location you choose. Our planning process brought us much closer and caused us to reflect on our favorite photos, songs, friends, food, dances, colors and even cake.  We invited 30 of our closest (oldest) couples, including family over 21, and had the best time ever. Don’t hire a wedding planner for this event. It’s much more special because you two have planned it together and practiced for that ‘first dance’.

Tip #2Get back in bed together!
If you’ve been on the couch or sleeping in the ‘other room’ – WHY? Go back to sleeping together like newlyweds. Nothing does more for a loving relationship than being snuggled up in bed every night.  Remember that old advice “Don’t ever go to bed angry” well ‘Angrybirds’, become Lovebirds again. We’ve started an hour long ritual every night for the past five months, which is never boring and it’s not about sex – it’s about love – showing true love and being loved and intimate. If sex-making love happens, then what could be better?! Didn’t sex cause us to become grandparents anyway? You can enjoy it more now than ever with a partner who knows and loves you in spite of and until – death do you part.

Tip #3 – The Girlfriends – yours and his. Become the one and only.
For over a decade, my girlfriends and I have had our routines or ‘dates’ like brunch after church, a weekly matinee, shopping, exercising, and traveling, while Hubby usually sat somewhere watching sports for hours. After deciding that a loving marriage relationship is my priority, he became my date even when it meant sitting and watching sports for hours. Plan a weekly Date Night. Walk together. Create your version of a Bucket List of restaurants you’ve always wanted to go back to and weekend places to visit – just for you two. Just do it!

If your spouse still works, he has ‘girlfriends’ at work. You hope he’s not a ‘Sugar daddy’ or adulterer but women, young and old, see this dashing gentleman as a man of wisdom, authority, charm and, yes, money.  Women often go to great lengths to get his attention. Shouldn’t you? Make him a lunch or snack to take to work. It shows his co-workers that at home he is loved, important, cared for and respected.  Buy him a new briefcase. Drop by the office unannounced on occasion and bring him lunch or dinner.  Be sure that photo of you two is visible on his office wall for all to see. Make one friend among his co-workers who will keep you in touch with office goings-on. Send him off to work with kisses every morning and welcome him with open arms at the end of the day. He may be shocked but will love the attention and you more.

Stay tuned for the next three tips…

*V. Nicholas is a recently retired professor of paralegal studies, who has three children and four darling Grands ages 2,4,6, & 8. She’s been happily married to husband Tony for 30 years and her favorite saying is “Don’t wait for the storm to pass, learn to dance in the rain.”  She can be reached by email at vnicholas2@gmail.com.