You are probably no longer flaunting your size 32 hips when you walk past him and checking yourself in mirror every time before you meet him at the door. But maybe you should…

Let’s be honest with each other. After 10 years of married life, the spark has probably left the building with the last broken vacuum cleaner. When you have to remember to buy toilet paper and garbage bags, red lipstick is probably not a high priority and you no longer really worry about what he’ll think of your frizz (the smell of playdough and Purity in your hair anyways mask that of your shampoo).

But think again. You don’t like his day-old stubble, it frustrates you if he doesn’t shower as soon as he gets back from his gym session… but are you really entitled to feel that way if you walk around in slippers the entire Saturday, with your legs unshaven and a frown that would scare any Botox therapist?

Marriage Capsule definitely knows what you’re going through. A massive 48 hours’ worth of tasks that needs to be done in less than 24 hours, together with a small platoon (your hubby included) to take care of, think for and repeat… takes the spring out of your once sexy step, doesn’t it? There IS a solution. Sometimes it is necessary to realise again when you became a wife and mother overnight and where you left the “girlfriend” behind. It definitely wasn’t on your wedding day. Because when you are in your honeymoon phase, the super-girlfriend skills usually come to the fore. You can win it back.

1) Be naturally sensual…

Remember, men are visual creatures. You can probably scream his head off, but if you do it while wearing a garter, silky tights and stiletto’s, he might not even hear you… Your husband’s eyes do wander – either noticing the rugby game on television, a brand new car that speeds past… or an attractive redhead that walks past.

Make peace with it – that is how they were created. But do you remember those days when hubby secretly stared at you while you were getting dressed? When you look at your granny panties or the one that promises to make you look a dress size smaller, you probably think that the battle is lost. Remember, however, that a woman who becomes obsessed with always looking good, can also be a turn off.

He likes your natural curves and there are few things as unattractive as that which seems false or uncomfortable. So, we don’t expect anything abnormal from you. The secret is to have a balanced outlook. Every woman who wants to keep her husband’s attention must consider her appearance and make an effort to look good, while not overdoing it.

Tip: Your appearance reflects what is going on inside. A calm daily routine such as 15 minutes of yoga or tai chi can help you to radiate inward and outward. And know: A whopping 80% of men likes women with curves and only 7% prefers the Kate Moss-figure.

2) Hold hands…

Think about the things you did together back in the days when you were still a young couple with your heads in the clouds. It is easy to forget those, but small gestures, such as holding hands in public, can help you to slowly re-instill more and more of these. Maybe you made out in the back row of the movie theatre, or shared milkshakes. You might have put your hand on his while on a date at a restaurant, or clicked open the door lock just before he got into of the car. Do it again (that is if he still keeps the romance alive by opening the door for you before he walks around to get in!).

Perhaps you often studied together, which most times probably led to something else than studying – relive those moments by taking out your laptop and joining him the next time he is busy in the study. While you fake working, you can peek at him or play footsie under the table.

Tip: Remember, the more often you relive the days when you started dating, the more you and he will think about it. Talk to each other about why you fell in love with each other, and – if you are the sentimental type – go through your box with your first movie ticket, the jacket you wore on your first date and photos of your first few years together. You have to consciously work at recalling those memories.

3) Write him a letter…

If you have been married long enough to want to read this article, you were probably dating in the days when technology wasn’t nearly as advanced as it is now. Barely 20 years ago, few people had access to email and cell phones. You probably had to phone him from your varsity residence’s coin or card phone and left notes on the windscreen of his weathered Volla. Nowadays things are much easier, but unfortunately less romantic.

Rekindle your young romance by often writing him a long love letter.  Whether you use a Bic pen or a Parker, make sure that it is on pretty looking paper and if you want, spray the letter with your favourite perfume, such as you probably did when you were a love-smitten student. Keep your text messages and emails to a minimum and rather declare your love on paper or in a special card with a short message. Leave notes on his car’s windscreen or write a love note on the serviette that came with the takeaways.

Tip: Another pen-and-paper idea is to write four things that you value and respect about him on the shopping list against the fridge (this one will only work if he is a millennial man who sometimes check what you need in the house!). All this is part of flirting. You were constantly flirting with your husband before you got married, so why do you want to stop now?

4) Stay in shape

Many people believe that being in a happy relationship and staying in shape doesn’t go together. Both men and women pick up weight when they are in a committed relationship with each other, and with women, it just happens faster. They put on even more weight after their weddings! Some people think that being emotionally comfortable leads to one giving in to comfort foods. Another reason might be that some women feel that once they have found a husband, they can start to overeat from pure relief. There are other reasons too. You cook for your spouse and once you have children, there are always treats in the house.

Research shows that women in committed relationships gains more weight, but also diet more than women who are not in relationships. Don’t eat the leftovers while you clean up the kitchen. Don’t keep food in any other room other than the kitchen. If you keep cookies on the kitchen counter, don’t store them in see-through containers. Avoid takeaways and dish for yourself in a smaller plate. But when you really want something, eat it!

Tip: Don’t fall into the trap of eating just as much as your husband. He is probably bigger than you and it is best to keep it that way! Dish up your portions to fit your body. Nutrition sociologists also describe couples as eating units. Spouses’ food preferences and exercise habits mutually influence each other. In the long run, a couple who support each other by eating right and exercising, contributes to the health of the relationship.

5) Don’t take each other for granted

Couples often make the mistake of believing that the relationship will last forever. Not that they are wrong – the ideal is to believe that it will last and to not enter into marriage with the idea of a back door. The problem, however, is that people find themselves in a comfort zone, with the idea that their partner will be there forever. For such people, there are always a tomorrow to say “I love you” and a “next year” to plan a romantic trip.

Another issue is that such couples also do not regard a relationship as something that requires work. According to Robert Billingham, associate professor emeritus at Indiana University Bloomington, people were not made for long-term romance. Biologically, the body chemistry that makes our hearts flutter and our tummy turn during a new relationship, is replaced after a while with body chemistry that is more geared for commitment. That is why couples have to work hard to keep the romance alive.

Tip: Focus on the here and now and make spontaneity part of your relationship. When hubby is sitting in front of the television, decide at the spur of the moment to take off your clothes right in front of him to spark a late night full of passion. Get up early on a Saturday morning, get in the car and drive to a bed and breakfast just outside of town. There is nothing like a little impulsiveness to revive a relationship that has become routine.

6) Take care of yourself and put in some effort

Just as much as men appreciates a good body, they also love to look at a beautiful, feminine face. What they want to see is a face that radiates. Your face should be a mirror image of inner warmth and life. It does not have to be a flawless work of art, neither should it be plastered with layers and layers of makeup. You know the rules: Drink enough water, follow a balanced diet, exercise so that your skin gets enough blood and oxygen, use sunscreen, don’t use an alkaline soap (it dries out the skin) and if you have a limited budget for skincare, spend it on a good cleanser, toner and moisturiser. And make sure that you take off your makeup before bedtime.

Your lips are also an important feature and men associate them with what they can do! That is why lipstick is a necessity in your makeup bag. Ensure that your lips always look good by regularly applying lip balm, using a natural shade lip liner with lip gloss over it and often applying new lipstick. When it comes to your eyes – they are after all the windows of your soul and must therefore be vibrant. Keep your eyes beautiful by resting enough, limiting alcohol consumption, refreshing them with cucumber and potato slices and avoiding eye infections by removing your eye makeup before bed time and throwing away makeup that is older than six months.

Tip: Some women puts on lipstick and then tell their husbands: “Don’t kiss me!”. Think again. When you were dating, you put on lipstick so that he would kiss you! Pick a lip gloss with a nice taste, which would slightly mask the taste of the lipstick and make it more enjoyable for him.

7) Be unpredictable

For a couple with a busy lifestyle and children, it is essential to schedule dates. Sexologists and marriage counsellors often recommend that couples schedule specific days and dates in their diaries and stick to it, as this is probably the only way they will afford time without the kids. On the other hand, couples are often very reluctant to schedule sex because they feel it takes away from spontaneous passion.

The good news, though, is that the evening planned for the date doesn’t have to be predictable at all. Agree from the start to keep everything as unpredictable as possible. Go and buy yourself new underwear and an outfit in a colour that you don’t normally wear. Book a table at a restaurant where you haven’t been before and order dishes that you don’t normally eat. Make sure that, on that day, you do everything from A to Z in a way that is different from the norm. Touch him in a different way than usual, choose some new topics to talk about and when you get home later that evening, if you don’t normally undress in front of him, do it. Also try new things in the bedroom. All of that will make him feel as if he may not know you as well as he thought, and it adds a touch of mystery in your established relationship.

Tip: Really go all out when you have a scheduled date. Spend time creating the perfect atmosphere, with candles, aromatherapy oils, music and a good lubricant.

8) Smooth as silk

Men like to touch. A guy once said that when he touches a woman, it feels as if he is touching warm silk. Keeping your body smooth and soft from head to toe is a definite turn-on for hubby. That includes everything. Men has stated many times before that they like to run their fingers through women’s hair, without it requiring a jerking action due to too much hair spray! Therefore, make sure that you use the right conditioner for your hair type.

There is nothing better than snuggling up against your hubby under the duvet. Imagine you are rubbing your feet against his and his first reaction is: “Ouch!” Make sure your feet also feel like silk, rather than sandpaper. Because women typically hide their feet in shoes during the winter months, we easily forget about this piece of anatomy and it becomes one of the first body parts that you want to hide this time of year. Many men, however, sees feet as an erotic zone. Use a Punic stone to scrub your feet until they are smooth, push the skin back and apply enough moisturising lotion to each foot. If, in addition, you apply fresh nail polish, it will show your husband that you take care of the finer details.

Then of course there is leg hair. When you just started dating, you would never have been caught dead without shaven legs – who said that things should change now? It is not just your legs, but also your underarms, bikini line and certain areas on your face. Today, women have endless options to get rid of the unwanted hair – shaving, hair removal creams, laser, electrolysis, pliers and wax make life so much easier for the modern woman (if you can call a screaming woman on a therapist’s bed during a wax session “easy”).

Tip: Mix one cup of lemon juice, cinnamon, two teaspoons of olive oil, a quarter cup of milk and enough water to fill a basin. Soak your feet in it for at least 15 minutes. They will feel refreshed, silky smooth and smell good!

9) Be flirty and fun…

When you two met each other, you were probably still young and carefree. Life was an adventure and bills, work stress and problems like menopause and premature ejaculation were not in your frame of reference. You shared candyfloss, danced until sunrise, sneaked into each other’s varsity residences and tickled each other to tears. Nowadays, you don’t find time to be silly together. You are all grown up and life is full of challenges. But think back to those days and to how much fun that playfulness brought to your relationship and how often a hysterical laughing session ended in a good kiss. Sometimes a little silliness is all it takes to remind you of your days being young and in love, and help you to temporarily escape the realities you face today.

Tip: When you lie on the bed, kiss his belly button and paint him with chocolate paint. Put on some music and start to dance… anything that will make you feel a bit silly and uninhibited – it will do wonders for your sex life!

10) Carry yourself with confidence

You might worry about whether your black top is the same kind of black as your black pants, but hubby doesn’t care one bit. The only time he worries about your clothes is when the quantity thereof matters! What we are talking about here, is attitude. If you’ve decided to make yourself absolutely irresistible, it is time to also start thinking that you are irresistible. It is natural to flip through magazines, watch movies and cringe on the inside because you don’t measure up to the models and celebrities, and that is why it is important to work on your self-esteem. Negative energy simply robs you of your vitality.

Tip: Never fuss about your appearance in public. Taking out a hand mirror from your handbag repeated to check your hair, sends a message that you are unsure of yourself and probably high maintenance. If the wind messes up your hair, rather enjoy your windswept look than attracting negative attention to yourself. If you point out your own shortcomings, others will also notice.

Another eight tips to rekindle the passion…

  • Establish a habit to go to bed together. Lie in his arms for a few minutes before you kiss and go to sleep. Pray together or talk about the good thinks that happened that day. Let this ritual of a mutual bed time become the glue that brings you closer together.
  • Discover your partner’s wildest fantasy. Whether it is to have sex in the toilet cubicle on an aeroplane, or to climb a mountain. Even if it is something that you feel uncomfortable with, do it. When you were dating, you pretended to share his love for Tarantulas, remember?
  • Whenever you are bored, start wrestling in the middle of the living room. Nothing too rough but in a way that will bring you closer together, and again, bring the playfulness back into your relationship.
  • Take a fun photo together in one of those photobooths in a shopping centre where you have to throw in coins. It is fun, you can be silly and it is a great experience. In addition, you can always look at the photo years later, and remember how much fun you had that day.
  • Before going to work in the morning, steam up the bathroom mirror and write “I love you” or any other message for him. Even if the steam disappears, it will steam up again when he takes a shower and he will see your message.
  • Make a conscious decision to spend time together every day. When you were younger, you missed classes and went out of your way to make time for him. It is amazing what it could mean for your relationship when you, five or six times a day, take a few minutes to make time for each other.
  • Get a water gun and fill it with champagne! It can be so much fun! Every kid has one and they are harmless. Give your partner one, wrapped in pretty paper. When he opens his, attack with yours!
  • The art of touch is enough to make you reconnect. Give him a massage, let him simply lie with his head on your lap and run your fingers through his hair. Your touch alone can say so much more than what words can.

Article written by Annelize Steyn