For better or worse, the pre-bedtime habits you’ve formed over time have a huge impact on the wellbeing of your relationship. (For better = going to bed at the same time. For worse = self-grooming in bed. Just no.)
Below, relationship experts share nine bedtime rituals that could change your marriage for the better.
1. Escort your smartphone out of the bedroom
A recent study out of Baylor University found that nearly half of us feel “phone snubbed” by our partners. Give your S.O. more respect than that: When it’s time to go to bed, turn off all devices and tuck your smartphone in for the night as well. Use your phone as an alarm? Consider this your chance to buy a snazzy new alarm clock.)
“Smartphones distract you from each other and keep you from communicating when you go to sleep and when you wake up,” he said. “You can have distractions everywhere else in the house but not in the bedroom. When you’re in your bedroom together, be together.”
2. Create a before-bed ritual
Time permitting, don’t rush to bed right after dinner. Instead, unwind and slowly ease into the evening with a hot bath or shower and catch-up sesh with your spouse (a glass of wine is optional).
These decompressing rituals send a signal to our body that it’s time to shut down. Giving ourselves the time to shut down starts the process of getting a good night’s sleep. Whether couples do this together or separately, the benefits extend to both of them.
3. Put your clothes away before climbing into bed
Consider the bedroom your sanctuary as a couple and treat it accordingly. Attempt to make the bed when you get up (attempt being the operative word there), dress for bed in your fave PJs and put away the clothes you were wearing earlier. That last part is more important than you’d think.
A couples’ bedroom should be a special place for them that is set apart from the rest of the house — and even the family. If you’re just throwing your clothes on the end of the bed before you slip on your PJs then you’re not making it a special place for either of you.
4. Try to go to bed at the same time
If your schedules synch up, make it a habit to go to bed at or around the same time.Often couples fall into patterns of going to bed at separate times, sometimes because of TV or the Internet,” she said. “But this may be an unconscious way of avoiding intimacy. The longer this pattern of avoidance continues, the more damaging it becomes to the relationship.
5. Cuddle and kiss before drifting off
Even if you’re too tired for sex, make an effort to touch, spoon or kiss your spouse when you hit the sheets, Ingram advised. (And when Ingram says kiss, she means kiss — not a half-hearted, first date-esque peck on the cheek, but a genuine, all-in kiss.)
“A long, romantic kiss can release the hormones that give you both the feeling of wanting more,” she said.
6. Consider moving the TV out of your bedroom
This may sound like sacrilege if you grew up dozing off to the sounds of David Letterman and the late night news, but moving the TV out of your adult bedroom will do wonders for your marriage. Make TV and electronics a bedroom taboo. It’s easy for couples to get into a routine of watching TV every night in bed, but it can serve as a distraction from true, intimate connection.
7. Don’t get too relaxed around your spouse
Obviously, it’s OK to pass gas in front of your spouse. You’re human! But if you didn’t let it rip with your spouse when you were dating, don’t do it excessively now that you’re sharing a bed.The bedroom is a romantic, private space. Don’t ruin it for your spouse by passing gas where you sleep and make love.
8. Tuck the kids in at night into their own beds
Inviting the kids into your bed at night could affect your ability to reconnect as a couple and have a negative impact on the kids. There are boundary issues. Teaching children that parents need their time alone is critical.
9. Before falling asleep, say “I love you.”
You could count off all the groceries you need to get before bed or rant about your day, but you’d be missing out on a great opportunity to connect and end the night on a sweet note. Go to bed every night reminding your partner that you’re with them because you really want to be with them. Saying ‘I love you’ will demonstrate that you’re happy with them and that you want to continue being married to them.
Source: Huffington Post