Married? Date Anyway.

Marriage getting stale? Is all you ever talk about work, money and kids? Ditch the same old thing and start dating again.

Relationships continuously evolve. As time passes, changes occur. He changes. She changes. Marriage changes. How couples deal with these changes determines whether they'll remain close. Ignoring or denying change is a recipe for failure. From our first date to the day we got married, many things changed in my relationship with my husband. They continue to change now.

One of the interesting things is when you are dating, you communicate more. You are looking for more information on the person you are sitting across from. You have set aside a time and a place to focus on each other and the relationship you are building. Unfortunately, once the wedding is over, and especially once children enrich your lives, many couples stop dating and they stop getting the benefits of this special time. But, like negative changes, positive changes can occur, too. One positive habit to re-connect with: dating your spouse.

With all the other obligations in life, why should dating be a priority? The web site Romance-Your-Wife gives ten reasons why you should date your spouse frequently. A few of the reasons can be particularly helpful for law enforcement marriages.

There is always something new about your spouse.

Often due to long hours, shift work and other law enforcement-related factors, when you have the chance to communicate with your spouse, it often revolves around what either of you did at work, finances or the kids. Although important information is exchanged in these conversations, it is hard to see past the mundane and into the man or woman you love. Taking time to date, whether over dinner, an art show or an outdoor activity you both enjoy, allows each of you to stop, look at each other and say, "What's new?" Setting aside this time, also allows each of you to answer and to listen.

Invest in the future.

Stressful occupations and the bad habits which often come with them can sap both partners. When your emotional coffers are empty, it's hard to see the good in the other person creating a cynical, nasty relationship neither of you enjoy. By dating, you regularly refill the coffer with positive experiences and views of your partner. It will be easier to stifle an angry word when you can shut your eyes and remember his arm around you in a dark theater.

Marriage can be compared to a set of tires.

Life creates "wear and tear" on relationships and if a couple does not "maintain alignment, balance and pressure" the marriage will either develop a slow leak or explode at the next turn. Either way, you'll both be left damaged, possibly beyond repair. Dating allows you to keep your marriage strong. Consider it adding another layer of tread each time you spend time focused on each other.

Remember the good times.

It's easy to get caught up in the bad times. Going out with your spouse allows you to remember why you fell in love with this person in the first place. Officers get to step out of the law enforcement role and enjoy time with a safe person. Talking about your pre-marriage memories allows you to generate contented feelings about the person you often only see in relation to life's stresses. Most people dated before they got married; dating after marriage lets you have the best of the excitement of dating and the security of a committed relationship.

Laughter is the best medicine.

When emotions are running high and something funny happens, the whole atmosphere changes. Laughing with your spouse is comfortable. Being able to share with each other on a lighter note can heal some of the hurts caused just by being in a relationship. Scheduling dates where you go to an Improv or see a comedy can pack twice the punch.

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