THE BLOG
10/25/2015 08:25 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

6 Ways to Spice Up Your Marriage

If you've been married more than a few years, you probably wouldn't describe your marriage or sex life as "spicy." Even if you started out in the "habanero pepper" range on the spicy scale, you've probably ended up in the "salt and pepper with a dash of Tabasco" range. But you don't have to stay there. Couples can and do add fun, heat and excitement to their marriages. If you're ready to do the same, here are 6 ways you and your spouse can spice things up:

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Prioritize time for the two of you. It's hard to create or maintain a hot marriage when you're too busy to connect with your spouse. But that's exactly where most married couples, especially those with children, find themselves. Both spouses are running all day, every day -- to work, to school, to soccer practice, to meetings. When they collapse into bed at the end of the day, spicy sex no longer seems like a priority. So plan time every week just to connect with your spouse. Find the time by simplifying other areas of your life or saying no to activities that just aren't as important as spending time together.

Talk about it. Honestly, this one is hard. It may actually be easier to just go for it and try something new than to actually talk about your sex life. I'm terrible at this, and my poor communication has caused problems in my marriage more than once. So don't be like me. Instead, open up the conversation. Tell your spouse that you value your marriage and sex life and want to spice things up. Then listen to what he or she has to say and talk about it. And don't assume that it's "one and done" -- come back to the conversation and continue it regularly.

Schedule sex. Yeah, I know. Scheduling sex doesn't seem very spicy. As a matter of fact, it seems downright boring. But you know what's even more boring? Not having sex because you didn't schedule it and then life came along and consumed all of your time and energy. The reality is, in order to spice up your marriage, you need to be having sex. Regularly. So talk with your spouse and figure out ways to get it on your calendar. Every week. A couple of times a week.

Change something. Most couples fall into the habit of doing the same thing at the same time in the same place. So mix things up a bit. Every third time you have sex, change one thing -- the location, the time, the attire, the position. And most of the time keep it simple -- "change the location" doesn't have to mean "go to a hotel." It can mean "have sex on the floor or in the dining room."

Add something. One of the easiest ways to spice up your sex life is to add something new. If you're like me, you've gotten pretty comfortable with your regular repertoire. Which is fine, except when it becomes the same old same old. So once or twice a month, add something new -- a game, music, a toy, a position. Agree with your spouse on what you're going to try ahead of time, and don't insist on something that makes him or her uncomfortable.

Step out of your comfort zone. Although you should never insist that your spouse move out of his or her comfort zone, it's perfectly fine (and a good idea!) to encourage yourself to step out of yours. Sex in the comfort zone is great -- it probably makes up 95% of sex in most marriages. But if you're looking for more energy and excitement in your sex life, you probably won't find it there. So every once in a while, push your boundaries a bit and try something you haven't been willing to try in the past -- maybe something your spouse has mentioned or something you've often thought might be fun. Start small and see how it goes. It may be great or it may be a total flop, but it will give you and your spouse something to talk about and create a launching point for trying something else new and different.

Whether you've been married 5 years or 35 years or more, you can enjoy a fun, hot and spicy marriage. My husband and I have been married for 30 years, and our marriage is spicier now than it's ever been (albeit still a work in progress!) If your marriage has cooled off and you'd like to heat it up, take steps to get the ball rolling. Although you'll need your spouse's help in order to make significant changes, you can take the initiative to start moving things in a hotter direction.

Originally published on CalmHealthySexy.

Photo credit - yurakp @Fotolia