Life hacks are simple tips to make our lives easier.  But an area where most of us need help is intimacy in marriage.

We all want to be close to our spouse, right?  But if we grew up in a family that lacked love and affection, it can be hard for us to know how to get closer to our spouse.

Even God desires to have closer relationships.  We read about his desire to passionately pursue Israel in Hosea 2:14, “But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there.”

If you want to passionately pursue your spouse, here are four keys to help you unlock intimacy for life.

Look into their eyes
Here’s an important tip: Step away from your smartphone!  Instead, look at your significant other when you’re in the middle of a conversation.  When you’re the one talking, make sure you maintain eye contact with your spouse for about 50 percent of the time.  But when you’re listening, maintain eye contact with your spouse at least 70 percent of the time.

Listen to what they say
When your spouse is talking, don’t interrupt.  Instead, listen.  Then after they’ve finished talking, paraphrase what they said.  For example, you can paraphrase by just asking a simple question such as: “So, you’re saying that…?”   They might say, “My boss was mean to me.”   When you respond, say, “If I’m hearing you right, you said your boss was mean to you.”   To find out more about the situation, you might say, “Tell me more about it.”  Paraphrasing is a powerful way to let your partner know you’re actively listening.  

Learn what they like
Romance is both an art form and a science.  Since each person is different, it’s vital you learn what pleases your spouse in the area of physical intimacy.  Talk to your significant other about what he or she likes in the bedroom, and open up to them about what actually makes you happy.  Continue to have an open dialogue with your spouse to see if there is anything else you can do differently to make physical intimacy more wonderful.  Then actually try it!

Live in the moment
If you’ve fallen into a rut because of your same boring routine, or if you’ve stopped being romantic altogether, a good way to shake things up is to find some spontaneous ways to live in the moment.

Write down some romantic ideas or creative dates on slips of paper.  Make sure that you keep your ideas secret—don’t peek at your spouse’s ideas!  Then put the slips of paper into a jar.  On date night, or any night you’re bored, draw a slip of paper out of the jar.  You’ll truly be living in the moment when you find out where you’ll be going, or what you’ll be doing!

But, there is one catch.  By implementing these marriage hacks, your spouse is bound to fall in love with you.  All over again!

If you’d like to have a closer relationship with your spouse, order your copy of The Mediterranean Love Plan, by Steve and Misty Arterburn.