I need to spice up my marriage

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I am a few months into this stay-at-home life with my husband of 30 years. I am looking for ways to bring excitement back to our marriage. There is definitely companionship and some romance. However, last year I discovered that he'd had an on-again, off-again romantic liaison with a coworker of his. Mostly texts, but they would occasionally sneak off to get more physical. I am not sure I have the whole truth from my husband, because he does not want to hurt me, but I feel assured that he loves me, regrets what he did, and wants to stay in the marriage. They still work together remotely and have staff meetings where they are on camera together; he does not mind if I see the meetings at a distance, as he wants to reassure me.

I want to spend our quarantine time together rekindling the fun in our relationship. What are some ideas for fun? I know the obvious, grilled cheese and the like, and we are taking up that idea, but both our adult kids are home from college right now and living with us since their summer jobs are cancelled. So we can't do much that is very elaborately staged. It's a small house and sound carries.

What are other ways to keep fun in our marriage, and what advice do you have for rebuilding trust? I feel fragile, and while I believe him when he says I am the love of his life and she meant nothing to him, I still feel a good deal of insecurity eight months later. Did I mention that we are in our 50s and she is 15 years younger? My husband worries a lot about his own aging, so I am sure part of his interest in her was a desire to feel young again. I am not worried that he really loved her, but I want to keep life at home spicy and fun for him. And for myself!

– Rekindling


"So we can't do much that is very elaborately staged."

Elaborately staged. Sorry, I just needed to repeat that. I love it.

There might be some fun involved in hiding from everyone else in your home. The fact that you're in a house with too many people could mean having to stay quiet, sneaking around to different and unusual places, and enjoying each other at weird hours. All of that can be spicy.

But I guess I also want to say that it's not on you to orchestrate 1,000 ways to keep him interested. I understand why you feel rejected and insecure, and why you'd want to show him what he’s got at home, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Try to enjoy what you have with him without trying to prove anything. Also, maybe stop taking him up on his offer to see those on-camera meetings. All it does is force you to look at that woman's face.

It sounds like the two of you have been able to communicate, and that you've been able to forgive and move on. You can build trust over time. So much of this is about him showing up for you every day.

This is a good time to get to know a partner all over again. It is a moment to assess what's missing – and to be grateful for having the right person by your side. It's also a good time to plan for the future. That can be part of the romance, some talk about where you might travel together when it's safe.

Just remember it's not on you to do a whole routine to keep his interest. He should be doing some work too.

– Meredith

Readers? Any advice on trust and spice?