3 Super Easy Ways to Reignite the Spark in your Relationship

Love is in the air (and the ground!) this Valentine’s week! 💗

If there is one thing I love about February, it’s Valentine’s Day! Now, I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I have always been a bit of a romantic at heart. So, the thought of going that extra mile to show your “significant other” how much you care about and appreciate them on that one day a year gives me the warm fuzzies! 💖😊

However, this year, with this seasonal blog post to work on, I have been pondering the whole notion of relationships in general…

Or even, to be more specific, celebrity relationships…

Or, to nail it down even further, Nick and Jessica of MTV’s Newlyweds fame from back in the early to mid-Noughties. Remember them?

Well, even I, a former fan, had almost forgotten all about them until, mid-flick through the TV channels one evening, I discovered a new reality show about Jess’ sister Ashley and her husband (Diana Ross’s son, Evan).

Well, this fresh discovery sent me down the You Tube rabbit hole of nostalgia, where I revisited the best moments from Nick and Jessica’s original reality show, Newlyweds, based on the first three years of their ill-fated marriage.

If you happened to miss this original reality show classic (or, are really young!), I’ll do a quick recap…

There was Nick, a former ’90s’ boyband member (98 Degrees, to be precise!)…

Nick Lachey, the more handsome version of Justin Timberlake?

And Jessica Simpson, a ’90s’ songstress…

Jessica, the prettier version of Britney Spears

They had their fairytale wedding in 2002, when Jess was just 23 years old and Nick was six years older.

And together, they couldn’t have been more adorable

Rightly or wrongly, they allowed MTV to document the early days of their newly wedded bliss, as well as their career struggles.

The couple’s popularity skyrocketed…

Jess’s “ditziness” was endearing

Yes, even, with that immortal line! “Chicken of the sea” is a confusing name for tuna after all!

You gotta admit, there is an unappreciated deepness to the ditziness

But, alas, their fairy tale beginning didn’t have a happy ending and much to everyone’s dismay, this cute celebrity couple (like so many before them) ultimately parted ways, just a few years into their marriage.

Embed from Getty Images

Still the picture of wedded bliss in 2005, the year of their split

But what went wrong?

Unfortunately, even Nick seemed at a loss to answer that when he penned his 2006 hit single, What’s Left Of Me.

The official video for the song featured former MTV VJ Vanessa Minnillo, Nick’s now wife 😮

Or, even, his other breakup ballad from the same album, I Can’t Hate You Anymore.

Will I ever understand?

[…]

I gave and gave the best of me

But couldn’t give you what you need…

You walked away

You stole my life

Just to find what you’re looking for

But no matter how I try

I can’t hate you anymore!

Heart-wrenching! 😢

Following their split, the rumour mill went into overdrive…

Did she, a rising starlet, cheat with her Dukes of Hazzard co-stars?

Did he party too much? Cheat?

Was Nick jealous of Jessica’s rising star, while his career nose-dived?

Did the reality show and/or family interference (the “Dadager” factor?!) lead to the ultimate demise of their much-talked about relationship?

Were they just too young, or in different places emotionally – Nick, more family orientated while Jess was more focused on cashing in on her soaring popularity?

Questions to which there are no confirmed answers – just speculation!

Speculation which bothers me (and numerous other commentators) to this day, partly because, the early days of their relationship mirrored my own with my now husband – he was so handsome and down to earth, if a little impatient and grumpy, while she was so loving and sweet, if a little dizzy (but far from stupid, billion dollar businesswoman, anyone?!).

If they couldn’t make it, with their good looks and financial security, what hope is there for the rest of us?!

Both Nick and Jessica are now happily married to other people and each have children of their own – Nick now has three…

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Thankful everyday

A post shared by Nick Lachey (@nicklachey) on

While Jessica is currently pregnant with her third.

Apparently, they don’t speak anymore, but do they ever wonder, “what if…”?

A modern-day tragedy in our throw away society, where everything, even youthful love affairs and marriages are ultimately disposable?

I’m a hopeless romantic, so I could never have given up on my own youthful love affair, with my now husband. (We met when I was just seventeen and he was twenty!)

But’s that’s not to say that there haven’t been challenges…

However, rather than throwing in the towel – which would have been all too easy, albeit, devastating to all those around us, and not least our children – I prefer to implement the following three-point-plan (I do like to simplify the complex 😊) to reignite the spark in a, let’s face it, often mundane long-term relationship.

1. Curb the criticism

Is there anyone out there who, after the initial honeymoon phase has passed, doesn’t wish their spouse was just more “perfect”?!

If only they would tidy up after themselves, do the washing-up, change some nappies, be more attentive, spend less money, and, so on, ad infinitum.

But the simple fact is that we, as human beings, are basically flawed! There simply is no such thing as “perfect”!

Far away hills are never greener, and, unless we want to be married to robots  – I know! Talk about dystopia! – could we possibly try to lower our standards, even, just a little, to find some compassion, patience and kindness in our hearts, instead?

Practically, that means, “not sweating the small stuff” – does it really matter, in the greater scheme of things, if our partner is a little messier, more distracted, less thrifty… than we would ideally like?

In an imperfect world, dealing with imperfect individuals, there is simply no room for perfectionism, and that’s coming from a self-confessed perfectionist!

Of course, there are bigger issues, which, might need to be dealt with more sensitively  (affairs, gambling, substance addictions etc.), but, even these, need not necessarily be deal breakers…

2. Find the forgiveness

If you or your partner do mess up (and as flawed humans, we are all bound to do it at some point!) sincere forgiveness should be sought and granted.

Now, I am not saying that this is ever easy, especially when bigger issues, or life crises, are at stake.

(My own hubby hates to say “sorry”, while I have been known to have said it I sincerely – ”sorry, not sorry!”😳)

However, without real, sincere forgiveness, there can be no clean slate, no relationship renewal.

In its absence, only toxic resentment will fester!

Of all of the celebrities I have most admired over the years, Victoria Beckham would have to be one of my highest rated, if only for the fact that she has fought tooth and nail, in spite of numerous allegations of infidelity, to keep her relationship to David Beckham, and her family, intact.

David and Victoria – together forever

The high road is truly the hardest one to take in times of crisis, but, also, by far the most noble!

3. Keep it real

What is “love”, exactly?

Is it that heady, dizzying, intoxicating feeling we all get, while still in the first flush of a new love affair?

In the words of Jerry Maguire from the eponymous movie, he had me “at hello”

But “real love” is so, so much more than “butterflies” and “love at first sight”!

It’s a true lifelong commitment, from the fairy tale wedding day…

Through all of life’s ups and downs, the house renovations…

Lovely on the surface, but don’t zoom in too closely…

The babies, the sleepless night, the tantrums, the tears, the sickness and the health.

Those who are truly in love don’t bail out at the first hint of a bump in the road.

They weather the storms to get to the land of “happy ever after”, where “what if…” doesn’t ever exist!

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

Until next time,

💋 Mostly Mum

*All gifs are via GIPHY

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