“I’m bored in our marriage.”
“I don’t feel close to my spouse any more.”
“Our sex life has fizzled.”
Have you heard these, or maybe said them yourself?
If you have, you’re in good company.
Actually, if you’re married, it’s almost inevitable that at some point, you’ll say one, some or all of these things yourself.
Being married is hard. Raising a family is exhausting. And making a living is often thankless and stressful.
Then, trying to maintain the spark and intimacy with your spouse on top of everything else?
It’s near impossible, especially when you consider that everything has cycles, including long-term relationships. There comes a point where things aren’t “new,” anymore, where you know each other as well as two people can, and all the other responsibilities have pushed “time for each other and good sex” way down the list, if you can get to it at all.
It sucks. But this is life in the 21st Century.
But All is Not Lost
If you’re reading this blog or just found this post, you’re probably looking for answers to what you can do about declining libidos and intimacy, to bring back the romance and excitement. Maybe you’re just looking to spice things up, maybe you’re looking to reignite the spark in your marriage, or maybe you’re trying to introduce new ideas, both sexual and non-sexual, to your spouse.
Again, whatever the case, you’re in good company.
And just buying some sexy underwear or a toy is not going to be the magic wand. Well, maybe the toy you buy is a Magic Wand (highly recommended!), but you know what I mean. Any fix is more in your understanding of each other and your relationship, not in adding a Band Aid.
Every person and every relationship is different, but when the “newness” and adventure disappears from relationships, things go off track.
Also, people and relationships change and evolve over time. The Marlboro Man that made his lady swoon doesn’t seem quite as desirable when he’s splitting diaper duty, going to a cubicle job, volunteering to rub tired feet and doing all the things that make him a good husband… but not the manly, dangerous lover he was when the couple first met.
Ester Perel said it very well in her TED talk: The security, safety and comfort that we want in a long-term relationship is death to our sexual desire, which craves newness, novelty and unpredictability.
She recommends several things in keeping desire alive:
1. Make space for the erotic:
* Have a lot of privacy
* Make erotic space: time when you are just being, and are not being responsible
* Prevent distractions
2. Remember that foreplay starts long before the love making
3. Keep realistic expectations
* Things ebb and flow
* Spontaneity is a myth
* Relationship issues are not equal to bad sex
This is great advice.
But there’s more to it.
My next post provides more insight about what’s going on, how genders view things differently, and gives suggestions of things you can do to resolve conflict, communicate better, and keep the spark alive in your relationship and sex life.
Read the next post in the Keeping the Spark Alive Series: Bring Back the Spark in your Relationship with These Tips!