Have your marital flames burned so low that you’re afraid they’ll be extinguished forever? While sex waxes and wanes in most relationships, ignoring your erotic connection can create the dreaded “roommate”marriage, and cause some spouses to remedy their loneliness by looking elsewhere for physical and emotional fulfillment, resulting in infidelity and often divorce.
Could saving the romance save your marriage? For most couples, it can certainly help.
While attempts to re-connect sexually may feel awkward, allowing yourselves to drift apart will make it that much harder the longer you wait. Here are some tips to help you and your spouse rekindle the spark.
Tips for Reigniting Romance in a Marriage
Identify barriers to physical intimacy. To maximize your chances of success, you first need to identify what is blocking your sexual connection with your partner. Are there any medical conditions, or medications, that make physical intimacy difficult? Does one of you have a history of trauma that causes you to shut down during intimacy? Has porn use taken the place of real-life sex? These are just some of the issues that can drain romance and eroticism out of a marriage. Once you get honest about what the problem is, getting help from a medical or mental health professional could be just the thing to get the home fires burning again.
Resolve relationship issues. If you and/or your spouse are nursing resentments, indulging in passive-aggressive warfare, or are unable to work through conflict effectively, you may not feel comfortable trying to get closer. Sexual problems often feature a discouraging “pursuer-avoider” dynamic, leaving one partner feeling rejected and the other feeling smothered. If these issues are entrenched, you probably need guidance from a couples therapist to resolve them.
Build the right atmosphere. The distractions of 21st century living will probably require cultivating new habits. Turn your bedroom into a romantic space by removing the TV, powering down electronics at night, and locking the door so children don’t wander in at an inopportune moment. If it’s difficult to turn off your mental to-do list, send your brain a soothing cue with an essential oils diffuser or relaxing music.
Create an Intimacy Plan. This may not feel sexy, but neither does saving for retirement – and failing to do either causes problems down the line! Creating an Intimacy Plan is an opportunity for you and your spouse to be playful and re-imagine a new erotic blueprint. Sample ideas to include are: taking a trip to an adult toy store, enrolling in an online sexuality class with your partner, reading aloud erotic novels in bed, and visiting a certified sex therapist. Some couples start their intimacy plan by simply agreeing on a time or times during the week for intimacy.
Adjust your attitude. Most relationships go through ebbs in sex and romance. Putting effort into re-building your sex life doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something “wrong” with your marriage. Long-term unions require continual reframing of what good sex is, especially as bodies age and funtion differently. Treating yourselves with kindness and having a sense of humor will help you get your sex life back on track.
Finally, putting pressure on yourselves to have a passion-fueled Valentine’s Day will make the occasion anything but. It’s okay to start off by simply going out to dinner together and having a good conversation, or an unexpected (and nice) gesture like buying a special gift for your spouse like a box of chocolates, roses or some other “just because” gift. And be realistic; if you’ve been out of sync for a long time, it’s unlikely you’re going to morph into lovebirds overnight. Let go of what you think your romantic relationship “should” look like and focus on the process of strengthening your erotic connection.
Have questions about the legal side of saving your marriage? Some spouses who feel headed for divorce may benefit from a post-nuptial “reconciliation” agreement that helps them feel greater security and peace of mind as they work on their marital issues. Other spouses may wish to explore trial separation options, or in some cases, understand what a divorce would entail. Do you have questions about the legal side of working through your relationship issues? We can help. Schedule a confidential consultation today with one of our experienced family law attorneys to learn your rights and best options. Call us at 888-888-0919, or please click the button below.
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