Four Ways to Put the Sex Back in Your Marriage
Dear Monica, I have found that after years of marriage, my husband and I are in a total rut. How do you bring the excitement back? — P. L., Radnor
During the first few years of marriage, everything is fresh and thrilling. The world seems different. Navigating the newness alongside your partner provides endless opportunities for excitement: a new home to decorate, a new baby to coo over, and for many women, a new last name to get used to. However, as time passes and routine takes the place of excitement, we need to actively work to keep things feeling fresh. Here are some suggestions for keeping things exciting—no matter how long you’ve been married.
Romance, creativity and passion are not reserved for the early stages of a relationship or marriage. Injecting spontaneity into things can be a way to break out of ruts formed by routine. The element of surprise is a powerful force. You should not be afraid to take the initiative to do something special for your mate. If the two you are sitting on the couch watching TV after a long day of work, pull his/her feet into your lap and offer a foot massage. Light candles during dinner just because. Send a naughty text in the middle of the day. Surprise your partner with two concert tickets. Be creative.
Go on sexcations.
If that voracious newlywed sex drive has lost its steam over time, rev your engines back up! Book a night’s stay at a local hotel and don’t tell your partner about your reservation. After dinner, present the room key and off you go. Have kids? Take the initiative to set up play dates or sleepovers for them so they’re out of the house—even if it’s just for an hour. Plan to meet each other in the middle of the day or on your lunch breaks and have a make out session or a quickie. Scheduled sex can be just as steamy, and it will give you both something to look forward to. Afternoon delights are sexy!
Work at it!
Like anything in life, you need to put the effort in to get the effort back. Putting hard work into a relationship and making a concerted effort to communicate openly and honestly will produce successful results. Take the initiative to ask your partner if there’s anything they feel like you could be doing better or differently. Make sure you go into these situations without a chip on your shoulder. If you open the floor for mutual honest communication, try your best to remember that your partner isn’t criticizing you. Make the atmosphere safe so your parent can be honest with you. Use your partner’s response as constructive feedback and make sure to hear all they have to say. Hopefully you’ll be inspired to take action and show them you listened and cared.
Choose to be happy.
Manage your stress efficiently. Make the joint decision to leave work-related or extramarital stress out of your relationship as a daily topic. Yes, kids are a pain but you don’t need to talk about them 24/7. Don’t always use your quality time together as a taskmaster or a venting session where you weigh each other down. Sure, there will be days when discussing the schedule and grinds are necessary, but don’t forget to breathe, smile, flirt and be playful and upbeat.
Though marriage can become a routine, the challenges that a couple has to face over time bring new opportunities for shared solutions. It is this shared approach of “you and I against the world” that deepens bonds and makes for a more solid relationship. Sometimes it is the appreciation of the value of your relationship that can spark feelings of freshness in a relationship. As the relationship grows, it achieves levels of depth and meaning that may not have existed in the pristine newlywed phase.
Monica Mandell, Ph.D. is the Director of the Philadelphia office of Selective Search, the premiere (off-line) upscale matchmaking firm for the most eligible singles. Please send your questions to: email@example.com.