Is it normal for a couple to lose the passion in their relationship and marriage? Once the fire starts to die out, will it always be that way? Is it ever possible to regain, renew or rekindle the passion in a marriage once the fire has died down?
These are common questions for those committed to long-term marriages. In fact, the flames of passion can start to wane within a few years. In one study, 75% of couples said that their relationship was losing its passion and that it began 3 ½ years into the marriage. Only about one in four couples said that the passion in their marriage was still fresh and exciting.
Can passion be rekindled in a marriage once it starts to vanish? Do couples ever really regain it again? Our answer is a definite yes! You can regain and rekindle passion in your marriage, but to do so you will need to be intentional about it. You must be willing to give it some time. Here are ways in which you can begin to rekindle passion in your relationship.
- By thinking through and talking about your expectations. The flames of passion likely did not die out quickly in your marriage. Usually, couples notice things changing a little at a time. Turning things around can take time and will involve effort. Set aside some time to have an honest evaluation with your spouse regarding the current state of your marriage. Be sure to lay the groundwork so that this does not become a complaint session.
What you want to get to is the TRUTH! What is the truth about how each of you feels regarding the presence or lack of passion in your marriage? What do each of you miss and what do you each want? Talk about your expectations and determine as a couple that you will both commit to doing the things that will help to rekindle the passion you have lost.
- By Holding hands more often. An easy place to begin is by holding hands more often. When was the last time you held hands together? Make it a point and be intentional about holding hands. You can do this while riding next to each other in the car, taking a walk, going shopping together or even sitting in your living room or at the kitchen table. Take a moment, reach over and take her hand into yours and hold it.
- By Flirting with your spouse. How long has it been since you flirted with your spouse? Remember those cute little things you did, the looks you gave and the secret little messages you used to say I want you? Don’t stop flirting with your spouse and if you have stopped – bring it back. Bring back those quick and fun touches that brought excitement in the past. Send a flirty text (and make sure it is not a group text). Say the things you used to say to communicate that you can’t wait until you can be alone with your spouse. Brag about your spouse in front of others. Be sexy again.
- By Investing more in your relationship. When the flames start to die out, you can begin to reawaken them by making a premeditated effort at investing in your spouse. In Matthew 6:21, Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (NIV). What I get out of that is that your heart will follow the things that you have invested in. It does not matter whether the investment is money, or time or energy. Your heart will maintain an interest and have some “feelings” for the things you invest in.
If passion is dying out, start an investment program. Be intentional about investing or reinvesting in your spouse. Go out of your way to do things for and take care of her. If necessary make a list of “the top ten caring things you can do for her.” If you have trouble coming up with 10, then make a list of 5. Begin doing them regularly.
If you can’t come up with anything, you should make a date with her and ask her to help you make a list of positive things you can do for her that she would like. Then do it!
- By Sharing secrets together. How long has it been since you shared a secret that was just between you and your spouse? The big idea here is that you have shared experiences or plans that no one else but the two of you knows about. Is there a place that you had a make out session or made love together that was romantic, exciting and was a spontaneous event that you both were surprised happened?
If that has not happened in awhile, work at pulling it off in the near future. Find cute ways to remind each other about that time that will not embarrass your spouse, but will help to keep the excitement alive. The secret is known only by the two of you.
- By Initiating more affectionate touch. Purposely and regularly initiate affectionate touch. This does not mean grabbing and groping and obvious sexual touch. There can be a place for sexual touch, but that is not the point here. Affectionate touch is touching in ways that would not embarrass your spouse if others were around. It says, I am thinking of you.
It can be a hand brushing across the back or shoulder or arm or hand as you pass by. It can involve just putting your hand on the other’s arm while you are sitting and talking. It can involve a firm hug in which you hang on just a little longer and squeeze just a little tighter. It could be that you put your arm around him or her when sitting next to each other and pull them close for a minute or two. This kind of touch is done at times when there is no chance of being sexual right then, but it can certainly set the stage for sex and passionate intimacy later in the day.
- By setting aside time to be intimate. Passion will decline often simply because of the gravity of life. Children need attention; job demands spill over into evening and weekend hours; tasks need to be done around the house; volunteer activities take more time than you thought they would. The list goes on and on and before you know it, there is little or no time OR energy to spend together and share your passion for each other.
Be deliberate and intentional about saving or planning chunks of time when the two of you can be intimate with each other. Plan it out if necessary; keep it a secret; flirt about it. NO MATTER WHAT, follow through with it! Enjoy and cherish the private times you have reserved for each other.
Yes, you can rekindle the passion in your marriage. If you will conspire and scheme together and be consistent in your efforts; over time you will find the passion and excitement for each other and your marriage fanning into flames again. It may even be faster than you thought possible. Get to work at it, and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
If you like the thought of re-igniting the spark in your marriage but have about given up, call us. If you have spent a number of months or even years in a relationship desert, it becomes more and more difficult to hold on to hope that things will ever change. Take a moment and give us a call at 630-333-3202 for a free 15-20 minute phone/Skype consultation. Together we can figure out how you can rekindle the passion in your marriage so you get back on the road to a happier life with your spouse.