Life can be disappointing when there is no passion in it, and the passion has died out.
One definition of passion describes it as “a strong and barely controllable emotion.”
When our feelings of passion for another person are aroused, it is hard to think of anything other than that person with whom we are so enthralled. That passion may have been killed by an action or actions of the other person or it may have slowly died over time.
When passion has died in a relationship, it can not only make life boring but it can also be painful. When attempts made to restore some passion to the relationship are ignored or rebuffed, it hurts even worse. Once this has happened a few times, a person is often left with a decision to either live life this way and cope with it, get divorced and hope to find someone new with newfound passion, or stay married and find fulfillment elsewhere through friends, children and or grandchildren or an affair.
Waning passion does not mean the death of a relationship or marriage. What causes a marriage to die is the growing apathy that turns to resentment and anger. If things don’t get addressed and changed, the friendship and companionship part of the marriage can be killed, and then a marriage will die.
Can passion be restored in a marriage? Yes, we believe it can be restored, but you must know that there is no magic pill or potion to make it happen. If passion is going to be restored to a marriage; it will take a desire to restore it, ongoing effort to bring it back, and the perseverance to keep at it even when you don’t always feel like it.
Here are some of the steps and things involved in an effort to restore passion to a marriage.
1. We believe that if passion is to be restored in a marriage, a decision must be made to restore it. At least one of you has to determine that you want to get back the passion you once had. Passion is a feeling, an emotion. There was a time you did not have to put forth any effort to experience passion in your relationship. It was just there. You couldn’t (and didn’t want to) turn it off. Passion is very unlikely to just show up like it did at the beginning. Most couples experience it dying off slowly over a period of time with many contributing factors.
To get the passion back requires a desire and a decision to get it back.
2. Restoring passion in a marriage requires an investment of time, energy and emotion. While passion initially is present in a relationship and does not take any thought or effort, maintaining passion in a marriage requires intentionality. It will not stay alive on its own without proper care and feeding. Once the flames die out completely, it takes effort AND time to bring it back. Prepare yourself that you will need to find and devote TIME and ENERGY and EMOTION to bring about change. Keep reading to discover more information about some of the emotional energy needed.3. Restoring passion in a marriage will require having the ability to cope with rejection and not becoming so dejected that you stop trying. Passion may not have been around for quite some time now. Efforts you make to restore it, even in limited ways, are likely to feel awkward and not genuine at first. The change may seem weird enough to one or both of you that there are almost reflex- like reactions by one of you to back away. This will hurt, and it will certainly feel like rejection. However, it might be a reaction to something that is much different than your recent history together. Don’t quit. Take the time you need to recover. Before entering the process, it helps to set a time limit in your mind regarding how long, how often and/or how many times you are going to try before giving up. Start slowly, and don’t expect much response. By doing so, you will experience less pain and disappointment when and if you sense rejection. 4. While one determined and proactive person can make a difference in a marriage, the chances of restoring passion improve dramatically if both agree to work on it. If both of you are in agreement from the beginning that things need to change, there is less chance for deep discouragement. If something happens that causes feelings of rejection, it is easier to discuss and make adjustments when you both want the same thing. Even if your partner is not ready to engage in restoring passion to the marriage, one of you can still start the process.
Things have been the way they are for so long that it may be difficult for your spouse to believe that anything will really be different.
Why put in the effort if you don’t believe it is really going to bring any change. Start on your own if you have to, and at some point, your spouse will see that things really can be different. When that happens and both of you are working at it, your marriage is on the way to recovery.5. Restoring passion in a marriage will require changes in thoughts, patterns and behaviors. The restoration you are seeking will not happen without change, and it will require you to think creatively. Breaking out of the patterns you are both stuck in will require changes in habits for both of you. It requires the ability to think creatively in order to come up with new patterns and options regarding how things are done and how you relate to each other. If you are stuck and have difficulty figuring out what to do differently, talk it over with a good friend or seek the help of a counseling professional. As the years go by, you establish your patterns of thinking and behaving. You can even begin to believe that we you can’t change or that you do not have the ability to think creatively. This is not true even though it feels like it. By talking with someone who is outside the box you live in, you have the opportunity to hear other ways of looking at the problem. When this starts, it often awakens the creativity you have inside yourselves, and new courses of action can be developed.6. Passion can be restored in a marriage when you are open and willing to pay the price involved to change things. The price may involve giving up something you like to do that takes too much time away from being with your spouse. The price may involve joining in an activity that is important to your spouse but is not as important to you. The price could require getting rid of old resentments and offering forgiveness. The price could involve an honest and heartfelt apology for hurtful behavior and a plea for forgiveness. The price might mean a greater openness to sexual expression and being less inhibited. The price might involve listening to your spouse and living with the sexual boundaries that help your spouse feel safe. The price will involve change.
You must decide if you are willing to make the changes YOU need to make to help save your marriage and restore passion and fulfillment for both of you.
It is also worth looking at the cost of not making the decision to change.
In a recent study designed to uncover “What Keeps Passion Alive In Long-Term Relationships” co-author by Dr. Janet Lever noted that over 1/3 of couples keep their passion alive and well even after one, two or three decades together. Dr. Lever found what most of us already know – but often fail to live out. Passion will not stay alive if a marriage is on auto pilot. For those couples who maintain it over the years, there is a conscious effort to avoid routinization of sex. We believe that it is also important to avoid allowing all the other areas of your marriage to be set on auto pilot.
If you have had enough related to a passionless relationship, it is time to do something that will turn things around. This process is hard to go alone. We can help you plot a strategy that will work in your particular situation.
If you’re ready, take the next step now and call 630-333-3202 for a free 15-20 minute phone/Skype consultation. We will tell you about how our process works and you will come away from that call with the information you need to make a decision about how we can best work together.