Love and Lust: How to Rekindle Romance in Your Marriage


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Picture this. You and your spouse finally get a break away from the kids. You go to a nice dinner and then go out to see a play.

But you could care less about how the play ends. What you really want—what you really need—is your partner. You put your hand on their thigh. They look at you in a way that communicates that the feeling is mutual.

You sneak out during intermission, aching to be alone, get your clothes off, and get busy.

If that sounds entirely unrealistic, you may need to rekindle the romance in your marriage.

In a 2007 Pew survey, 12% of married respondents reported that they hadn’t slept with their partner in over three months.

Not only does this result in feeling disconnected from your spouse—sexual dissatisfaction can lead to infidelity.

If it’s been a while, don’t worry. Here are a few ways to put the spark back in your marriage.

Identify Your Priorities

For many of us, marriage is a juggling act that would make Barnum & Bailey’s jaws drop. It’s a tough job to focus on our careers, raise our children, take care of the house, and somehow show affection to your partner all at the same time.

And as you learn to balance all of these spinning plates, sex sometimes falls to the wayside.

Usually, it’s not anyone’s fault. Priorities just change sometimes. And if you’re not intentional, making love can drop to the bottom of the to-do list.

We sometimes look at sex as a luxury. It’s nice, but we can do without it. We let other things take priority. But that can set a dangerous pattern that can lead to a sexless, unhappy marriage.

Sit down with your partner and talk about your priorities. What’s getting priority over sex? Find a way to make intimacy more important.

Care For Emotional Needs Too

As much as no-strings-attached, casual sex has risen in our culture, sex in your marriage is still a very emotional act. When an emotional divide rises between you and your spouse, it can manifest itself in feeling out of sync sexually.

Make sure you take care of each other emotionally.

Learn your spouse’s love language and show affection to them with this in mind. It will probably be a challenge—their love language is probably different than yours, so it might not feel natural at first.

When you and your partner care for each other emotionally, that emotional satisfaction can help pave the way for romantic times.

Be Honest About What You Want

Open and honest communication is essential for any happy marriage.

But sometimes, we feel like we’re asking too much of our spouses. We don’t want to feel overbearing or unreasonable, so we just don’t ask.

When this starts happening in our sex life, it can create deep satisfaction. Our partner can’t satisfy our fantasies if they don’t know what those fantasies are.

Give yourself permission to have desires. Maybe you want to add more oral play to your repertoire. Maybe she thinks you should get more information about male enhancement.

Accept that you deserve a satisfying sex life and let your partner into those desires.

Get Out Of the Box

One of the biggest killers of passion is monotony.

As we walk through marriage together, we develop a number of routines. We go to work at the same time every day, have a few favorite weekend plans, eat at the same restaurants, and so on.

That includes the same thirty-minute sex appointment with the same two positions every Wednesday night while the kids are at your in-law’s.

After a while, it just starts to get boring. And no one is going to make boring sex a priority.

Try something new. And not just a new set of lingerie—although that might help.

Have sex in a different place—maybe a different room of the house, a hotel room—or even the backseat of your car. Try new positions, new rhythms, and new toys. Sneak off during your lunch breaks for a little afternoon delight.

Adding variety to your sex life can make sex exciting again. And when it’s exciting, you start to make it a priority.

Recognize That You’re In It Together

When you’re going through a conflict in your marriage, it’s easy to feel adversarial. You want something, but your spouse is keeping it from you. It’s you vs. them.

But when it comes to restoring intimacy in marriage, you’re in it together.

Remember: you’re not the only one who hasn’t gotten some in a while. There’s a good chance that your spouse is unsatisfied with the state of affairs too.

Be patient with each other. Don’t blame one another for your lack of intimacy. Identify the things that are taking priority over your sex life and work together to make romance a priority.

If you experience setbacks, don’t blame them. It takes time to fight the inertia of a passionless marriage and turn it into something spicy. Each of you will make mistakes. Just pick yourselves up and try again.

Rekindle Romance In Your Marriage

If you long to rekindle the romance in your marriage but it feels like a pipedream, don’t give up hope.

Have an honest conversation with your partner about what you both want. When all your chips are on the table, work together to put some spice back in your relationship. You’ll be happy you did!

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Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market.

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