Tania Basheer from Blue Sky Coaching says there are ways to put passion back in a long-term relationship, and it's not as hard as you might think.
"In my coaching sessions, both men and women confide in me, and remarkably they both say the same thing," Tania says. "They say 'He/She just isn't interested in sex.' Or 'Since we had kids, we're both too tired." Or "All he/she wants to is watch TV/sit on Facebook... we don't relax together any more.
"Most feel they are stuck in a daily routine: waking up, showering, breakfast, getting kids ready for school (kindy or daycare), a quick kiss if you remember on your way out the door. Then, you arrive home tired to leftovers or something quick and easy for dinner before getting into homework, housework, checking your iPhone messages or immersing yourself in your iPad, Facebook, or TV. The closest they get to passion is a heated discussion about money and maybe some uninspired love-making, before going to sleep.
"Married life can become a dull routine, but it doesn’t have to be that way as long as at least one of you is committed and willing to reignite the passion in your relationship and turn things around."
Here are Tania's 10 secrets to keeping the passion alive in your marriage:
1. Light up their passion with your touch:
We never lose the need for physical touch from our spouses. Regular physical contact satisfies our need for belonging and connection and has powerful positive ef
fects on our wellbeing. Take a moment, close your eyes, and imagine your partner’s eyes looking at you like they did when you first met. Feel them holding you close and wrapping their arms around you. If thinking about your partner's touch has filled you with warmth and desire, think about how you have the power to make them feel exactly the same way. Even
during the hardest times, they want and need your touch. When you kiss them, really be in the kiss. Hug more throughout the day. You’ll be surprised by how quickly increasing your day-to-day touch can re-ignite the spark between you.
2. Share new experiences:
Times constantly change and so do we as people. Creating variety in your relationship allows you to get to know your spouse in new ways. That can create passion. Seeing your partner in new situations and sharing new experiences together can create the kind of intimacy and romance that you enjoyed when you started dating and getting to know each other.
3. Create more intimacy:
If you’re not enjoying the level of intimacy you’d like in your relationship, Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages: the secret to love that lasts is a good place to start. Do you feel more intimate through: 1. physical touch, 2. hearing words of affirmation, 3. spending quality time together , 4. acts of service, or 5. receiving special gifts? We are all different, so you might find you and your spouse are ‘speaking’ or expressing yourselves in different love languages. Learn which of these things matter most to you and your spouse and speak
to your spouse in their love language. Share your positive feelings with them when they speak to you in your love language.
4. Go to bed at the same time:
This might sound like a no-brainer to some, but it isn’t obvious to everyone. Make time for and enjoy your couple time alone together in the evening.
5. Go on dates:
Don’t allow all of your time to be swallowed up with work or social commitments - make time regularly to go out, have fun and enjoy being together.
6. Plan a weekend alone together:
One day is yours to do as you wish, one is his.
7. Surprise your spouse:
Do you ever wonder what happened to the ‘fun’ version of you? The best way to get out of a rut and ignite passion is by intoducing more spontaneity and surprise. Surprising your spouse will make them feel incredibly valued, appreciated and cherished.
8. Be playful:
Flirt more with your spouse in the same way as you did when you were dating. Make your spouse feel desired.
9. Keep your bedroom private:
Having children shouldn’t mean losing all rights to privacy in your home. Take charge and ensure that you are able to lock doors and have private time alone with your spouse - even if it’s not a
long time - when you want it or need it.
10. Make self-nurturing a priority:
Are you always tired? Make sure as a couple you’re nurturing each other. You can do this together, for example, by giving each other a massage, going for a run or meditating. Treat yourself and
your partner lovingly - with kindness, compassion, understanding and acceptance. Know that time spent apart to nurture yourself isn’t a threat to your relationship, it’s beneficial. Learning to take loving care of yourself is vital to a passionate relationship with your spouse.