Would you like to know more about having hot, steamy, passionate, monogamous sex with your spouse?
I have worked with couples for years now and I have come to realize that intimacy issues are some of the biggest challenges in relationships. Have you ever wondered why that is? We are programmed for relationships and intimacy, so why is it so hard? Do you remember being on the elementary school playground when you were a child and hearing the sing-songy chant, “John and Susie sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G…”? Sex is portrayed in many aspects of our lives and is a wonderful gift from God, in the right context. I am going to discuss 3 common issues that seem to kill the mood and also offer some suggestions to rekindle the passion.
Challenge # 1: What do you expect?
When we are young and we think to the future about marriage, sex, family, etc., we probably have some expectations that we hope for. So what happens when those expectations are not met? It can certainly drive a wedge in the relationship. For more information about this, check out my blog post entitled “The Wedge.” So, what is the antidote for unmet expectations? It is communication. This can be easier to say than to actually put into practice.
Here is an exercise to try: Separately, you and your spouse get a piece of paper and write down the things you most want from your partner. Give it a day or two and schedule a time to come back together to discuss your list. I encourage you to actually trade lists and see if you see any surprises. Now, just a warning. If there are many areas on your partner’s list that are not currently being met, don’t get discouraged. Have an open and honest discussion about 1 or 2 things that are certainly the biggest priorities for change. Change does not happen overnight. It takes diligence and patients.
Challenge # 2: Do you even know me?
How well do you know your partner, their thoughts, their needs, their emotions, their hopes, and their desires? Anybody can have sex, but it is so much more fulfilling when you know each other in an intimate way, and the relationship is monogamous. If you have been in many circles of couples, you have probably heard of Dr. Gary Chapman’s five love languages. By the way, this is a highly recommended read, if you are not familiar with it. Love is an action word. We already talked about communication, but now it is time to put it into action.
The five love languages that Chapman brings to light are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Giving and Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch (not necessarily sexual). I encourage you to have honest communication with your partner about what of these actions most communicates love, respect, and thoughtfulness to them. Also, take the time to clue your partner in on your own needs. Then, put that in to action. For my wife, a stay-at-home home-schooling mom, some of the sexiest things I can do for her are wash the dishes, throw a load of clothes in the laundry machine, and make a meal for our family so she can get a break. Also, praying with her and leading our family spiritually is a pretty huge turn on. I can promise you that the romantic feelings and desire for each other will increase when you are actively and regularly showing love to your partner in their language long before you get to the bedroom. Intimacy is about your investment of time, thoughtfulness, and resources into your partner. Great sex is only part of the interest that you get to accrue from your investment.
Challenge # 3: Romance? What romance?
Many couples I have worked with get this concept in their mind, “Well, I have already got my partner. There is no need to date now.” Another thought that I regularly hear is, “When are we supposed to date when we have all of these___________?” You can fill in the blank with any number of things, responsibilities, children, debt. Just because you are together now does not mean that the courtship needs to be over. You and your partner are always growing, maturing, and changing. Dating is about a time to reconnect when life is busy and stay connected along the way. It is about setting time aside to focus on nothing but each other. Now, dates mean different things to different couples. For me, I do not consider going to a restaurant with 3 kids in tow just to get nutritional sustenance a date. My wife and I agree that planning is part of what constitutes a date. Also, remember that the focus is on each other, so no kids are invited. Finances can sometimes be pretty tight, but dates do not have to be expensive. Get creative with your partner. Make a list of interests of your partner and what constitutes a date for them. Then, you can begin planning.