What to do when you're too over-scheduled and exhausted for romance and connection
Jen can’t remember the last time she and her husband Bob, had a date or a moment purely to themselves. They both have demanding careers as well as a busy family life. All four of their kids are active in sports so free time is spent shuttling one (or more) to practices and games.
Although she feels guilty about it, Jen often complains to her friends about her marriage. Bob is a fabulous father and a loyal husband, but she wants to see more of the romantic partner and passionate lover she fell in love with. She worries that they’ll have no connection besides the kids and this makes her sad and worried about the future.
At the beginning of a love relationship or marriage, it’s usually easy to keep passion alive. You’re discovering one another and all feels fresh and new. For many (but not all), this is when life is simpler.
This was before kids or when the kids were younger. Maybe you didn’t have house or car payments in the early days of your relationship and fewer responsibilities overall. Compared to how stretched and scheduled you and your partner are today, in many ways your lives were so much easier, lighter and more excited then.
Life happened and became more complicated and stressful for lots of couples. They had (and maybe still have) the best of intentions to make their relationship a priority, but things got busy or a crisis happened and that intention fell aside.
This can lead to distance and the death of passion.
Fortunately, in the vast majority of relationships, this can be reversed. You and your partner can take steps to change the course of “too-busy-for-passion.” In doing so, you can prevent infidelity AND you can create the kind of connection that’s exciting and new...kind of like when you first got together.
Banish the “not enoughs”
There’s a mind-set that stands in the way of reviving spark and it’s the “not enoughs.” When you regularly think and say things like....
- “There’s not enough time for date nights.”
- “I don’t have enough energy to connect with my partner.”
- “There’s not enough of ME to go around.”
These thoughts and comments reflect a lack belief. They are understandable, but don’t serve you or your relationship. Catch yourself when you become immersed in the “not enoughs” and pause.
Please don’t criticize or beat up on yourself for thinking this way. Just notice it when you do; stop and take a deep breath.
Re-think your priorities
If you’re like most people, you’re not lying when you say it feels like there’s “not enough” of you to go around-- and certainly “not enough” time or energy to add connecting with your partner to your already-busy schedule.
This might be true, but it doesn’t mean you can’t create a new truth.
Make a list of the things you do and that fill up your days. There are probably some activities that you only do because you feel like you “should” or because it’s what you’ve “always” done.
Ask yourself if you really want to keep doing these things and if continuing these activities serves you or doesn’t. The goal here is to spend your time and energy only on those activities that are in alignment with your priorities. Know that activities like sitting through your kid’s soccer match in the pouring rain is probably not something you really want to do, but supporting your child by cheering him or her on IS a priority.
When you make conscious decisions about what you do, you’ll find that you have more choice-- and a sense that you have more time too. That newly-created time can be spent connecting with your partner in meaningful and fun ways.
Be an irresistible invitation to love
Many couples who feel a lack of passion have stopped trying. Yes, they’re busy and over-scheduled, but at a certain point, they’ve given up inviting more love and connection into their relationship.
Make one of your priorities this...
This means that even when you and your partner are cleaning up the kitchen after dinner or “vegging” out in front of the tv after a long day’s work, you are also staying open to one another and you interact in ways that bring more passion to your relationship.
- Expressing genuine gratitude invites in love.
- Lovingly (and sensually) touching your partner reignites spark.
- Really listening and engaging with what your partner says makes you irresistible.
Watch and see how your partner responds when you say or do certain things and-- if you feel the connection and things heat up-- THAT’S another way to be an irresistible invitation to love.
The great news is you can keep the spark alive by doing these “little” things every day. It doesn’t take much time, energy or money and the results are amazing!
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