There are too many stereotypes of marriage to count. A biggie that we read about and hear all of the time is that the passion inevitably dies over time in a long-term relationship.
This is humorously portrayed in TV sitcoms where the husband and wife mostly regard one another with boredom and-- in healthier relationships-- resigned acceptance. It's pretty clear when the newlywed phase is done.
As you might know from your own experience, this stereotype isn't always far off from reality. There is a certain comfort and reliability to being in a marriage that's lasted. You feel reasonably certain that your spouse will be there for you.
There isn't much spark going on, however.
As reassuring as it might be to have a partner you can count on (at least most of the time), maybe you also long for something more. Perhaps you miss those days when different adjectives defined your relationship. Words like, “hot,” “can't get enough,” “sexy” and more may have applied earlier in your relationship.
Where has that passion gone?
For some couples, this fizzling out of passion leads to disappointment, resentment, hostility, distance and sometimes even cheating or divorce.
The good news is this...
You CAN re-infuse your marriage with more sizzle.
Here are 4 ways to bring back the red hot passion you're craving...
#1: Be greedy.
Know that you deserve to have the kind of spark and romance that you want with your partner. Too often, people gloomily resign themselves to what feels like a dark and cold life.
Of course, we're exaggerating (a bit). Your marriage might not feel dark and cold, but if you notice a lack of the kind of passion you used to have-- or even that you've never had but always wanted-- then you're probably feeling dissatisfied.
Be greedy enough to do whatever it takes to create a relationship that delights and excites you.
We're not suggesting that you ignore your spouse's wants and needs. Instead, tune in to what you want and really listen what your partner wants. This is the place for honest and open communication and it is also the place for connection which are all essential prerequisites for passion.
#2: See beyond the fizzle.
There's something enticing about venting to a friend about how annoying and irritating things are-- including and especially your spouse. You may like to joke about how “hot” your Saturday nights are as your husband watches sports highlights as you fold clothes.
What underlies the venting and even the good-humored joking is a deep feeling of lack.
That lack of passion can feel sum total of your marriage. This is truly sad and it will only take you further away from your spouse and from the kind of spark you're looking for.
Instead, challenge yourself to find something that you can appreciate and possibly even feel excited about when it comes to your marriage. Yes, there might be a lot of dull and boring, but what about those moments when it's not?
What about that certain smile your spouse flashed your way the other day? What about the slight thrill you felt when your partner stroked your arm recently?
This might require you to take a different perspective, but if you can see a glimpse of the kind of passion you're looking for, this will show you that there's more than just the fizzle.
#3: Feed the sizzle.
We all do things that, we know, close down our partner. It might be a comment about a sore subject or a habit that really seems to set the other person off.
Just as there are those things that clearly push your partner away, there are other words and behaviors that draw your spouse closer to you.
If you don't already know examples of what these are, get curious. Experiment and pay close attention.
Make it your intention to do more of the things that feed the passion in your marriage and that draw your partner closer to you. This might be as simple as you offering to do the dishes so that your partner can go put up her feet and rest. It could be you surprising your mate with massage after a long day-- that may even lead to more.
Notice what feeds your own sizzle too.
Are there ways you could be nourishing your own self-- body, mind and soul-- that could cultivate an openness to more passion? You might be amazed at the difference that eating a healthier diet, exercising regularly, resting and relaxing can all make for your love life.
#4: Take risks.
When you disrupt usual patterns it can feel risky. If you and your spouse are used to being together in a certain way, to try something new (even if it's something you used to do) can feel uncomfortable and even scary.
A risk inherently involves the chance that you're attempt will fall flat or will be met with negativity.
Acknowledge your hesitations and fears to being more passionate and be patient and loving with yourself. At the same time, nudge yourself to take more risks with your mate.
If you truly want more passion and spark, doing things differently is what it's going to take.
Instead of curling up with a good book every night before bed, some of the time curl up with your partner. Rather than slipping into your cozy thermal pajamas, slip into something more daring and sexy under a warm robe. Then, when the moment is right, reveal your surprise to your spouse.
Have fun with this and don't take it too seriously. If your try at romance comes off more silly than suave, laugh about it with your partner. This can also be a moment that leads to passion...
If you step out of your comfort zone and let it.
Susie and Otto Collins are relationship coaches and authors who help couples communicate, connect and create the relationship they desire. Click here to get their free ebook, Passionate Heart-Lasting Love.