That first glow of in love sometimes gets lost in the job of daily living. When children are added, it may seem you then ride the train to nowhere. Your relationship with your spouse gets lost in the muck of breakfast, getting kids up and dressed, off to work and school, back again with homework, soccer, karate, sleepovers, play dates, dinner, laundry, pets, and on and on.
You love your partner and can't quite imagine life without him or her, yet when life takes over, you are seldom alone together. The romance is put on the back burner, and it's all too easy to fall into the pattern of criticizing, berating, and belittling, with each of you feeling wronged by the other. It may begin to feel like the two of you are oceans apart when it comes to intimacy.
Recapturing that "in-love" feeling requires time and attention. It takes prioritizing life and perhaps missing soccer practice to take care of the parents' relationship and assure that the soccer player has a secure and loving home.
Communication is the key to keeping a relationship alive and well. Learn to speak the language of love so that you and your partner are on the same page emotionally and sexually once again. Reawaken your "in love" connection.
1. Really listen and avoid misinterpretations. Be sure you hear what your partner wants you to hear. It's easy to say one thing while your partner hears something else. Reflective listening will prevent this. Reflect back what you hear your partner say or feel. A way to practice reflective listening is by saying, "What I hear is...". Your partner can then answer "Yes," or rephrase what he/she said so that you can hear it the way he/she intends. For example, you can say, "You look great in that black dress." Your partner hears, "You look bad in the red one."
The goal is to keep defensiveness down and to try to hear what your partner is saying. Reflective listening can have the effect of ensuring that you don't feel reactive and angry toward your partner. There is not a right and wrong. We talk and listen through our life filters. When we are not feeling unheard and ignored, our level of emotional intimacy deepens, and we are more inclined to feel sexual.
2. Agree to disagree. If one partner has to be right, and one partner has to be wrong, then you are setting yourselves up for failure. Each partner has his/her own reality. You can spend a day at Disneyland with the same weather, same lunch, same rides, same crowds, same lines, and at the end of the day, one could hate it, and one could love it. You are both right because you each have your own reality. So, if you argue to the death, and one needs to be right so the other is wrong, you will fail. It's not okay to give in and lose your temper by screaming and yelling at each other. Try remembering what it was like at the beginning of your relationship when you were hopelessly in love. Go back to when it was working for you. Look at old pictures together, play music that you played when you were first together, or go on a date to somewhere you used to go together.