Has being married become dull & not fullfilling? Your new love seems sparkly & new? It's Fools Gold!
A love story: featuring romance, intimacy and sex
Some of the most popular books on the shelves are romance novels. Women buy them by the millions; yet, I often see couples in my office who have grown apart, have low or no libido, and aren’t having sex anymore. Women are the primary purchasers of these books, so I scratch my head in wonder at how they can love books about romance, intimacy and sex, but no longer want it in their personal life with their partner. While visiting with couples, I gain more understanding about why and how this is possible. I ask the couple, “What are you doing to nurture your sex life?” They look confused or stare straight ahead, and it is usually the guy who will offer, “She won’t let me near her.” She retaliates with, “All you ever want is sex.”
I’ve read recently that more and more baby boomers are getting divorced. Couples that have been together since college, raised kids and fought in-laws together are now separating and divorcing. The reason? There are many, but it comes down to the three I have already mentioned: growing apart, losing their libido, and letting their sex life go. There is a belief for many, especially amongst women, that once you marry, you are married for life. You can let yourself go, begin sharing more with your girlfriends than your husband, and quit being intimate and they (husbands) will still love and want to romance with you. This is not true. Romance is enhanced with knowledge of your own body and a desire to want intimacy. Romance in a relationship demands time; it demands being open to feeling loved and wanting to love. The number one romance fantasy in most books involves the woman feeling frazzled and her man (who usually has clothes on, remember that women like men who emit power so a suit or at least shorts) taking her into his arms; she then submits to being totally pleased. The part the romance novel doesn’t mention is that the women in these stories know what pleases them and also are preparing in their head for this encounter. Even if they act surprised in the story, the room is magically candle lit and soft Latin music is playing. The man’s timing is always impeccable, which signifies that he is engaged with her; he knows her, watches her, and is aware. Many husbands in real life cannot even find their socks, let alone notice when their woman is giving signals for intimacy.
If your marriage is getting stale and you are becoming distant, you owe it to your family and your spouse to work on closing this gap before it becomes insurmountable. Reading a romance novel is fine, but it will benefit your marriage more if you begin prioritizing your marriage and intimacy as if it were a romance novel. Below I have suggestions of how you can begin creating your own love story:
1. If you suffer from low libido, go to the doctor. Many illnesses can cause painful intercourse as well as hormonal shifts within your body. Painful sex is never enjoyable and avoiding sex can ruin your marriage. Take it seriously and get checked.
2. Get in shape. Don’t stay in shape for your spouse. Make it about you. Your risk for cancer, heart disease and diabetes goes down the minute you take the first step. The confidence you will begin to build with your body is vital to restoring romance.
3. Talk to your partner about your sex life. What do you want? What feels good? How frequent is too frequent? How do you like to be touched? It’s difficult to bring up these topics, but if you begin with only 5 minutes a day of talking about your sex life, you will begin to feel closer to achieving true romance.
4. Good parenting is valuing your marriage first and foremost. Your spouse comes first. Going on a date with your spouse is the single most important thing you can do to assure your children’s happiness and success.
5. Guys, women need you to notice her. The single most loving romantic thing any husband can do is send flowers with a love note. When men adore their wife, she in turn makes you part of her fantasy.
It saddens me to talk to couples who are divorcing because they “grew apart” or no longer want to work on the marriage. They trade partners, leave their children, and destroy their family history because they cannot take the loneliness they have co-created with their spouse. They seek another to fill the void; like a miner holding fool’s gold, they tell themselves this is the real thing, the love of their life, or their soul mate. The real thing is the love story you are currently working on within your marriage. Take time for each other, intimacy and sex. Romance is the setting for “your love story” as you turn the pages of your best seller. –Mary Jo Rapini
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