Four Ways to Maintain Intimacy in your Relationship
Those of us who've passed the 7-year itch portion of our marriages can probably all agree on one fact: Marriage is not a sprint it is a marathon. Don't get me wrong, it's also rife with the kind of intimacy and familiarity that is impossible to comprehend unless you're fully immersed in the thick of it. And sure familiarity can be great for keeping your marriage running like a tight ship (you have pizza night every Friday, your husband knows to buy that special toilet paper you love, and before bed you never forget to say I love you before retreating to your respective sides of the bed). But it doesn't exactly lead to excitement or great sexual chemistry.
So if your sex life is feeling familiar and dare I say lackluster, you are not alone! And while I would love to regale you with my tales of attempting acrobatic double-jointed sex stunts to keep our married sex life fresh, that would be a complete disservice to you. To be perfectly honest though, I actually did buy a pair of fur-lined handcuffs once and they gave my wrists a rash. And then we couldn't find the key (true story!). I think true intimacy requires more than props or frilly lingerie (although if those do it for you, more power to ya!). So how can you keep it fresh in the bedroom (or kitchen or back seat of the car) after years of marriage if you're not really into crazy Cosmo-style stunt stuff? It's possible! But just a warning: You are going to have to work at it. Every single day. But it's worth it, I promise.
Touch each other as often as possible. Sexual attraction and the urge to get it on all begins in the mind. Touch is such a powerful tool that we often forget to exercise, especially when we're in the throes of our daily routines and not tuned into our partners. So while you're jotting down your grocery list or texting your friend, you still have one hand free to massage your partner's neck, hold his hand, or brush his cheek, for instance. These seemingly-small physical gestures can connect the two of you in ways that are hard to articulate. It's a primal connection, and a way to remind your partner that you still desire him.
Find a shared activity that you love both love. Whether it's watching a movie on the couch, taking a cooking class, going for a bike ride, or skydiving, find something that appeals to both of you that doesn't involve the kids (if you have em). The energy and excitement you'll get from this mutual interest will spill over into every other aspect of your life including your sex life.
Carpe Diem kiss. Seize the moment! I know it's 11 p.m. and the only thing you really want to do is kiss each other on the cheek and go to sleep. But if you can muster the energy, instead of kissing your husband on the cheek, give him one of those long lingering kisses (you know, the kind from before you got married). Just kiss each other. Don't think about anything else or put any pressure on it. And if it's just one kiss, that's great. It's a first step to connecting and making sure that this person you share your bed and life with is more than a comfortable roommate.
Find a picture of your spouse that gets you all hot and bothered and tell him/her to recreate the look just for you. My husband is going to be getting into this uniform tonight and rewinding the clock to 1995.
So what's the bottom line?Intimacy in the bedroom is so much more than having sex. Remind yourself every day to check in with your spouse in small and big ways. (Maybe email him these tips so he can get in on the action too!) And of course if all else fails, there's always a bottle of red wine.