Q: I’ve been married for eight years and while I love my husband dearly, I miss the sexual spark that we used to have. I realize that it’s natural for our sex life to go through ups and downs, but I was wondering if there is something we can do to increase passion, even a little. We can use some relationship help. ~Cindy
A: Thank you for your question. I agree with your assessment that passion and desire aren’t constants in a long-term relationship, and instead vary due to a combination of issues (e.g., stress, hormonal changes, and unresolved relationship issues).
But this doesn’t mean that you need to settle for a sexless marriage or relationship. Here is a suggestion that has worked for other couples looking for relationship help in this area.
Teasing is a great way to fan the flames of desire.
Have you ever noticed how people in a new relationship excel at the art of teasing? Whether seducing each other at the supermarket or while sitting at a red light, new lovers discover ways to turn each other on in the most ordinary of circumstances.
They seem to be involved in a kind of sexual game—a playful game with unspoken rules. These rules create moments that feel enticing and forbidden to the couple, thereby increasing their excitement and desire.
Are you ready to enter the game of teasing with your spouse/partner?
Relationship Help: The Basics of Teasing
It’s all in your attitude
The art and skill of teasing starts with a particular attitude. The most important part of this attitude involves giving yourself permission to be playful and provocative with your partner. Without permission, you will remain inhibited and lose the freedom necessary for the game of teasing. Can you give yourself permission to have fun with your partner?
Communication, Knowledge & Information are Key
Since there is no standard, one-size-fits-all rule for teasing, information about your spouse/partner is critical for teasing to be effective. Use and build on what you already know about your partner. Take the time to review the sexual history of your relationship.
Here are a few questions to reflect on: What kinds of activities turned your partner on in the past? What turns him/her on presently? Have your partner’s sexual tastes and preferences changed?
Talk with your partner about her/his current sexual interests and fantasies. Think of ways you can use this information to entice your spouse’s/partner’s sexual appetite.
Novelty is Golden: Try Something Different
The exciting and novel sexual activities that are inherent to many new relationships can become sidelined by the familiar and routine. If the sexual terrain of your marriage/relationship feels too predictable, try changing the rules of engagement that have led to stagnation.
You and your mate might find it exciting to periodically replace the familiar with something new, such as changing the location where sex typically occurs or educating yourselves about new sexual activities/positions.
While struggling with a passionless marriage/relationship is serious business and should be addressed, the steps to reclaim passion shouldn’t be a somber process. Try to have fun as you and your spouse/partner set off on this new, passion-filled adventure.
Marriage & Passion Resource:
I’ve created a workbook that focuses exclusively on helping couples build a passion-filled relationship. Check out my Don’t Let Marriage Ruin Your Sex Life ebook.
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Until next time,
Rich Nicastro, Ph.D.