You found your “soul mate,” dated, fell madly in love, and before long you were fantasizing about what your wedding and wedding night would be like. The wedding night came and it was wonderful, and so were the weeks and months that followed.
As you slowly get down to the business of being married, tasks, opportunities, decisions and real life hit you square in the face.
After a couple of years have passed, your home and roles in married life are down to a routine. Looking to the future, you suddenly realize that your romantic life has taken on routine just like the household chores.
The routine doesn’t have the magic it once had and you wonder, “Did I really marry my soul mate?”
“This is an all too familiar story for many people,” says Dr. Pat Love, author, speaker and educator. “People find this very disconcerting. They know couples who are talking divorce which makes the lack of passion in their own marriage a bit more concerning. Couples have the baby, the recession, responsibilities, job insecurity, and so many irons in the fire that the fire has gone out of the bedroom. Their commitment is strong, yet there is this gnawing worry that maybe they should be doing something to flame the embers and get the fire going again.”
During the first two years of marriage, couples get a free dopamine ride. Everything is new and exciting and they have an elevated sex drive. Dopamine levels drop around the two-year mark and spouses begin to wonder what is wrong, but rarely do they ever have a conversation about what is happening in their relationship.
“These disconcerting thoughts can lead to arguments about things that don’t have anything to do with the real issue at hand – what has happened to us? Research shows that talking about sex during the first year is correlated with high marital satisfaction for men, and discussions after the first year are highly correlated with female satisfaction in marriage,” Love says. “If you can’t talk about it in a healthy productive way, both spouses are likely to be dissatisfied which quickly moves to discontentment which can lead to the dissolution of a perfectly good marriage.”
Whether you have been married two, 10 or 20 years, if the passion has fizzled in your marriage—or if you want to make sure it stays alive, there are things you can do to fan the flames.
Believe it or not, there are classes and events for couples on topics just like this. In a safe and fun environment, couples can consider what makes them feel close to each other and learn how to talk about sexuality and sensuality without being overly sensitive or blaming.
To learn more about fully understanding your spouse’s needs or how to deal with differences in creating passion and intimacy in your relationship, please contact us or check out our classes for married couples.