A man in his late forties sent me a message asking how to handle an issue in his marriage. He has been married for 15 years and has three children but right now, he has nothing in common with his wife.
He admitted that he might have contributed to it by spending long hours away from home doing his business. He is ready to make amends but his wife is so used to his absence from home that she prefers he stays away than spend time with him.
I asked him if he has told his wife that he is ready to spend more time with her so that they can start enjoying each other’s company and build a lasting marital relationship together, he said yes.
The issue is that his wife is tired of his absence at home that she has developed other interests and relationships that has taken his place in her heart and life. She is so cold towards him. She only communicates with him to talk about home keeping, their children and money she needs to take care of herself.
Their sex life is almost non-existent and she is always hanging out with family and friends instead of staying home with him or going out with him. He swears that she is not cheating on him because he has been spying on her for months but her coldness towards him is breaking his heart. He wants his wife back. He wants his marriage back to the way it was before they drifted apart.
This is the reality in many long term marriages. Many couples now live like roommates. The only thing keeping them together is their children and bills. They communicate to talk about bills to pay, things to buy and which school the children should attend.
If you and your spouse find yourselves in this rut, there is no cause for alarm. You both can still remedy the situation by working together to rekindle the spark in your marriage.
The first hurdle to cross is willingness between both parties to work towards making the marriage as passionate as it was in the past. They can do this by defining their problems together.
They can spend some time looking at their relationship and figure out which parts work and which parts don’t and then create a plan of how they can get from point A, their current reality to point B, where they want to be.
Couples who are experiencing passion drought in their relationship should first of all foster emotional intimacy. A good sexual relationship is built on emotional intimacy and closeness. You cannot build a good marriage without emotional connection.
In other words, if you are hoping to improve your physical relationship with your spouse, you need to first work on your emotional connection. Focus on meeting your partner’s needs and communicating your own needs in a loving, respectful way.
Couples who want to rekindle their passion and love need to turn towards each other. Practicing emotional attunement can help you stay connected even when you disagree or fight.
This means turning toward one another by showing empathy, instead of being defensive. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t discuss your challenges. Both partners need to talk about their feelings in terms of positive need, instead of what they do not need.
Expressing a positive need is a recipe for success for both the listener and the speaker because it conveys complaints and requests without criticism and blame. This requires a mental transformation from what is wrong with one’s partner to what one’s partner can do that would work.
Couples who are in a rut need to rekindle sexual chemistry. During the early phase of marriage, many couples barely come up for air due to the excitement of falling in love. Unfortunately, this blissful state doesn’t last forever.
Scientists have discovered that oxytocin; a bonding hormone released during the initial stage of love causes couples to feel euphoric and turned on by physical touch. It actually works like a drug, giving couples immediate rewards that bind people to their spouses.
Couples who need to bring the spark back into their marriage should increase the length of time they kiss, hug, and use sensual touches. This is one of the ways they can improve their relationship even if things have gone cold between them.
Couples need to change their pattern of initiating sex if they want to have a healthy sex life. Maybe you are denying your spouse sex or coming on too strong. Avoid criticizing each other and stop the blame game. Mix things up to end the power struggle.
Men, you don’t talk down your wives during the day or refuse to listen to their concerns but want to have spicy sex at night. Things don’t work that way. You will hit a brick wall when you want to connect with your wives sexually.
Nigerian men should also learn how to spend more time on foreplay before penetrating their wives. A lot of married women complain about their husbands’ inability to arouse them before penetrating them and this makes them dislike sex.
Ask your wife when turns her on. Touch her. Kiss her body. Go down on her. Make sure is ready for you before you go in. Stop dragging your woman’s underwear like ‘I big pass my neighbor generator.’
Couples who have been married for a long time can spice up their relationship by allowing sexual tension build up before the actual act. Our brains experience more pleasure when the anticipation of the reward goes on for some time before we receive it. So take your time during foreplay, share fantasies, change locations, and make sex more romantic.
It is important that married couples separate sexual intimacy from routine. Routine destroys relationships. It makes it predictable and boring. Couples should plan intimacy time and avoid talking about relationship problems and household chores in the bedroom. Sexual arousal plummets when couples are distracted and stressed.
The importance of spending time with spouse cannot be overemphasized. You don’t spend all your time away from your wife and home and still expect her to be the same person you have left alone for years. It is not possible.
Leaving your wife all by herself for years while you gallivant around town will teach her how to spend more valuable time away from you. She will get used to your absence. She will look for something to fill the emotional void you left in her life.
For a change, try new activities that will bring you both pleasures. Have fun courting and practice flirting as a way to ignite sexual desire and intimacy with your spouse. The results will benefit you both. Everything positive you do in your relationship is foreplay. You will reap the benefits soon.
Couples who have lost their spark should focus more on affectionate touches. Offer to give your spouse a back or shoulder rub. People associate foreplay with sexual intercourse, but affectionate touch is a powerful way to demonstrate and rekindle passion even if you are not a touchy-feely person.
Couples should practice being more emotionally vulnerable during sex. It is sad that some men and women can’t be vulnerable with their spouses when it comes to what gives them sexual pleasure. It is important to share your innermost wishes, fantasies, and desires with your spouse.
Instead of being critical, try treating your spouse with kindness is the key to keeping your love alive. Research has shown that taking more loving actions actually makes you feel more in love.
In any interaction with your spouse, whether it’s personal or practical, try to be kind in how you express yourself. This softens your spouse, even during heated moments. Continuing to be loving and generous has a huge payoff as it not only keeps love alive, it fosters a deeper level of intimacy.
Lastly, friendship is the glue that holds a marriage together. Couples who know each other intimately and are well versed in each other’s likes, dislikes, personality quirks, hopes, and dreams are couples who make it.
Increasing physical affection and emotional connection can help couples who are struggling to keep their marriages intact can help sustain deep and meaningful bonds.
Re: Silent relationship killers that can lead to divorce
While I understand that some marriages can be bad, you shouldn’t be quick to advocate for divorce. God hates divorce. Marriage is for better, for worse. No matter how bad a marriage gets, if couples return to God and seek his face, He will turn things around. Women should be submissive and men should love their wives. These two requirements make a good marriage.
-Adekunle Oyebode, Lagos
This first piece of 2020 is no doubt a powerful and correct guide to bringing back to life dying and shaky marriages. A careful reading reveals your undying love and burning desire for peaceful and lasting marriages. Even your critics through their fault finding lens know that you have a heart of gold for the institution of marriage. 2020 looks promising with your pen constantly teaching couples how to stay together.
-Pst. Stephen, Abuja
While one cannot take away your intelligence and expertise regarding relationships from you, you are very biased against men.
You always write about how men mistreat women without shedding light on the evils women commit against men. This is a New Year, try and balance your articles. Thank you.
I always try my best to treat my wife well but it seems as if she is taking me for a fool.
I agree with you that couples must make joint efforts to make their marriage work but what happens when someone is married to a heartless woman who finds a way to frustrate your efforts?