Has it been a long time since you have been together, and now, you are struggling to keep your relationship alive and bring back that spark from before?
As a sex therapist, I’m used to seeing couples who’ve lost touch. Couples who have forgotten why they fell in love or why they used to love having sex with other another. Being trained in sexology and psychotherapy, I know all about the different things that keep a relationship alive.
If you’re looking for ways to put the spark back into your marriage or relationship - the following 9 things will help you get there.
1. Learn How To Fight Properly
Conflicts. We all have them. Even in the best of relationships, our tempers get the best of us, causing us to lash out or make a not-so-nice remark.
I get it - arguing about the laundry for the 58th time this week isn’t exactly thrilling (at least not in a positive way!).
But fighting is inevitable.
According to researchers John & Julie Gottman, there are solvable arguments and unsolvable ones - and the unsolvable ones amount to 69% of all of our conflicts.
What this means is we have to learn how to fight properly. Being able to deal with our own irritation and anger and knowing how to handle our partner is paramount to relationship success.
By learning how to accept our differences and let pettiness go, by learning how to negotiate and work together as a team, by finding ways of dealing with the unsolvable arguments - we’re far more likely to stay together and grow together.
Want to know how you can have arguments in a healthy way? Read Conflict Doesn’t Ruin a Relationship, a Lack of Connection Does
2. Reminisce About That Memory
If we’re lucky, there are a few sexual moments we’ve shared with our partners that really stand out. One of the things that keep a relationship alive is reminiscing about them - together.
When your sexual desire is waning it usually needs a push in the right direction to appear. For many, especially those who identify as women, sexual desire is a responsive feeling, meaning that it, much like our other feelings, needs to be triggered in order to come alive.
By talking about a sexual experience from the past you’re giving your mind and your body a chance to remember how enjoyable sex was.
3. Don’t Believe You Know Your Partner
When you’ve been together for a long time it’s common to fall into the trap of thinking you know everything about the other person.
You know they love brie but hate camembert, that they’re afraid of spiders but pretend they’re not.
You also know they prefer having sex with the lights turned off and think sexting is stupid or embarrassing.
Or - do you?
A lot of times you might think you know exactly what your partner’s thoughts and needs are - but, if you ask your partner, you might just find that you don’t. Not always.
Over the course of a relationship, most of us change our minds about stuff or discover something new. It doesn’t have to be big or life-changing, but it happens and it matters.
By giving your partner the benefit of the doubt and asking them instead of assuming, you’ll be cultivating interest in one another and you’ll ignite that flame.
4. Lean On Someone Else
Our partner can be our biggest supporter and our biggest comfort, but they shouldn’t be our only support and comfort.
We might not mean to do it, but in good relationships, we often end up turning our partner or spouse into our therapist.
Relying solely on your partner can quickly zap the romance out of your relationship or marriage.
If this sounds like you and you’re looking for things to keep a relationship alive, try seeking comfort in a friend, co-worker or family member next time you need a shoulder to cry on. It might just be what you and your partner need to get back on track!