Romance is an interesting word. It conjures up all kinds of thoughts for both men and women: candlelight, soft music, longing looks. Some might even think of a walk in the park or a bike ride together. But no matter how you see it, romance is really the act of pursuing each other; it’s a longing to be with someone and acting in a way that makes that person desire to be with you.
Romance before marriage is usually pretty easy—there were no kids to distract you, no pressures of finances to fight over, no annoying habits to live with. After marriage, these things start to eat away at your longing to be with your spouse. Desire is a key part of romance, so the act of pursuit or wooing doesn’t work very well if there is no desire for the other person. You may have drifted apart due to the chaos of life. Sometimes we spend more time with the kids or friends than each other. In the long run this will definitely cause you to be less close, and you may forget why you enjoyed this person so much when you first fell in love.
10 IDEAS TO BRING BACK DESIRE
These 10 ideas will help bring back the desire you enjoyed as a couple early on in your relationship. But they have nothing to do with mood lighting or lingerie. These suggestions will give you back the romance you’ve lost by making you more attracted (and attractive) to your spouse.
As simple as it seems, you need to talk to each other. You may be thinking, “But I talk to my spouse all the time.” I’m not talking about discussing family business. This kind of conversation is what we call “Work Talk.” The logistics of life. When we say “talk” think about dreaming together, share your thoughts, expose your feelings instead of keeping them to yourself. This is what we refer to as “Heart Talk.”
It’s important to turn off the television or put down that magazine and look into each other’s eyes while you converse. Really be intentional and listen to understand. If your spouse is distracted, then ask him or her to carve out 10-15 minutes just to catch up.
If you do this regularly, you will start to see your spouse with depth and color. You’ll begin to appreciate passion and desires. You may think you couldn’t possibly learn anything new about your spouse, but we all change and grow. What are the ways your spouse has grown lately? What new things has he or she learned? Why not find out? It will be the best 10-15 minutes of your day.
Nothing will ruin the desire to be with your spouse faster than resentment and bitterness. In return, it also ruins your spouse’s desire to be with you.
“We have a tendency to hold on to ‘wrongs’ and let go of the relationship.
What we should do is let go of the ‘wrong’ and
hold on to the relationship.” -Valley Creek Church
Conflict is going to happen in marriage; there’s no way around it. But you can choose to handle these disagreements in the right way and build up your marriage instead of tearing it down. In the Bible, Paul says, “Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.”
As you let go of harbored hurts, you will be free to love your spouse, no matter how many mistakes he or she has made. And as a result, your mate will love you even more.
When you put your partner’s needs above your own, you will find that you argue less, feel sorry for yourself less, your children will be more secure and happy, and you will find greater fulfillment as you watch your spouse enjoy the fruits of your kindness. In other words, serve instead of being served.
Instead of pointing out all of the ways your spouse regularly disappoints you, start to look for the positive actions. Tell them how you feel and what you appreciate about them. By giving a little praise, more of your mate’s good qualities will stand out, and in addition, you will find your spouse’s heart growing larger toward you as he or she feels more appreciated and adored.
Never stop saying, “I love you.”
“I told her once,” her husband said. “I figured that was enough.”
This is not a good plan of action, and it can go both ways. Both men and women can be the culprits of hoarding their words of love. The words “I love you” never grow old—your wife or husband (and your kids) need to hear them regularly, especially when you’ve had a fight or he or she has disappointed you in some way.
Marriage isn’t just a business deal. You have the opportunity to be best friends if you’re willing to invest in the relationship. Do you remember all the fun things you did together when you were dating? Stop reminiscing about those memories from the past and create some new ones. If you’re ready for a change in your marriage, make room for a little laughter in your schedule.
Use your brain for sex.
If your mind isn’t in the mood for love, then nothing will be. Women especially have a difficult time enjoying sexual intercourse if they are emotionally unprepared. Even men will find it hard to enjoy if they feel emotionally detached from their spouses.
The cure is to control your thought processes. Women, while you are intimate with your husband, think of him, not your laundry or the things you have to do the next day. Men, don’t think of sex as a purely physical event. Talk to your wife; think of her and not the models you saw on television commercials earlier. Stay focused on your spouse, and the connection will be better.
Spiritual intimacy is more important than physical intimacy. Many couples have regular sexual activity, but are not intimate—they miss out on the soul, the person your spouse is underneath the flesh. Christ is the bond that makes marriages strong and sturdy.
By praying together, you begin to have a deeper respect and admiration for each other spiritually. When the spiritual part of a relationship is sturdy and strong, that lays the foundation for a healthy physical intimacy. For more information on this topic, order Two Hearts Praying as One by Dennis and Barbara Rainey
Check your expectations.
If you find that your spouse is continually disappointing you, it may not be his or her actions; it may be your expectations.
Everyone comes into marriage with a set of unspoken rules about life. “Husbands should always…” and “Wives should always…” These rules are based on conclusions we’ve made watching our own parents and other couples that we admire. There is nothing wrong with goals and objectives, but it isn’t fair to create unspoken expectations for your partner and then get annoyed when they aren’t followed.
“We’ve been married over 35 years and still
cannot read each other’s minds.” – Mike & Susan
If you will stop assuming and start communicating, you’ll become less irritated and a lot more in love with your mate.
Never threaten divorce.
Marriage is a covenant that is made to last until death. That may be hard to believe in a culture where divorce is commonplace. We’ve heard couples use the word divorce as a way to threaten and control his or her spouse, such as, “If you don’t stop … I’ll divorce you.” But what this person may not understand is that a threat only plants seeds of fear and mistrust in your marriage. If you choose to handle conflict in this way, your spouse can become afraid that you’re going to leave and find it difficult to trust you. These feelings then lead to bitterness and isolation. Want to learn more about building trust.
Instead, tell your spouse that you will never leave. Assure him or her that you meant the vows that you took on your wedding day. Although there may need to be changes in your marriage and even marriage counseling, let them know that you are willing to work things out because you made a promise to your spouse and intend to fulfill that promise.
If you will practice these 10 ideas regularly, I guarantee a more romantic marriage. Romance is more about wooing than getting what you want, and a loved spouse will love you back. Don’t wait until it’s too late to begin practicing these principles. Start today.