I like being married. I have been married for over 35 years.
The last five years have been difficult. Most of the time I have been wondering “Should I go or should I stay?” I could never leave but sometimes I get the urge to run away.
Attraction and intimacy have been an issue. Life has been a messy swamp of grief, health issues, empty nest, and family problems and our love life has suffered. Also, we just don’t feel sexy. Our bodies are different and are not functioning as well as they did in our younger years. Remember when you just couldn’t wait to tear off your clothes and jump into bed and do it! It is not that easy anymore. Failures and half-hearted attempts have destroyed the spontaneity of the act. Trust is questionable. It’s just awkward.
Intimacy has become a difficult piece of the puzzle and is very necessary for our happiness. We enjoy our life together. Something is missing and it must be passion. Where did it go? How do we get it back? Where is the lust?
Passion is defined as an intense desire or enthusiasm for something. Passion in marriage is love, (sexual) desire, lust, ardor, infatuation, lasciviousness, lustfulness,”hot with passion” desire. Passion is the result of feeling your emotions intensely. To be truly alive, you must experience your emotions, the good ones and the not so good ones.
Experts say that passion in all marriage dies eventually. Passionate love becomes companionable love. Attraction becomes commitment. Familiarity breeds indifference. Passionate love ebbs and flows in most marriages in cycles.
Biology explains this phenomenon. When we first fall in love, our bodies produce dopamine which gives us a romantic “high”. The brain cannot sustain this “high” or level of stimulation and levels down to oxytocin. Oxytocin is the cuddling, bonding love hormone. Eventually, we lose our passion for each other and substitute it for compassion and comfort.
Anyone who has been married for a long time will tell you that passion and desire comes and goes. If you stick out the bad times, the good times will be even better. Never quit or give up hope unless you are in an abusive relationship.
A spark of attraction is essential for a happy marriage. It can be hard to find a spark after thirty plus years of togetherness and even harder to keep it. At this time, having a midlife crisis and being replaced with a younger, sexier model seems possible.
It is time to be happy. Life is too short. We want to enjoy life to the fullest.
We enjoy our life together. We are having fun. We are working on our communication and are committed to improving our sex life. We are losing weight and trying to get healthier. We have good intentions but we are a little lazy about this new commitment. It seems a little awkward.
A marriage counselor is a precious commodity in a marriage. I highly recommend one. Our counselor has helped us to communicate better. Men and women do not speak the same language. She has helped us understand each other. She has taught us strategies for coping with life and family.
Jill’s three basic tips for a happy marriage:
1. Wives need to hear that they are their husband’s top priority, frequently.
2. Men need to be appreciated and emotionally supported by their wives.
3. A successful marriage is built on good communication and a variety of shared experiences and adventures in and out of the bedroom tougher and separately.
Start slow. We will start with good communication and simple things. Kisses, hugs, holding hands, courtesy, a little flirting. Support and acceptance of shortcomings and faults. Some research. Doing what feels good. Looking for things we like about each other.
More to come.