no matter what happens in a relationship
good or bad
you have to acknowledge
in it's success for failure”
Actress (Age 55)
The comes a time in every relationship where we find that it has changed. It happens gradually and most of the time we don't even notice the changes. Then one day we wake up to our lives and realize we have lost touch with each other.
Sometimes it's because the children have left home and it's just the two of you now. Sometimes it's a health issue for one of you and it alters your activities. Often it is just that one or both of you start taking the other one for granted and you lose the intimacy that you once had.
What happens when one of you still wants intimacy and the other person doesn't show an interest? What happens when you still want to have sex and your partner doesn't seem interested? What happens if you just want to hold hands and kiss goodnight and your partner doesn't do those things anymore?
There are several ways this can go. Some are desirable, some are not.
Here are a few examples of possible outcomes:
- Neither one of you brings the subject up and it never changes. You live the remainder of your life in a platonic relationship.
- You bring it up to your partner that you want more hugs, kisses, hand holding, etc., and your partner listens, but nothing changes.
- You bring it up to your partner that you want more hugs, kisses, hand holding, etc., and your partner listens, and tries to make it happen.
- You want to talk to your partner about the lack of affection, but you don't know how to start because your partner seems perfectly happy with the way things are.
- You seek the attention of another person to fill the void, thinking that you are not hurting anyone if they don't know.
- You suggest professional therapy, a complete physical, and/or pastoral counseling and you partner agrees to go.
- You suggest professional therapy, a complete physical, and/or pastoral counseling and your partner refuses to go.
It is never a good idea to bring another person into the relationship to fill any void. This is between you and your partner, a third person other than a counselor, therapist or doctor is not a good idea...ever. It is also a sin according the Bible. Giving your affection or having intimate conversations with someone other than your spouse is a betrayal. You should take your conversations to your spouse and only bring in a professional counselor or therapist or clergy when needed.
Many marriages have ended because one of the people in the relationship turned to another person for physical love. They don't want to leave their partner because they still love them, but they yearn for intimacy. In this case, a third person is like a lit stick of dynamite, it will burn hot for a while then it will blow itself and everything around it...destroying everything.
It's easy to become complacent in our intimate interactions with our spouse or loved one. Life gets busy with children, grandchildren, jobs, hobbies, housework, etc. We have been with our spouse or loved one sometimes for many years and have grown accustom to them just being there.
We tend to take one another for granted and often, we no longer share those precious intimate moments we yearned for when we were young.
The good news is that it can be found again and you can once again enjoy the touch of your beloved, a shared kiss on the lips, or more. But you both have to want it and be willing to work towards it.
If you have been distant from one another for very long, it will be harder to put it back together – but it can and should be done. Shared, intimate love can help you be healthier, happier and live longer.
What can you do to start the recovery and learn to “tango”?
Here are a few ideas, but you can come up with your own if you put your heart into it:
- You can reach for your spouses hand when you are walking together.
- You can sit closer to your spouse on the sofa when the news is on. Leaning on your spouse or just touching their arm in a loving way.
- If your spouse is the type who is receptive to discussions, sit down and tell them how you feel right from the start. Let them know that you miss their goodnight kisses or hand holding. Be sure they understand that sex is not the important thing, it is the intimacy...the sharing of moments and physical hugs, kisses, etc. If you make sex the issue, it will put your spouse in a position of stress if they are unable to provide that for you.
- Decide what will make you happy and ask your spouse what will make them happy in your relationship.
- Find times to do special things for your spouse or partner.
- Writing little notes and putting them in places they will see them (like taped to the bathroom mirror, taped to their rear view mirror of their car, tucked away in their sock drawer, next to the coffee pot, etc.)
- Cut out little hearts from red or pink paper and sign them “Love from Your Wife” or “Loving you, (your name)” or “Missing you already, (your name). Leave them in various places where your spouse or partner will find them.
- Ask your spouse or partner for a “date night”. Start with a nice dinner and a movie or bowling, etc. After the first “date night”, suggest that it be a monthly event or even a weekly event. Take turns choosing what the date will be.
- Start telling them you love them every chance you get. Sometimes they will respond with “I love you, too” and that can be a start.
- Just start showing more affection to your spouse or partner, whether they reciprocate or not. Just stick with it and over time, they will begin to warm up and return your affection. If they don't after a good while (give them plenty of time) then seek professional intervention.
The important thing about learning to “tango” again, is to open up communication. Do all you can do to get your spouse to communicate with you either in words or in physical contact.
Communication comes in many forms: spoken words, written words, physical touch, a certain look, an action, etc. Start by opening up communication lines, that is usually the core of the problem when one forgets how to “tango” with their partner.
Are you in a relationship that has lost it's spark? Has your spouse or partner forgotten how to “tango” with you? Maybe you and your spouse or partner are still dancing, put you are doing different dances – you are doing the “two step” and your spouse is doing the “cha-cha”, what are you doing to “tango” together? Do you have any personal experience bringing the spark back to your relationship that may help someone else?