Why does the spark disappear in a long-term relationship? Many factors could be to blame. The loss of physical attraction, the absence of common interests, resentment buildup and decreased relating on a personal level could all be to blame.
Luckily, couples can address most of these issues to save the marriage and reestablish its strength.
If you feel that the spark has died and you no longer connect to your partner like you should, the time has come for some honesty and action. Here are some of the strategies that psychologists and therapists recommend to couples that seem to have lost the spark.
Acknowledge the Change
Many couples act in a rather nonsensical way. They believe that ignoring the issue and acting as if everything’s fine will eventually lead to improvements.
This isn’t the case.
The first step towards resolving an issue is acknowledging that something has gone wrong.
Sit down and talk to your partner openly and honestly. Let them know that you feel the change and that it’s bothering you. Chances are that they feel the same way but were simply afraid to bring the issue out in the open.
Once you get the lines of communication opened and you describe the specifics of what’s bothering you, the discovery of a resolution will become a much easier task.
Touch More Often
This tip doesn’t relate to sex. The aim of physical touch is to reestablish the intimacy that you probably lost once the spark flew out the window.
When was the last time you hugged your spouse just because? Do you give them a peck on the lips each morning before going to work? How about brushing against each other in the kitchen? If you can’t remember the last time any of these have happened, you’re in definite trouble.
Physical touch happens naturally and often in the beginning of a relationship. As the passion starts to subside, many couples lose the need to connect to each other in a physical way.
Establish a habit of kissing and touching. Originally, it will feel awkward and forced. The more you touch, however, the more you’ll crave the proximity of your spouse. Eventually, such an approach towards physical intimacy will pay off in many aspects of your relationship.
When the spark disappears, most couples will experience a reduced frequency of sexual encounters. For some, the sex will cease altogether.
Just like physical touch and intimacy, good sex will have to be reestablished.
Start by following some of the steps mentioned above. Have a conversation with your partner about your sexual needs and the reasons why these aren’t being met. When you define the specifics of the issue, you’ll move on to seek a remedy for it.
If sex has become habitual, you can spice it up. Toys like soft dildos and playing out fantasies can bring an exciting new element into your routine.
But there are probably other issues, as well. Imagine your partner is feeling worried about their body due to normal changes that come with aging. It will be up to you to reassure them that you’re still incredibly attracted to their body.
These two examples show you the very specific steps you can undertake to deal with issues standing in the way of good sex. Most often, the situation can be improved proactively. All it takes is a bit of courage and openness to get things going.
How often do you zone out when your spouse is speaking? Are you present and fully engaged in the things that matter to them?
A long-term marriage often sees two people stop being present in each other’s lives. You know your spouse well. You know their preferences and desires. You support them but no longer feel the need to be vocal about it.
Try to be a bit more present for a change. Inquire about something of real interest to your significant other and listen. Plan an activity that you can have together. If you put a bit of effort in, your partner will reciprocate and the mutual feelings will become much stronger.
Seek Out Professional Assistance
Sometimes, the stuff you do at home wouldn’t be enough to address a deep-rooted issue standing in the way of bringing back the spark.
If you believe this to be the case, a bit of professional assistance may come in handy.
More and more couples are turning to relationship therapy in an attempt to address differences and acquire the right coping skills. An experienced professional will show you the best ways to enhance your communication and address problems without putting the blame on each other.
Therapists use many communication exercises and tools to give their clients a clear idea of what has gone wrong in the marriage. By encouraging vulnerability and a mutual approach towards problem resolution, these professionals can help couples pinpoint marriage goals and the best ways to bring those to reality.
The fact that you’re seeing a therapist doesn’t mean your marriage is damaged beyond repair. On the contrary. This decision shows a lot of maturity and a desire to get things better, no matter how hard you’ll have to try.
An Attitude Adjustment Can Go a Long Way
The most important thing you need to understand is this – you should never take your partner for granted. Even if you’ve been married for five decades, there’s some risk of them getting overly fed up and leaving.
Love needs to be proactive and nourished on a daily basis.
Indifference can destroy the most intense of sparks. When this happens, reestablishing what you’ve lost will turn into a rather challenging task.
Don’t wait for the situation to become dire before doing something about it. If you’re dissatisfied and unhappy, chances are that your partner is feeling the exact same thing. Feelings of resentment will build up until you experience an eventual explosion. Do something in anticipation of such an outcome. If you wait for things to go too far before acting, you could lose the chance to mend the marriage.