Keeping the passion alive in a long-term marriage is dependant on understanding the relationship between two critical elements that most couples are not aware of.
Most couples feel that passion and intimacy will die off as the relationship ages and to them, this is normal and accepted.
BUT, passion doesn’t die because of time, passion dies because of what you are about to read.
The two elements we are about to uncover are both critical for the survival of the relationship, but one element can kill the other so it’s important to understand this relationship.
So many couples don’t see this hidden problem and a loss of intimacy and a loss of a passionate connection creeps in and this disconnect can lead one person to conclude the relationship is no longer working.
Without the right balance of these two elements, the marriage can head towards disconnect and no one can see it because they won’t be looking out for it.
The first element in the conundrum is CONNECTION, couples need a connection for security, for trust-building, and alignment on important parts of their life.
A connection is critical for couples because it creates a foundation of certainty and this is where love can grow.
The other energy in the mix is PASSION.
Passion is different from connection because passion is not about the couple being aligned or on the same page.
Passion is about embracing their differences and allowing opposite energies in each person to flow freely.
This the place where the saying “opposites attract” is true and it creates a spark and an energy of aliveness, most couples have this at the start of their relationship.
Couples lose their passion for each other because at least one person can become too focused on needing their partner to be/think the same as them or to see life their way.
The seed of passion killing energy starts when the couple starts to misunderstand each other’s natural differences – I call this the resistance phase and is where resentment and self-protection can start the process that leads to detachment.
This will lead at least one person to need more security and more connection because they feel disconnection and this practice can start to change their attraction dynamic and now their partner can feel unattractive.
Look at these two common examples of a problem I see a lot. Please note there many other examples that come from the same foundational problem these are just two examples.
Naturally feminine women can find themselves practicing a more masculine energy in the relationship as they become their own emotional protector – she will not find sexual connection attractive here and will struggle with sexual vulnerability when an emotional vulnerability is not available to her in her marriage.
Naturally masculine men can give up their masculinity to do everything her way, he thinks that’s what she wants. His pleasing model of behavior will not lead him into a natural sexual energy so he can also struggle.
There are of course many other dynamics that couples can create that are not illustrated here that will also negatively affect the couples’ desire to experience free passion.
The constant battle for sameness and connection will in the end erode the couple’s desire to embrace their differences because their difference will be seen as their problems and so the passion naturally dies.
My point is unless both people are embracing and learning each other’s natural differences and allowing those differences to be free, a quest for connection/certainty will be the driving force and continue to suppress passion.
This can lead couples into resentment, feeling they love their partner but they are not in love with them, they can feel sex life dying, or for some their sex life can have been dead for years.
The first step is understanding the problem and the second is taking the steps to get the couple out of a stale relationship so they can reignite their natural passion and understand how this time, to keep it alive.