Our community members always have questions about different things in their lives, and we make it our aim to answer those questions as best we can. Once a week we take a question from a community member and answer it here on the blog, giving honest and uplifting advice. This week we heard from Tony, who is struggling to reignite the spark with his wife of eight years.
Q - My wife and I have been together for 12 years, and married for eight. We have two young children and we’re a very happy family, but I feel like all of the passion has gone from our relationship. After work, sorting out the kids and other responsibilities, we don’t get much time to ourselves, and we’re usually so tired when we do that we just crash in front of the TV. I love my wife and I want to show her that, and get the passion from our early days back. Please can you give me some advice on how to reignite the spark in our relationship? Thanks, Tony.
A - Hi, Tony. Thanks so much for your question. What you’ve described is so common in long-term relationships that have passed the honeymoon stage, so I’m sure many people will be looking for the same advice as you. I’m sure your wife is just as keen to feel the passion return, so here are our top tips to reignite the spark in your relationship.
Why do we lose the spark?
As you mentioned, Tony, life is busy and often gets in the way of our relationships with our loved ones. We go to work, come home and take care of the kids, clean the house, cook the dinner, and then at the end of the night, collapse on the sofa and watch TV, or get in bed and get as much sleep as possible before doing it all again the next day. In the whirlwind of the day-to-day responsibilities, we often take for granted the person next to us, and this is when the spark starts to flicker.
When we first start dating, we are so happy and in love that the rest of the world seems to melt away. New couples usually exist in their own bubble, and make each other their top priority. So what changes? As time goes on, the honeymoon period ends and life returns to the same routines, and we get used to having each other around. We move in together, get married, start a family, and as we make these commitments, the fear of losing each other lessens, and maybe even disappears completely. We take each other for granted.
We don’t need to impress our partner any more to get them to like us; they already like us, love us in fact, so we stop making the effort. We go about our busy lives, knowing they’ll be there at the end of the day, and the certainty of our daily lives means that our partner and our relationship soon slide down the list of our priorities, and so the spark goes out.
So how do we get it back?
Many articles on this subject tell you that you should instantly drop everything, and focus on making a grand gesture to reassure your partner how much they mean to you. Though we agree that yes, a grand gesture of love definitely wouldn’t hurt, suddenly dropping everything in your life to focus on your relationship is just slightly realistic. Afterall, it’s these other responsibilities that are getting in the way of your relationship in the first place.
So we recommend starting small. Find little moments in the day to do something small to show your partner that you love and appreciate them. Wake up a little earlier on a Sunday morning, and treat them to breakfast in bed. Slip a sweet note into their packed lunch as a surprise to brighten up their work day. Run a bubble bath and promise to keep the children busy for an hour while they enjoy some peace and quiet. Little gestures of love are appreciated just as much as grand ones.
Schedule some alone time
It’s understandably difficult to have alone time with your partner when you have small children. So it’s important to make sure you find that time. Ask a friend or relative to look after the little ones for an evening, and schedule a date night. If you can (and you have lovely friends or relatives), try and do this regularly; it doesn’t have to be every week, but one night to yourselves even once a month is better than nothing!
Make sure that you don’t just use the night off to sit and watch TV though. Do something special with your time. Why not recreate an early date? Or try something completely new and different. Or maybe cook your partner a special meal, and simply sit and enjoy the food and each other’s company.
We’re all guilty of spending too much time on our smart phones and computers, and it’s unfortunately common for couples to sit in bed and completely ignore each other, before finally switching off and going to sleep. This bedtime routine couldn’t be any less romantic or passionate!
We suggest putting down the gadgets, and using the time in bed to reconnect with your partner. Lie facing each other, which will make you feel instantly more intimate, and talk to each other. It may feel a bit odd at first and you may struggle to find things to talk about, but this will get easier as time goes on.
Use this time to get to know each other more intimately; why not take it in turns to ask each other fun and revealing questions? This will do wonders to bring a little passion and excitement back into the bedroom, and will help put both of you in the mood to take it further. Afterall, what’s passion without sex? Once you have found your spark in the bedroom again, this passion will spill into other areas of your life and relationship, and you will find it surprisingly easier to find the time to show your partner just how much they are loved.