Keeping intimacy alive

Hello! As a couples counsellor specializing in premarital counselling, I love talking about relationship resources and tools.   Couple in Bed In previous weeks in this relationship series of videos, I spoke about communication and about conflict resolution.  Please feel free to check those videos out if you haven’t already.  Today I will be talking how to keep the flame alive in your long-term relationship, especially once little ones arrive on the scene.   In the coming weeks, I will also be doing videos on other key topics in relationships, including: 4/ Boundaries (Cloud and Townsend) 5/ Adult Attachment (Susan Johnson) 6/ Love Languages (Gary Chapman) 7/ How to manage the inevitable struggles in a relationship (John Gottman) 8/ Personality Differences (MBTI)   So, let’s talk about sex.  At first in a relationship, it can be sizzling.  And then maybe you find that it just simmers down and possibly then down to nothing.  Why is that?   Please click on this link to see my vlog on keeping intimacy alive: It could be because you both get so caught up in the day to day demands of life that time just gets away from you.  It could be that it has started to get monotonous and routine and so you’ve lost interest.  It could be that once you had kids, all the focus was on them and you never quite went back to the sex life you once had. In Esther Perel’s book, “Mating in Captivity,” she explains that “Family life flourishes in an atmosphere of comfort and consistency.  Yet eroticism resides in unpredictability, spontaneity, and risk” (p.128).  So it’s not surprising then, that when you are providing a stable home environment for your children, the spontaneity that sex thrives on is zapped out of the picture.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Believe it or not, children not only thrive in an atmosphere of consistency, but they also thrive in an atmosphere where their parents are emotionally and physically connected.   It is normal for initial passion to give way to a deeper, more meaningful love.  It is possible to have both a deeper respectful love AND keep the sizzle.  Whatever the reasons are that the love life has dwindled, it doesn’t have to stay that way.  If you are intentional about keeping the love and affection alive in your relationship, you can do it!   Whether or not you have children, it is so important to create space and room in your schedules to focus in on each other.  It doesn’t necessarily mean sex right away.  It can mean spending a date night once a week where you can just reconnect and talk - but be sure to talk about anything other than kids!  I have met so many couples who don’t even know what to talk about anymore if they can’t talk about kids.  For those couples, I love to recommend Gary Chapman’s book, “101 Conversation Starters for Couples.” And guess what happens when you reconnect emotionally?  You also reconnect physically!  The two go hand in hand.  It is not uncommon for men to need the physical first in order to feel emotionally connected, and women to need the emotional first in order to feel ready physically.  Both sides need that nurturance.  So, to summarize, schedule in and protect that couple time on a regular basis, and be sure to nurture both the emotional and the physical connection.      Hope this was helpful.  Let me know if there are any other relationship videos that might be useful to you. Be Well, Melissa