A couple of weeks ago a group of friends and I were discussing our marriages. We have all been married in spans ranging from 5-17 years. The topic came up as to whether or not we were still attracted to our spouses. Some answered they definitely were, while others said, “Not so much.”
I’m inquisitive, so I set to find out why this was the case. I know there are many different reasons why attraction to a spouse can fade or grow over the years. Children of course, take lots of time and energy that otherwise could be devoted to spending time with spouses connecting intimately or otherwise. Plus we might be so tired or overwhelmed by all of our other responsibilities that focusing on attracting, being attracted to, or acting on that attraction, may seem like another chore. However, as my friends and I went deeper into the conversation about this seldom brought up subject, one very compelling thing came to light.
Those of us who were still attracted to our spouses, had this in common. We did not share everything! Generally after two people become married or engaged in a long term relationship they become comfortable with one another.
Sometimes too comfortable.
This can mean that certain gross habits, or bodily functions such as farting or burping, that were once extremely taboo to do in front of a lover, now become a regular event.
I’ve been married for 17 years now and there is still a strong attraction for my husband. I refuse to admit if it was me who just passed gas (even if it is so obvious). I will quickly leave the room and blame a nearby child or our dog. Silly yes, but I don’t think it is respectful to him to just let it rip whenever I have the need.
If you wouldn’t feel comfortable doing something in front of your friends; then why would you do that thing in front of not only your best friend, but also the person who you are intimate with? I also refuse to engage in conversation when one of us is using the bathroom.
In my opinion, what happens in the bathroom should stay in the bathroom!
Contrast my personal philosophy about this with one of my friend’s husband who regularly tries to get her to look at his toilet accomplishments. Or another friend’s husband who belched super loudly in a restaurant and didn’t even apologize. Yuck! Is it really that mysterious why the attraction has gone away?
Moving on from this basic consideration, I think there is another mistake that many couples make that can kill the attraction. That is constantly venting to your spouse about everything that happened in your day. This especially applies to frustration with work, children, or life in general.
If they hear the same negative things daily, they are going to be exhausted by your list of complaints. Instead of wanting to talk to you, they will probably withdraw from you.
I was very guilty of this at some points of our relationship. After a fight with our difficult oldest son, I would call my husband at work crying out all my hardships. Not only was I distracting him from performing his job well but I was also making him worried about me and our son. When I found a counselor and close friends I could share with, the situation greatly improved.
It is good to be open with your spouse and to tell them about your feelings. Just make sure that you have other people who you are close to that you are also comfortable sharing with.
Your spouse is not solely responsible for meeting your every need and they should not be expected to.
In addition, on a daily basis make a conscious attempt to listen to your spouse as much as you talk. Talk to them about fun, interesting, and funny things rather than just the heavy stuff. Your spouse will appreciate you more and hopefully, you will re-spark what attracted you to each other in the first place!