What Can you do When the Passion Leaves the Relationship?

When we were first married I couldn’t wait to get home to be with my wife. Now I spend as long as I can at work and take the long way home.”

This is a comment that I hear from men and women as they seek to explain to me why they have come into couple counseling.

For some it means that the sexual attraction/energy is no longer there. For others it is a description of the general emptiness each feels in the relationship – they have drifted apart and even though they are still living in the same house they seem to spend more time trying to avoid each other than they do connecting.

If this is your situation you are probably asking “What can I/we do?”

Remember feelings follow behavior. If you want to feel something then you have to do something first that might help to create the feeling. Ask yourself”

  • When you felt passion for your partner what were you both doing/what were you doing?
  • When did you stop doing what you answered above?
  • How long did it take for the passion to go after you stopped doing the above?
  • What do you now feel passion for in your life?
  • How do you keep that passion alive?
  • Can you transfer that insight to your relationship?

Action Steps:

  • Go for a walk with your partner and hold her hand – don’t wait for her to take yours – take the initiative.
  • Sit next to her on the couch while you are watching tv and cuddle – remember don’t wait till you feel like cuddling – just do it!
  • Say “good morning” and “good evening” to your partner and ask about her day – look at her when you are sharing, and ask inviting questions to deepen the conversation.
  • Surprise her with a special meal, either cooked by you or take her out to her (not your) favorite restaurant.
  • DON’T make the mistake of saying you won’t do the above until you feel______. If you wait till then you probably won’t feel_____because you are not doing anything to create the feeling.
  • DO all of the above or some of the above (or be creative and add your own ideas) and then the passion may well return. Not like it was when you first met, but maybe now a more lasting passion – comfortable with each other, relaxed, stimulating, sensual, open, inviting.
  • CONTINUE to walk the walk then you will probably continue to feel the feeling.