Can You Restore the Passion in a Long-Term Marriage?

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After 10, 20 or even 30 years of marriage, it’s common for the newlywed excitement and passion to whiter a bit. Many spouses experience a lull where the intimacy seems lost or communication is non-existent. It is possible, though, to restore the passion in your marriage by reigniting the feelings you once felt through displays of affection and consistent dating rituals to spruce up the intimacy in your relationship.

Show Affection

When you were newly wed, it’s likely the two of you could not resist the urge to randomly embrace or wrap your arms around each other. As time passes and household responsibilities disrupt the amount of quality time you have together, it can be more difficult to make time to show your affection for each other. It’s important to make passionate displays of affection a priority, according to Maud Purcell in a PsychCentral article titled “Reviving Your Marriage.” Surprise your spouse with a warm embrace when he or she returns home from work, plan a romantic, candlelit dinner at least once each week and plant a kiss on his or her neck when least expected. As you ramp up your own passion for your spouse, it’s likely he or she will follow suit.

Date Each Other

Just because you have been married for several years or even decades, it doesn’t mean you can’t date your spouse once again. Schedule a weekly date night and make every effort to keep the date, just as you would have prior to your marriage. Household cleaning and maintenance can wait another day so that you and your spouse can gaze at each other at your favorite restaurant, hold hands in a movie theater or stroll through the city with your arms around each other. Even a short walk through the neighborhood allows the two of you to have one-on-one time together, focusing on your relationship and rebuilding your passionate connection, according to Purcell.

Lose the Baggage

It is common to adopt a routine of taking care of the home, finances and children, but think about how you take care of each other. Do you resent your husband because he doesn’t contribute to household chores? Does it bother you that your wife is more attentive to the children than you? Even though it’s important to work through relationship issues, if you focus more on the negative attributes of your spouse versus the positive, it will likely leave you feeling neglected, angry or even bored with the marriage, ultimately leading to a loss of intimacy. To reignite the passion in your relationship, it’s important to accept what you can’t change about your spouse and focus on what led you to fall in love with him or her, Purcell states. As you remember the butterflies you once felt when she caressed your hand or he winked at you many years ago, it will likely inspire you to revert back to these behaviors and positive thoughts.

Ramp Up Communication

When you have been married for several years, spouses often know each other so well that they can communicate without even speaking. You may know by the look in your husband’s eyes, that he needs some time alone or you may recognize that it’s time to assist your wife more with the children or household tasks when she looks stressed out. Verbal communication, though, is still necessary and as a result, it can enhance the passion in your marriage. In an article titled, “How Can I Improve Intimacy in My Marriage?” on PsychCentral, retired psychologist Dr. Kalman Heller suggests couples schedule at least 15 to 20 minutes of casual, uninterrupted conversation daily. Use this opportunity to discuss light topics, such as hobbies, interests, likes, dislikes and goals and dreams. As you learn more about your spouse, it is likely you will be reminded of the attraction that exists between the two of you.