If every couple could maintain the closeness and intimacy they felt when they began dating and were first married, the divorce rate would significantly drop and maybe even disappear. Obviously, familiarity may breed boredom, annoyance, and possibly contempt. What can you do to preserves the closeness in your relationship? If you feel as if the closeness is already gone, what can you do to get it back?
Think back to when you first began dating your partner. What things attracted you to this person? Do you remember? Do you still find these things attractive today? If not, why not? If you really want to preserve or resurrect closeness in your relationship, it takes work. Although love may come easily enough, it may not be as easy to keep it around.
If you talk to older couples who have shared several decades of a successful and happy marriage, you may notice a common thread in what they attribute that success to. Most of these couples will continue to echo the respect they feel for one another. They may also refer to each other as his or her best friend. Therein lies the key.
Once the initial rush of infatuation and love fades, there needs to be something that forms the foundation for a deep, lasting relationship. There are few couples who actually get butterflies every day just by looking at their spouse after several years have gone by. Oh, they still may get those butterflies occasionally, but it won’t be the same because this person has become almost as familiar to them as their own skin.
This is where a deeper bond is needed. A solid relationship needs to begin with respect. Respect means that you are willing to put that person’s needs above your own at times. You need to be concerned about your partner’s physical and emotional health. You need to go out of your way to treat your partner better than you would anyone else. If you notice that you treat friends and co-workers better than you do your own spouse, then something is wrong.
If respect and consideration is something you haven’t cultivated in your own relationship, you may have difficulty incorporating it into your day to day living. It may take effort, but if you continue to be aware and purposely treat your partner with respect and kindness, eventually it will become almost a habit. Once you have begun to treat your partner in this way, hopefully, he or she will reciprocate, and you will both discover a newfound admiration for each other.
Having friends is important, and you may find that you need friends to talk to and/or share things with. There isn’t anything wrong with this. On the contrary, humans weren’t meant to live lives of solitude. But, if you really need a special friend with whom you share your hopes, dreams, doubts, and fears, shouldn’t you try to find this with your spouse, also? This is the person you vowed to spend your life with. This is the person who has seen you at your best and at your worst.
If you must always turn to someone else and never find a confidante in your spouse, something must be missing. Before you pick up that phone to call your best friend, sit down and talk to your spouse about what is on your mind. Share your innermost thoughts and feelings with him or her. You may be surprised at how much closer you feel to each other.
Finally, it is fine to have habits and interests separate and apart from your partner. This is part of what makes you interesting to that other person. You should still try to find some activities and interests that you can share together, also. If you aren’t sure what those might be, think back to when you first began to date.
What did you do together? What were the interests that you shared? Even if you aren’t able to do all of those things, now, you still may be able to recreate some of the old magic simply by reminiscing together. You can keep the intimacy in your relationship, and you can awaken the closeness you once shared. It may take time and effort, but you will both be happier because you took the effort to make it happen.