Do you feel like roommates with your spouse?
Are you more likely to have an intimate conversation with a coworker instead of turning to your life partner?
Feel more interested in petting your dog than getting naked with your husband or wife?
If you feel any signs of your marriage starting to lose romantic steam, it is time to have an affair -- with your spouse!
All too often when sex educators and therapists recommend "planning a date night" couples simply block out time, get a babysitter and head out to a local restaurant. Then, they sit across from the table from one another and simmer in their built up resentment, feeling distant from one another and far from the intimacy they are craving. When they get home, there is no more connection than there was at the beginning of the night, just a lot less cash in their wallet. Or, they attempt to schedule a "sex date" and end up either having an unsatisfying quickie or one partner rejects sex all together, driving the relationship even closer to the brink of divorce.
Forget the idea of date night. It's time to have a full on affair... with your spouse!
One of the biggest reasons people cheat is they are craving the feelings of a new relationship: being paid attention to, feeling desired and getting seduced. If you want to experience renewed intimacy within your long term relationship, you need to create the feelings of newness and desire that an affair brings. Here's how:
Bring Back Your Best Self:
Think back to your first few dates with your spouse. You probably didn't show up in sweatpants. Dates with new lovers are thrilling because we allow ourselves to build up anticipation. You prepare for a date all week long, and then take time to pamper yourself. Take a shower, choose an outfit that you feel sexy in, groom yourself -- all while anticipating your date and thinking about what you might want to talk about! Priming yourself for a good time and choosing to bring your best self are essential steps to enjoying your date as a peak moment of your week, a step outside of your ordinary life -- even if you are sharing it with your partner of twenty years!
Pay Full Attention To One Another:
If there is one universal desire for both men and women, it is this: to be paid full attention to and to feel interesting, unique and desirable. This is one of the central excitements when you are falling newly in love. This person, who you are interested in and find desirable, feels the same way about you! On your first few dates, you probably didn't have your cell phone out the entire time. You probably paid full attention to one another, asking lots of questions and getting to know one another with endless interest. Bring back this feeling by putting away your phones and bringing your full attention to one another. Ask one another intimate questions. Even after twenty years, there is more to discover about one another. If you want some great questions to get you started, click here. One of the best settings for this kind of intimate conversation is long road trips or quiet restaurants. Cut out all distractions and remind yourselves why you fell in love in the first place!
Seek Out Novelty, In and Out of the Bedroom:
Research shows that when you share new experiences, you are both benefiting from hits of dopamine. Dopamine is a feel-good hormone that is released when you experience something new, providing a little high so you can absorb the new information. Create this experience by going to new places, taking short vacations together or learning a new skill together. Think about it: when was the last time you did something totally new with your spouse? If you are ready, seek out novelty in the bedroom as well. Go to a sex toy store together and pick out a new pleasure tool. Enroll in an online course to master a new sexual skill. Get vulnerable and confess your fantasies to one another. We all have hidden desires we may wish to experience. Even if you know your partner well, consider what feels vulnerable and a little scary to share right now. Start there! These steps may seem scary, but they'll do wonders to make you feel the thrills of newness, both by experiencing yourself anew and by continuing to explore new experiences with your trusted partner.
Slowly Seduce One Another:
Seduction is the slow, intentional process of inviting someone into a pleasurable experience. Especially if you feel a bit distant from your spouse, you can't just initiate sex out of nowhere and expect it to go well. You need to slowly warm up together and begin building desire long before you want to get naked together. Start leaving short love notes around the house, with specific compliments and expressions of gratitude. Send affectionate texts or emails, planting the seeds of longing and making your lover feel desirable. Linger in a simple kiss and enjoy the full body contact of a long hug.
Again, think about how you would behave if you were having an affair. What kind of messages would you send to your secret lover and then delete right away so as not to get caught? Bring that kind of giddy excitement to communicating with your lover. If sexting is a foreign concept for you, check out this free guide to sexting for grown ups and start learning how to seduce your spouse!
Remember, the longer you've been distant the longer it will take to thaw out your relationship and start heating things up. Don't give up if your lover doesn't respond right away. If you are dedicated to your relationship, be persistent and consistent in your seduction and you will be rewarded.
Fearlessly Initiate Intimacy:
Rejection hurts. Medical research shows that of all human emotions, rejection is the one that registers as physical pain. So it is no wonder that when it comes to initiating sex, most people give up after being rejected a few times. But if you both give up initiating sex, you are well on your way to being in a sexless marriage. This is why it is so essential to put lots of time and effort into all of the warm up and seduction steps that are mentioned above.
You need to create the conditions where a "yes" becomes more likely than a "not tonight honey!" But even in the warmest of relationships, sex is not always on the menu. So when you initiate intimacy, let go of your agenda. Make an agreement that intercourse is not always the inevitable finale of intimacy. Maybe she is just in the mood for a long luxurious back rub! Are you willing to give her that experience? Maybe he really wants to relax and receive. Are you prepared to lavish him in erotic touch? Maybe you just want to get naked and cuddle! By agreeing that intimacy can look any number of ways, depending on your authentic desires, you open your love life up to way more "yes" responses and the ability to initiate intimacy fearlessly. Even if the "yes" is a simple hug and long kiss, those micro-moments of connection add up to a way more pleasurable relationship -- one where you'll want to have an affair with your lover for many years to come!
Want the rush of new intimacy again? Then it is time to have an affair with your spouse. Fantasize about meeting your lover for the first time and think about how you would behave if your love was new and fresh, if all you could think about was getting naked and exploring this sexy new body. Look for time and space to connect, excite and inspire one another. People having affairs find all sorts of creative ways to enliven one another. Then bring your focus to cultivating those same behaviors back into your love life with your spouse and see what happens. You may be surprised at how simple it can be to feel like a giddy newlywed again, and bask in your renewed intimacy, with years of marital bliss ahead of you once again.