11:30am Monday 11 December 2017

Keeping a Relationship Healthy…and Satisfying

That’s certainly not a valid enough excuse to hold up in a court of law but anyone who has been in a lengthy relationship knows boredom is the curse. It has done in more couples than you can shake a stick at.

Those who claim it is effortless keeping a long-term relationship healthy and satisfying are giving you a line of bull their parents probably gave them. To the contrary: It takes work, work and more work.

A relationship can get stale, and that doesn’t mean the people in the relationship don’t love each other. They may love each other differently than they did in the beginning. Love changes over the years. The couple goes from having fiery sex and counting the seconds they are apart to becoming more like platonic roommates, who share ice cream and movie night, rarely touching.

No sex?

A relationship can endure without sex. Whether it’s healthy or not depends on how those involved feel about abstinence. If one person is dissatisfied, there is going to be a problem. He/she is going to make demands on the other person for sex or venture out and find sex elsewhere.

Sex aside, creating and maintain a healthy relationship takes effort. It includes straight forward, no-holds barred communication where both involved are free to articulate their desires, needs, and uncertainties. If partners don’t talk their relationship is doomed or will continue but be miserable. It can get very lonely in a relationship when neither party is talking or sharing.

Peaceful coexistence

Many long-term relationships amount to “peaceful coexistence,” and that isn’t all bad. It’s far better than war zone coexistence. However, living this way may indicate the two of you are no longer deeply connected, lacking involvement with one another. This leads to diminished communication.

Conflict

Conflict can strengthen or destroy a union. In a healthy relationship, each person is free to speak without fear of disgrace, mortification or reprisal. Screaming at each other, pointing the finger of blame, may feel right at the moment but it is not going to help resolve a problem or navigate the stormy waters of conflict. In fact, it can make it exponentially worse because people say things in the heat of the moment they may deeply regret later.

Outside interests

It’s not only okay but good to have outside interests and friendships because they are essential to one’s mental health. No one person can provide another person with everything she needs. Women need girlfriends and men need their guy friends. The two in the marriage should be free to pursue hobbies, activities and interests they enjoy. This stimulates them and in turn stimulates the marriage. You do not have to be tied at the hip 24/7. That is not part of the marriage vow.

Reviving the old sex life?

Rekindle the spark by all means. Picking up a nice bouquet from the local shop or online like floristexpress.com is a great way to surprise your loved one. Starting with the smaller and moving to bigger things may be the way to go.

About the sex or lack of: Put on the big boy pants or big girl panties, bite the bullet and discuss it with your partner. Try new stuff. Incorporate sex toys into your sex life. This may be uncomfortable at first but relax and laugh about it. You may find that it makes a big difference in your waning or heretofore nonexistent sex life. It is not at all unusual for a long-time couple to become sexless. It happens but it doesn’t have to. The both of you may have to make more of an effort than you did in your heyday but it is worth it.

If both agree not to reignite their sex life, that’s okay too. But do not forget to share physical exchanges with your partner: A kiss, a vigorous hug, a pat on the butt. Humans need physical contact. Without it they die.


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