By Fidelia Asogwa
It is a thing of joy when you witness the exchange of marital vows between people whose fire of love are burning high. The smiles, the glances, the touch, the kiss, the romance are so affectionate that their hearts swell with love. For that moment, they would feel nothing should ever separate or come in-between them especially now they have made it to the altar after longing for each other for time past.
The shower of love on each other becomes the other of the day as they would feel as they would never have enough of each other. At this stage, they don’t just talk but communicate in whispers, looking at each other’s eyes. Everything seems so sweet and you would wish it should just be that way forever. Wow! Perfect couple right?
It is inevitable that with the passing of time and the growth of familiarity, love between two married people will start to lose its initial spark. Glances, touches and kisses no longer produce the same emotional response or effect like before.
The same couple who could not do without each other, can hardly get along again, cannot smile not to talk of laugh, arguments replace discussions and one begin to wonder where the love has gone to.
A lot of times, both are busy pointing accusing finger at what the other person is not doing. They try to correct what they think to be wrong through criticism and comparison. Then ego, silent treatment, neglect and mind games creep in. What this does is to kill the love flow and then gradually they start becoming strangers living in a particular place.
The question here is why is there no sustenance of affection and love flame in marriage?
The truth is that the couple here allowed an important ingredient to vanish from their marriage relationship. The instrument of romance was the reason why before you both got married, you felt so much connection and attraction. The romance I mean here is not just the passionate touching of each other’s body but the connectivity of two hearts in love.
Before the wedding, you are a passionate gift giver. You always took time to look at her with a ready compliment; you treat her and make her feel special every time as much as you can. As a lady, you talked to him with a calm voice and gave him all the attention he needed. But now when last did you look him in the eyes and tell him how much you love and appreciate him with a seal of kiss?
These were things you did freely and easily when you were dating but now formality became the other of the day. As a married person, you need to constantly affirm your unconditional love for your partner. Remember that what speaks or means love to people differs and you have to understand the love language of your partner. Once the love tank of your partner becomes empty, frustration comes in as agitation ensures. One thing that is unhealthy among couples is bottled up emotion.
In this case, when your partner does what you cannot endure, lovingly tell him with reasons why it does not go down well with you instead of bottling up.
Conversation is the key because no matter how good a marriage relationship is, it is riddled with ups and downs and only through communication can both parties be on the same page and flow easily. So rather than bottle it up and die slowly, just find the best time and let it out in a loving way. Same words do have different effect when used differently.
So what do you do when your marriage is becoming less affectionate? It is time to spice things up. Depending on how bad it is, you both can always get things started to bring spark into your marriage again.
If you can remember what happened before your affection for each other started getting cold, it will be easier to trace the root cause and then deal with it.
Have no hold backs on the things that your partner had done to you that you did not like and tell him how it has been affecting your affection for him. You must be sincere in order to achieve results. The objective is to listen closely and carefully to your partner, if possible have a note and a pen to write to show how serious you are with details of your discussion. Communication rather than talking is what binds you two together.
Now, if you successfully made something good out of that discussion, you have commenced the recovery restoration process.
Based on the listed things from your partner, you will now see areas where improvement is needed. One thing you need to know in marriage is that someone must sacrifice or pay the price. That is, someone must be the ‘fool’ for peace to reign.
Things that slow or kill love flow in marriage
- Unresolved conflict
- Lack of good communication
- Life threatening illnesses
- Financial hardships
- Job pressures
- Sometimes too much concentration on the children etc.
It is hard to keep the flame of love burning strong when there are so many problems to deal with but then being frustrated or considering divorce isn’t the best option but trying to fix the problems and rekindle the flame . Remember that marriage is not about giving up when the going gets tough but about sticking with each other and overcoming challenges.
How to rekindle the flame of love in marriage
Meticulously go through the following and bring back the spark in your marriage.
Settle every unresolved conflict: What crumbles a marriage is not lack of conflict but inability to resolve conflict among couples. In marriage, it is important to deal with hurts and conflicts as promptly as possible. If you allow the sun to go down on you wrath, you will run the risk of opening the door to resentment and bitterness. True affection cannot progress in conflict infested marriage. Therefore, resolve every conflict as soon as possible to avoid any form of escalation.
Remember that forgiveness is a continuous thing in marriage. There is no end to it; once forgiveness ends, the end of that marriage has come. The saying that “once you do it again, I will not forgive you”, should not have place in your marriage. All you need to ask God is his grace to always forgive your spouse and remain committed to each other.
Add a value to your spouse: Do not just be a parasite, always collecting; learn how to give to your spouse no matter how little. Find a way to add a little value especially financially to the upkeep of your family. Most times, leaving everything for your husband to do makes him feel you have nothing good to add to his life and that diminishes his affection towards you.
Do not be idle. Let your husband see the efforts you are making in order to help him. If you have been looking for a job for sometimes and you could not find any even if it is a little teaching job and you could not, please look for something to learn how to do. You can only stay idle or probably using your time to search for a dream job, when there is agreement between you and your husband so that your idleness would not affect his feelings towards you. Do not allow him pretend to have accepted your idleness for a while when you know his actions are actually speaking the opposite. One thing I would want you to know is that you can be doing something little at the moment even as you continue searching for your dream job. All I am saying is that you must be contributing financially and otherwise to your marriage so that that helpmate God made you to him would be actualized.
See God in all things: Illness taking its toll on any of the couple in a marriage can be devastating. It is not always easy to love or for affection to flow in marriage when one of the spouse is down with life threatening illness. But in such situation, it is advisable to see God in all things, pleading for his grace to see you through. That is why it is important to take every warning signal of ill-health serious and go for checkup when it is still early. You do not need to be totally helpless and unable to move before seeking for medical attention. Treat yourself promptly so as not to become a burden to your spouse. But sometimes, we could face the challenge of ill-health in marriage. At this time, we should not allow the love tank to dry totally based on this. We should see positivity, praying for the fast recovery of the person involved. Remember that your spouse needs your love and affection at this trying time and giving him that can fast track the recovery process. Put behind or avoid whatever that would kill or slow the flow of love in your marriage as fast as possible.
Focus on the little things: Sometimes, those things we ignore and consider as little things are what matter most. Take for instance, a wife who ignores the power of goodbye and welcome kiss may be hit with resentment by her husband if she does not express such. Most men feel at home and appreciated when on arrival from work their wives give them that passionate kiss. Little kindness, little acts of sacrifice, attention and tenderness can add up to spark an unstoppable flame in your marriage. Do not ignore those little things even bathing together especially at night can put a spark not only on your love life but also on your sexual life. Whatever that would bring you both close to each other, always do them. For instance, when the children are not in the sitting room, you are not supposed to sit on separate seats, where there is a three-in-one seat there. Both of you should share the seat, maintaining body contact for awhile. Romance isn’t that far, bring it close.