It’s the honey-we-have-to sit- down talk no one wants. The I-just-don’t-feel-it-anymore talk. The I-love-you-but…” talk. Sometimes there is no talk. It’s just obvious. She hasn’t wanted to make love for months. Maybe she only has eyes for her newest lover. It hurts to see her light up for someone else, and never for you.
It’s not unusual for long-term relationships to go through ups and downs. What matters is how you cope with the natural lulls.
How to Cope when the Thrill Is Gone
Foster deep intimacy without sex.
Just because you’re not always ripping each other’s clothes off, it doesn’t mean love is gone. Long-term partners trade some of the heady thrill of new chemistry for the comfort and security of familiarity and deeper bonds.
If you’re both comfortable wrapped up in each other at night and share the most important parts of your thoughts and feelings, you are not far apart at all. Make a concerted effort to bond in non-sexual ways. Holding hands can be more intimate than an orgy with the neighbors!
Be realistic about desire.
Of course your fling with the secretary half your age was insane. With your wife of eleven years, you’ve seen it all before. That’s natural and normal—it is the cruelty of biology and nature, perhaps, and it has nothing to do with all the other things between you.
Don’t resent your long-term partner because she’s not fresh pussy or because she’s more turned on by her new guy. Let nature take its course, and stay the course.
Take stock of your bad habits and presentation.
If you’re wondering why she “can’t get it up” for you anymore (to speak figuratively!) look no further than your crusty socks balled up on the floor and the dirty kitchen you left for her again.
I’m not kidding. When was the last time you scrubbed up for your first wife? If you are dousing in after shave for your new metamour but can’t even bother with clean underwear for your primary, why would she bother? That’s a bit extreme, but you catch my drift. Pay attention the the small things—the details of day-to-day life.
Stop blaming her.
Married poly guys sometimes grumble to me about their partner being frigid or that they’ve let themselves go without realizing that the same thing will take place with me, the new girl, if things last long enough. Don’t take your frustrations out on her. This is a woman you love, one of the women you’ve chosen to spend your life with.
Remember she is human, with weaknesses, flaws, hard times, and a dark side. If you are more loving and less likely to blame her, your relationship will be better instantly. Also, take a realistic look in the mirror. Have you let yourself go?
Be more emotionally generous and open.
Want to know how to get into a woman’s pants? Hint: not by blaming, acting hostile or distant, or demanding acrobatics. Your wife needs to feel an emotional connection, not a chasm, in order to want to make love to you.
Set up a sex night.
If both of you are committed to loving through the lulls, a good way to stave off total disconnect is to plan for sex. Setting a date might seem awkward at first, but it’s really just a way of prioritizing your time. There is lots of time for drinks with the boys, shopping with Mother, and soccer with the kids.
Have a make-out date once a week or month or whatever works for you, where your goal is just to make each other feel good and connect physically, to talk and laugh and snuggle. Don’t plan on fireworks—make your goal simply to connect physically out of love, through illness, age, other dates, and busy schedules. The me-and-you time will pay off by keeping you close without unrealistic expectations.
How do you cope when the thrill is gone? Please share your tips in the comments!