Written by Dr. Keith Ablow
People sometimes tell me they know a couple married 20 years whose sex life is still as good as it ever was.
While it’s certainly possible, I’ve also heard many of the couples I’ve counseled over the years say after five or 10 years of marriage, the passion became elusive.
When you were dating the man you ultimately married, you were both putting your best feet forward in order to be attractive to one another. Think of it this way: When you were sick or had a bad headache, you probably pretended it was no big deal. So did he.
Now, if you don't feel well, you likely don't edit out any details. When you've had an argument with a close friend, you might have told him all the details. Now when he asks how your day was, you might just say, “fine,” and leave it at that. And he might be happy to leave it at that, too.
Here are the truths about sex, as I know them, for most married couples, with some tips to re-charge your sex life:
1. Love is constant; passion needs recharging
No surprise: Everything in the universe demagnetizes when left in proximity to something of the opposite charge. Magnets do, and men and women do. Some people fall out of lust in seven days, never mind seven years or 17.
Basic animal attraction is a force of nature that seems designed to make us mate—not mate for life. Relaxing in our marriages, freeing ourselves from the pressure of trying to impress our partner, has a predictable outcome: Our partners are not impressed. The magnetic spell we once cast on them begins to lift.
2. Cozy is comfortable, but not sexy
To the extent that men and women become real to each other, they cease to be princes and princesses, gods and goddesses who inspire romantic fantasies or amorous worship. Since couples lucky enough to be emotionally genuine with one another share so many real moments, they need to pay special attention to creating magical ones—because great sex requires magic.
I’d never suggest a couple trade away their warm, safe home life for better sex.