Making Lust Last
By Keith Ablow, M.D.
Rekindling Passion For The Husband You Still Love
People sometimes tell me they know a couple married 20 years whose sex life
is still as good as it ever was. Here's what I tell them in return: "There
are only three possibilities. One: This couple is lying. Two: They are telling
the truth, because they didn't have good sex to begin with. Or three: Sex is
all they really have together. They never connected emotionally."
I've drawn that conclusion by listening to the many dozens of husbands and
wives I've counseled, almost all of whom have admitted that after 10 or 20
years of marriage, passion became elusive.
Sharing lives is different from sharing dinners and long walks and weekends
away. When you were dating the man you ultimately married, you were both acting
much of the time (consciously or not), putting your best feet forward in order
to be attractive to each other.
When you were sick or had a bad headache, you probably pretended it was no
big deal. So did he. Now when your stomach is upset, you feel free to tell him
you're about to throw up.
When you had an argument with a close friend or your sister, you might have
told him, "It really wasn't the best day, but it's getting better now that
we're together." He might have smiled, taken your hand, and said, "Tell
me what happened. I want to know." 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.
Nobody would write that kind of dialogue into a romantic movie—unless it was
a sad or serious one. But that's how married people generally talk because no
one can always act adoring or keep up an air of mystery while sharing the same
space with his or her spouse, year after year. Here are the truths about sex,
as I've learned from years of counseling, for most married couples: