I love the adage, ‘What you feed grows. What you starve dies’. Because, it is as straightforward as it sounds, even for the intimacy in your marriage.
You cannot be feeding some areas and relationships in your life, while starving others, and still expect the starved ones to thrive too.
For example, for those that were sexually active during courtship but noticed a slump in the quality and quantity of sex once you said ‘I do’, it is because naturally we aim to impress during courtship. It is like the great life audition and people put on their best behaviour, because they know the other party is looking for any possible red flags.
Subconsciously, you are feeding that relationship and intimacy, and they have no option but to grow, even convincing you that this is the person you want to spend time forever with.
After marriage, many people change the relationship’s diet altogether! What they once gave freely and budgeted time for generously, is now put on a backburner and sex is something you both stumble into nightly, just because you are... well, married.
No effort put in, no work feeding it during the day or otherwise. Instead, you could actually be draining the little intimacy left in your marriage by putting your trustworthiness into question, not being financially diligent, being abusive, etc.
Soon what you will have is a starved marriage from which you, nonetheless, expect too much. In one marriage, the wife has made it a habit to gang up with the children against her husband, openly emasculating him and keeping him out of major family decisions, but at the same time she complains in separate circles that she gets nothing out of that marriage, sexually.
Where is the great sex supposed to come from? You are not feeding the relationship you have with your husband, yet you have no trouble draining it. How can any excitement come from that marital bed?
My married friends recently visited from the diaspora and I was happy with how much they ‘feed’ their different relationships. There is the relationship they have as a couple, then as parents, and again as children themselves.
As I watched the happy dynamics of their family, I realized it is because they give each of those relationships enough time, resources and affection to grow. Not many couples know how to do that.
What is common is concentrating on one relationship dynamic in the family, at the expense of the others. One is very good with the children but, as a result, has totally neglected his or her spouse, giving room to resentment and infidelity.
I also know couples that are so much into each other as husband and wife, but have completely neglected their children, and it shows.
Balance things out, knowing well that what you feed will grow and what you starve will inevitably die. Starve your spouse of good sex and watch what will happen to that marriage. Keep your spouse satisfied and again see how your marriage thrives.
But again, you could be regularly making love, but there is nothing to write home about the quality of sex you are having. It died and lost all its lustre years ago, because you don’t know how to feed it. There is no affection, no innovation, no initiative, no generosity whatsoever (and this goes beyond money), no interest.
It is as good as dead and that kind of deadness cannot feed and nourish a marriage either! Just saying.