How to Reclaim the Passionate Love in your Marriage
Inside: God wants us to have a passionate love in marriage. We can’t expect it to happen without putting some work into it. We need to make the time for it.
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When I met my husband in high school, my stomach immediately filled with butterflies. He made me feel like I was the most important person around. I felt like I was on cloud nine with all the attention he gave me. My heart felt like it might beat out of my chest… and don’t get me started on my sweaty palms!
This boy was meow good-looking!
Fireworks were happening, and it wasn’t even close to the fourth of July. Life was exciting, and I couldn’t wait to spend time with my guy.
It felt like the whole world stood still because I was head over heels with a boy. My absent-minded thinking was in full force, and every minute was spent daydreaming about this boy.
How about you? Reminisce a little… did you feel the butterflies and fireworks, too?
After a few years of being in a relationship with the same guy, you wonder if the butterflies left the area and headed down south for an extended stay?!?
What the heck happened?
The Phases of Love
Here’s the thing: the nervousness and excitement become replaced with a deeper, mutual love. The “puppy dog love” is exchanged with a mature love, accompanied by respect and admiration for each other.
The spontaneity has worn off, and in its place, a routine, stable relationship has grown.
Which would you rather have?
If we’ve watched or even read any of the Nicholas Sparks’ books, we might think we’re missing out on the intensity of love and passion as showcased in his books.
We start to think something is wrong with us or with our significant other when that intensity isn’t there, don’t we?!?
First of all, there are chemical changes that happen within our brains when we meet and become infatuated with a new guy.
Researchers have said that falling in love is much like the sensations you would get when you become addicted to drugs. Chemicals are released, causing a euphoria in our bodies.
The more time you spend with your new crush, the more attracted and addicted to them you become. Isn’t this why we were fine to miss our curfew, even though we knew dad would skin our hide?!?
As our relationship moves through infatuation to attachment, the chemicals change in quantity, and that is the reason why we don’t get the same bodily symptoms and why we aren’t daydreaming as much any longer.
These reactions within our body help us bond to our heartthrob. So while we might miss the feelings we had, God’s design to a long fulfilling relationship is orchestrating.
The term “falling in love” isn’t found in the Bible because love is greater than the totality of feelings. Love is an intentional choice even when the passion and excitement are long gone. Love is stable and unconditional regardless of the sweaty palms and fireworks.
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
We Can Rekindle the Passion
Secondly, we don’t have to put away our butterfly nets and assume that they will never reappear. We can get those butterflies to return with a vengeance if we put a little bit of intentionality in our relationship. It only requires that we leave our rut and step outside the mundane of life.
Here’s the thing: God wants us to have a passionate, exciting, and fulfilling marriage. We can’t expect it to happen without putting some work into it. In order to make it happen, we need to make the time for it.
How to Get Back Those Butterflies:
- Begin kissing again.
- Reenact the past (go back to the time you were newly in love).
- Go on dates regularly.
- Make-out sessions.
- Increase your physical touch throughout the day.
- Tell your partner what you like.
- Try something new.
- Flirt with your husband.
- Try to give him the butterflies.
- Focus on him and his needs.
- Spend time talking and connecting with your spouse.
A 14-Day Romance Challenge: Reigniting Passion in Your MarriageIntended for Pleasure: Sex Technique and Sexual Fulfillment in Christian MarriageBuilding the Passion in your MarriagePursuing Passion in your Marriage (feat. Dr. Juli Slattery and Mrs. Linda Dillow)
One Flesh: God’s Gift of Passion- Love, Sex & Romance in Marriage
Making Love a Verb
When I think back to those high school days, my giddiness comes back. Honestly, life keeps me busy, so I need to be intentional about remembering and choosing to do these things that give us both butterflies.
I do know that if I want a fulfilling and satisfying marriage, the one that God wants us to have, I need to start investing in it. If we put it off until our kids are older, we miss the opportunity know to grow in deeper love and connection.
What do you do to keep those fireworks happening?
Couples need to make sure they are spending time with each other.
It’s true. In marriages where the man is not seeking to physically hurt his wife in the bedroom (which sadly is most marriages now), the woman should be so grateful if she is actually loved. Passionate love that is wonderful was created by God for unity and beauty, not for sadness and torture that it ends up being for so many.
Susan- When God is deep within us, the Holy Spirit moves us to love like God did. God’s love isn’t hurting others in a vicious way.
Passionate love is the fun stuff! Attachment love is the consistent steady that feels safe and like home. The combination is how God intended. My husband and I get a weekend without kids this weekend. That hasn’t happened for a long time!
Melissa- I hope you have a great weekend!
My husband and I have learned that we can nurture those feelings of being in love. When we do so, we feel so much more satisfaction in our marriage.
Alice- so glad you and your husband are nurturing your love!
This is such a great post! I love your advice to think back on how things were before. It’s so easy to get stuck in the monotony and start feeling let down as the decades go by. I still wish for romance, but that’s not who my husband is nor has he ever been nor will he be. But… He is loyal and steasy and true. I’m so passionate about marriage, I write about it a lot also. I hope you keep up on posts like this because people need to know their feelings are normal and not alone… And most importantly, the feelings change again and again and again. I love my husband more now than I did and I didn’t know that would be possible!
Christa- thank you for the sweet words of encouragement! My feelings for my husband have also changed but in an awesome way. He’s better today then he was in our younger years!
When my husband and I were engaged, so many people had really depressing comments for us. Comments about enjoying this feeling while it lasted, and reminding us that the honeymoon stage ends really quickly, and that we would soon understand the importance of the other person not being home so we could have everything to ourselves. It was horrible to listen to those comments! Even though we’ve only been married about 11 months, we’ve come to realize that yes, marriage is hard work, but we’re the ones who determine when the “honeymoon” is over in our marriage. And we’d rather work hard at romance and choosing to love each other every day than give in to the negative comments. I so appreciated your thoughts on this topic!!
Emily- I’m so glad you and your husband are already being proactive! That’s a step to many years of wedded bliss!
Excellent read, Julie! I like how you mention the two types of love: the passionate love and the mature love and the phases that naturally occur in a love relationship. While most of us won’t regain the heightened amount of passionate love we first had when we fell in love that’s likened to a drug reaction that you mentioned, that may be okay since continual daydreaming is probably not conducive to a productive life. (On that note was anyone else as distracted as me when you first met your now husband? My head was stroking the clouds in those days!) Yet you’re right that we should still be proactive in cultivating passion in our marriages. What once came naturally in a biochemical sort of way in the beginning now needs to be worked out by us years later.
Thank you, Sarah! Yes, I was on cloud nine for many, many months!
Excellent post Julie! So inspiring…I need this. Sharing on Pinterest and Twitter.
Sarah- thank you for the sweet words!
What a wonderful reminder! I was just chatting with my bible study ladies last night about marriage! I hope to share this with them as well because it’s a beautiful synopsis when time seems to slip by and we get busy. Wishing you a wonderful day!
Carolyn- thank you so much for the sweet words of encouragement!
I needed this reminder. Thank you!
Thank you, Stephanie! I hope it was helpful!
Getting those feeling back is a bit of a stuggle for me after having a baby. They just take so much out of you….I definitely have to be intentional about things, just like you said. Great ideas here!!
Rebekah- I know it’s hard when you have little ones not sleeping well at night!