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When the Honeymoon Phase Ends...And How to Get it Back

When you first meet and fall in love with someone, it is exhilarating. It feels fun, new, and exciting, and there is a spark, passion, fireworks even! You’re sending thoughtful texts, saying all the right things, taking time to bring your best self to the table to make a good impression. Maybe you care a little more about how you dress, how you smell, how you look, your breath, keeping a clean car, having good manners during a date. Maybe you shave more often, fix your hair, get a wax or a manicure. Maybe you seduce your partner with sexy words, thoughts, or pictures, or activities. Perhaps you wear that sexy little negligee or spontaneously pounce.

So you decide to get married. And maybe have kids. And then you're trying to cram sex into a 15 minute window after the kids are asleep, with leg stubble, before the exhaustion or headaches set in. And all of a sudden, you're at the place you swore you’d never be and realize that the honeymoon is over.

It is totally natural and normal for our romantic relationships to take a backseat, especially after responsibilities, mortgages, and kids are in the scene (much less the daily wear and tear of life).

But the honeymoon phase can be revitalized with one word: EFFORT.

In the beginning, if we had a date planned, we had days to sit and think about it. What will I wear? Where will we go? What will we do? Where will we eat? Who will make the first move? What will we talk about? Will he propose? Will she let me get to third base? Etc. We have time to create anticipation! We get to wonder, fantasize, percolate, simmer, creating an intoxicating concoction for the psyche and the libido.

In the beginning, you put forth effort.

Planning the right date or activity.

Telling your partner how excited you are and are looking forward to time together.

Not being caught dead with hairy legs.

Making sure you don’t pass gas or let your date watch you poop.

Opening doors or pulling out chairs.

Not complaining when she orders the more expensive dessert or wine.

Making sure you're turned into your date/partner and not zoned out on your phone, sitting in silence.

Being kind, charming, considerate.

Asking about shared hobbies, interests, how their day went, what they want in life.

Refraining from talking about unsexy stuff like your hemorrhoid, debt, or the color of your child’s snot.

It is no wonder that one of the most common problems we see in our office is boredom, feeling like roommates, feeling no passion or romance, and like the honeymoon phase is over.

That is a really scary place to be because then you may wonder:

  • Is this as good as it gets?
  • Is something wrong?
  • Are we normal?
  • Is my partner un-attracted to me?
  • Am I good enough?
  • Why don’t I have any desire in me?
  • Why aren’t we having sex?
  • I love my partner, but maybe we aren't in love anymore.
  • I wish it was how it used to be.
  • Maybe I married the wrong person.
  • Maybe monogamy isn’t for me.


Or maybe you:

  • Flirt with friends or coworkers.
  • Consider an affair.
  • Work more.
  • Hook up with someone else.
  • Keep it a secret and hope for the best.
  • Start nagging your partner to be more romantic.
  • Start pressuring your partner for more sex.
  • Drink or smoke more, or partake in recreational drug use.
  • Feel disconnected.
  • Start fighting.
  • Stop having sex altogether.
  • Try to use new positions and toys to spice things up.
  • Resort to porn and more frequent masturbation.


This is just a small list. Keeping the honeymoon phase alive or revitalizing it requires being mindful. Ensuring we stop falling into roles that don’t allow a sex life to exist...roles that fuel regrets, nostalgia from the past, things that you miss because you’re now parents. We must put in EFFORT to make sure that we don’t become too familial with a lover. Nobody has to be a martyr, you’re not sacrificing the sexual part of yourself just because you're no longer singer, young, free, and so forth. No need to give up that part of your life. It just takes work to keep it an adventure with your lover.

Esther Perel, a well-known couples and sex therapist, refers to this as “mating in captivity.” In fact, she wrote a book called “Mating in Captivity.” Basically, we can’t take each other for granted. Domesticity, responsibility, safety, security, comfort, companionship all make for a great marriage, but leave little room for eroticism. And we wonder why the romance fizzles. We have to learn to balance stability and spontaneity. If you're mating in captivity and feel like you're in this “cage” with your partner, rather than being pissed that you're in the cage with only one other person, consider where within the cage can you roam? What can do you do within this space? How can you get creative? Can you swing from this tree over here? Or jump on that stump over there?

Consider this a new beginning. Would you want to date you? What advice would you give your best friend who came to you with this problem? How do you treat each other now verses when you were first dating? I guarantee there was more effort involved. And if putting in work sounds tiring, just know, it is more work and more uncomfortable to stay in a crappy place sexually than it is to do and try fun new things.

So go out there, put in some effort, bring your best self to the table. Consider sex therapy.

If you want some help getting started or want to see if you're on the right track, call us to make an appointment at 678-796-8255, or schedule email coaching, book online, or request a free consultation with our sex therapist.


Should I Stay or Should I Go?

We begin serious relationships and marriages with the intention that it will last forever. We are hopeful, excited, in love. There is honesty, good communication, passion. We think it will always be this way. So, when you realize that your relationship is not what it used to be or not what you hoped it would turn out like, we naturally begin to ask ourselves “is this as good as it gets?” I get it. It seems like you’ve tried everything and nothing works. It may feel like your partner doesn’t communicate well, or doesn’t understand you, or doesn’t even care to change. You may begin to feel like you’re miserable and can’t help but wonder if it will always be this way or how much longer you can do this, eventually asking yourself “should I stay in this relationship or end it?” Can you relate to this? If so, here are a few tips to consider to help you make your decision.


Recently, on social media, a mother’s account about the ever-changing role in motherhood caught the attention of mothers across the world. The article was titled

Recently, on social media, a mother’s account about the ever-changing role in motherhood caught the attention of mothers across the world. The article was titled “When Did I Last Wash Your Hair?” It revealed how we often forget to savor the small moments in our relationships with our children, and how this mother didn’t know that the last time she washed her daughter’s hair would be the last time. She went on to state:

“Why didn’t I know it was the last time? If I would have known, I would have done a better job, or made it last longer, or kissed her head or something. I would have DONE SOMETHING!” 

Further into the article, she discussed how she was afforded a second chance after her daughter fractured her wrist, transforming her independent daughter into someone who, once again, needed her mother’s help. She was able to wash her daughter’s hair with a new perspective:

the wisdom to know that every moment is sacred if we can slow down enough to see it. 

This article made me think about the clients I work with. We are often so plagued by the annoyances and nuances of our partners, that we forget to view each moment as sacred. We begin to view them through the lens that makes them the enemy, not the ally. We sometimes distance emotionally and physically. 

I often work with couples who are trying to survive an affair, and typically the first response is anger and hurt. This is normal, valid, and important to process through. But sometimes what happens is we begin to create a dynamic where the adulterer is the problem, the bad guy, the one to blame, and the perpetrator so to speak, making the other partner the victim. The “victim” can certainly feel “victimized”, shocked, betrayed, and blindsided, and it is easy to sit in that pain, sometimes becoming paralyzed by it.

It is important to note that affairs (whether emotional or sexual) are usually an attempt to solve a problem in the relationship, and are essentially a cry for help. Healing can begin and trust can be re-established especially when both parties are willing to take a hard look at how they shaped the relationship, and how the affair made sense in context. Taking a look at some hard truths requires us to take accountability for our behaviors (or lack thereof) and how we may have drifted from bringing our best version of ourselves to our relationship table. Our relationships often serves as a mirror for us and reflect back what we are putting into the relationship.

What does this have to do with the article I mentioned before? Being willing to slow down and see each moment as sacred can change the way we see our romantic relationships. Some of the clients I work with finally reach this point and are brave enough to see past the anger and hurt and examine those hard truths. Sometimes they say things like this:

“I was so hurt that my husband cheated on me and we finally sat down to talk after being apart for some time. When I looked at him, I noticed his skin was rough and his toenails had not been clipped. I realized, I used to take care of those things for him, and now I can’t remember the last time I clipped his toenails or rubbed lotion on his body.”

“Before bed, I used to always make my husband sandwiches for lunch the next day. He never appreciated me. I felt like he didn’t need me, so I stopped making his sandwiches. I don’t remember the last time I made him a sandwich.”

“When I was dating my wife, I made sure to compliment her. She was so beautiful and fun and sexy. After we got married, it was great because she knew I felt that way about her and I didn’t have to remind her all the time. We didn’t have to talk about it. But I can’t tell you the last time I looked at her, you know, really looked at her, and told her all the things I found beautiful or attractive about her.”

When was the last time I washed your hair?

When was the last time I clipped your nails, or put lotion on you, or made you lunch, or told you that you were beautiful, or held your hand and kissed you just because?

Whether those questions regard your child or your spouse, I invite you to dig deeper and be willing to answer them. Be willing to slow down and appreciate those moments. Be willing to continue taking care of those who need us, whether they seem to appreciate it or not. Be willing to not just HAVE love; be willing to DO love, BE love, and MAKE love.

Ready to go deeper? Whether you’re healing from an affair, trying to affair-proof your marriage, or just trying to be more present in your relationship, call today at 678-796-8255 for a consult or schedule online 24/7.