You love your partner, of course. You can’t imagine life without him or her. But over time, you’ve probably noticed a decline in the passion – both emotional and physical – that you enjoyed at the start of your relationship. Is there anything you can do to rekindle that initial rush of attraction that brought you together? Yes. Feeling a bit disconnected from your partner does not mean your relationship is doomed.
In addition, as we get older, changing bodies and diminishing hormones can bring challenges to the best of relationships. Women who are in or near menopause may experience changes such as vaginal atrophy and a lack of desire. Men can have trouble getting and keeping erections, as well as flagging hormones. (Learn what you can do about these kinds of problems by reading Great Sex at Midlife.) It can all make the idea of physical intimacy daunting, leading to partners who feel rejected and lonely.
If your relationship has been on the back burner for too long, there are many simple things you can do to reconnect emotionally. Maxine Barish-Wreden, M.D., an integrative medicine specialist at Sutter Medical Group who regularly counsels her patients on maintaining healthy relationships, offers this advice.