According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were 49,917 divorces in 2012. It was calculated that the crude divorce rate was 2.2 divorces per 1,000 estimated resident population. Interestingly, it was couples aged between 40 and 44 years of age that had the highest percentage of divorces. This suggests a very real need for couples to find a way to reconnect with one another once the 'honeymoon spark' fades and children enter the scene or grow up, leaving an empty nest.
Annette Baulch is the co-owner of Australian company, OzTantra which specialises in relationship and sex counselling. She owns the business with her partner, Graeme Sudholz and together, they work to repair struggling or broken relationships, and help to make great relationships even better. Annette has an extensive background in nursing and wholistic health. She holds a Diploma Certificate in Transpersonal Counselling, is a certified tantra practitioner and has trained for several years in emotional mastery and breathwork
Annette's top tips to reignite the honeymoon spark are:
1. Remember how to feel - the most common reason relationships go stale is that we shut down emotionally from each other. Make your feelings ok, remembering if you can't feel yourself, you wont feel someone else.
2. Feeling mistakes - don't assume that the man is not feeling just because he may not talk about them or uses different language in talking about it. Men do feel, they just have less permission to show it. And women, don't assume you ARE, check that you're actually feeling your feelings in your body rather than thinking your feelings.
3. Be willing to be vulnerable - being vulnerable is how we are able to connect with another and invite our partner into our world, which can be scary! Consequences of not doing this will ultimately lead to the loss of the relationship. Actively choosing to go there is far less scary.
4. Sleep together naked - our skin is the largest organ in the body and is longing to be nurtured. As adults we are often touch-hungry, especially for touch that has no agenda to it. Relax and snuggle.
5. Honour yourself - We don't realise how much we dampen our spirit by the hundreds of negative judgments we make about ourselves. Offer honest appreciation daily.
6. Bring love back into sex - sex becomes boring and hard work when we let love run out and start performing instead. In sex, seek to connect rather than stimulate. Go slowly, connect eyes and breathe.
7. See each other clearly - Take the time to really listen to what they are saying (like you used to do) and get to know a whole new person.
8. Remove your exits - long term relationships can get leaky, where we drain energy away from the relationship. This can result in the 'invisible divorce'. Too much TV, work, talking with friends, focusing on the kids, porn - all of these factors can negatively effect our relationships.
9. Plan a sex date - set up a regular time to be sexual. Set the date and time (not late at night). You have other essential appointments, why not make sex one of them? Send texts in the lead-up. Ask your partner what they want, enjoy it with them if it feels ok for you. Vary it so you both get to share.
10. Spend quality time on your own - sometimes couples can get enmeshed and lose the sense of a unique identity, which is what attracted you in the first place. It is healthy to have some time out on your own now and again.
For more information visit www.oztantra.com