I Don’t Want…

…to marry my brother
When a Spanish chap told me that he is married to his sister, I thought it must be my Spanish letting me down once again, as it has done many times. Like the time I told a waiter, “No quiero comer, quiero vivir.” It was only when he snatched the menus away that my dad pointed out that instead of saying I don’t want to eat, I want to drink (beber), I had actually said, “I don’t want to eat; I want to live!” I have been too ashamed to return to that restaurant since. So to avoid making a similar mistake, I decided to ask my Spanish man to explain, hoping that it was my Spanish, rather than some strange incestuous situation.

It turns out that he has been married to his wife for nearly 30 years and she is more like his sister than his wife; he loves her dearly but the passion has long since left their relationship. He reckoned that that process had started after about 15 or 20-year stage.

I have been together with my husband for 20 years and of that time married for 15 years… Oops, is it time to panic? Does he feel the same way? Do couples slip into a comfortable relationship and forget to keep the fires of passion burning, preferring to watch football or soap operas on TV with a bottle of wine rather than talking to each other on a candle-lit balcony. What was the last romantic gesture I did for my husband, and more importantly for me, what was the last romantic gesture he did for me? When you see a man open a car door for his wife you can guarantee that either it is a new wife or a new car! It does not have to be this way.

Relationships can die and the passion can fade away if we allow it to and all we are left with then is a mediocre relationship that doesn’t thrill you, but may still work. It’s tough to keep the passion in a relationship when you have other responsibilities like work, school, friends, etc., however make time for it though to savour the longevity of a full and vibrant relationship. Remember the endless chatting and laughing. I am amazed when I see a couple sitting with nothing to say to each other.

Remember what you initially found attractive about your partner and ask them what they found attractive about you. Be honest with each other, with what you like and don’t like. You would be amazed that in a lot of my relationship counselling sessions one or both of the clients will say, “I didn’t know you hated that,” or even worse, “I didn’t know you liked that.” Be prepared to be shocked by some of the replies.

Remember it’s very important to keep talking and maintaining a sense of humour with each other. It is in the fun and playfulness that true passion and romance can flourish even in everyday life. The other day I was out shopping with my husband and he hates shopping. He was looking for a birthday present for his mother. “What do you want to buy for her,” I asked. He replied, “She would probably like something electric,” I seized the opportunity of suggesting, “How about a chair!” It put a smile on his face.

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