I get this question regularly. We want to be excited by our husbands, but somehow they just don’t turn our crank anymore. Well, I have a great blogging friend named J from Hot, Holy and Humorous, and I’ve invited her to give us 10 GREAT ways to keep the flame alive today.
I recently fielded a question on my blog from a wife who wasn’t physically attracted to her husband. She wanted to have that heart-pounding desire for him, but just didn’t feel it. What could she do?
I answered her extensively, but I want to share a summary here, with 10 tips for how any wife can nurture her attraction and chemistry with her husband. How do we get or keep those heart-thumping sensations in our marriage?
1. Rethink Romance.
Many believe a successful marriage and satisfying intimacy requires falling in love, feeling like he’s your soul mate, being sexually compatible.
Look, I’m thrilled we live in a culture where I fell in love with the hubster and chose to marry him, but marriages in the Bible and throughout history have happened for various reasons—chemistry, love, family connection, alliances, physical provision. And more than a few were truly happy, regardless how they got started.
Why? Because a good marriage involves living out godly principles and acting in love. Start tossing love cookies your hubby’s way, and that target of your attention may start looking pretty darn good.
Quick tip: For real romance, read 1 Corinthians 13 and put “The Love Chapter” into practice.
2. Focus on the Positives.
Have you heard the saying, “folks are usually about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”? There’s truth to that, including how you feel about others. If you look at the positives, you might find your husband’s attractiveness improves from your adjusted viewpoint.
So reflect often on what’s so great about him! How about starting a gratitude journal and listing 1-3 things each day that make you happy to be married to your man? Focus on his deeper character traits, sure, but also list physical characteristics that are attractive or masculine.
Keeping track of what’s truly handsome about your guy, you’ll begin to appreciate him in a spine-tingling way.
Quick tip: Keep a journal listing your husband’s attractive physical qualities.
3. Express Loving Thoughts.
When you repeatedly compliment someone and watch them light up in response, you reinforce that positive behavior for both of you. So focus on an attractive trait of your husband and express that loving thought to him.
We get the idea sometimes we ladies are the only ones concerned about body image, but husbands usually respond very favorably to their wives expressing what they find attractive about their man.
Train yourself to focus on his handsome qualities. In return, you’ll find the compliments easier to give, and your mind and heart will respond to what your mouth has expressed.
4. Eat Healthy.
What does eating have to do with romantic chemistry?
Being attracted to your husband involves the release of body chemicals that fuel that lovin’ feeling. Chemicals such as testosterone, oxytocin, endorphins, dopamine, and more can affect how attracted we feel in the moment to our mate. And eating well keeps some of those chemicals pumping like they should in marriage.
For testosterone (yes, ladies, we need some of that in our systems), make sure to get enough protein, vitamin C, and good fats, and to limit alcohol intake. Endorphins also respond to foods, particularly spicy foods. Oh, and chocolate. Yes, chocolate can be healthy for your sex life! (In moderation, of course.)
5. Exercise Together.
Endorphins are one of those body chemicals I mentioned, and they cause that “runner’s high” long-distance runners report. Endorphins take longer to cultivate, but they’ve been compared to opiates in their ability to produce feelings of calm, stress-reduction, and general happiness.
When you pair your mate and your endorphins, the result is a “love opiate,” so to speak. And how do you increase your endorphin quotient?
Exercise. So exercise more, exercise together. Endorphins release with steady exercise, and sharing those moments with hubby means you get that opiate effect when he’s around. You’ll brain will naturally attach the two. And as an added bonus, getting in shape is attractive.
6. Pair Your Hubby with Pleasurable Stimuli.
Much as we love our dogs, we are far more complicated beings. Except when we’re not.
Scientist Ivan Pavlov conducted a famous experiment in which he studied the salivation of dogs at mealtime, but he noticed a side effect which became a far more interesting discovery. He rang a bell at dinnertime, then fed the dogs. After a while, the dogs began to salivate simply with the ringing of the bell. We’re like that too. Pair a stimulus with a pleasurable stimuli often enough, and the stimulus gets us licking our lips.
Now if you want to lick your lips over your hubby, pair that guy with pleasurable stimuli! Another body chemical, dopamine, is involved in the reward system of the brain—a chemical that provides good sensations when a particular activity is experienced. Matching the activity and the feel-good results, we learn to repeat that behavior again and again to get the same “high.”
So watch a fun movie together, ask for a relaxing massage, or experience orgasm in his arms. Let dopamine fire away and get you “addicted” to love with your husband.
7. Be Affectionate.
Affection is wonderful for its own sake, but it’s also important for the release of yet another body chemical, oxytocin. Oxytocin is often called the “bonding chemical” because it gets released during deep embraces, infant nursing, and sexual activity, and creates feelings of connection, attachment, and yep, love.
Studies have shown you can increase oxytocin through physical touch, like holding hands and sustained hugs of 20 seconds or longer. Now you have to hang on long enough for your body to register the affection and respond with an oxytocin release. But it’s a pretty powerful effect once you put it into practice.
And yes, sexual encounters with your husband definitely impact the “bonding chemical”—with sex capable of producing an oxytocin rush for wives at three to five times the norm!
8. Laugh with Your Husband.
Proverbs 17:22 says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” And some of you wives are walking around with brittle bones when it comes to romantic chemistry for your husband. Cheer that heart up, baby! Laughter is wonderful for your relationship and your feelings of attraction—good medicine indeed.
Remember endorphins? The “love opiates”? Laughter triggers endorphins. When you and your husband share a good belly laugh, it’s good for your feelings of attraction to him.
So watch comedies together, share jokes and word play, flirt and giggle, even go to a Christian comedy show for date night. And as I’ve often said, learn to laugh with one another even in your marriage bed.
9. Have More Sex.
We wives tend to play “what comes first?” with this one. Most gals struggle with the idea of having sex with someone we’re not extremely physically attracted to, even our husbands. But it’s really a chicken-and-egg argument. There’s quite a bit of evidence that sexual activity in a covenant relationship increases feelings of intimacy and attraction.
Having regular sex releases endorphins, testosterone, and the bonding chemical, oxytocin. It provides an opportunity to touch extensively, notice your mate’s fascinating body, share laughter, and experience physical highs in one another’s arms. So “getting it on” may help him “turn you on.”
And you know what? Many of the positive effects of sex noted by researchers only occur in long-term, committed relationships.
10. Pray for That Spark.
Not “feelin’ it” yet? Ask for God to reveal all these things to you—what’s so great and attractive about your husband, how to take care of your bodies better, what will make your spine tingle, how to see your husband the way only a sexy, loving wife can.
It may feel weird at first to ask God to get you all hot-and-bothered over your husband, but God wants your engine revving about your man. The very first verses of Song of Songs, the book in the Bible devoted to intimate romance and love, starts with the wife expressing how much her guy turns her on:
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—
for your love is more delightful than wine.
Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes;
your name is like perfume poured out.
No wonder the young women love you!
Take me away with you—let us hurry!
Let the king bring me into his chambers. – Song of Songs 1:2-4
If you want that can’t-wait-to-get-my-hands-on-you desire for your husband, ask God for His divine help. Pray for your romantic chemistry.
Another Quick Tip: If you need help to boost your libido, take a look here.