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How to Bring Romance Back to Marriage

My Wife Is My Best Friend . . . Now, How Do I Make Her My Lover?

We're happy to present this story from one of our favorite sites, The Good Men Project. Today, she-said-he-said advice-givers Eli and Josie help a man turn his friendship-based marriage into one of passion and desire.

Dear Sexes: How do you cross the bridge from your wife as your best friend to your wife as lover? If you have been with this person all day as your partner in life and the daily work of living, how do you suddenly switch?

She Said: If we could solve this, we could save probably 50 percent of the marriages that end! Our society teaches us to value novelty and drama over commitment and peace. Without the drama, I think a lot of us think there isn't enough excitement to constitute "love" . . .

In truth, a deeper and more intimate love can come from peace, and that peace often comes from having your partner as your best friend. But sometimes, when that transition happens, that buddy-ness can be sort of a boner killer.

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I think a solution to this is a little objectification. Yes, objectification! By that, I mean, you love your wife as a whole, her humanity, and her soul as well as her body. And sometimes you probably have deep lust for all that humanity and intellect. But sometimes you just want a body. Now, I am making this suggestion for you because of the love and friendship you have for your wife, thinking that maybe you need to nurture some fantasies just about her body. I wouldn't make this recommendation to a newly united couple or a couple that is struggling with profound problems.

Try to think just about your favorite part of her body. If that's her pretty fingers, think about them wrapping around your penis or clasping your hands during sex. If it's her mouth, think about the way it changes when she's having an orgasm. Focus on those things, and let the rest of her slip away from your mind for a moment.

I probably don't have to tell you this, but just to be clear, this doesn't mean that you leave behind compassion, communication, respect, and love. It just means that you allow a fantasy that is purely sexual to develop . . . and you nudge it along by being mindful and conscious of your fantasies, and by guiding them a little bit.

He Said: Your wife can be your friend AND your lover!

Having said that, your best chance at having a successful friendship AND romance with your wife may be to compartmentalize each entity completely (at least, for now, so you easily hit "the switch").

Your wife and you should (re)experiment with your sexy sides. Invest in some candles (for her) and perhaps some lingerie (something you can both enjoy). Romance her! Maybe that means cooking her dinner, or giving her a full-body massage with sensual oils. Or even something as simple as a date-night out — just the two of you.

And lastly, work hard at the romance, but remember — you don't always have to make love, when you make love. Sometimes you've just got to have great sex. Don't be afraid to try something different. Find a new place to get it on — a kitchen counter, the backseat of a car, a hotel, etc . . .). And vary the way in which you have sex. It's fine if you have to schedule your sessions, but it's just as good (perhaps even better) if you have some unscheduled bump and grinding. And never underestimate the power of a steamy quickie! Good luck, play hard, get busy!

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