Starting Fresh by Making Time and Effort
There is a lot that one person can do to reawaken sensually and sexually, but, ultimately, reviving sexuality in a marriage requires the participation of both partners. If you are the one asking for your partner's involvement in a sexual renewal, be sure to frame your request positively. “I'd like to put more effort in making our sex life better,” sounds sweeter and a lot more inviting than “Our sex is so boring, I can't stand it anymore.” Certainly threats and ultimatums are not constructive. Be sure to begin gently, perhaps offer to do something for him — give a massage or foot rub, for example.
If your partner responds either tentatively or negatively, try not to over react. You may have caught him by surprise. He may still feel stuck in the old stalemate. Give him time to process your request. Be positive. Before you interpret your partner's lack of enthusiasm as being a message about you, or your body, consider these questions:
Is he overtired and stressed out?
Has he recently experienced a loss?
Is he just getting over a physical illness?
Is he worried about his work? Or is he insecure about his job being there?
Finally, let him know that your offer stands even if he's not ready to take you up on it just then. Then he can come back to you when he's ready. If he responds enthusiastically, allow things to unfold without pushing or intellectualizing. After enjoying some sensual time together, you may wish to take the opportunity to open up the conversation. If this feels like it would help the two of you open up further to clear the air, then by all means speak about what's been going on between the two of you sexually.
Remember, you're looking to share feelings at this time, not to assign blame or offer a negative prognosis on the past or future of your sexuality. The most important thing you can express to him is your real desire to bring back the sexual passion you used to enjoy in your relationship. When you talk, keep touching him. It's amazing how much love can be expressed in a simple stroke.
Ironically, the best way sex therapists have found to help people rejuvenate sexuality is by advising the couple to do anything but have sexual intercourse for some period of time. The idea is to take all pressure off and keep performance completely off the table. Sensuality comes before sexuality. Playful touching, kissing, and caressing are what will ideally unfold at this stage. There's also some counter-suggestion going on here; no matter how old people are, they tend to rebel against something they're told to do.
So, whether you take all the advice or a part, your objective is to go slow. Envision what might happen if you were to go back to your very first date, before you ever shared a single passionate kiss. Try to recapture the initial feelings and small steps you took before you both “opted in” to full sexual expression. What did his kisses feel like? What about the first electric spark you exchanged? When and where did it happen?