The old saying goes -- "Happy wife, happy life."
Well, this isn't quite accurate.
Catering to or appeasing your spouse to make them happy is what sex, relationship and spirituality guru David Deida would call a Level 1 stage of love.
In Level 2 love, you're both respectful of each other, while getting your needs met separately and without stepping on toes.
Level 3 transcends both, and involves the two of you doing what is necessary for the greater good of love, marriage, parenthood and building something together. This does away with egos and insecurities and can bring the two of you together in ways that you never could have imagined.
Since about 20% of couples exist in sexless marriages -- marriages in which they have sex 10 times per year or fewer, you could assume that this is definitely a leading cause of divorce or marital strain.
If you have kids, this can create tension or problems that get in the way of parenthood as well.
For yourself, for each other and for the kids, follow the tips below so you can rekindle that flame in an honest, open and productive way.
Straight up -- if it's been a while, sometimes you need to be deliberate about your sex life while finding that spark.
While it may seem mechanical at first, it can help you to fit romance and sex into a marriage that might have been hit hard by busy schedules and fatigue. Many married couples have even participated in challenges where they have 30 days of sex in order to get a jumpstart.
No matter what you have to do, be sure that this agreement is above board, so that you are able to get on the same page and put your efforts and energies toward this common goal.
When you know you have a tight schedule to meet, you'll also be able to team up with parenting and household activities. If you're both eager to make that 9 p.m. appointment, you'll both be eager to get the house cleaned and the kids fed, bathed and in bed.
Make It Sweet And Sexy Again
OK, I know I just said to schedule it, but go with me on this one.
Being deliberate about sex initially is to get out of your head and past the weirdness that comes with not connecting in so long. Once you've put sex back on the table, it's time to create that organic spark again.
Think back to the dating days when you couldn't keep your hands off each other. What was it that drew you to them? More importantly, what did you do to make them laugh, feel appreciated and get them in the mood?
Games are a great way to keep the spark.
Leave little notes for each other, and let these notes range from thoughtful, to sweet to downright raunchy. To get even more spontaneous and frisky, send postcards online that they can read at work, which will keep the flame burning and have them dying to rush home and see you.
Technology is really in your favor, because there are plenty of apps you can download for communication and foreplay, such as Couple and OhMiBod, which help you make sex and romance a 24-hour mission, rather than an obligation or an afterthought.
Always Be Learning
Sex and romance aren't taught it school, so you're going to have to do your research.
Sign up to some YouTube channels and get an Audible and Kindle account so you can become a sponge. You'll be able to learn about love and relationships, sex and communication, treating it like a full-time job -- because it is.
Take a holistic approach.
For instance, tantra is thought of as fancy sex positions, but is actual about living a life of pleasure and fulfillment. If the two of you take this path, you'll be able to enrich each other to become better lovers and parents at the same time.
Follow these three quick tips and you'll see your relationship to each other grow, which rejuvenates you and empowers you to be there for your kids.