Revive your Relationship

Health Communications, Inc. is a book publishing company that puts out books to help you with life issues. Recently they gave me a copy of “Stop Calling Him Honey and Start Having Sex!”, a book to help married couples who feel like their passion is waning and they seem to be living like roommates instead of lovers.

Each chapter of this book focuses on a specific area of a relationship, and is full of tips about changing your daily habits to get things steamy again. The authors are Maggie Arana, a journalist and freelance writer, and Julienne Davis, a model/actress/musician. I’m not sure how either of them is qualified to give marital advice, but much of the book makes perfect sense and resonated with me – a woman who has been married for almost 20 years to her best friend, and is raising 2 teenage daughters.

Throughout the book are real-life examples of couples having problems, and the possible cause of their problem broken down for readers to learn from. I loved these parts of the books, so information seemed to come from many different voices, not just the authors’.

When I first got this book in the mail, I was focused on a large project at work. The book sat on my nightstand untouched for a couple of weeks. Or so I thought… As it turned out, my husband was flipping through it. Soon he started referencing it in conversation, and I knew I had to start reading to stay on his wavelength and be certain we weren’t falling into any bad relationship traps. When I finally did pick up the book, our family was on a road trip, and I actually shared some of the less sexy and more generic relationship advice out loud in the minivan, because I knew even our daughters could benefit from it.

Sometimes, life’s duties get in the way of steamy nights. This can be unavoidable. A sick child who needs tender care or a month with a few business trips can certainly take away some of the steam. But our own bad habits could be keeping us from having a great sex life, and the authors urge us that married life must have a sexual component or the passion will fizzle away, leaving you either unhappy or eventually divorced.“The sad thing about what happens to sexless relationships is that one partner will eventually cheat – not with a person who is better than his or her current partner, but with someone who relates and communicates the way you both used to.”

When they say “used to”, think back to the beginning of your relationship, when everything was new. You listened intently to what each other had to say, you felt electric sparks when your arms accidentally brushed, and there were probably habits and activities you kept to yourself for fear of looking gross or foolish. The authors are trying to help you bring that back! They give an intro on the history of the word Honey, the most common nickname, and expand that to other nicknames. Chapter 1 tells us that by nicknaming our spouse and not calling them by their actual name, we strip them of a part of their identity, and it is this unique identity that attracted you to this person in the first place. By using a generic, sarcastic or silly nickname that could just easily be used for a 3 year old or even a puppy, you reduce your lover’s identity. I know because of sales training I’ve had in the past, the word most people love to hear above all others is their own name. Simply return to calling your S.O. by their real name to get the ball rolling.

Chapter 2 talks about banishing baby talk. Cutesy-wootsey phrases do not lead to hot, sexy nights. No one wants to f*ck their pumpkin wumpkin. They may cuddle up on the couch in footsie pajamas and watch reruns of Friends together, but they don’t make great sexual partners. Remember this as you carry out parental roles. Calling your husband “Daddy” when the kids aren’t around or failing to see your S.O. outside of their parental role is a slippery slope for a marriage. In addition, letting your parental roles take over your life can leave little left emotionally or physically for sex. If you are overwhelmed with chores, kids, and other responsibilities, discuss this openly with your spouse. “Remember that your household roles and your child-raising roles have nothing to do with your sexual roles. Keep them clearly defined and separate.”

There is a chapter in this book about bathroom happenings as well. When first dating you probably would not use the bathroom in front of your S.O. Why after 5 years of marriage is it suddenly OK to pee with the door open? Being discreet in the bathroom with anything stinky or messy is not a bad idea for tens of years to come. I know couples who show each other their poo, and I find it revolting. There are things we can do together and things we are meant to do apart. This can also extend to work and hobbies, and the book discusses this as well – finding an identity outside of your relationship so you don’t have to spend every waking moment together. The book at one point also reminds us that similar to bathroom situations, some men get squeamish seeing too much during childbirth. They may never see vaginas the same way again! Before giving birth, discuss how much your partner does or does not think they can handle being a part of. Remember – they probably put their mouth down there, and they don’t want to reflect back on blood or pain. Some men actually help with a hands-on baby delivery and can mentally separate that from a sexual relationship, but others compartmentalize and continue viewing their wife as a “mom” from then on, and the spark is lost.

There is a great chapter about connecting without words. Looking into each others eyes, making those quick morning goodbyes 8 seconds longer with a great hug, and guiding pleasurable sexual experiences with body language. However, when you do connect with words, there is a chapter for that too! Playful banter and flirting always have room in a relationship.

Love yourself!

Last, but most importantly, the book reminds us that the one person we are guaranteed to spend our entire lives with is ourselves. You must connect with yourself and love yourself to be ready for a fabulous relationship. Celebrate your luscious body, know what makes you wonderful, nurture your spirit, and don’t let your spouse catch you putting yourself down. “When you truly love yourself, your most exciting sexual and life experiences lie in front of you.”

If you feel that your relationship has lost some spark or seems bland, although you know you love your man completely, this could be a great book for you. It’s a fast, fun read full of tips you can begin using immediately! Ditch old habits for a sexier, steamier relationship! Learn more at stopcallinghimhoney.com.

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