Believe it or not, I’d never heard of the term ‘dead bedrooms’ until just the other week, when I was having a chat with an old friend about the conundrum of marriage and what makes it so terminal. As soon as she mentioned the phrase dead bedrooms, something deep inside me all at once came together. Clicked. Slotted into the final gap of the jigsaw. A true eureka moment.
“That’s it!” I shouted out to the world, but only my friend was listening. “That’s what kills marriage!”
“Or any long-term relationship,” my friend corrected. Despite having spent all her adult life searching for true love, and almost having made it to the altar once, at the end of the day she never ended up marrying. I did. Twice over. And my grandmother did, also twice. And my father, three times. (There’s still a half-sister somewhere out there in the world who I’ve never met.) I used to think it was just bad choices. Bad timing. Bad luck. Bad tricks that God played on random victims. But I was wrong. All the way along the simple answer lay in two simple words. Dead bedrooms.
It’s so obvious, now that I’ve seen the light, I simply can’t understand why we aren’t all forewarned about this from an early age. Forget bloody fairy tales – they’re a bunch of lies with dubious morals. (Beware of charming men. Don’t wear red. Beware of charming grandmas. Don’t get too near an oven. Don’t go on walks in the woods. Beware of coming back home after midnight. Beware of sleeping on too many mattresses.) Why aren’t we taught, from adolescence on, that sexual attraction simply does not last? That your love-nest-bedroom will one day be rendered dead. Deceased. Defunct. Detoxed of all sizzling male and female juices.
However, there is one little word that could possibly save the day, if you take heed. And that cautionary word is: if.
If you don’t make an effort as the years roll on, desire will die. If desire dies, someone else will snatch it from you and then you’ll suddenly want it back, but it’ll be too late. If you’re no longer in the mood for slipping into your naughty French lingerie or being tied up or whatever else used to grab your sexual fancy, someone else will be more than in the mood to do it for you. If you don’t fancy your partner any more, someone else will, sooner or later. Someone who is still sizzling with high erotic energy and leaping hormones; someone who can’t wait to snap into sexy thongs and suspenders, or nothing at all, and then, after the deed is done, lie in your partners’ arms, exhausted, sweaty, sated, and listen to him moan about how his wife just doesn’t understand him anymore. Oh yes, that will inevitably happen one sad day, if you allow desire to fade and your bedroom to become your graveyard.
So dear reader, here’s some advice I can dish out to you in hindsight.
- Make an effort with your appearance every single day of your life – clothed and unclothed.
- Hold on to affection and endearments and sweet nothings, as well as to each other’s hands and other parts.
- Be appreciative, fun, at times kinky, at times cozy, and laugh LOTS.
- Provide variety in bed or on the kitchen table or wherever takes your fancy – one day the sex slave, the next the sex master.
- Get away from humdrum routine whenever you can, be it a weekend without the kids, or a walk to the local park in the middle of the night for a game of Hide and Seek. Naked.
- Make little surprise gestures from time to time, not just flowers or a nice meal, but unexpected things, eg. a ‘Friday treat bag’ filled with chocolates and lubricants.
Actually, that last piece of advice was given to me by a family member who’s been happily married for thirty-five years. Yes, thirty-five! No kidding. And they’re still at it like rabbits.
So forget the morals of all those stupid fairy tales. Just remember this moral. Tend to your bedroom as though it were your garden: a beautiful realm that sprouts honeysuckle and hyacinth and clematis and daffodils and tulips throughout the year, with you being the gardener, and your desire the flowers in eternal bloom.
5 thoughts on “Dead Bedrooms: the Killer of Relationships”
Wow, you’ve hit on a lot that is important here. You actually could broaden it from referring to maintaining the physical relationship to maintaining the entire relationship. If you value the relationship and respect your partner, then you need to do things every day that demonstrate both. The more you get into the habit of not doing those things, the more you will find that, in reality, you really don’t value the relationship or respect your partner as much as you once did… and then, if your partner is someone who is still alive as a person, he or she will start being tempted by other bright, sparkly baubles, so to speak — because your partner will pick up on the fact that his or her contributions to the relationship are no longer valued, and that he or she is no longer respected. It’s hard to value a relationship with someone you don’t respect and who doesn’t respect you.
Also, no matter how hard you try, nor how much you value and respect your relationship and partner, sometimes your partner drifts away for reasons that have nothing to do with you keeping the bedroom alive. A “dead bedroom” certainly can end relationships, but it’s on both partners to keep it alive, not just you. Both partners have to respect each other and value the relationship, not just you. If you are with a partner who doesn’t, your attempts to keep things alive may all be futile, anyway… but in that case, I say that you are better off out of the relationship. You can’t be expected to stay, or want to stay, in a relationship with someone who no longer respects or values you.
So try always to keep things alive. And hope that the partner you’ve chosen feels that it’s important to do the same. Then things can be very happy, indeed… 🙂
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Being only a half-rabbit, well – let1s say there is even three quarters of rabbittness in me, I`d add sth crucial to the list. Wendy already knows what it is, as she knows my habits. Distant journeys to the edges of the world: Mongolia, Burma, Haiti, Peru, India, Nepal. Go for w few weeks with your mobile and laptop always OFF. And with your wife (43 year long relationship) definitely ON. Walk and travel freely, looking at things, choosing picteresque views, nicely situated lodges. Speak to the locals, take pgotos, experience novelty. Drink local alcohol. Allow as may stimuli to your senses. Then you lose sensibility, you become sensual, ensiois, whetever difference there is between the atter two. As early as on the first day, tired, jet-lagged, half conscious, you will perceive your relationship as if it were twenty years shorter. For weeks you will both feel like in your thirties (we are 60 and 62 respectively). I swear – it works. So, dont you dare and try doing it when you re in your twenties- then you will go crazy and will “rabbit” you two to death:)
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I know. I wasn’t actually referring just to myself. Obviously it takes both partners to keep a relationship alive, and in my two marriages, it was a mutual ‘going wrong’ of various things – sometimes more my fault, sometimes more my husbands’. It varied over the years. We were both at fault, both victims, both suffering at different times, but both continuing to love each other, to this very day, in both cases. Just not in marriage, of which desire was a casualty.
Thanks for your very uplifting comment. I’m glad for you and your wife – even envious, in the nicest possible way. Enjoy what you have together.
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