We Redo ‘I do’

Is naughty at 40 only a Tambola term? Have the early flames of passion faded?

Is naughty at 40 only a Tambola term? Have the early flames of passion faded? Well, it’s time to reignite them. It’s time to be a lover, and not just a ‘great’ wife.. ANTRA SHARMA tells you how…

Is naughty at 40 only a Tambola term? Have the early flames of passion faded?
Is naughty at 40 only a Tambola term? Have the early flames of passion faded?


A rich housewife. An accomplished executive. A lavish lifestyle. He gets home from work, and his wife shoots off — “The kids have a PTA, the maid just eloped, and Mrs Kumar has bought a new Honda Accord. Darling, when will you get me one? I can’t handle the kids’ tantrums any more, the upholstery needs to be changed.” But a passionate evening, what’s that? When did she last make an effort to seduce him?


Aarti and Rahul are very successful in their MNC jobs. They drive 25 kms each way to work, pack up at 7 and get home 8.30. It’s close to midnight. She has just plonked dead tired reading a romantic novel, and he has dosed off surfing channels. But where is the real-life romance here? Sex? How do you spell it? Are we in a mood for it at all?


Its 6 pm. The wife is all dressed waiting in the living room. She has an art exhibition to go to. The husband just got back from work, it’s drizzling outside and he wants to take a walk in the garden. It’s all so perfect. But madam has been waiting all week for this. He teases her, but she’s in a rush. Man, where has the fire gone? When did this stalemate ‘situation’ set in?

Can you remember the last time you really just let loose? Or do you find yourself very much like Annette Bening’s character in American Beauty? Are you lovers or are you friends after two decades? Does your heart still miss a beat when you see him walk into the house? Do you still plan a passionate evening with your husband of 15 years? Think: When was the last time you got dressed up, just because..

It’s a damp squib and this time, wet on both sides. It happens to all of us: The honeymoon is over. Maybe you’ve been together a few months, a few years, or even a lot of years. At some point, though, the early flames of passion have faded and it’s time you start looking for ways to reignite them.

It’s all about being the girl your man fell in love with many moons ago. Have you ever thought about it, or have you just been busy being a good mother, a fine housewife and a great wife. But a great ‘wife’ may not mean a passionate wife! Where has the lover in you gone? After we’ve been in a relationship for some time, we settle into a kind of friendly (or not so friendly) roommate situation. We all know that it is possible to keep passion, romance, excitement and sexual intensity alive through the years and there are tools that can keep passion perking right along. It is not uncommon for couples married for many years to find themselves in a sexual stalemate.

In many long-term relationships, predictability often replaces spontaneity, and sexual encounters may have become routine and perfunctory. This is about sensuality perhaps more than sexuality. So how should you keep the ‘flame’ burning in your marriage, even after so many years ?

Writer and author Shobhaa De, has been married for over 25 years, and is a mother of six, who has also written the bestseller book on marriage, Spouse, says: “I wish I possessed a magic mantra or a quick fix formula for keeping passion alive in marriage. I think the important first step is to recognise the importance of passion in marriage, most couples forget it ever existed. Once you are aware of its presence/ absence, you can actually enhance the quotient through conscious efforts. Be yourself at all times. Don’t play games or play act. One strain will always show through. And to keep excitement levels up, create space for yourselves- just the two of you. I often do that with my husband by taking off on spontaneous trips. It’s amazing what an exciting new destination can do to perk up a jaded relationship. Take the trouble to look good for each other at all times.”

Artist and writer Anjana Kuthiala has been married for 19 years and has a 18 year-old-son. She shares the same thoughts as Shobhaa’s. “I personally feel that passion is a very important part of your relationship, more so when do you have been married for so many years. But I don’t really know if it is there in most couples after 15-20 years of marriage.

They just live lives like two human beings under the same roof. It doesn’t come naturally. One has to really make a lot of effort to keep the passion alive. I make it a point to send some moments with my husband, either at our orchard or for a movie. My laughter is a big turn on for him, and I ensure that I laugh a lot with him. I always look good for him, be it any time of the day. Try to fantasise about the way you were initially and try to bring that back into your marriage. Try to behave like lovers at times. You first have to work at making your marriage very pulsating, and the passion will automatically follow.”

Holding onto some single girl habits can boost your relationship with your man. You have to remember that there were great qualities about you that he fell in love with, and sometimes women shed those qualities as they settle into a relationship routine. Never relinquish your single-girl aura.

Jewellery designer Naina Balsavar, married for 20 years, thinks otherwise. “I feel passion is all about spontaneity. Though I do agree that it is vital in any marriage, I don’t think one has make that extra effort for exciting your man. Will he do it for you? Will he dress up differently for you? A time will come when marriage will be redundant. Today’s woman essentially needs a man for sex, more than financially or emotionally. And unless they are sexually compatible, they won’t commit, unlike earlier. As for me, I feel it just happens and we go for the spontaneous bit.”
Sexual intimacy is an important aspect of life A recent study by the American Society found that of 1000 married women aged between 40 and 50 years, 60 % were satisfied with their sex lives, 61 % reported they had good sex and 70% said they have sex just once a week. It also concluded that those who had an active sex life through out their lives, showed a lower rate of decline in desire with advancing years.

Sexologist Dr Prakash Kothari, who has been counselling as well, says, “A woman gives sex to get love and a man gives love to get sex. I do get a lot of patients with decreased sexual desires after many years of marriage.It is not always passion. Many external factors specially monotony of partner, changes in physical appearance, depression add to reduced sex drive. Have a cafetaria approach. Be a psychological aphrodisiac to your husband. Unscheduled vacation, and continuous communication are vital. Plan a quite evening. A woman should remember to tease him, like she would do to a boyfriend. We recommend sensante focus exercises. You have to know his erogenous zones, Remember, touch is very important.”

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