What puts a dampener on your relationship? Nothing is worse than feeling “here we go again”, feeling the relationship is going over the same territory without a way out.

A lot of us can’t find joy in our partner because we become comfortable with routine and then we get dissatisfied with that routine as if we are trapped by it. We take our dissatisfaction with the routine of life and project that frustration on our partner as if they are the ones who have taken our joy away.

Passion is the key that brings two people together, whether it’s the beginning of a new romance, or the middle of a relationship where you are comfortable with each other.

But we can’t connect to the passion from the beginning of a relationship if we are bogged down in the hurts that have arisen in the relationship.

As much as you can, address the hurts in the relationship early, when they are small differences between each other. Everybody is unique. No two people will agree on everything. Accept you will not agree on everything and find ways to be creative on how to satisfy your differences rather than blaming someone for being who they are.

A client of mine had the most amazing sexual relationship with her partner of 10 years, but the relationships started to decline after they got married because she did not address how she was hurt when he dismissed something she said one night. At the time, she thought he did not want her to bring her feelings to him. And instead of talking about what she felt, she kept all the other small hurts inside after that moment and didn’t share them with her partner. Until one day, she no longer felt she could talk to him or trust him.

Finally, she was also no longer sexually attracted to him. The strongest part of their connection, the passion they shared sexually, was the last remnant that held them together. But this too could no longer drown out the fears of not being able to share her hurts, fears and concerns.

Passion is like a fire, it must be tended to regularly with new fuel for the fire to keep it going. The hurts we experience in our relationship are like putting damp towels on the fire of passion. A lot of hurts are a misunderstanding of the other person. And we take them and turn them into bigger hurts until the passion that brought us together withers to a small flame.

One of the biggest turn-ons in relationships is to take that small flame and fan the fire! Have you experienced being extremely attracted to your mate after a fight? That’s because you realize how the relationship is vulnerable and that it could end. Then you feel re-ignited to fight for the relationship again.

Is there a balanced way to re-kindle passion in a relationship? Or do we constantly need to feel we are going to lose the person in order to feel how much we do want them instead of being alone. Is it typical that passion eventually dwindles and we start weighing up the benefits of staying in the relationship versus leaving it?

Unless you commit to listening to your partner’s hurts you will have passion come and go and fade in the relationship. Really listen to your partner and see what they really want is: to be held, loved and heard and felt. Often the hurts your partner has have the same root cause as your own hurts.

If you get upset as you listen to what your partner feels and thinks, these moments fuel the bond that has pulled you together in the beginning. Bonds are created in relationship because the two of you are able to draw on what the other person needs and is lacking. And sometimes your partner’s lack will trigger your own hurts and fears. That’s why you attracted the person in first place, to bring light to the parts of yourself you don’t like!

Passion is both a deep love for the good parts of your partner and also a deep commitment to the emotional growth of each other to handle the parts of yourself you would never reveal to anyone else. When you build up the courage to confront your partner about what you fear or what they fear, you help them see the passion you have for them to be who they truly are.

Passion in a relationship grows for the person when you become conscious of your influence in helping your partner to grow emotionally. Passion cultivates when you know you make your partner feel loved, supported and encouraged to be more of themselves authentically, honestly and with all their vulnerabilities.