You and your wife are settled in for the Mary Tyler Moore Show marathon with his and hers bags of microwave popcorn and caffeine-free diet Pepsi. Before Mary even gets in her first, "Oh, Mr. Grant!", the Passion Police bust down your door and handcuff you both. "You are hereby charged with becoming passive about passion." Nearly insane with panic (you're under arrest, after all), you call out to your wife, "Honey, tell them it's a big mistake. They've got the wrong couple!" Your wife makes a similar plea and pledges her undying love for you as evidence of her innocence.

The police captain shakes his head and smirks. "Tell it to the judge. And just for the record, we have evidence that you've both neglected this aspect of your relationship for quite a while."

The next day the judge outlines the case against you. "Mr. and Ms. Icewater, I've never seen so many blatant signs of withered romance. Clearly you've turned a blind eye to this important part of your relationship. Here are the warning signs--all of which you've consistently ignored--of your passion neglect."

Warning sign #1: The Poodle you’ve been rubbing for the last twenty minutes turns out to be your husband’s back.

Warning sign #2: Overhearing a conversation about oral sex at the gym reminds you that your annual dental cleaning is overdue.

Warning sign #3: Belching and knuckle-cracking are now acceptable forms of foreplay.

Warning sign #4: According to your wife, the highlight of love-making has become the popping sound your hip makes.

Warning sign #5: The last time your bed squeaked was when the kids used it as a trampoline.

Warning sign #6: Your wife is president of the George Clooney/Brad Pitt/Johnny Depp fan clubs.

Warning sign #7: Your wife is secretary of the Orlando Bloom/Tom Cruise/Jude Law fan clubs.

Warning sign #8: You caught your husband eating your edible underwear…out of the box.

Warning sign #9: The "steamy" email you sent your wife contained the words: sweatpants, anti-fungal, ace bandage, bloating and fiber-rich.

Warning sign #10: While giving your wife a Valentine's Day massage, you replaced the exotic body oil with Pam cooking spray.

The judge turns to you and bellows, "Mr. and Mrs. Icewater, I'm ordering that your marriage be used as an example to others. This list will be placed on the Internet for all to read. My hope is that other couples will take notice and start nurturing the passion in their relationship. Just like any other aspect of relationships, romantic intimacy takes work, consistent attention and time."

The need to keep passion alive in your marriage or relationship isserious business.

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Author's Bio: 

Richard Nicastro, Ph.D. is a psychologist and relationship coach who is passionate about helping couples protect the sanctuary of their relationship. Rich and his wife Lucia founded LifeTalk Coaching, an internet-based coaching business that helps couples strengthen their relationships.