It is only natural that couples in long-term relationships experience bouts of sexual dry spells from time to time. As long as the quantity drops but the quality doesn’t, your marriage is on the right track.
But what can you do if you find yourself in a sexless marriage? Therapists warn that sex is rarely the issue; it is rather a symptom of more deeply rooted problems. We offer their expert advice on how to tackle marital sex issues and bring back the spark.
Hone In on the Problem
According to Susan Gates, owner of Christian Bed, a popular Christian adult toy website, “Usually, the problem is not that sex is bad. Sex life suffers when intimacy is lost, communication grows cold, and unresolved issues pile up.” Try to identify the cause so you know what to fix. The reason couples’ therapy works is because spouses talk their issues over, which leads to their resolution. If the sex itself is the problem, experts suggest being open to trying out something new to spice things up between the sheets.
Take a Walk Down Memory Lane
In time, sex drive dwindles for many couples in committed relationships. Try to remember when things changed, and what may have influenced it. Talk to each other about what you are unhappy with, and what you would like to change about your sex life. Then, make an effort to spend time together, flirt, tease, and bring the art of seduction back into your relationship.
Embrace the Change
A frequent issue with new parents is that they stop having sex completely when the baby arrives. They assume that, in time, they will resume their usual nocturnal activities, and when that doesn’t happen, they don’t talk about it. When partners communicate openly, these matters can be resolved. And in the end, sex after having children actually turns out to be even more enjoyable and unencumbered than it was before.
Find the Root of the Problem
People wrongly assume that sexless marriages happen when men’s needs are neglected because women are holding out. Experience shows that the opposite is true. It could be because testosterone levels significantly dropped among the male population over the last decades. Whatever the reason, identifying the cause of the problem is the first step toward resolving it.
Work on Your Emotional Bond
Rid yourselves of resentment, and learn to forgive and forget. Instead of holding on to old grudges, build an emotional connection, spend time together, and talk about your innermost desires and fears. Also, set up a sex agenda.
Now, this may sound like it would take the fun out of sex. But according to experts, keeping sex life regular will reap more rewards down the road, and strengthen your marriage.
Don’t Be Passive-Aggressive
If you avoid talking with your partner, resentment will build up, and the marriage will become even more strenuous. That’s when partners start acting passive-aggressively, and sex goes out the window. Couples’ therapists warn that sexless marriage is what leads to infidelity in most cases. To prevent that from happening, communicate openly and respectfully, and work together on getting your marriage back on track.
Yours Is Not a Big-Screen Romance
Remember that if you base your expectations on what you see in the movies or on the sex your friends (falsely) claim to have, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Have realistic expectations, nurture the emotional connection with your spouse, communicate honestly, and enjoy the time you spend together. Sex will soon follow suit.