According to associate professor of sociology at Georgia State University, Denise A. Donnelly (2009), approximately 15% of married couples report that they have not had sex in the last six months. As a relationship (couples) counselor, I find that most long-term couples that complain of a declining sex life are not necessarily sexually incompatible, rather their emotions (hostility, anger and frustration) along with constant bickering, extinguishes their sexual flames. In other words, if one partner pressures the other to have sex and he/she pulls away – this creates tension and kills their sexual vibe. Factors such as: pregnancy, affairs, substance abuse, hormone imbalances, cultural beliefs, mid-life crises, financial problems, childrearing responsibilities, medical conditions and/or life events can affect sexual intimacy.
These factors can also cause you to feel unattractive and sexually unappealing, which can ultimately lead to a loss of interest in sex. According to Tara Parker-Pope, New York Times journalist (2009), couples in “sexless” marriages tend to be unhappy and more likely to divorce then those who enjoy a healthy sex life. In order to recapture your sexual mojo (sexual connection), you may have to push through your fear, indifference and/or disinterest. It may take time, effort, patience and persistence to rekindle that sexual spark, but if the love is there, you and your spouse can work through it together and improve your sex life. If you are wondering how to remove the curse of a “sexless” marriage – you have come to the right place. Listed below are some helpful ways that you can reignite your sexual desires.
Listed below are some helpful ways to rekindle the sexual intimacy in your marriage:
• Be Romantic
A good way to bring the fireworks back into your bedroom is re-introduce romance into your relationship. It’s not uncommon to eventually experience a decline in sexual intimacy, especially if you have been together for a long time. One of the best ways to reignite those feelings of “love” and “sexual desire” is to be romantic with one another. Show your romantic side on a daily basis – it does not have to be something elaborate, rather something simple will work just as well. For instance, write down what you love about your spouse on a post-it-note and slip it into his/her purse, lunchbox, briefcase, suit pocket or folder when he/she is not looking, send your spouse a text that says “I love you and I’m thinking of you” and/or order your spouse’s favorite flowers, candy or treats and have them sent to her at work.
Moreover, if possible, schedule a date night together (at least once a week) – without your children. In other words, find a reliable babysitter for your children, call and make reservations at your favorite restaurant and whisper to each other all of the things you would like to try in the bedroom when you get home. If you are not able to enjoy a meal out, then surprise your spouse with his/her favorite meal at home. Other ways that you can rekindle the spark in the bedroom include: cuddling together (without having sex) and engaging in lengthy foreplay before sex. All of these examples will cause an explosion of “romantic” and “sexual feelings” that will surely break “the curse of your sexless marriage.”
• Share Your Thoughts & Feelings
If you want to bring the sex back into your relationship, you will need to be open and honest with one another about any issues that are concerning you. One of the biggest ways to destroy “sexual desire” is to harbor hidden hostility and resentment towards your partner. It is imperative that you share your thoughts and feelings with each other on a regular basis. One of the biggest indicators of marital happiness and success is the ability to effectively communicate with each other. If you do not feel that you can share your thoughts and feelings with your spouse, you will not be able to reconnect in the bedroom. If your spouse really cares about you, he/she will work with you to resolve any issues within the relationship. Once you have successfully worked through all your relationship issues, you will experience an “awakening of sexual desire.”
• Help Each Other
Another way to improve your marital sex life is to share responsibilities (help each other out). Another “killer” of “sexual desire” is frustration and fatigue. In other words, when you or your spouse feels overwhelmed with responsibilities and commitments, you may be too tired and/or frustrated to be physically intimate with one another – do not fret because it is common to feel that way, especially if you have been married for a long time. A good way to break the monotony and/or eliminate stress and frustration is to “lighten the load” for your spouse. For instance, volunteer to take over some of your spouse’s household chores (cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, etc.) for the night, get up early and take the children to school and/or surprise your spouse when he/she gets home from work with a freshly mowed lawn. These actions may not seem like much, but they will put the intimacy back into your relationship at no time at all.
• Be Patient
If you want to break the “dry spell” in the bedroom, you will need to be patient with your spouse. In other words, you will need to be understanding if your partner does not feel like being intimate due to a headache, a bad day at work, a racing mind, anxiety, illness, restlessness, etc… Moreover, there may be days when your partner is just “not in the mood,” which does not mean that he/she does not love you or find you sexually appealing; rather it simply means that it is not the right time. This is the best time for you to show your spouse just how patient and understanding you can be. When your spouse says that he/she does not feel like having sex, respond by saying, “That is fine honey, just let me know when you are ready.” Do not become angry or hostile towards your spouse because he/she does not want to sex. Showing compassion towards your partner when he/she does not want to be sexually intimate will actually do wonders for your relationship, both inside and outside of the bedroom.
Written by Staff Writer
Dr. R. Y. Langham
Donnelly, D. A. (2009). When sex leaves the marriage. New York Times. Retrieved from http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/03/when-sex-leaves-the- marriage/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0
Parker-Pope, T. (2009). When sex leaves the marriage. New York Times. Retrieved from http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/03/when-sex-leaves-the- marriage/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0