However, for millions of couples, there is trouble behind closed doors. It is estimated that one out of every three couples has a sexual desire gap.
Simply put, in these marriages, one spouse wants sex much more often than the other. And that spells trouble. In fact, sex therapists report that a sexual desire gap is the number one sexual problem brought to their offices.
If you are in a sex-starved marriage , you will probably want to read this post and the one that will follow because you will find them quite helpful. Whether you are the spouse who has higher desire or the one whose interest in sex has flat-lined, you both need to be proactive if you want things to improve in your relationship. This post offers 11 tips for the spouse whose desire for sex has seemingly vanished. The next post will offer tips for the spouse yearning for more physical closeness.
Remember, it helps to approach this sexual divide as a team. Make having a satisfying sexual relationship a bigger priority in your life There are at least two very important reasons that you should take your sex life off the back burner and pay attention to it. The first is your relationship with your spouse. Your marriage depends on it. Your future together depends on it.
You have to stop thinking you can have a great relationship without satisfying sex unless your partner wholeheartedly agrees. Don't resign yourself to passionless lovemaking or a relationship void of true intimacy. Even elderly and chronically ill people can enjoy a robust sex life. The second reason is that unless you are truly enjoying your intimate relationship, you are really cheating yourself!
If you aren't all that interested in sex at the moment, you are probably thinking, "I don't feel cheated at all," but I'd like for you to take a moment and think back to a time when sex was more fulfilling. Really think about it. Didn't it feel great? Recall what it felt like to be a more passionate, sensual person.
Didn't you feel better about yourself? Wasn't it more fun? When you think back to times when things were better between you sexually, you may ask yourself what happened to your passion and what caused this to change in you.
You may also wonder if you will ever feel the same way about being sexual as you once did. Perhaps it's the seesaw phenomenon at work; the more one person does of something, the less the other person does. Well, this holds true for sexual issues as well. Since your spouse has been the one to focus on sex in your marriage and you have felt pressured about it, you have backed away.
In fact, it's entirely possible that the cat and mouse dynamic in your relationship has dampened your desire, even fooled you into thinking you don't like sex anymore. But this isn't necessarily so. Your negative feelings or apathy may have more to do with the chase than sex itself. In order to change this, one of two things must happen. Your spouse can stop chasing and you better believe that this will be one of my suggestions , or you can become more proactive for making things better between you.
Since you are the one reading this, I am going to strongly suggest that it is you who has to take charge of changing things. You need to start to figure out the steps you ought to take to feel more passion and desire. Make feeling sexier your pet project.
If you don't, you are missing out on one of life's greatest joys, feeling truly intimate with the person you love. Forget about doing this strictly for your partner or the marriage, do it for you!
This sort of response is based on hurt. Just reassure your spouse that this time things are going to be different and say nothing more. Get a medical checkup To eliminate physiological causes for your lack of desire, a trip to your family physician or gynecologist may be in order. Ask if hormone replacement therapy such as testosterone would be appropriate. Evaluate whether side effects from medications or medical conditions are a factor in your situation.
Discuss whether herbal remedies or dietary changes may be helpful. Schedule an appointment for you and your partner with a therapist who is trained and experienced in the area of sexuality If you are a man whose sexual desire has plummeted due to your having sexual problems such as impotence or performance anxiety, a certified sex therapist can teach you many different techniques to overcome these difficulties.
You might also consider taking a drug such as Viagra, which will help you have and maintain an erection. I know it is really difficult for a man to admit he is worried about low sexual desire and even more difficult to ask for help in this area. But I urge you to do precisely that.
Your wife may be understanding at the moment, but if you put things off much longer, she might not be around. Care about your spouse's feelings Although you have had very valid reasons for not being in the mood, I hope it's clear by now that your spouse has probably felt hurt and rejected because of it.
I know this has not been your intention. But part of the healing that must take place between the two of you involves your active participation in things that will help your partner feel better. Here are a couple of suggestions that might help boost your spouse's morale. Flirt - If you think back to earlier times in your relationship, I bet the two of you were more flirtatious. I bet there were pats on the butt, a wink of your eye, a kiss blown across a crowded room, lightly touching each other in passing, a suggestive smile, a well-timed compliment about your spouse's appearance, and so on.
This kind of playfulness is an important part of keeping passion alive. Don't just say "no" - If you aren't in the mood, and sometimes you won't be, it's okay to say "no. However, if you do say, "no," it's important that you make an alternative suggestion.
Perhaps later in the day might be better for you. Or, just because you aren't in the mood yourself doesn't mean you can't do something to pleasure your spouse. It does not have to be reciprocal. Look for the small flutters Dr. Pat Love, coauthor of Hot Monogamy, suggests that it is frequently the case that people with low sexual desire never experience earth-shattering sexual urges as do their more sexually-oriented partners.
For them, it's more like barely noticeable, mild tremors. Rather than assume that the Tidal Wave will be the cue that it's "sex time," look for more subtle signs. This is a wonderful starting point. Put on your running shoes Joggers always say that the hardest part about running is putting on your running shoes.
So too with sex. I wish I had a dollar for every time I've heard a person say, "I really wasn't in the mood at all at first, but once we got into it, I enjoyed myself.
Unlike the last suggestion where you are advised to look for the small flutters, I am now suggesting that you don't necessarily need to feel turned on at all in order to initiate sex or respond to your partner's advances. If you push yourself a bit, you will see whether the caressing and touching puts you in the mood.
Give it some time. You'll probably surprise yourself. So, get out those running shoes Focus on the exceptions In your quest to figure out what turns you on, you should focus on the exceptions. Identify what has worked to turn you on in the past. Recall times you were feeling sexier and ask yourself what you were doing differently then.
Were you taking more time for foreplay? Were you having sex in different positions, locations, times of day, week, or month? Were you in better shape back then? Were you using sexual devices such as a vibrator? Were you more active in your life? As you begin to ask yourself these questions, you will notice that some of the conditions for feeling more sexual are either no longer part of your life or even a remote possibility.
For example, some people tell me that sex was better before they had children. As far as I know, having children is an irreversible decision. If some of the conditions are not doable, ask yourself, "What was different back then? How did not having children make things different? Plan a weekend getaway. In other words, although it may not be perfect, you can rearrange your lives so that you can replicate at least part of what was working for you back then.
Experiment with novelty Sexual relationships often become boring when you do the same old thing over and over. Decide to become adventurous and try things you haven't tried before to see if you find them enjoyable.
Explore and experiment until you know exactly what turns you on. Do you like back rubs, hot baths, sexy lingerie, certain kinds of touching, some positions more than others, moving slowly or speeding up? The possibilities are endless. Talk openly about your preferences As you begin to figure out what you like and don't like, you have to commit to discussing it openly and specifically with your spouse. Unless you address this directly, you aren't going to get very far.
Remind yourself about using action-oriented terms. Sometimes it's hard to put into words the things that turn you on.