A sexless relationship is equivalent to weight gain. If you don’t monitor it, pay attention to how often you’re indulging in it, you’ll get on a scale one day and realize you’ve gained 10 pounds. You didn’t gain those ten pounds overnight. It took several weeks, if not months or years of neglect to get to where you are now—and now you’re not happy about it.
Well, sex in marriages can be the same thing.
Once a certain amount of time has passed, which is different for every couple—one or both partners can start building resentment. A lack of intimacy breeds distance, fuels rejection, and brings on confusion. Once you fall out of practice, just like weight gain, it takes a lot of work to get back on track to bringing sex back into the marriage.
So many couples I work with complain about the frequency or infrequency of their sexual encounters.
Here are four tips I offer my couples when they want to improve and reignite their sex lives.
- Talk outside the bedroom. Discuss with your partner your desire to have more sex in your relationship and take responsibility for your part in why the two of you haven’t been sexual. BOTH of you are responsible, regardless of the reasons, for why the sex has gone down hill. Here are a few things to ask one another with the utmost honesty.
- Are you resentful of something outside the bedroom?
- Is one or both of you struggling with image/self-esteem issues?
- Is one or both lacking sexual desire because of an underlying medical condition, affair etc. Be open and allow your partner to express why they haven’t been intimate.
- Stop making excuses. We all have them and they are all valid to some point—i.e., “I’m too tired, the kids, schedules too busy, not in the best of shape, sex life has gotten boring, afraid of rejection. Sex lives need work and need to be made a priority just like every other aspect of a relationship. If you want sex to be an important part of the relationship than it needs to be made a priority. We risk the relationship we love by prioritizing everything above intimacy with our partners.
- Think outside the box and outside the bedroom. Did you use to have great vacation sex? If so, plan a trip for the two of you ASAP. Even an evening away or a short weekend can do wonders for re-energizing your sex life. Are you bored with the same old routine? Talk to your partner about your fantasies and reminisce about the fun experiences you had when your sex life was more frequent. Sure it might be inappropriate to have sex on the dining room table while the kids are asleep—but there is always “afternoon delights” while they are in school. Even the memory together can spark up old feelings and get the train moving again.
4. Schedule it. While this may not be the most romantic way to get between the sheets, with such busy lives it’s sometimes the best way to ensure spending time together.
If putting the sex back into your marriage is important, then just like losing weight, you have to work at it!
Karen Stewart, Psy.D
Dr. Karen Stewart – A licensed clinical psychologist in Beverly Hills, CA. She specializes in sexual dysfunction and has worked with countless individuals and couples to help them regain their sexual relationships. Currently, Dr. Karen is in production for a new TV series and is a regular guest on Playboy Radio