When it comes to relationships, there’s no question about it, sex is a tie that binds. However, for millions of couples, there is trouble behind closed doors. Simply put, in these relationships, one partner wants sex much more often than the other. And that spells trouble. In fact, as a sex therapist, the sexual desire gap is the number one sexual problem that has brought couples to contact me.
If you are in a sex-starved marriage or relationship, 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 partner 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.
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 partner/spouse. Your relationship depends on it. Your partner’s feelings about himself/herself depend 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. Wasn’t it wonderful? 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 or partner has been the one to focus on sex in your relationship 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. Don’t shortchange yourself. Forget about doing this strictly for your partner or the marriage, do it for you!
How? Start by telling your partner that you understand why s/he has been unhappy with your love life and that you are going to do something about it. If s/he replies, “I’ve heard this before,” don’t take it personally. 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.
If you are a man whose sexual desire has plummeted due to your having sexual problems such as impotence or performance anxiety, a sex therapist can teach you many different techniques to overcome these difficulties. There are several methods I have provided to my clients and with time and commitment to the therapy, the libido eventually returns.
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. You need to put your pride aside and get your sex life/relationship back on track. Your wife may be understanding at the moment, but if you put things off much longer, she might not be around. This also applies to women as well. Women too, often feel embarrassed and depressed when their libido goes down and suffer in silence because of it, leading to more problems and fights with their partner because of it. Bottom line, get the help you need to save your relationship, but most importantly to save your frustration from a mental breakdown.
Don’t wait until the issues in your marriage or relationship get resolved before you start putting energy into restoring your passion. Your relationship won’t last that long. And here’s a little secret. When you do, you may notice that the relationship problems and issues about which you were so concerned have totally disappeared.
There it is, all you really have to do is to tip over the first domino. Show your partner more affection and attention, then watch the miraculous results. If you’re the one wanting more sex, take a deep breath, more helpful information is on its way. You just need to make that first step!