By: Cristina Trette
What happens when one partner wants sex and his wife or long term lover is rarely in the mood? A healthy sex life is part of what makes up a thriving relationship and general feelings of well-being. When one or both partners are feeling unsatisfied in this area, this can trigger the beginning of a downward spiral that does not end up very well.
As I researched this subject, I had a difficult time finding a current and reliable source that offers statistics on low sex or sexless marriages. If you come across the current research, email me. A 2003 Newsweek article stated that 15% to 20% of couples who are married with kids have sex less than 10 times a year, which translates to around 20 million couples not having much sex. If you talk to marriage and family therapists, or even your friends for that matter, most will share anecdotal evidence that this number is probably much higher.
Many couples report wanting a better sex life. But with children, careers, lack of sleep, endless household duties, financial pressures, and all of the other energy drainers that come with modern family life, sexual desire can begin to fade away. This is normal. But normal does not necessarily mean acceptable. Alas, problems arise when one wants it more or the other wants it less. And if you become complacent, not much is likely to change.
There are plenty of things you can do now to get your wife back in bed soon. Keep reading!
1. Stop keeping score
Outside of role play, feeling pressured or obligated to have sex is a turn off. Instead of expecting sex in return for providing or "good behavior" shift your focus towards connection and bonding.
2. Get real about what you really want and need
Sex feels good and its fun. The sensations that comes from build up and orgasm are highly pleasurable and rewarding in the brain. But it's not just about the sex. The underlying needs (for connection, attention, and touch) are likely screaming to be tended to. There is deep comfort that comes from being physically close and emotionally bonded to another person. Sex is just one of the ways we get these needs met.
3. Building security allows you to take risks
When falling in love, we brain chemicals keep on a romantic high ensuring that sex is fun and exciting. Once the brain chemicals dip back to baseline many couples report missing the exhilaration they experienced when they were first together. The key to getting some of these feelings back around your sex life is to take risks and create novelty together. If you use your imagination, I am sure you can think of some fun things to do! But the key to exploring sexually is to start by building a secure bond and a foundation of respect and connection. Your partner probably won't be up for sexual adventure with you if a safe foundation is not established.
4. Be vulnerable
Share your longings and fears. Open up about topics that are hard to talk about. Take small emotional risks and move slow.
5. Listen and hear
Hold the space for your partner to be able to talk about feelings and listen deeply to what is said. Most people do not want fixing or problem solving! Most of the time, we just want to be heard.
Like you did when you first met. Give hugs and kisses walking in the door after work, play, dance, laugh, look into eyes and smile, or send naughty texts when you are at work. This kind of attention feels good.
Throw in some moves here and there. Not all the time and not too much. Just enough to create excitement. When she walks past you in the hallway, on her way to put the kids to sleep, push her up against the wall, move in close, and tell her how great she looks tonight or how much you love her. When he is taking off his clothes to get in the shower, come up behind him for a moment and kiss the back of his neck then walk away. And, a little bit of push and pull now mimics the intensity you felt when you first started dating.
8. Talk about what you like and don't like
Fantasies, role plays, oral sex, tantra, and more. Start talking and exploring.
If your partner likes massage, give it freely whenever you can but do not expect anything in return. One great way to connect is to swap 30 minute full body massages without the intention to have sex.
10. Get help with kids or housework
If your partner tells you that he or she is too tired to have sex believe it. With work and babies and all the day-to-day obligations of parenting many couples are too tired for sex. It is important to come up with a solution for this.
11. Stop trying
Sometimes a cycle sets itself up in which one partner keeps trying for sex and the other refuses. If you notice this cycle, one of the best things that can happen is for the pursuer to stop trying for awhile.
12. Talk about it, and if all else fails, get support
If you have never talked about your feelings around sex, now is a good time to start. Talking may be enough to turn things around. If you try all of these tips, and nothing changes, consider receiving support from a couples therapist.
Cristina Trette works with couples, parents, and individuals who want to improve relationships and personal well-being. To learn more visit www.cristinatrette.com and www.elevatingconnection.com.
Cristina Trette, MA, LMFT is a busy mother and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Her passion is centered on helping couples and parents create thriving relationships, families, and wellbeing.
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