Everyone thinks their honeymoon period will never end. They hear all the talk about how lust cools over time but promise they will be different. It’s normal to assume something positive will never end. But all relationships change. Only the people involved can decide whether these changes are good or bad. When it comes to your sex life, perhaps the best adjective is “confusing.”
You can be in love yet lose your passion. Without such intimacy, however, the love will be threatened. Therefore, if you find yourself in a sexless marriage, it is essential you take steps to repair things.
Why Do Some Married Couples Stop Having Sex?
For the most part, this is not a conscious choice. Relationships evolve. Life gets in the way. Each couple, of course, is different. But let’s look at some common themes:
- The Growing Stress of Life: Working long hours, growing responsibilities, financial problems, etc.
- Having a Baby: This is a common catalyst for a decrease in intimacy.
- Health Concerns: Injuries, illnesses (mental or physical), disability, etc. Some medications for physical or mental conditions interfere with libido and sexual function.
- Mismatched Libidos: You’re never “in the mood” at the same time.
Whatever the causes, they are bound to create some shame, guilt, and resentment. It is no surprise that so many couples do not talk about it much. The reality is there, weighing heavily, but there is a genuine fear of addressing it.
Step 1 to Bring Sex Back to Your Marriage: Communication
This is how the process starts and how it will succeed. It involves several different aspects, including:
Talk About the Situation
End the silence. Make time to talk—face-to-face. This can feel daunting at first, but you’ll both experience a huge relief once the topic is out in the open. It can be helpful to find a private space outside the home to begin this conversation.
Talk About Your Satisfaction (or lack thereof) and Your Needs
Are you both dissatisfied with the situation? If so, why? Get comfortable with talking openly about your wants and needs. Everyone views sex differently. Beyond the initial passion and lust, have you ever discussed your compatibilities and incompatibilities?
Don’t lead with “you” statements. It’s most important that you use “I” to describe what you feel and want. Talk about your own contributions to the lack of sex, rather than focusing on your partner’s contributions.
Don’t Try to Settle it All at Once
Create a schedule of regular conversations. You will not be able to solve anything quickly. The more you talk, the more you understand each other. Make communication a form of intimacy in your marriage. Bring such communication into your revived sex life—especially if you believe mismatched libidos are at play.
Address Underlying Issues
As your conversations progress, dig deeper. Explore possible causes for this intimacy shift. These underlying issues could be relatively recent. They could also be related to events that happened long before you met. Therapy can be especially helpful with this work.
In the Meantime, Explore Other Forms of Intimacy
We’re conditioned to define “intimacy” as perhaps three to five particular sex acts. This is very limiting and unproductive. Here are just a few ways to ease passion back into your everyday life:
- Eye contact
- Date nights
- Find creative projects to work on
- Go to the gym and workout together
Couples Counseling is Something Else You Can Do Together
Depending on how long your marriage has been sexless, it could be challenging to handle all the repairs on your own. This is why so many couples choose therapy. Your sessions are the ideal setting to shine a light on what’s going on. If there are intimacy issues you need to resolve, I’d love to help you on that path with couples counseling. Feel free to reach out.