Common assumptions distort the way many people look at sex, and a sense of embarrassment prevents just as many people from talking about it…
One of the most common misconceptions is that men have basically unlimited libido – and while this of course isn’t true, it can be a huge cause of concern for wives when it seems like their husband’s don’t want as much sex as they once did (or just not as much as their wives).
But in reality, everyone has their own unique and individual sex drive, and that can change over time – even wax and wane over the course of a year! Unfortunately, though, when couples have mismatched sex drives, it can put a strain on the marriage – because one person may feel rejected, may be concerned that their spouse is no longer attracted to them, or simply because of a lack of sexual satisfaction.
While this can be related to problems in the relationship, much more often, a reduced sex drive is the result of medication, aging, illness, stress, biological changes, kids… The list goes on and on, but it’s important to remember: relationship problems are only a small portion of the factors that can impact libido, and more likely, it’s something else entirely.
And just as your husband’s sex drive may be reduced for a number of different reasons, yours might be increasing too!
Regardless of the nature of the disparity, though, being on different pages sexually is ultimately going to lead to some difficulty - and if you want to resolve the problem, you have to talk about it!
It is essential, however, that you don’t try to talk about mismatched libidos in the heat of the moment – if you’ve just been turned down, or if your marriage’s sexual difficulties are “on display” right then. Because this can be such a sensitive subject, and because of the common assumption (and resulting pressure) that all men are supposed to be virile and possess a strong sex drive, your husband will likely just clam up if his “performance” – or even his interest – is questioned in such a vulnerable moment.
Instead, wait for a time – outside the bedroom – that you can talk about it in a non-threatening way. Not only is it perfectly normal for you and your spouse to fall out of sync from time to time, it’s also something that can be “fixed.”
First, openly evaluate and talk about your own sex drives – what, even in estimation, does a satisfying sex life look like to you? Once a day? Once a week? Determine where your own desires lie, figure out your husband’s, and look for some understanding and middle ground about what will be satisfying for you both.
Next, don’t be afraid to discuss - and try - some “newness” in the bedroom (if, of course, that’s what you and your spouse want). Sometimes shaking things up can be just what you need to get back in sync with each other.
Now, if the decreased libido is rooted in medical issues or is a side effect of medication, don’t be shy about asking your husband to talk to his doctor. Assure him that many people experience these problems, and that doctors are used to talking about these kinds of things. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about!
Connecting with your spouse sexually is an important part of the intimate bond you share, and if things aren’t satisfying for either party, it can lead to issues in other areas of the relationship. Don’t let these problems go unspoken, or feel bashful about addressing them.
If you want to maintain a strong marriage, it’s critical that you be up front about problems, and proactive about solutions. If that problem happens to be a mismatch in libido, the two of you can work together to overcome it – and continue building the marriage you love to be part of!
For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!
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Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com