Sex is a little bit different in every marriage. There is no “right” amount or frequency that will work for every couple, and since we all have varying needs and desires, no two sexual relationships will be exactly the same.
A marriage with no sexual activity, however, puts couples at risk for drifting apart, reduced happiness, and a higher likelihood of considering divorce. Again, there is no “right” amount of sex in a marriage, but when it simply isn’t happening (for any number of reasons), it can lead to problems in other areas of the marriage as well.
Sex can taper off for a wide range of reasons, from having kids to changes in libido with age, from struggling with an affair to a negative body image – and everything in between. Some couples simply don’t have very much sex to begin with, and that’s perfectly fine as long as both people’s needs are met. When it doesn’t happen at all, though, it can be a serious problem.
Sexual intimacy is one of the primary things that separates friends from lovers, and the emotional and psychological connections we form through sexual intimacy are important for maintaining a healthy marriage. When this part of the relationship doesn’t exist, or has slowed/stopped because of unforeseen or unnoticed changes in the relationship dynamic, there is little separating a married couple from a pair of close friends – and while that’s a fine relationship to have, it can never compare to the closeness of marriage.
Couples in sexless marriages are generally unhappier, and sometimes interpret a lack of sexual activity as a failure of the entire relationship. It doesn’t have to be that way though!
Now remember – the right amount of sex for your marriage is the amount and frequency that satisfies you and your partner. This will be different for every couple. There are a few universal methods, however, that can help rekindle a happy, healthy sex life:
Talk About It
Communicating about sexual feelings and desires is essential in a marriage, even if it means having the talk about changing feelings or reduced desire. Talking openly and honestly about what you like and don’t like, what factors may be holding your desires and/or energy back, or what would help bring the spark back is an integral part of the process.
As we’ve said before, don’t wait until you’re in the bedroom to talk about it!
Take Care of Yourself
Regardless of why your sex life may have dwindled, one of the keys to having the best possible sex life is to take care of yourself! Eating right, getting some exercise, and doing your best to stay happy and healthy works wonders for both your libido and your sex appeal.
When you feel good, you feel good about yourself – and feeling good about yourself is the key to overcoming self-consciousness about performance or looks, and can help boost your confidence and happiness across the board (beyond just the bedroom).
Even if body image, health, or other related issues are not the source of your difficulties (or you assume they aren’t), taking a little time for your physical health will definitely help put you on the right track to rekindling your sex life.
One of the most persistent problems in sexless marriages is self-fulfilling: once it has been a long time, it’s tough to change the pattern. It’s almost as if you forget how, or become bashful about the whole subject.
If this sounds familiar, don’t worry! The entire point of rekindling your sex life is to make you happier and your marriage healthier – so you are free to go at your own pace and stay right within your comfort zone!
You can take things slow – from the most basic acts of physical affection on up – and go at your own pace, gradually increasing your comfort level and rediscovering your own sexuality. If it’s your spouse that is in need of some “rediscovery,” be sure to remain supportive and patient.
If you truly want to change, if you want to rekindle your sex life but don’t know how (or are too shy or self-conscious to bring it up to your spouse), remember that you have the power! Between the two of you, you have everything you need to help each other overcome problems, address issues, and support each other through efforts of personal growth.
The first step is seeing the problem for what it is: a roadblock that can be navigated around, a hurdle to be jumped. Be open and honest with each other about the problem itself, and all of the little elements that may be contributing. You can solve the problem together!
** As an aside:
It should be noted that some sexual difficulties (like experiencing pain, difficulty with arousal, etc.) can be directly related to medical conditions. Don’t just dismiss a problem and accept the consequences. If you have any suspicion that your sexual difficulties or hang-ups may be medical in nature, don’t hesitate to see your doctor!