If the chemistry of attraction fades for most couples within six to nine months of being together, how are you supposed to maintain a satisfying sex life for the years and decades you hope to spend with your spouse? If you're hearing half of what I am, you know this is not just an issue for long time married couples. Sexual doldrums, or just quitting having sex, happens at many different points in a relationship. Let's go beneath the surface to first understand what might be occurring for the two of you, and then what you can do about it if that's not what you want.
Here's what won't work:
- Ignoring the issues--such as only one wanting it or neither of you wanting it--that are already present. A reoccurring problem in a marriage is like a toothache; untreated, it only gets worse.
- Nor should you expect to find true marital happiness by becoming celibate buddies with your spouse, essentially shutting down your sexuality. He's not just your best friend, nor is he your brother; he or she is your beloved. And unless two parties agree to a cessation of sexual relations for health or another mutually acceptable reason, leaving sensuality or sexuality out of the marriage can leave one partner bitter, and the relationship weaker. Of course there are periods when one partner is less interested in sex...for many women it often coincides with menopause; for men a loss of libido can occur with extra stress at work or unemployment. A solid relationship doesn't break down over such periods. It helps to discuss what's going on to make sure one partner doesn't feel it's "about him or her" and not the other distracting issue.
- Having an affair won't help, either. Diverting your sexual needs to an affair with someone else will undoubtedly produce short-term drama to heat up a marriage, but it is not a long-term solution. An affair-discovered or not-can also aggravate feelings of abandonment or distrust, feelings which may be present already if your sexuality is absent or minimally present.
- Finally, just adding a little variety or novelty will not rescue a dying sexual relationship. Buying sexy lingerie and sex toys, trying new sexual positions, or even "swinging" with another couple can provide diversion and fleeting relief from (or more likely aggravate) the sexual doldrums, especially if one feels pressured by the other to perform or get with the program.
Having said that, any or all of these things can in fact spice up the relationship if the two partners are on the same page and both wish to try something new, but these novel behaviors are no substitute for the one essential step you must take if you wish to bring passion back to your relationship: restoring and deepening the connection between the two of you.
Use the Intimacy You've Accumulated