When a client talks to me about problems in the bedroom, I encourage her (or him) to step back and look at all the factors. The first step is to not take it personally, because despite what you may have heard, a dip in action between the sheets isn't always a sign of a relationship in crisis.
It's not uncommon for there to be a gap between the amounts of sex each person in a relationship wants. Though I often work with women whose sex drives are much lower than their partners, a growing number of women are discovering that their drive is higher than their husband's.
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Because our society equates being a man with always being horny, any kind of discussion around a man having the lower sex drive in a relationship can bring up all kinds of shame on both sides of the bed.
A woman may feel unattractive or undesirable and the man may feel abnormal.
The number one thing to remember is to not slip into blame or shame around the issue. Approach the sexual problem just like any other challenge in your relationship: together with an open mind and heart.
There are a dozen things that can affect a man's ability to get or maintain an erection and they have little to nothing to do with their partner.
Men, like women, worry about things, but unlike women don't have the emotional outlets of girlfriends they can talk to about their worries or stresses. In fact, when it comes to psychological issues around sex, a recent study showed that men coming out of a divorce faked orgasms, because arousal doesn't thrive in an atmosphere of anxiety.
Beyond showing the how a divorce and throw a man's emotional strength off kilter, it illustrates the damaging affects stress and anxiety have on a man's sex drive and shows us that that men are uncomfortable talking about performance issues in the bedroom.
Though you can encourage your sweetie to open up and talk to you, don't take it personally if he doesn't. Men often want to shield their partners from work drama or other stress and worries because they don't want their partners to see them as weak or not in control of their emotions.
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If stress seems to be a factor, encourage your partner to talk to a therapist, begin a meditation practice, get some exercise, or play golf with his buddies. These are great ways to work through worries and decrease stress.
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