Perhaps they're not putting out because they're tired of putting up with your sh*t.
So, you're not having nearly as much sex as you'd like to in your long-term relationship. This is a common complaint, yet still a serious issue.
You already know that the frequency of sex typically fades as the newness of your relationship wears off. But knowing that's "normal" doesn't make it any easier to deal with, right?
We tend to blame the decline on shifting hormones, our never ending "to-do" lists, or just plain 'ol being tired but, the truth is — the biggest reason for couples having less sex is ... RESENTMENT.
No one craves sex when they feel resentful towards their partner! It kills everything — trust, desire, connection, romance, fun …
Why? Because, it camouflages itself in insidious and covert ways; just like mold, it grows and festers in the dark. You can't see it or smell it (and, goodness knows, no one is actually talking about it) but you can feel it, and over time it kills relationships. But first, it kills intimacy and sexual connection.
That tense lingering feeling between you and your partner when things aren't quite right — that's resentment.
It's when the words aren't spoken directly but the sentiment oozes in tone, sarcasm, or even during bouts of the silent treatment and "eggshell walking."
When your partner feels resentful towards you, they ultimately feel let down — unloved, unappreciated, and unimportant — leaving them with a sense that things are unfair and that a future with you is uncertain.
In what way did you let them down? Most likely the answer resides in your day-to-day exchanges, because underneath every request or expectation is a valid emotional need. Your loved ones typically feels let down (e.g. resentful) when you:
- Fail to do your share of the chores
- Prioritize spending time with family or friends over them
- Work too much or come home late, often
- Plan activities for yourself but not for the two of you
- Don't follow through on a promise
Having needs isn't needy; we all have them. And, in a partnership we choose whether to honor those needs and agree to do our best to meet them ... or not.
It's so easy to forget this in our daily routines, but resentment happens when these needs aren't met. We resent our partners for not fulfilling their promise to provide feelings of significance or certainty, and for sometimes causing us pain. On the surface, this may seem like the cliché, age-old battle of the sexes.
But, look a little deeper and you see through your partner's eyes:
- When you take out the trash ... she feels cared for.
- When you plan dates for the two of you ... he feels special and your effort shows just how invested you are.
- When you do the things you agreed to doing ... your partner knows you are reliable and truly there for them.
So, while it may seem like your partner is nagging about the dishes in the sink — it really has nothing to do with the dishes in the sink at all.
If you suspect resentment is an issue in your relationship, this is great news!
There isn't much you can do with hormonal issues or feeling fatigued, but you CAN turn your partner's resentment back into desire. To do so: Stop focusing on how much sex you're not getting and instead consider whether your mate feels loved by and important to you.
Are you meeting their basic emotional needs? If you want more sex in your marriage start with meeting their emotional needs more not badgering them about sex (which only increases feelings of resentment). When your partner feels loved, important, and cared for, they want to provide you with the same experience. And, this means more sex and happy connection for you.
Hilary Silver, LCSW is a therapist, relationship expert and creator of Hot, Healthy & Happily Ever After. To learn more about keeping your love and passion alive for the long-term, sign up for her online movement and gain access to her signature system at hilarysilver.com