One of the biggest complaints that couples come in to therapy with is the amount of sex they are having. Usually, it is the man complaining about not having enough sex, but there are occasions when the woman is the one wanting to engage in sexual activity more often. Men feel justified in their desire to have sex with their significant others. Women feel justified in scoffing at their husband’s request and often engage in sex only out of obligation or duty.
Women often complain of being tired, the constraints of being married, having children and having to work, all while being expected to clean, pay bills and then have sex. Men have the same complaints of the attention and focus going to the children and work and families, and not enough to the primary relationship.
Couples can find themselves in a sexless marriage or in an unsatisfying one and it often leads couples to seek out therapy. Here are some key points that all couples need to know when dealing with this issue.
Women often get their emotional needs met in other ways
Women often describe they lose their desire for sex when their children are born. Children require a lot of time and energy, while also providing a lot of comfort and affection. People, especially women, only have so much time and affection to give and when large amounts are being given to the children, there is often little left for their husbands. Things begin to shift and change in sexual relationship.
Part of being married is engaging in sexual relationships
Even though it usually doesn’t say it in your vows, a big part of marriage is having a sexual relationship. It is a part of what you commit to. You commit to not having a sexual relationship with anyone else and it also means committing to engaging in one with your significant other. If this part of the relationship is gone, then a piece of your relationship is missing. It doesn’t have to be the main part of a relationship. Naturally and over time, sex changes in a marriage. In the beginning, with all of the chemicals being released in your brain, you want to have sex more often. As you become more comfortable with your partner, and you become more like companions versus lustful lovers, sex will decline. However, it is important for a healthy relationship, in most cases, to maintain a healthy sex life.
Find ways to be intimate with your partner without having sex
Men often complain their wife isn’t having sex with them but when asked the last time they did something romantic for their partner, it’s crickets. A healthy, intimate relationship doesn’t mean you are having sex twice a week. It means both partners are actively working at making the other person feel loved and desired. If people are able to work at it from that angle, the sexual part will become easier. Pick your wife up flowers on the way home from work or do an extra chore around the house. For women, spend time doing something with your husband that he likes and put your focus on to him. Build up the intimacy between the two of you outside of the bedroom and see how it translates into the bedroom.
Learn to compromise while also working on meeting your partner’s needs
Some people feel overwhelmed in their lives and can’t imagine adding sex into their lives. A common complaint is chores around the house. When asked, many people are reluctant to hiring a maid, even when they can afford one; however they complain about housework. Look for ways to reduce stress in your life. Look for ways to listen to what your partner really needs and work on making it happen. A lot of people focus on getting their own needs met but a part of being in a marriage is meeting your partner’s needs.
If you are caught in a sexless marriage or the fighting about sex is a problem, seeking out of the help of a marriage counselor is an important step to tackling the problem.
Amanda Landry, LMHC, CAP decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Since then, she has started a private practice in Pembroke Pines, Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety relationship issues, and substance abuse. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here. For a free 15-minute consultation, call or text Amanda at 954-378-5381 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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