The need for sex can change in a relationship with time
Now, five sex therapists reveal signs that you are heading for a sexless marriage and what you can do about it
Although little is said about this issue, sexless marriages are much more common than one would expect.
According to an article in The New York Times of 2009, it is estimated that as many as 15 percent of all married couples have not slept in the past 6 to 12 months .
For most couples, sex is essential
One thing is clear: the need for sex can change over time with both partners. There can be various reasons for this, such as the birth of a child, health problems or side effects of medication .
There are also relationships in which it is perfectly okay for both partners to have little or no sleep with each other.
For most couples, however, sex is essential to maintaining physical and emotional connectedness.
We asked five sex therapists to tell us what signs might indicate a couple is heading for a sexless marriage.
Here are 10 possible clues that should sound your alarm bells:
1. You feel less and less like lovers, but more like roommates
“We often underestimate the importance of physical attraction in long-term relationships. In the beginning, both partners are very attentive to their personal hygiene and they wear clothes in which they feel attractive and comfortable.
However, as you increasingly feel like you’re a WG partner, it’s probably time to take off your sweatpants and comfortable clothes and prepare for an exciting night out together.
Take a long bath or a shower and put on something beautiful. Do everything to make you feel sexy. Even if you want to spend the evening at home, you should put on something that makes you want sex and intimacy. For example, this could be your favorite underwear.
Or you could try a new massage oil or perfume. ” – Shannon Chavez , psychologist and sex therapist
- You do not like talking to each other about sex
“If you have never talked openly about sex in your relationship, it can easily happen that you will eventually have no sex for a while.
Communication is incredibly important to a healthy sex life. Because intimacy simply can not exist without communication . “
– Vanessa Marin , sex therapist and founder of ” Finishing School “, an online orgasm course for women
3. You put all your time and energy into the children
“It’s quite normal for new parents to put most of their time, energy and strength into their newborn baby. However, once the baby is a few months old, you should make sure that you take care of yourself and your relationship again.
Many parents can not afford to go out together after the birth of their children. However, it is important that you continue to experience each other as adults and that you have different interests that have nothing to do with the children.
More on the subject: Couple therapist: With this error, parents destroy their sex life
Because only then can you maintain the sexual attraction to each other. You could have sex when the kids are in bed. But if you do nothing more than just read stories and clean up the kitchen after dinner, you’ll eventually end up in a boring and tiring routine.
And then you seldom take the time to maintain a romantic and erotic bond with your partner. “
– Sari Cooper , sex therapist and director of the Center for love and sex in New York ( Center for Love and Sex NYC )
4. You are reluctant to watch romantic or erotic scenes on television or in movies.
“Sex scenes in movies or on television can encourage couples to have sex with each other. You may see something that you would like to try, or you will simply be drawn by watching.
However, if you find it uncomfortable to watch erotic movie scenes together, this could be a sign that there is a problem in your sex life. However, it may also point you to a point in your own sexuality that you are ashamed of or that unsettles you.
If you enjoy looking at a sex scene with your partner, then you probably have a healthy sex life. However, if you are ashamed or embarrassed, you may have a problem.
When the sexual attraction between the two of you is disturbed, a sex scene may be remotely reminiscent of your having lost ‘that special feeling’ to each other. Perhaps you are also afraid that this might lead to a conversation that you do not want to lead.
But honesty lasts the longest. If you want to avoid a sexless marriage, you should speak openly about how satisfied you are with your sex life and what you want each other in bed and what you expect. ”
– Kimberly Resnick Anderson , sex therapist and lecturer in psychiatry at the University of California School of Medicine, Los Angeles
5. You are no longer flirting with each other
“As you increasingly perceive your partner as a ‘best friend’, with whom you want to lie on the couch after a long day of work and chat instead of approaching him in an erotic and intimate way, you should urgently make sure that you talk to each other again perceived more than lovers.
Be sure to bring more sexual tension into your relationship again. Flirt with each other, look deep into your eyes and use your body language to make you feel sexy and attractive. Move sexy and make your partner aware. You should not just turn to your partner at the end of the evening and say, ‘Do you want to have sex?’
Take care to build up some tension in advance. Makes allusions outside the bedroom again and again. Send sexy messages and show your partner that you want to be close and intimate with him. ” – Chavez
6. Your partner makes fun of having so much desire for sex, or that you do not feel like having sex
“It’s not a good sign that your partner regularly makes fun of your need for sex. Individual sexual desire varies to some extent among all couples.
However, it is important to always respect each other’s needs, even if they differ from their own. ” – Marin
7. You rarely touch yourself outside the bedroom
“It may be that you have not touched each other in months. Not even to kiss you for a welcome or goodbye. You do not touch either when you watch TV together on the couch. And you do not hold hands when driving. “
– Tammy Nelson , sex therapist and author of the book “The Sex of My Dreams” (English original title: ” Getting the Sex You Want “)
8. You intentionally stay awake longer than your partner, so you do not have to tell him that you do not feel like having sex again
“When you go to bed with your partner, you’re more likely to have sex with each other. However, if you always go to bed only when your partner is already asleep, you may consciously (or unconsciously) try to circumvent situations in which it could lead to sex.
If so, you must ask yourself a few difficult questions: Why do not I want to go to bed at the same time as my partner? Are there any issues in my sex life that disappoint or frighten me? Maybe you’re trying to avoid your partner because you do not want to hurt him.
However, if you want to prevent anyone from getting stuck in a sexless marriage, you should have an honest conversation, first with yourself and then with your partner. ” – Resnick Anderson
9. You keep so many other obligations that there is hardly any time left for you both
“This point applies to many couples today, because we live in an age where we have to be permanently on the job via e-mail or SMS on demand.
However, when couples consciously spend time on recreational activities and shared hours, they often find themselves spending more time having sex with each other.
However, if a partner or even both partners permanently stuff their schedule, they may unconsciously try to prevent it from creating intimacy. ” – Cooper
10. You have unrealistic ideas about what your sex life should look like
“Concentrate less on how often you have sex or what exactly you are doing in bed with each other. Draw your attention to the feeling that sex gives you and to the pleasure you feel in it.
When you focus on one specific goal during sex, you create unrealistic expectations. In addition, you increase the possibility that you will be disappointed if these expectations are not met.
Make sure that you create an environment during sex in which you can pamper your partner and in return you will be spoiled by him. It should be less about the techniques than about the feelings, the desire and the bondage that you experience together with your partner.
In addition, sex is always different anyway. So stop comparing and evaluating the different times. ” – Chavez
This article was originally published by HuffPost Australia