What are some of the most common things that suck intimacy out of a marriage? Let’s take a look at a few:
1. You’re out of the habit
What you don’t keep doing, you feel less comfortable doing. For example, suppose you need to send someone a thank-you card. You keep meaning to write it, but you don’t get around to it. The longer you allow time to pass, the more uncomfortable it is when you eventually do follow through. It’s the same thing with sex. The longer you put it off, the weirder and less comfortable it seems, and therefore, the less likely you are to do it. Habit is everything.
2. Erectile dysfunction
Almost half of men over 40 have problems getting it up and keeping it up. However, before just popping a Viagra, guys should:
- Try exercising, eating healthier, and not drinking or smoking.
- Find out if any of their meds for aches and pains are getting in the way.
- Stop exhausting themselves at the office (and having nothing else to give when they come home).
- Make suggestions to their wives about how to assist them (as guys get older, the thought of sex alone may not be enough).
Over 60 percent of divorces are initiated by women in their menopausal years. Menopause is like a reverse-puberty hormonal hell, except this time you’re checking out rather than checking in. One thing that happens to many women when they go through menopause is they gain weight; not specifically because of the hormones, but because they get lazy. They become sedentary and don’t eat well, which restricts circulation (i.e. less blood flow “down there”). If your circulation is compromised, it’s like a hose with a kink in it, and it becomes more difficult to get aroused.
4. Lost looks
This is a biggie. Forty-three percent of married people claim that their spouse isn’t attractive anymore. This usually means their spouse has let themselves go. So much of a relationship comes from your commitment to your own health and well-being, both mentally and physically. If you’re not treating yourself well, you’re not treating the relationship well. Being fit not only makes you feel better, but it also shows that you give a damn.
5. Sexual differences
Men are over five times more likely than women (45 percent versus 8 percent) to think about sex at least once a day. If you and your spouse aren’t reasonably matched or cooperative, it leads to blame, resentment, anger, and disrespectful speech. Gender-based differences in desire are biologically built in to any heterosexual union, which is sad, but a reality.
Infidelity shatters trust and withers intimacy. Infidelity is a result of one of two things: 1) the cheater is simply a bad person (sorry, there is no such thing as “sex addiction”), or 2) their spouse wasn’t paying attention to them so they went elsewhere to be fed. In either case, infidelity cuts into sex drive (primarily for the person who was cheated on).
A third of women say they experience no sexual pleasure whatsoever for the entire first year after giving birth as a result of messed up hormones, exhaustion, and stress. However, even though we may not feel incredibly horny, we can still cuddle, play, and do things that bring pleasure to our day and alleviate some of the stress and exhaustion. There’s something rejuvenating about cuddling, touching, hugging, and kissing.
Women's sexual pleasure may drop by as much as 39 percent during the third trimester (when the kid’s ready to pop) due to body-image issues, financial issues, impending role shifts, and/or hormonal-based changes. Many spouses don’t understand this and get mad at each other. As I said earlier, if you cuddle, caress, and snuggle more, you’ll be less frustrated, miserable, and depressed.
9. No time
Eighty percent of married couples blame their declining sex lives on being "too busy". Whoever thought when you were younger that you'd be too busy to get it on? If you're not prioritizing sex, you’d better. Men need to organize their lives less around success and career, and women need to schedule less around children and extended family. Spouses should come together at the end of the day to eat, play, take a bath, hug, caress, snuggle, sip a little wine, and get it on.
10. Not in the mood
It’s normal for one of you not to be in the mood. So what? Put on a sexy video, don some sexy clothes or perfume, and/or behave and talk in a sexy way. The best sex is not always spontaneous like in the movies when all of a sudden everyone’s clothes come off and they’re humping against a wall. You can schedule sex – there’s nothing un-romantic about that. Say cutely to each other, “Tonight at 9 when the kids are in bed, I’ll meet you in the shower/tub/bedroom.” It doesn’t matter how many times you do it, it just matters that you put in the energy and thought.
My final piece of advice: Think quickies. You can have a lot of fun with quickies.