(This is the third part of a series on having a healthy sex life with your spouse. Here are part 1 and part 2)
Now, another other option is to sit still, or move away, and develop more and more resentment about not getting your “needs” met.
(Sex is not a need, and that is why I put it in quotes in recognition of how many other counselors and others refer to sex as a need. Unlike air or water, an individual can survive without it.
The four needs, as everyone knows, are water, shelter, food and internet connection)
By the way, if you are both content, then you still aren’t done – because life changes and circumstances can change desire and opportunity in either of you.
Also recognize that there are seasons of life – when you have more or less energy to do what doesn’t come naturally to you… or that requires emotional or physical energy at all!
Did you know that allegedly, each parent loses about 2 hours of sleep per night during the first year of the child’s life? That represents 730 hours of sleep in a year lost! 104 nights of 7 hours of sleep lost. In one year.
And this is merely one of the stressors to our energy levels that come with little children…(I am going to publish an entire article on this thought soon, as well… about marriage satisfaction) And it means that it is that much tougher to engage in activities that do not come naturally, or to express attitudes that do not come naturally.
Sex, and the initiation of sex are common examples of such – things that So, it becomes even more important to do the things that create the feelings and attitudes that would make a sexual encounter seem like a good idea for both marriage partners… and both partners can help create those as well.
So, if you are interested in having your spouse more often, sexually, (for understanding why I use this term, read here)… then it will be important to try to create the right conditions for your spouse to have the energy… and interest… to engage with you. Security, rest, affection, encouragement, and appreciation are some of the things I hear about the most often. And, as the sex talks above will make clear, it is vital that you make sure your spouse knows that you choose him or her above sex itself… that you want them – even if sexually is the way you want them – not just sex.
If you are the spouse who desires sex less frequently, then you may need to figure out if there is any special reason – low testosterone (your doctor can check for you)? Masturbation? Scripting created by pornography, feeling bad about your body, messages about sex, resentment, hurt feelings, past experiences, exhaustion, a combination of these?
Examine your life and your heart and see what barriers there might be.
Then deal with them. If you aren’t willing to try to adjust your thinking or learn and grow, for the sake of your spouse, then there is probably a problem that needs to be dealt with.
The rule of thumb is that if you are in a boring marriage, it is most likely because you are a boring person… we are not passive victims of boring marriages. Check it out. Get counseling if you need to… and you will likely need help to deal with many of those things listed above. Also, there are some great books and online resources to help.
There are great resources out there for better understanding of sex from the perspective of freedom and truth. I recommend Feldhahn’s materials. And, I recommend Shannon Ethridge’s materials Shannon’s material is especially valuable in evaluating the motivations, and de-motivations, in regards to sex. And there are others, but those are other good places to do some research to learn better and more, after you have exhausted the resources here.
I think God intended for sex to be a powerful agent of connection, affection, strength, peace and unity in marriage. If sex is NOT generally in that role in your marriage, may I recommend reading, studying and perhaps getting counseling to help that change! Also, I and some of my therapists are available for seminars and conferences to help you and some friends and maybe your whole church, turn this around!
You’re not alone and we would love to join you as you take steps toward a stronger, healthier future.
I believe we all need a safe place to explore the issues that may be preventing us from experiencing a full and satisfying life. My greatest reward as a therapist is helping my clients examine ways to make the changes in their lives that will allow them to look forward to the future with hope. I am a bilingual (Spanish-English) LPC.
Our team will reach out to you soon!