By: Cristina Trette
What happens when one partner wants sex and his wife is rarely in the mood? It probably goes without saying that, generally speaking, a healthy sex life is part of being in a thriving relationship. When one or both partners are feeling unsatisfied in this area, this can trigger the beginning of a downward spiral that does not end up very well.
A Newsweek article stated that 15% to 20% of couples who are married with kids have sex less than 10 times a year. This translates to around 20 million couples who are not having much sex.
Many couples report wanting a better sex life. With children, careers, lack of sleep, endless household duties, financial pressures, and all of the other energy drainers that come with modern family life, sexual desire can begin to fade away. This is normal. But normal does not necessarily mean acceptable.
Problems arise when one wants it more or the other wants it less. And if you become complacent, your sex life is unlikely to change.
Things Change After Baby (For A Little While)
Many couples report a dip in sexual frequency after the birth of the first baby. This is normal. For lots of couples, infrequent sex during the phases of pregnancy and postpartum is par for the course. Eventually, however, most want to revive their sex life. If it has been two years since the birth of your last child and you or your wife are still not interested in sex, consider talking to your doctor or seeing a sex therapist.
No More Keeping Score
Outside of role play, feeling pressured or obligated to have sex is almost always an immediate turn-off.
Whether you support the family financially while she stays home to care for baby or you dolled yourself up and expect him to rock your world because you look so good, tit for tat when it comes to sex isn't sexy.
Instead of expecting sex in return for "good behavior" shift your focus towards wanting to strengthen the connection you have with your partner. The actions below are great ways to bond at an emotional level, and by doing this, you are highly likely to spice up your sex life too.
Get Real About What You Really Want
For almost all of us, it is not just about sex. Sex is a great way to attend to underlying needs (for connection, affection, and touch). If you do not have sex that much, some of these needs are probably screaming to be tended to. If you miss the connection, tell him. If you miss the affection and touch, tell her.
Building Security Allow You To Take Risks
The excitement and passion that comes with new love ensure the survival of our species. When falling in love, our brain pumps out high amounts of the bonding brain chemical oxytocin for around 1 - 2 years and the reward center brain chemical dopamine This is long enough to conceive and birth a baby. Once the brain chemicals dip back to baseline, some couples report missing the exhilaration they experienced when they were first together.
One way to get some of the excitement back around is to take risks and create novelty together.
If you use your imagination, I am sure you can think of some fun things to do with your partner!
But here is the kicker, the willingness to take healthy risks will only come after comfort and security are developed. So if you have not been close for some time, focus first on developing an emotional connection.
Share some of your frustrations and fears with her. Allow him to be there for you. See if your partner can be the one person in the world that you open yourself up to in mind, body, and spirit.
Hold the space for your partner to talk about feelings and listen deeply to what she or he has to say. Most of the time your partner does not want fixing or problem-solving. Your partner wants to know that his or her feelings are important to you, that you care about what she or he is going through, and that you are there - no matter what.
Flirt Like You Just Met
Give hugs and kisses when you walk in the door after work, dance, gently pat booties, compliment, laugh, look into eyes and smile, and send naughty or playful texts when apart. Give the best kind of attention you can and enjoy every moment of it.
Make Some Moves
Throw in some moves here and there. Not all the time and not too much. Just enough to be playful and create excitement.
When she walks past you in the hallway, on her way to put the kids to sleep, push her up against the wall, move in close, and tell her how great she looks tonight. Even if she is in pajamas, no makeup, and has baby food on her face! Pull away with a smile and a look that lets her know how beautiful she is.
Or, when he is in the shower, quietly slip in. A bit of playful push and pull mimics the intensity you felt when you first started dating.
Massage Without Expectations
Quick shoulder rubs are fantastic. Or put the kids to sleep, light a candle, and give her a full body massage. Do this with the genuine intention of wanting her to feel good and relax. No talking and no sex! Let your partner feel peaceful.
Help Each Other More
If your partner is telling you she or he is too tired to have sex, believe it!
With work, kids, and all the day-to-day obligations of family, you are both exhausted. Sit down and figure out ways to be a team when it comes to housework, errands, family, and work.
Or, get your family more support through babysitters, grandparents, teenagers, and mothers helpers. Remember all of these actions are attempts to strengthen your bond and relationship.
Open Up And Consider Support
If you have never talked openly with your partner about your feelings around sex, now is a good time to start. It is very important while talking to avoid blame and judgment. Talking may be enough to turn things around. Yet, if there is a lot of deep emotion packed up in all of this, consider that sometimes these conversations go better with the support of a neutral unbiased couples therapist.
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