The amount, quality or frequency of sex in any relationship is unique to each couple, and there are no rules that say how often you should have sex, or what type of sex you should have. However, couples often complain that they are not having as much sex as they would like, and/or feel that they are not connecting sexually.
So I want to share a powerful, magic formula with you…..
If you and your partner pay more attention to each other, your sex lives will improve dramatically!
As a Relationship Therapist, I have seen hundreds of couples. I would say that of those couples, many of them have complained of at least one of the partners experiencing low sexual desire. Even if that was not the presenting issue.
The problem of low sexual desire comes up time and time again.
Once any possible organic, medical causes of this have been excluded, exploring the possible emotional or psychological causes of this can be surprising.
Often, individually, the partners DO still have a sexual desire – just not with each other.
I’m not suggesting that this means that these couples are having affairs. What I mean is, they still have sexual fantasies, or have the capacity to become aroused when they see something in the media, read erotic fiction, or indeed feel sexually aroused around other people, even if not acted upon. Often both partners still masturbate, but alone.
So what’s going on?
I want to share this valuable information with you so that if you feel that you and your partner are not as intimate as you would like, you can begin to understand why, and most importantly, do something about it!
The simple answer is disconnection. We cannot feel sexual desire for our partners if we are emotionally disconnected from them. As human beings, we have an inbuilt need for an emotional connection with at least one other significant person. In infancy, our very survival depended on it. We had an instinct to reach out to our primary caregivers for nourishment and protection. And they had an instinct to provide it. It’s what us therapists call secure attachment. In fact there are references to very controversial experiments conducted in the 1900’s that newborn infants died without affection, even if they were given nutrition and other basic care needs were attended to. The importance of attachment goes far beyond our early childhood experiences and a secure attachment is what we are seeking on a romantic level in our relationships as adults. So the effects of disconnection can have a profound impact on our relationships in areas such as trust, mutual respect, intimacy, which all go hand in hand. So what or who is responsible for the disconnection in our relationships?
Is it work? We are working longer hours, both men and women, and there is more competition out there than ever. We spend most of our lives inside concrete and steel, sitting behind a computer. We spend hours every week commuting. We are more stressed than ever. Work can get the best of us. What’s left at the end of the day for our partners? It’s not uncommon for couples to tell me that when they get home from work, and first get in the door, often they do not even look at each other, let alone kiss hello.
Is it children or other family commitments? Of course having children changes the relationship significantly, and you will find that you do not spend as much time together as you used to. Do you eat together as a family at the table? Do you spend hours in front of the TV? I believe the TV has replaced the fire that our ancestors used to sit around, telling stories, singing, and dancing together.
And then of course there’s social media. Believe me, it’s not just affairs that take place online. I am sure many of you know at least one couple who seem to conduct the smallest, intimate details of their relationship, or communicate with each other, through Facebook. Of course there’s nothing wrong with communicating with your partner with social media, as long as you can also communicate effectively in person. Some couples will sit in the same room together and argue via text or social media apps. It is virtually impossible to resolve conflict in a meaningful, constructive way using text message or Whatsapp. And that’s not to mention the fact that we are constantly distracted from each other by our smartphones and tablets which we all have access to. How many of you see couples out for dinner, having a nice romantic meal, looking at their phones and not talking to each other? Are you one of those couples? Not only does this seem to be accepted now, some restaurants actively encourage it! Have you heard of Foodography? It’s (apparently) a new meal experience that features newly designed plates that help you shoot quality food photos with your smartphone.
But can we blame work, family commitments or social media for our disconnection?
The truth is, there are always going to be a million distractions which we can blame our lack of sex and connection on. The real issue is one of prioritising. A Couples Therapist can give you the tools and skills to enable you to communicate effectively, and then once you are rebuilding intimacy, to start to connect more physically and sexually. But YOU and your partner ultimately have to do the work. And this is where the challenge lies.
For all of the reasons outlined above, and more, there will be plenty of things competing for your time. You might even say to yourself, “a good relationship shouldn’t need work”. But if you find yourself saying that, ask yourself the last time you stayed late at work to finish and important project, or spent time at the gym, or getting in that long marathon training run. And then ask yourself – “if I accept that it is reasonable to spend time working on something that I want, why not my relationship?”.
If you don’t service or MOT your car, it will fall apart.
So to remind you of the magic formula – if you and your partner pay more attention to each other, your sex lives will improve dramatically! – Tweet This
This is because if you take the time to put the work in to your relationship, and prioritise each other, you can reconnect. When you reconnect and become more intimate, not only will the quantity of sex improve (if that’s what you want), but more importantly, the quality of the sex that you have will improve. You cannot expect to have a happy, active sex life if you do not communicate or make time for each other in other ways.
So look at each other, talk to each other, turn off the TV, have phone-free evenings, have sex!
Let me know if this information is helpful, and I would love to hear of your own struggles with finding time for your partner and how you have overcome them.
And remember, if you are not sure where to start, contact me to access my amazing online resources, tips, advice, e-guides, e-books, and sign up for our newsletter!