The sexless marriage. I don’t know how many times a week or month I hear either a coworker or friend mention their frustration at this. We’ve all seen the memes, heard the jokes on TV, and maybe even experienced it ourselves. We all know that sex is important in a marriage, and that it can even improve our overall health. It’s time to pull back the curtain (or blanket?) though, and examine the topic. After all, we all want strong marriages, and unfortunately, the topic of sex is often at the top of the “marriage stress” list. The first step to fixing this problem (other than the AA adage of admitting this is you!) is to figure out why it’s happening in the first place. This is not a topic to be afraid or ashamed of! It’s common, and there are reasons behind why it happens and thus also ways to help heal and spruce up your marriage bed. So step #1, consider the “why”:
Reasons why the Boom-Boom might not be so rockin':
1) Emotional resistance. Generally, this is #1. If your spouse isn’t your best friend and you are emotionally disconnected from each other, it is really difficult to be willing and desiring of the intimacy that sex brings.
2) Hormones. While there are many misconceptions that this is just a woman’s issue, I know plenty of girls who have the reverse problem: they want sex and their husbands don’t!
3) Self-esteem. Let’s face it, a person who feels sexy is much more likely to want to be naked. And sex, after all, requires a level of nakedness.
4) Sexual abuse. I hate this one and don’t want to bring it up, but if you or your spouse was sexually abused in the past or are being abused now (yes, for those who don’t think that sexual abuse can happen within the confines of marriage, it definitely can and does…and usually without the victim realizing they are being abused), those wounds and the fear and dissociation involved can greatly impact the marriage bed and intimacy on other levels as well.
5) Tiredness. Guys, this is legit! 6pm might be the golden time to hit the bed, but it’s also when all of the kids are awake, and sometimes we hit our wall before all of the little eyes are asleep. Sad, but true.
6) Uncomfortableness. The addition of other people, porn, toys, role playing, and you-name-it, might not be as helpful to your relationship as you might have once thought. When one spouse desires an “addition” to the the marriage bed, it might not sit so well with the other partner. It’s also possible that the uncomfortable spouse doesn’t even know how to acknowledge that she (or he) isn’t comfortable, let alone how to bring up and tackle the problem at hand!
7) Manipulation. Yes, I said it, girls. We all know that society teaches women to use sex as a tool. Either a reward for a job well done (hey, give me a massage first!) , or withholding as a punishment for something (you acted like an idiot when you were with your friends, so don’t think I’m getting on that tonight!). We’re also taught that the girl can say no, but that the guy is insulting us if he says “no.” Yikes!
Once you’ve let go of the fear of looking at why their might be crickets in your bed, it’s time to really search and find the reason behind it. Let’s take back our marriages and embrace some Red Hot Monogamy!
ParamedicMama lives in Upstate, NY with her husband and two beautiful children. She has her B.S. in Psychology and Therapeutic Recreation, and various certifications in everything from technical rope rescue to Music Together. Aside from being a Paramedic Mama, she is the author of http://LifeMoreSimply.blogspot.com and distributes natural weight loss and health products at http://BodyMoreSimply.itworks.net.