Sex and Sangria: No Sex with Spouse?
Sex Starved Marriage: When Your Mate Wants Less Sex Than You Do
According to reports, Madonna and ex husband, Guy Ritchie, had not had sex for 18 months before Mr. Ritchie got fed up and decided to divorce the pop powerhouse. Friends of the couple told News of The World that Guy would beg and plead for his wife to spend more time with him and to make love but Madonna was often too tired due to her packed work schedule and daily workouts which would last anywhere between two to four hours.
Friends say her husband finally gave up and started spending more time with his pals at the pub and finally initiated the split. Sex is often a difficult and complicated subject on its own but toss it between two people with different desires and for whom it has very different meanings and you’ve got a recipe for hurt, frustration, rejection and a slew of other negative emotions. For some, a sexual connection is an essential part of bonding with one’s partner whereas others find it to be nothing more than a fringe benefit of something much bigger.
While there are loads of articles and experts who will say that a partner who wants to make love to their spouse a few times a week should be more understanding issue, the fact is, both partners have needs, wants and desires that deserve to be understood and acknowledged. “My husband looks at porn, is fit and healthy but turns down my advances a good 90 percent of the time,” says Elisia, 36, New Jersey.
While her husband, Peter, 37, says he finds his wife attractive and admits to enjoying adult movies, “All men do,” he explains, he says that he just doesn’t have the same drive he did in his younger years and that the stress of everyday life just makes his libido fall flat. “I am sorry that it hurts my wife but having sex with her when I am not into it or feel pressured to do it turns me off and makes me resentful which will also hurt her so I can’t win,” he says.
So, what do you do when you love your mate but can’t agree on how often to make love?
1. Don’t Take It Personally.
Though a low libido can stem from a wide variety of things from their own problems with self-esteem, past experiences, health problems, medications and other unrelated issues, when your mate is all over the remote more than they are all over you, it can start to rip away at your self esteem. Feeling rejected and undesired by your spouse can lead to hurt feelings, resentments and frustration which will likely lead to arguments and/or emotional distance. It can be hard to be understanding when you feel brushed-off but do try to see the larger picture. Is your spouse anxious, depressed or under a heavy amount of stress? Are they on medications that could be affecting their drive? Do they feel self conscious about their bodies for some reason?
2. Talk About It.
There are ways to talk about sex that won’t leave your mate feeling as though there is something wrong with them. Instead of attacking them or making them feel guilty about their lack of desire, sit down and talk about your own needs and what being with them means for you. Bringing up the conversation in a relaxed environment and talking about sex in a sexy, affectionate way will also make a much bigger impact than psychoanalyzing them or accusing them in an angry tone. The truth is, they may be equally concerned about their libido and not know where to turn so it is essential to be supportive.
3. Make Time for One Another.
In the movies, sex is something that “just happens” but here in the real world, good sex often takes a little planning and a decent amount of effort. Get up 30 minutes early for a little kissing and caressing session or end a long day by inviting them to hop into a steamy shower after the kids go to bed. If sex has been a source of conflict, let them know you just want to connect with them and not pressure them to do anything they aren’t comfortable doing. Carving out a space that’s all about the two of you will create a bonding ritual that is likely lead to more intimacy and possibly more lusty make-out sessions.
4. Don’t Use Sex as a Weapon and Don’t Accept It As a Gift.
Sex should be about bonding, passion and affection for your partner and not used as a favor or as a means of manipulation or control. Withholding affection, making your mate feel guilty or pushing sex onto your partner as a way to punish them is abusive.
5. Connect in Other Ways.
Whether it’s a passionate kiss when you get home from work, holding hands while watching TV or a frisky bite on the neck in the kitchen, flirtation and intimate gestures create a feeling of safety and mutual attraction. Plus, hello, it’s hot!
6. Ease the Burden.
If one partner often comes to bed exhausted, overwhelmed or anxious, it’s not hard to see why they might not feel up to a night of passion. Help lighten their load (and dissolve resentments) by taking on more of the chores, errands or stepping in to give them a break every once in a while.
7. Ask Them What You Can Do.
Great sex starts with great communication. Sit down with your partner and ask them what they need in order to feel connected, respected and desired. It is important to understand that each individual has their own set of turn-on’s and sexual needs. No one should do anything that makes them uncomfortable but each partner should feel safe to express themselves without judgments or ridicule. If it is not something that offends you but also doesn’t mean much to you, think about compromising and giving your partner what they need. Example: if your mate loves candles and wine and you could take it or leave it, take it and give them something they will enjoy.