There are reasons other than a hectic lifestyle that can cause you to go off the boil. Here are a few of them along with some ideas to stoke the fire.
In the film Hope Springs, Meryl Streep seeks marriage guidance with her husband. They’ve been in a sexless marriage for years and now sleep in separate bedrooms.
The pivotal point in the film is the revelation during therapy that a miscommunication had spiralled out of control and led both of them to believe that the other no longer desired them. In the past, Meryl’s confidence took a nosedive because of her changing body, which she thought to be unattractive. The signals she gave off made her husband feel unwanted, so he stopped initiating, which damaged her confidence even further and lead to a complete collapse of their sex life.
The truth is, the turn off for men isn’t the appearance of the body, but a lack of confidence. THE most attractive quality in a woman is happiness. Don’t let damaging beliefs that you’re not good enough come between you and a passionate, happy marriage.
Feelings of resentment
Never underestimate how unaware men can be when it comes to their partner’s feelings. They don’t feel things the same way as women, and your man cannot read your mind. Your need for sex may be lower down the list than his – there’s nothing wrong with that – but if low down, hurt feelings will easily nudge it off the agenda all together. If your feelings have been hurt, or some needs of yours are not being met, try to identify them so that you can clearly communicate this to your partner (without blaming). You may have told him once in 1994 but he’s probably forgotten. Explain how you would like him to treat you. He may be devastated to know he has hurt your feelings. Take advantage of the fact that most men want to solve a problem if they know exactly what it is and what they can do.
Learn to get what you need so that you don’t resent him asking for sex.
The meaning you attach to sex
Some women see the value of sex only in relation to obtaining commitment. Once commitment is there, sex has done it’s job. If this is you, the way you see sex has to change. Sex is FOR YOU, and it’s IN YOU. And he wants you to want it, for yourself. Start to explore your sexuality and give yourself time to do that.
Set aside time to relax and think about your sexual feelings (leaving him out of it) until you feel more comfortable with feeling sexual again. Visit online forums for women who are exploring their sexuality and join in the discussions. Some of them have advice on things you can do alone to reignite your desire for sex.
While you’re reawakening your sexuality (which could take anything between 2 hours and several weeks!) ask him to remain completely passive to give you space to be in control. When you’re ready to pounce, you dictate how it goes. You’re going to have to turn the tables to break paradigm you’ve created around sex. Own your sexuality and pleasure.
The way you see your partner
A sense of pride in your partner can really get the mojo working again. You can get this by observing other people appreciating him, and by watching him in his flow. Drop by at his workplace and observe the interactions with customers or co-workers. Watch him playing sports or if he’s in a band go see them. When you see how others admire him, you may want to pounce immediately! If you’re thinking “no, he has to appreciate me first”, see the paragraph on resentment.
Be courageous with your communication. Treat the problem with curiosity and as something you can work on together to solve, like a crime fighting duo. Go see a marriage counsellor but also read Esther Perel who has some amazing insights after 30 years of working with couples.
Remember: the biggest sex organ is the mind. This is where it starts to go wrong, but it’s also where things get turned around.