Whether you’ve been married a couple of years or more than five, you probably don’t need an expert to tell you what you and your spouse already know – you aren’t having sex as frequently as you used to. Cindy Hazan, a Professor and Dean at Cornell, studied thousands of men and women and found that the stage of passionate love in couples, lasts exactly between two to three years. It is that stage when you just can’t seem to get enough of each other, when your partner occupies a large portion of your thoughts during the day and when feelings of elation and happiness keep you on a natural high. This stage, for obvious reasons, has been dubbed “the honeymoon effect”.
If the honeymoon period has vanished in your marriage there are several culprits that could be blamed for the result that your bed is being used primarily for sleep. The demands imposed on couples who are a two-income household, who have parenting responsibilities, and who share housework, tend to put undue pressure on the relationship and spouses find that at the end of the day they are just too exhausted to engage in an activity that requires not only energy but a certain level of mental engagement. The reality is that intimacy and sex are an essential part of any good marriage and no happy marriage lacks a healthy level of intimacy. For most married couples infrequency in sex and lack of intimacy are two of the common causes cited for feeling distant from a spouse. So, What can you and your spouse do to put some of the fire back into your sex life?
Learn How Your Spouse Views Sex
Men need to recognize that a better approach to sex with his wife might be to romance her in a slow act of seduction that may include a candlelit dinner or other tender gestures.
It is no secret that men and women are biologically and psychologically different: we think differently, act differently, feel differently and according to a recent study that appeared in PLOS One we even see the world differently. This holds true as well when it comes to matters in the bedroom. An oft-cited research from Hamburg-Eppendorf University Hospital in Germany found that most men’s desire for sex remains the same regardless of how long he has been married, which gives credence to the saying that men in fact never do get tired of it. When it came to tenderness, however, men rated it very low. Women, on the other hand desire sex less and less, as a result of feeling secure in a long-term relationship. However, women’s desire for tenderness remains the same no matter how long they’ve been married. What this study would indicate is that for couples seeking to reignite their intimacy there has to be a mutual recognition of the biological and psychological needs for sex. Men need to recognize that a better approach to sex with his wife might be to romance her in a slow act of seduction that may include a candlelit dinner or other tender gestures. Meanwhile for wives, it may mean accepting their husbands biological need for sexual release. That means retiring the “I have a headache” excuse. For a couple, such a level of mutual understanding is a first step toward improving their sexual life.
Know What You Want and Say So
Although sex naturally declines as we age, a couple doesn’t have to accept a waning sex life as a normal part of being together. Yes, the novelty has worn off a little and familiarity with your spouse may spell boredom for each of you, but it needn’t be so. In this case familiarity doesn’t breed contempt and being familiar with your spouse’s body may prove a plus. Long gone are the days of hit-or-miss exploration, and knowing exactly which buttons to push creates a more pleasurable experience while enhancing the quality of the act itself. In fact, writing down what you and your partner want from sex and sharing that list with each other is another way to improve your sex life.
Time is no Excuse
What happens when you don’t brush your teeth every day? You get cavities. And with continued neglect, gum disease and tooth loss occurs. To prevent that from happening we floss, brush our teeth and go to the dentist twice a year. The point being that we make time for the crucially important things in our life, and sexual intimacy is as important if not more than dental hygiene. From psychologists, to marriage counselors, to religious leaders, all agree that sex is an essential part of a healthy marriage, and lack of time is not a good excuse. When sex is neglected at home one or both partners will find a different avenue for release – whether that takes the form of Internet porn, or an affair, the reality is that a lack of intimacy in the bedroom at home is often a contributing factor for a spouse to stray.
While it’s true that contemporary married life is hectic, and everyone, not just couples are feeling the squeeze to do more in a 24-hour day, it is also true that often we devote time to non-essentials in our life. Is there a television show or even several shows that are robbing you of a couple of hours in the week? If you take account of how you are spending your day, would you find that you could recapture two or even three hours during the week that could be devoted to nurturing your relationship? Find where those blocks of time exist for you and your partner and schedule “inviolable” time for yourselves.
If you take account of how you are spending your day, would you find that you could recapture two or even three hours during the week that could be devoted to nurturing your relationship?
Novelty is Key
Our ability to feel satisfaction in our relationships, which in turn promotes intimacy, is also related to how much our significant others offer us an opportunity to self-expand, or, essentially broaden our horizons. The model of self-expansion, which was developed by Arthur Aron, a SUNY university psychology professor says that the quality of a couple’s relationship is enhanced when the couple shares in new and thrilling activities: think taking a tango class together, or tandem bungee jumping. For couples looking to reignite things in the bedroom, it may be as simple as undertaking a new experience together.
So, go ahead sign up for that couples salsa class. In addition to it just being fun, salsa dancing engages four of our five senses – touch, smell, sight, and sound. The two of you are sure to deepen not just your level of intimacy, but as you improve in skill you will likely increase each other’s sexiness quotient.