Are you having sex with your spouse just because you should? Is your sex life motivated purely by expectation and by the belief that sex is irreversibly written into the fine print of preferred spousal behaviors and should happen regardless? If you answered "yes" to the above, chances are your sex life may be suffering from the rut of routine.
While we may like to escape the negative associations of routine sex, if we’ve been in an exclusive relationship for an extended period of time, we may not be able to evade its seeming inevitability. We can’t get away from it; some routine sex in marriage is a given. Sex in our relationships, over time, will include some sex that emerges out of a sense of obligation. We will have sex at times to match the national average, to keep our partner fulfilled and more amenable, and to relieve daily stress. We might even have sex because we think that the marital image of two becoming one demands that we should.
Where this becomes problematic, however, is where obligation sex defines all of our sex life. When the only sex we have is that which is pursued on autopilot when we’re half awake, in a foul mood or when we simply give in to keep the peace; then we’re robbing ourselves and our relationships of the quality sexual encounters which should mostly define them. When we’re robbed of the sex we deserve, our quality of life and our relationships can be significantly affected. How, then, should we address this?
Having sex with our spouse because we desire him or her is critical to lifting our sex lives out of the doldrums. At the same time, working on our sexual desire does not occur in a vacuum. While having a baby or hormonal changes may be legitimate sources for shifts in desire, ongoing, unresolved conflict can also affect our ability and interest in feeling amorous. Many wives value a holistic relationship where the threads or strands remain connected. Therefore, a lack of communication, indifference from our husband, a lack of emotional intimacy or the absence of romance can significantly reduce our desire for sex.
While some men may pursue sex as a solution to conflict, as a means of apologizing or as a form of escape from relationship challenges, most women prefer to discuss the issues first. That disconnect between how we as women and men engage with sex can serve to complicate the issue of improving our overall sexual desire in marriage. Having said that, acknowledging these key differences and making a decision about how we will confront them as a couple can be critical to improving the quality of our sexual intimacy. This may mean working on improving communication channels and confronting issues head on before they have a chance to do significant damage.
“Dressing ourselves up for sexual encounters with our spouse should not just be for the benefit of visual impact, but also for how sexy it can make us feel overall.”
Revving up our sex must also start with pushing our sense of individual sexiness into high gear. If we fail to look after ourselves physically or fail to bring our A game to the bedroom, chances are our love lives will reflect the crappiness we feel. Dressing ourselves up for sexual encounters with our spouse should not just be for the benefit of visual impact, but also for how sexy it can make us feel overall. This rule can also apply outside the bedroom, where the manner and effort we take to dress, style our hair and switch up our look from time to time, becomes part and parcel of the sexual energy, which we exude. This can make us more desirable to our partner and increases our level of sexual confidence. This is also highly applicable to men, since we women are also influenced by the sensory.
Recreating and sustaining desire need not mean craving sexual encounters round-the-clock, although that would be a definite plus. Instead, it is about redefining and extending our couple sexuality to embrace loving touches, heated glances, sexy texts and verbal affirmations, which seek to confirm that this marriage is indeed a sensual relationship, as opposed to a platonic one. Staying physically and emotionally connected by spending quality time together and being intentional about our relationship, can all serve to move our sex from a place of boring obligation, to one of meaningful connection.
Denise J Charles is an educator, counselor, relationship-coach, published author and blogger. She holds a Masters Degree in Education and is a qualified trainer-of-trainers. Denise is Executive Director of "Better Blends Relationship Institute," a counseling and training entity founded by herself and her husband Gabriel. Denise’s blog on sex can be found "here". Denise’s new book is "How To Have Mind-Blowing Sex Without Losing Your Brain." Follow her on Google+.