Have you come to a time when either you or your spouse have no interest in sex? Or do you notice you have lost interest in sex over time? Although there is a natural ebb and flow to the frequency of sex couples enjoy, a pattern of lost interest in sex spells difficult times for a marriage. You see, it’s really about intimacy—and sex is a powerful tool for promoting intimacy. In other words, no interest in sex results in a deeper problem of lost intimacy. Psychologists and therapists indicate the most common sexual problem is either no interest in sex or a lost interest in sex.
Common Reasons for a Lost Interest in Sex
(The following list does not include medical considerations such as side effects of depression medication, illness, pregnancy, etc.)
- Drifting apart, loss of emotional intimacy: “Life” tends to pull couples apart; intimacy is only maintained by intention. Spouses must work on becoming closer. Unless you are planning and scheduling times and ways to enhance your relationship, you will drift apart and potentially have no interest in sex. Don’t let a day go by without giving one another a time of undivided attention, expressing your love and affection to one another. That is an important way to stay emotionally connected.
- Feelings of depression, being neglected, taken for granted: Dealing with depression and negative thinking must also be intentionally addressed. One strategy to combat those thoughts is to write down and audibly speak out the positive things at work in your life, regardless of how you’re feeling. Example: suppose you’re disappointed with your sex life. Rather than focus on your dissatisfaction, focus on the good things: “My wife and I are both healthy. We love each other. There are many resources available for us to find help. I am taking an active role in moving forward and bringing improvement to our relationship. I am able to make wise choices to change my circumstances.” By focusing on and speaking out the good things that are happening in our lives, we combat negative and depressing feelings.
- Stresses of work, finances, family: These stresses must be dealt with and not be avoided. Although we must actively pursue solving our problems, we must also develop the skill of creating boundaries. Don’t allow work, your financial obligations, or family stresses into the bedroom. Agree with your spouse that you will both endeavour to create a safe, problem-free zone that allows peace and love to flourish. Leave all your problems outside the bedroom door. Believe me, they will still be there when you go out!
- Increased busyness and tempo of lifestyle: Sexuality is hugely impacted by your state of mind. One sure way to dampen your sexual appetite and even bring you to a point of no interest in sex is to allow busyness to fill your thoughts (your “to do list”, the day’s meetings and appointments, what you need to cook for supper, etc.). Another cause of lost sexual desire occurs when sexual encounters between you and your spouse are rushed because of time pressures (late for work, kids waiting at the bedroom door, going to bed too late when you’re already so tired, etc.). You and your spouse must agree to make ruthless decisions to guard times for intimacy!
The Three “Rs” of Getting Sex Back on Track
- Ramp-Up Non-Sexual Intimacy: Reconnect through dialogue and communication; recommit to pleasing your partner by serving them through kindness and thoughtfulness, and by non-sexual touching.
- Relax: Put sexual rendezvous in your calendar (preventing life from crowding out your times of intimacy)! Take stress and tiredness out of the equation, and remove all distractions! Have a bath, then give each other a massage.
- Re-Examine Your Partner’s Needs: Make yourself a student of your spouse’s desires and needs. Remember the bottom line to marital success is you living for your partner’s fulfillment and happiness.
A man’s need for sexual intimacy is so much greater than a woman’s; coupled with his need to be honoured and valued makes a wife’s lost interest in sex potentially devastating for her husband. He may feel rejected and unloved, believing that his wife doesn’t understand his needs and desires. When a wife understands her husband’s needs and helps him talk openly about them, she will do wonders in getting sex back on track.
A woman’s need to be loved far outweighs her need for sex. However, a husband’s lost interest in sex may make the wife feel she is unattractive and undesirable. Again, potentially devastating. A husband must intentionally and creatively make his wife feel cherished. He must learn what the needs of his wife are and delve into the uncharted waters of open communication with his wife. Women are natural communicators, men have to work at it.