LTR’s can be hard work
Maintaining a long-term relationship (or LTR) is hard work; in the face of challenges, couples must have open lines of communication, the ability to have honest discussions, and the willingness to actively engage with one another. Often times, couples get stuck in a negative cycle because they are either unwilling to confront problems head on, perhaps because of fear for potential consequences of addressing the issues at hand, or they are unaware of how to approach these challenging conversations with their partners. This can be especially difficult when the problem is a lackluster sex-life.
Let’s (try to) Talk about Sex
As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I see many couples who are unsatisfied with the state of their sex lives and worry that they can never break this cycle. Some worry that they will offend their partner. Others fear that they are alone in this worry and their sexual frustration is one-sided. But, there is good news. First, you are not alone. If one partner is feeling frustrated it is likely a very present issue in both partners’ minds. Second, by identifying or discussing the problem, the couple can become comfortable discussing sex and begin the journey of working through their challenges. In a recent article for the Huffington Post, psychology and sex therapy experts outline 8 strategies for reigniting the spark and move toward a fulfilling sex life.
Strategies for Rebuilding Intimacy
The first step is to get to the heart of why you are not having sex. Is it because of a busy schedule? An underlying medical or mental health condition? Longstanding resentment or anger related to other problems in the relationship? Ignoring these issues and expecting that sex will just happen will only further the existing frustrating cycle. Regardless of the reason, getting to the heart of the problem allows couples to reconnect and focus on their sex life. Because of the stressful nature of daily life, it is easy to make excuses for why you are not having sex. Sex has to become a priority for both partners.
Make Sex a Priority Again
According to Huffington Post, desire is more responsive than spontaneous; taking small steps to be sexual everyday is essential because desire needs to build, it does not happen at an accelerated pace. Making sex a priority means scheduling time to be sexual. Let’s face it, daily life is stressful and busy, in order to break the cycle of lackluster sex couples must make the time to have sex. Another important factor highlighted in this article is the relationship between feeling sexual and feeling desired. This can happen throughout the day both in person or via text, letting your partner know that you are thinking about them. Relationships evolve. You may have to work at being in the mood and consciously choosing to be sexual.
Make Sex FUN again
Finally, sex should be fun and can take you out of your comfort zone. Shifting attention from stressing about the orgasm and simply having fun with your partner can change the entire mood of the bedroom. Sex does not always go as planned, it is not always mind blowing, but that is okay. Talking with your partner about what turns you on and divulging your sexual fantasies can be a good way to change things up in the bedroom.
How Marriage Counseling Can Help
However, these changes are easier said than done and can be a source of unhappiness or anxiety for many couples. At North Brooklyn Marriage and Family Therapy, our therapists can help you navigate through this journey so that you can reignite the spark and feel more sexually connected to your partner.
By Hillary Geffner, MFT