If you are married, no doubt you want to have an amazing sex life with your partner. You want to, but it just doesn't seem to be happening. You've been getting along great, you feel loved and supported in your life – so what gives?
Certain things may prevent a healthy sex life in marriage. Negative past experiences, a lack of trust in your partner, and other psychological issues may be behind your bedroom woes.
Intimacy issues can get in the way of the emotional connection you share with your partner. Not to mention put a real damper on your sex life. Do you want to regain control and strengthen your marriage? If so, you must learn to overcome your personal barriers to physical intimacy. Here’s how to do it.
Stress and anxiety
Challenges at work, the pressures of raising children, and emotional exhaustion from the weekly routine of life can all impact what happens in the bedroom.
During difficult times, our bodies release a hormone called cortisol, which cause stress levels to rise. If this persists for an extended period of time you can start to overproduce cortisol. This can lead to chronic stress, which may negatively affect your libido.
The Gottman Institute, run by Drs. John and Julie Gottman, suggests talking to your partner about your stress levels and engaging in non-sexual physical touch, such as hugging or kissing. Studies show that the oxytocin released in the body after touching someone you love can help reduce stress.
Do what you can to rid the excess stress in your life, whether that means taking fewer hours at work or booking a spa day every once in a while, to relax you.
Poor Communication Skills
Poor communication is a mental barrier that may be preventing you from having a fulfilling sex life. In fact, having bad sex may actually be contributing to your problem.
A study in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy gathered data from more than 140 couples' sex lives. The findings revealed that “greater amounts of sexual communication were associated with increased orgasm frequency in women and greater relationship and sexual satisfaction in both sexes.”
In short, the more you talk about sex, the better your sex life will be.
Work on communicating with your partner by setting aside time each week to have a ‘marriage check-in'. Talk about what's going great in the relationship and gently discuss problems and intimacy issues you may be having with your spouse.
Having regular check-ins will help prevent misunderstandings, arguments, and will promote healthy communication in your marriage.
There is No Trust
A lack of trust in your partner is sure to leave your libido low. After all, when are you more vulnerable than when you are intimate with your partner?
Trust is important for a healthy sex life because it allows you to be vulnerable with your spouse. Ironically, being regularly intimate with your partner has actually been shown to increase trust via the oxytocin released after orgasm. This can make couples feel closer and more connected.
Communicate openly with your partner about your trust issues. It may be that your spouse has done something in the past to weaken your bond. Perhaps you have not properly worked through this pain. A negative past experience may also be dragging your sex life down.
Whatever the case, talk to your partner about it. This way you can take the necessary steps to restore that precious bond of trust.
Other things couples can do to strengthen trust is to be forgiving with one another, will yourself to be vulnerable with your spouse, communicate regularly, keep your promises, and be dependable.
Confidence contributes to a happy, healthy sex life. Studies show that women who have a positive view of themselves sexually report higher levels of passionate and romantic love. It is also easier for them to become sexually aroused.
This can create a problem if you are suffering from low self-esteem.
Low self-esteem about your body or overthinking your abilities between the sheets may be creating intimacy issues in your marriage. No matter how much your spouse says they desire you, you just don't believe it.
If your partner has low self-confidence, speak honestly about how much they turn you on and remind them that you enjoy sharing a sexual experience together.
For the spouse suffering from low self-esteem, it’s time to start working on self-love.
- Remind yourself that you are important
- Keep a daily journal. This will help remind you that you are also in a relationship with yourself. You will get to know yourself better through this process.
- Seek therapy for any issues that are causing self-doubt or insecurities
- Exercise and eat well to boost endorphins and give you body-confidence
- Buy clothes that make you feel sexy
Remember that you have a relationship with yourself. Before everything else can be right in your little corner of the universe, you need to learn to love yourself.
Lack of Emotional Connection
Intimacy issues often stem from a lack of emotional intimacy with a spouse.
Love and physical intimacy are two important factors in a marriage, but so is friendship. Studies show that marital satisfaction skyrockets when spouses view one another as their best friend.
Couples benefit when they build up emotional intimacy. Spending quality time together will help couples strengthen communication and build a marital friendship. And, of course, being intimate together helps, as having an active sex life has been proven to heighten emotional intimacy in couples.
Dealing with intimacy issues can be challenging both physically and emotionally. When trust is lacking or negative past experiences rear their ugly heads, it can have a challenging effect in a couple’s sex life. By communicating openly with one another, spouses will be able to work through their intimacy issues and enjoy a wonderful sex life together.