A common cause of marital discord is the lack of sexual intimacy. It is a theme that plays out in many relationships and can be a tremendous source of frustration and marital strife. Newsweek reports that 25% of couples have sex less than 10 times a year. Many couples desperately want it to be better but simply don’t know how or where to start. Some of my clients complain that all their partner wants is sex and they are too tired, too angry and not in the mood. Other clients complain that their partner is never available sexually and they are constantly being rejected. For others, it is an elephant in the room as they go weeks, months and sometimes years with no sexual intimacy. The truth is, when you have a great marriage you really do have great sex. If you want it to be better but don’t know where to start here are three going forward strategies that might be helpful.
Three keys to improving Sexual Intimacy
- Communicate about sex. Most couples don’t talk about sex and when they do talk about it the conversation is laced with guilt and shame. If you want your relationship to be better, make a commitment to talk about it. Talk about frequency, talk about what is working and what is not working. Talk about how it could be better. Try to identify the barriers and begin to eliminate them. For example, one of my clients recently shared with her husband that at the end of the day she was too exhausted for intimacy. She asked him if once a week he would be willing to lessen her load by bathing the kids and cleaning the kitchen, she would be rested and willing to have more sex. He agreed and took it a step further by cooking dinner once a week and giving her one night a week where she was technically “off” from having to worry about anything. Their sex life has improved radically and it has definitely improved their marriage.
- Prioritize it. Make sex a priority in the relationship. One of the strategies that I share with many of the couples that I work with is to schedule a weekly sex date. Schedule it. The rules of sex date are you schedule two hours, foreplay is included, and you be creative. A weekly sex date might initially feel contrived or mechanical but it is better to schedule a weekly sex date and have sex 52 times a year than to have sex 6 times a year. Scheduling sex? Really? Many couples do it and it works for them. There is no rule that says this is the only time that you can have sex, but it is the one sure thing on a weekly basis.
- Realize that sexual connection starts outside of the bedroom. Many of the women that I work with complain that they feel as if their husbands neglect them all day long and then they go to bed and want sex. I recall a client sharing recently, “He treats me poorly all day long, and then we go to bed and he wonders why I don’t want to have sex with him”. The truth is sexual connection must start in the kitchen first thing in the morning. You can’t expect to treat your spouse poorly and then for them to want to be intimate at the end of the day. Respect, honor, putting your spouse first, communication, warm touch, giving, ect….all play into great sexual intimacy. Make the decision today that you are going to honor your spouse from morning till evening every day and you will be amazed at how your evenings start to sizzle.