Sex in Long-Term Marriage and Relationships: Is Your Sex Life on the Rocks?

So you’ve been married for many years, maybe you’ve had children, one or both of you work full-time, life is busy, schedules are hectic…where in the world do you find time for romantic sex? Maybe one of you is ready and willing to have sex at the drop of a hat but the other of you has become resistant to sexual intimacy and possibly even resents sexual advances. Maybe one of you thinks sex is a human need and insists on having sex or being sexual even though your partner is not interested. Maybe one of you sees sex as an obligation and puts up with it even though it’s not enjoyable. All of these are unwelcome but fairly common conditions in many long-term relationships and marriages. If your long-term marriage or relationship suffers from a lack of sexual intimacy right now, it doesn’t have to stay that way!

Having a great sex life over the long-term is certainly not a given. Like other aspects of a working and satisfying relationship, a happy and fulfilling sex life usually requires two ingredients: interest and a willingness to take care of this aspect of your relationship. If you’re avoiding sex and becoming tense just at the thought of working on your sex life, you’re probably wondering: how am I going to work on my sex life when I’m not even interested in sex? Here’s a suggestion if this is the case: rather than focusing directly on improving your sexual relationship, your energy might be better off focused on the overall quality of your relationship. When both members of a couple value a healthy and satisfying partnership, the sexual aspect of the relationship comes into perspective. The intimate connection two people have in a committed, long-term relationship fosters a happy sex life when it’s good and hinders it when it’s not so good. That much is fairly obvious, but what’s less obvious is the importance of sexual intimacy in creating a healthy and satisfying relationship. Especially when one person does not feel the need or desire to nurture this aspect of the relationship, the sexual nature of the connection gets lost and a good sex life doesn’t seem that important. So here’s a reminder: no matter whether you’ve been married 20 months or 20 years, sexual intimacy is an important aspect of a healthy and satisfying partnership.

If your long-term marriage or relationship suffers from a lack of passion and sexual intimacy, you and your mate are likely experiencing a less-than satisfying partnership. When this is the case, it may or may not be related to other issues in the relationship; but if there are other issues hindering your interest in sex and these issues are not being addressed, both members of the couple miss out on the opportunity for a great relationship. The overall quality of the relationship affects sexual intimacy and sexual intimacy affects the quality of the relationship.

The first step, then, in addressing this is determining whether you are actually interested in cultivating a better connection with one another as well as having a better sex life. When you are clear that you value these, moving forward in your efforts to take care of this aspect of your relationship becomes easier. Arranging to work with a couples therapist can be a great way to start the process because it gives you the opportunity to dedicate time each week to working on the relationship. Without that structure it is very easy to let time pass and continue with the status quo. If couples therapy is not an option, there are other venues to pursue such as services offered through churches or books that guide you in your thinking and actions you can take to move forward and enjoy yourself and your life partner.

For more specific advice on bringing more sex into your relationship, read 7 Ways To Get More Sex.