While there is more to a relationship than sex, plenty of people would agree that it is an important part of any marriage or long-term relationship. However, your sex-life can also offer a clear indication that all is not well in your relationship and that you might need to put in some extra work (outside as well as inside the bedroom) to turn things around again. Here are seven sexual signs that your relationship is in trouble:
1. Lack Of Sex
Physical contact, including sex, helps connect people together while a lack of contact can create alienation between a couple. Not having sex, and not even discussing why can create real barriers that need to be addressed. Therapists define a sexless relationship as when a couple are physically intimate less than 10 times a year (although your own definition may require more than that!). This is a tricky subject to tackle and can often lead to blame. However, the best way to approach this problem is not by pointing fingers, but rather by being open and letting your partner know how much you miss them – offering your emotions rather than casting blame for what is going on.
2. One Wants Sex More Than The Other
This is not uncommon in marriages and other long-term relationships and can be a real problem for couples. The partner who wants less sex ends up holding the power over the couple’s sex life, which can cause resentment in the other partner. This can lead to the one who wants more sex to look elsewhere and have an affair or cheat. The reasons for what therapists call a “desire discrepancy” can be varied and complex, but they certainly need addressing. Of course, there may be times when you just don’t fancy it (perhaps after a stressful day at work), but you shouldn’t let this develop into a pattern. Take time in your life to relax and get intimate with your partner, as you do your connection will grow.
3. Not Feeling Desired
Both men and women like to feel desired, although many experts believe that this is more important as a turn-on for women. Telling your partner that they are hot and reassuring them that you find them attractive will help keep your sex life healthy. Not doing so can lead to problems like a desire discrepancy (see above), although reassuring your partner can help break that down too.
4. Lack Of Attraction
For some couples, there can be an erosion of physical attraction over time. Let’s not pretend, if you have let yourself go a little there is a chance that your partner won’t find you as physically attractive as they once did. They may feel that you don’t care about yourself or the relationship anymore or have just ‘settled.’ Maybe it’s time to get in shape – and perhaps that is something you could do together?
5. Physical Problems Preventing Sex
Sometimes there are physical barriers that get in the way of your sex life. These may include premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, or women feeling pain during intercourse. Don’t let these things shut down your relationship, but instead speak with a doctor to see if there is anything they can offer to help. However, these problems are often a sign of another problem that needs to be addressed in the relationship itself. Think about what may be creating the problem, such as stress or worries about how desirable you are. Again, don’t let blame or shame get in the way of discussing the problem and finding a solution.
6. Not Being Able To Discuss Your Desires
Your sex life should be mental as well as physical, allowing you to discuss your desires and fantasies together. Don’t mock or ignore someone when they open up to you on such a raw and trusting level. You don’t have to go along with what they want if you want something different, but you could look to negotiate and find a compromise. Why not share three or four fantasies each and see if you can make one work for each of you?
7. Broken Trust Following Cheating
An affair or cheating in a relationship can really damage your sex life as the unfaithful partner will need to rebuild trust. Often this means that the betrayed partner will need to understand what led to the infidelity so they can process what happened and why. This Rebuilding trust can take a lot of time and effort. However, it is important to look forward and try to create a new sexual situation together that addresses the issues that led to the cheating. Of course, this probably means that the unfaithful partner will also have to cut off their connection with the person they cheated with too, otherwise it will be incredibly difficult to restore trust.
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