Sex can be pleasurable and fulfilling in every relationship. However, it can be the greatest source of disappointment and despair resulting in much frustration if the needs of one partner remains ignored. A sex starved marriage has a way of breeding, anger, resentment, rejection, and rebellion which eventually often opens the door to infidelity.
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Joseph in his frustration had this to say; please help me, my wife is driving me crazy! I am thirty two years old, married to a beautiful twenty nine year old wife, with two children. For the past three years, she has avoided any sexual contact with me. She has no interest in sex and refuses any form of intimacy.
She gives me mixed reactions, whenever we get together, there is so much tension, for I no longer know how to behave. We were intimate three months ago, slowly went from having weekly to eventually bi-weekly to once a month and now it has become a thing of the past. She has no interest in me at all, unless I insist, it does happen and when it does, its like am alone in it. It is so unfortunate for I almost hear her say to me “Get over with it and leave me alone, oh how it hurts me.” There is no foreplay, no warmth or affection.
Finding good sex balance between spouses despite differing desires, libidos and experiences can be a challenge and many couples are faced with this problem without knowing where to go or who they can speak to.
Sexual matters are very private and it is not easy opening up to just anyone. It helps to candidly address each others’ needs, acknowledging needs and expectations purposing to work through any challenges together, after all you are in this for a lifetime. Living in denial and not facing up to the real issues will ultimately rock the foundation of any marriage.
Joseph is not alone and there are many couples today struggling with sexual dysfunctions. Generally, this happens when one spouse desperately longs for more romance, foreplay, craves for an intimate touch, more elaborate sex, physical closeness and the other partner is preoccupied and ignores their partner’s needs. It need not be this way. A sex starved marriage may be as a result of differing libidos’ due to the following reasons;
• A low self-esteem, anger, guilt disappointment, hurt and resentment as a result of unresolved conflicts
• Hormone fluctuations, physical and emotional health challenges and aging
• Prescribed medications such as antidepressants and birth control pills
• Alcohol and drug abuse
• Grief due to a loss of a loved one, a job or finances
• Infidelity, sexual dysfunctions, to mention but a few.
Loss of sexual desire known as hypoactive sexual desire disorder is a sexual dysfunction common among women of all ages. Studies indicate that nearly a third of women aged 18-55 suffer from loss of sexual desire. Unlike men who suffer erectile dysfunction, women’s biggest sexual problem is caused by a combination of psychological and physiological factors.
Research on this topic has explored the causes of sexual dysfunction in men and women and suggested effective therapies for both sexual aversions may be general or specific depending on the response to any sexual stimulus, overt or covert;
Hormonal estrogen therapy
Lubricants feminine arousal oils and vaginal moisturisers
Cognitive-behavioural therapy helping to reduce the negative attitudes, help relaxation reducing anxiety. Awareness breeds freedom and permission to dismiss inhibitions and enjoy the union. Practice makes perfect, explore options and enhance communication.
Expression of feelings one to another and exploring various intimacy options. As the above happens, the fear and guilt in the relationship and around sex will dissipate. Love is what transforms sex from simple physical gratification to an amazing experience of joining with your partner.
Sex is important, allow yourself to be vulnerable, purpose to fulfill one another and thrive! It’s your only option. If necessary seek medical attention.
The writer is a Relationship Coach and Author, |Marriage Built to Last. You can reach her on; www.jenniekarina.co.ke