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Study finds main causes for lack of intimacy among couples in long-term relationships

Between The Sheets By Mirror
The survey identified 78 difficulties that couples run into while trying to keep the spark alive (Photo: Shutterstock)

Psychologists have revealed the top reasons couples stop having sex after hundreds of volunteers dished the details on their sex lives.

The survey identified 78 difficulties that couples run into while trying to keep the spark alive in the bedroom - with cheating featuring fifth on the list and children being eighth.

Among the 1,099 people who took part, the most common reason was simply 'fading enthusiasm' - a reason given by 32 percent of participants.

'Behavioural issues' commonly included problems such as drinking and gambling (Photo: Shutterstock)

Second was 'lack of personal time and space', with many saying they felt pressured to constantly report on where they are or what they are doing being responsible for killing their sexual desire.

'Long work hours' was the third most popular answer and 'bad sex' was fourth, with people putting it down to sexual incompatibility with their partner and disagreements on how often to have sex.

'Bad sex' was mentioned by 29 percent of those in the study, with more women than men using it as a reason, Daily Mail reports.

'Bad sex' was mentioned by 29 percent (Photo: Shutterstock)

Top reasons couples stop having sex

Fading enthusiasm (32%)

Lack of personal time and space (31%)

Long work hours (30%)

Bad sex (29%)

Infidelity and abuse (24%)

Character issues (24%)

Clinginess (22%)

Children (20%)

Lack of effort (18%)

Not being monogamous (16%)

Social circle issues (15%)

Behavioural issues (10%)

Some blamed their inability to resist temptation (Photo: Shutterstock)

Those who used not being monogamous as a reason blamed their inability to resist temptation, comparing their current partner to an ex and getting bored having sex with the same person.

'Social circle issues', which came 11th on the list, covered friction created by people not getting on with their partner's relatives or friends.

'Behavioural issues' commonly included problems such as drinking and gambling.

Almost 70 percent of people who took part in the study, which was published in the academic journal Evolutionary Psychology, said at least one factor had taken its toll on their sex life - with 41 percent pointing to three or more.

'Social circle issues' covered friction created by people not getting on with their partner's relatives or friends (Photo: Shutterstock)

Professor Meneleos Apostolou at the University of Nicosia, Cyprus – who conducted the research with colleagues in Shanghai, China – said: "Having and keeping an intimate relationship is central to most people’s lives. Yet, many people face considerable difficulties in doing so.

"Difficulties in keeping an intimate relationship could potentially cause considerable emotional pain to people.

"Identifying these difficulties is the first step toward addressing them and improving people's emotional wellbeing."

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