I felt compelled to continue Tuesday's post and take it a bit further and discuss a very common trait within marriages....
A sexless marriage.
What is a sexless marriage? It is a marriage in which little or no sexual activity occurs between the two spouses.
Sexless marriages occur waaaaaay more than you think. So, our anonymous "Dear MWM" is amongst the many.
DID YOU KNOW, according to Huff Post, google searches for "sexless marriage" are three and a half times more common than "unhappy marriage" and eight times more common than "loveless marriage"??
That says A LOT!
It can be an incredibly painful and somewhat embarrassing topic for some. One that very few discuss merely because 1. They are under the impression that this issue only exists within their marriage and no one else's, 2. Fear of embarrassing their partner, and of course 3. The "it isn't anyone's business" comment. Keeping silent does more harm than good as it doesn't help anyone else who might be going through the same thing.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
It doesn't take being with your partner for 15-20 years to realize or feel that shit goes south in that department quickly. Believe it or not, sex is one of the first things to disappear in a marriage. And I'm not talking about that hot, sweaty, passionate, 3 and 4 rounds type of sex. That was probably gone from before you got married LOL (because that passion fades), but I digress. I'm talking about the regular 12-minute (sometimes that's 8 minutes too long) that includes foreplay that kinda sustains your marriage type of sex. Yes, even sex of that nature ceases.
Sexless marriages can occur for a host of reasons. Those reasons being, having and the pressure of having kids, tired, over worked, no attraction, no passion, not sufficient mental engagement, low to no sex drive, communication issues, hurt from past situations, tired of being the initiator, or just plain 'ole tired of grindin' (a very Bahamian term) the same man/woman. The list is long and new reasons are constantly being added to it.
It is important to point out that just like everything else, our sex drive waxes and wanes, OFTEN. The realization that "sex and sexual expression changes along with the longevity of a marriage" is significant says psychotherapist Tina Tessina. The acceptance of this realization assists with difficult times.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: If a couple has sex say once a month or less and are mutually fine with that, they shouldn't consider themselves in a sexless marriage. So please, for those of you out there that think just because your other married friends whom are having sex 3-4 times a week is something you should be doing too, STOP! Most times that's a lie. Even if they are, it's purely obligatory. You really have no idea how much sex the couple next door is having so don't compare yourself. People talk a good talk.
"Sexless marriages have less to with physical appearance (or decreased attraction) and more to do with unexpressed and unresolved unhappiness in the marriage."
But what is the solution???
Your guess is as good as mine! Tiffany offered some ideas in her post. My suggestion would be to have open, honest and very real communication. That's all I've got. Something we all struggle with I imagine. Not all of us are ready to hear certain things or say certain things for that matter. However, give your partner the opportunity to be an active part of the solution. After all, this is supposed to be someone who has been with you through thick and thin.
It's not that you no longer love your partner, let's make that clear. Nevertheless, there are usually indicators of something ain't right for the unsatisfied spouse and the spouse that doesn't want to have sex. It's about communicating what's going on.
If you are the one that doesn't want to have sex you probably should search internally and ask yourself what's going on. Ask yourself questions. Could it be a physical or physiological condition? Or could it be past situations in your marriage that you simply cannot resolve? Is it just companionship I want and fulfill my sexual desire elsewhere? If you are the spouse left unsatisfied, do your best to calmly and effectively communicate your concerns. Don't blame. It's difficult but being pushy and/or constantly upset about the matter works against you. Maybe, all you need is a little hand job or cunnilingus to get you by. Is that something your partner is willing to compromise on while you both are figuring it all out?
I don't believe there is a time frame or limit on rectifying this kind of thing, and I also don't believe that it's something that should NOT be actively worked on. Whether it's baby steps, like talking through it first or trying to bring the spark back by going to a movie for a date night, or major steps like, scheduling actual time for sex because you're too busy/tired otherwise, therapy sessions, investigating an open relationship or even swinging (that's a whole other post!). Figure out what you both want.
Unfortunately, sometimes it's this single yet insurmountable issue that may be the catalyst to a harsh reality that none of it will work and the end of the road for your relationship. And you know what, it's no one's fault.
Or maybe just maybe, we are all fooling ourselves into thinking we can maintain a certain level of sexual intimacy we are expected to for a lifetime.
What if we reconsidered these thoughts and adjusted our perspective on marriage to reflect more realistic "expectations" or no expectations at all?
#MarriageAintEasy, #MarriageIsWeird, #MarriageIsTooLong, #PeopleLiveTooLong, #ForeverEverEverEverEver?