“The dead Bedroom” Lacking Intimacy Sex and Connection – A Guide for Women

Navigating Changes in Sexual Intimacy in Marriage: A Guide for Women

Your Instagram profile: It may showcase youth, beauty, and vitality, but when it comes to lasting love, desire, connection, and sex, life’s lessons often diverge from the superficial. As individuals mature, their behaviours and beliefs about sex, connection, desire, and long-term commitment evolve. The misconception that men solely exist for sex is a myth that dissipates with age and experience.

Discussing men’s decision to abstain from sex within marriage might seem uncommon, yet it’s a crucial topic to address. Contrary to popular belief, many men choose to forgo sexual activity within their relationships. While aging may play a role in diminishing the importance of sex for men, it’s not the sole determinant.

Various factors contribute to the ebb and flow of sexual intimacy in relationships. Depression, medication, stress, health issues, long term addiction/alcohol use, extramarital affairs, waning desire for a partner, past guilt, feelings of failure in life, past sexual trauma, pornography consumption, pain during intercourse, and relationship dissatisfaction, both emotionally and physically, can all influence libido.

Many studies conducted by universities shed light on the prevalence of sexual inactivity among married couples, with significant percentages reporting periods of abstinence. As men age and relationships mature, pressures such as work stress, childcare responsibilities, and financial worries can affect their sexual desire. Prolonged sexual absence in older men may even lead to increased risks of erectile dysfunction and testicular atrophy.

Despite societal expectations, there isn’t a prescribed frequency for sexual activity in relationships. While studies suggest a correlation between once-a-week sex and greater relationship satisfaction, frequency alone doesn’t guarantee fulfillment.

An intriguing aspect of men’s sexual desire is its emotional underpinning. Men often express the need for emotional closeness with their partners before engaging in sexual intimacy. Feeling emotionally connected is paramount for them, serving as a gateway to vulnerability and genuine closeness. Therefore, consistent criticism may foster a lack of closeness and connection.

Recognising that men derive emotional connection and affirmation through sexual activity can provide insight into nurturing intimacy within the relationship. Initiating sex can be a powerful gesture of desire and affirmation for men. However, when advances are rebuffed, men can feel vulnerable and emotionally exposed, interpreting rejection as a rejection of their entire being.

When a man decides sex is no longer a priority, his partner may also feel exposed, rejected, and undesired. As women age and after having children, they may feel less desirable. Their partner’s disinterest in sex may solidify their belief that they are no longer desirable or desired, leading to emotional disconnection and potentially divorce.

Recent data reveals a rise in “grey divorce” among individuals over 50, with factors such as poor communication, lack of emotional support, lack of sexual connection, complacency, addiction/alcohol, excessive focus on career or material possessions, unresolved conflicts, infidelity, and the desire to explore contributing to marital breakdowns.

So, what can women do to navigate these shifts in sexual intimacy?

  1. Foster Open Communication: Initiate candid conversations about sexual needs and desires, allowing both partners to express feelings without judgment.
  2. Acknowledge External Factors: Recognise the influence of stress, mental/physical health issues, or medication on sexual desire. Support partners through challenges.
  3. Respect Boundaries: Understand and respect each other’s boundaries regarding sexual intimacy, prioritising consent and mutual understanding.
  4. Explore Alternatives: Embrace diverse forms of intimacy beyond sexual acts, strengthening emotional bonds through activities like cuddling or shared interests.
  5. Seek Professional Support: Consider seeking guidance from a relationship counsellor if challenges persist, obtaining insights and strategies to navigate intimacy issues effectively. BEFORE you become resentful

Self-care remains essential: Prioritise emotional well-being, validate feelings, and engage in self-care activities nurturing mental and emotional health.

The wrap up: navigating changes in sexual intimacy requires patience, empathy, and open communication. By understanding each other’s needs and actively working towards mutual satisfaction, couples can strengthen their bond beyond physical intimacy. Remember, worth and value extend beyond sexual intimacy; prioritising emotional connection and mutual respect is key to a lifelong fulfilling relationship.

Couple often wait until their relationship is in the “Accident Emergency” zone before they seek help. I strongly advocate for couples to be proactive and reach out to a Relationship specialist before their relationship gets hit by the bus!

Men: Sometimes you get focused on your performance in the bedroom, a word from the wise, most women are not watching your performance. They are feeling the person they love bond with them. Women want sex, but they want to feel a connection, it’s not all about the hot and heavy. The sex you see in porn is not the sex that will win over a heart and secure a relationship long term.

Resist competing with other men, if you feel like you have lost your mojo or edge in the bedroom, it may just be all in your head. Let’s talk about that…

Conversation openers-

  1. Can we have a conversation about the changes in our intimacy? I miss the closeness we shared when we were more sexually active.
  2. I’ve noticed a lack of sexual connection in our marriage, and it’s making me unhappy. Would you be open to attending therapy together so we can address this?
  3. I want to understand your perspective on our lack of sexual intimacy. Are there reasons behind it that I’m unaware of? Let’s talk about how we both feel without judgment.