Dr. Tarra Bates-Duford
When You’re No Longer Sexually Attracted to Your Partner or Spouse
Sex is essential for many reasons in any healthy, committed relationship. It is ultimately all about intimacy, the pleasure, and sexual expression. Understanding these benefits will help couples recognize that sex in their relationships will not only help themselves but help bond their relationship further and create a broader sense of intimacy in a loving relationship. Sex is important when it comes to any romantic relationship. Whether this is a long-term relationship or one that's just starting, sex is an important thing to consider for your overall health.
Notably, there is much more to a healthy relationship than sex, developing and enhancing intimacy is a major factor in maintaining a healthy, long-term partnership, or marriage. Unfortunately, couples that have been in a relationship or married for a long period of time may experience challenges related to an inconsistent sex life, decreased/non-existent intimacy, or difficulty maintaining their couple bond. Although, changes in sexual frequency is a normal part of the evolution that occurs in a relationship, lack of sex and diminishing intimacy can lead to negative consequences for partners.
Partners that are sexually attracted to each other are more likely to have a regular and consistent sex life, are more committed to each other, have better communication, enhanced intimacy, and better relationship quality. However, when individuals are not sexually attracted to their partner or spouse intimacy is affected, communication diminishes, sex becomes a chore instead of bonding the couple, and frustration builds. Mounting frustration can interfere with a couples ability to stay connected, get to the root of their sexual issues, join to resolve their problems and Partners that lack sexual connectedness and diminished intimacy are more likely to experience diminished relationship quality, have difficulty communicating with their partner, and are more likely to seek sexual connectedness outside of the relationship. Seeking sexual satisfaction and connectedness outside of one’s relationship often leads to additional relationship issues up to and including the end of a relationship or marriage. It is important that we understand why sex is important in a relationship, what sex brings to a relationship, how intimacy is strengthened by sexual connectedness, etc.
Sex has several benefits in the context of a committed relationship or marriage, such as, it can improve the connection between you and your partner, decrease stress, and has been associated with a longer lifespan.
Benefits of a Healthy Sex life in the Context of a Committed Relationship or Marriage:
A healthy sexual enhances the bond between partners
Decreases stress and anxiety
Promotes better communication between partners
Partners with a healthier sex life have better outcomes for a longer life
When That Connection Builds Over Time, it Continually Strengthens the Relationship
Provides opportunities for better sleep
Improves overall happiness
Reasons Some People Are No Longer Sexually Attracted to Their Partner or Spouse Include:
Decrease in attention to hygiene or poor hygiene
Unrealistic expectations of what their sex life should include
Sex has become routine, it no longer contains excitement
Infidelity in the relationship
You are no longer “friends”
You have difficulty communicating
The trust is broken in the relationship
Significant changes in partner weight or other physical differences
If you find yourself no longer sexually attracted to your partner or spouse try reminding yourself why you fell in love with your partner or spouse, include more couple activities into your relationship (log walks together, snuggling up on the sofa, cooking a meal together, working out, communicating more, or sexual experimentation might help). Decreased or lack of sexual attractiveness does not have to be a deal breaker, you can fall in love again, enhance your relationship bond, and become sexually attracted to your partner again. However, you must be willing to commit both time and effort into strengthening your sexual relationship, rebuilding intimacy, and improving your communication.
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