editors note: Morgan is our OMB contributor who specializes in marriage and family counseling. It seriously is a privilege to have Morgan’s expertise on family matters. Do you have a question for Morgan? Let us know!
In 2015, sex seems to have saturated the media. On a daily basis we are inundated with topics ranging from public sex and selfies, to films such as 50 Shades of Gray and headlines about famous cheating spouses like Ben Affleck. Our culture seems obsessed with sex, and for the average person or couple, society’s intense focus on sex can be overwhelming. Ironically, this can lead to our own sex-lives feeling underwhelming for some people. People may begin to see their sex lives as mundane or even trivial, which in turn can lead to relationship distress. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to help prevent this and safe guard your relationship.
Don’t compare your relationship with others.
Today’s world is a place of comparison. We compare ourselves to our Facebook contacts, celebrities, the other mothers in pick-up line, and the woman on the treadmill next to us. However, what most people don’t realize, is that they are comparing themselves to a projected image of a person and not reality. Yes, we can all admit celebrities represent fantasy, but many of us also know many non-celebrities who portray themselves differently online. Instead of showing reality on social media, these people appear much happier, more social, fitter, sexier, etc. Most people, at different levels, present themselves with false truths inadvertently or on purpose. Comparing yourself to these false images often creates unnecessary stress and discontent.
Recognize and admit that your relationship is “special”.
It is characterized by the two members in it, you and your spouse, and it is specifically individual to you. That makes it unique and one of a kind. Once you understand that, roll with it. Enjoy your individualism and ability to be exactly who you are!
Examine how you feel about your relationship.
Do you feel connected with your spouse? Do you feel sexually fulfilled? If your answer is yes, then you are probably meeting your sexual needs. If your answer is no, then some self-exploration may be needed to determine where a disconnection may lie. Many times, disconnect in the bedroom leads to disconnect in other facets of your relationship. Therefore, motivate yourself to work on you and what you can do to improve your current status. Taking ownership of your sex drive and seeing it as your responsibility and not your spouse’s can be life altering for many women. If you are feeling undesirable after children, get yourself feeling sexy: buy lingerie you feel great in, take a bubble bath with or without your spouse, workout, enjoy a romantic dinner, or see a doctor to check for possible medical symptoms that may be causing a roadblock in your sex life. Do whatever it takes to rekindle your sex life and be accountable.
Connect and speak to your spouse about your relationship and sexual needs.
Many of us expect our husbands to be upset about our current sex life and the lack of sex 24/7. When in actuality, many moms are pleasantly surprised by the answers they receive. Statistics vary for the “average” amount of times a couple has sex per week, but an overarching theme is the commonality of most couples having sex less than 3 times a week. So talk to your spouse, communicate what you want and what you are feeling, and allow them to do the same. Remember, there are many facets to sexuality and relationships. Therefore it is imperative to not only discuss sex, but also to discuss how often you both need date nights, romance, physical touch, etc.
Tweaking your relationship makes you a stronger couple, and sprucing up your sex life is a huge benefit to your overall connection.
The fact is all relationships ebb and flow, and sex drives increase and decrease over time. Bonding over this new growth is an asset. Yes, it is well known that many men feel more emotionally connected to their spouse with frequent sexual encounters, but surprisingly many women find they want more sex once their emotional needs have been met. Therefore, truly connecting with your spouse gives you both the emotional and sexual interactions you both desire.
Throughout all of this, remember that your significant other is the one person choosing to accompany you on this crazy ride of coupledom and parenthood! Thus, make them a person you not only communicate, collaborate and compromise with but also one that you enjoy, cherish and grow with!