There are many ingredients that go into making the perfect marriage. An ideal healthy marriage should have: open communication, trust, emotional intimacy, and physical attraction, and intimacy.
Couples often use sex as a means to not think about underlying problems. Having too much sex—especially when you’re using it as a tool ignore other problems—is not healthy, but having a dissatisfying or non-existent sex life isn’t either.
What causes it?
There may be a number of causes that lead to a dissatisfying sex life. Whatever the reason, it tends to take a toll on your marriage and can result in unnecessary strain.
While it’s normal for you to become too engrossed in other aspects of your life—especially after having children—that you tend to put your sexual needs on the back-burner, it’s alarming when you find yourself disappointed with it.
Other preoccupations aside, a sex-starved marriage may be caused by one of the partners being involved in an affair that leaves them uninterested in the other partner; it may also be caused by certain difficulties regarding their physical or mental health.
It’s not just about how often you have sex, the kind of sex you have is also equally important. Physical difficulties include performance anxiety, erectile dysfunction, and premature ejaculation, among a plethora of others.
Affecting over 52 percent men between the ages of 40-70, erectile dysfunction is often considered one of the most prevalent causes of a dissatisfying sex life. A partner’s inability to please their partner can be a cause of concern for both of them. It may become an anxiety-inducing experience for them, resulting in dread and stress when the time approaches. Conversely, the other partner may also be frustrated due to the lack of satisfying sex.
It can lead to long-term damage
At present, you may think you’re just experiencing a difficult patch and you’ll rediscover the rhythm in your relationship soon. Work-related stress and other external factors could be playing a part in your below-par sex life.
However, when you experience this over a long period of time and find yourself or your partner getting increasingly dissatisfied, you may end up with deeper issues that will be more difficult to reverse. Intimacy is tricky and cannot be forced. Once you and your partner start pulling away from each other due to the anticipation or experience of dissatisfaction, you may be hesitant to venture back in.
A dissatisfying sex life is often assumed to be the cause of most infidelity in marriages as well. When a partner isn’t receiving it from their marriage, they tend to explore other avenues. This can take a toll on the very foundation of your relationship: trust.
In order to address the underlying causes and aftermath of a dissatisfying sex life, it’s important to seek the help of a seasoned psychotherapist. Only then will you be able to understand why this is happening and what you and your partner can do to maintain a fulfilling, loving relationship.
Azizeh E. Rezaiyan is a therapist at Silicon Valley Marriage Counseling in Palo Alto. She has years of experience in dealing with the varying sensitive issues of her clients. Seek and receive emotional help and closure with the help of a licensed English and Farsi speaking therapist.
Call (650) 206-9973 to book an appointment.