Marriage…Sex’s Death Sentence?
I don’t get it. And that’s funny because I went through it myself. The actual decline of my sex life started a while before the actual wedding ceremony though and maybe that should have been an indicator for what would later deteriorate into complete disdain for each other. I guess there was a reason the red light was flashing in my head and I shouldn’t have ignored it.
Nonetheless, it doesn’t have to get that way and if it already is, it doesn’t have to stay that way. Just as in any relationship, I attributed our lack of sex to multiple factors: having lost a child was emotionally crippling for both of us. There was a lot of misdirected inner blame on both of our parts. He was on anti-depressants, a well-known libido limiting agent. I gained weight. He gained weight. We thought we wanted to try again with kids but there was so much, “we have to do this first” and “we’re not financially ready for kids yet”.
On my actual wedding night, I was bound and determined to get a little action. I mean, who doesn’t have sex on their wedding night? Neither of us was so intoxicated that we were physically unable and yet, he seemed genuinely disinterested. I thought, “I’m his wife now; I’m no longer ‘hot’”. And so went the marriage: months without sex turned into almost two years at one point. Friends were unbelieving but it was true. He and I discussed it occasionally and decided it was okay, because we had so much laughter and companionship, we didn’t need all kinds of crazy sex. We couldn’t have been more wrong.
Enough whining about how I got into my predicament. If this scenario looks familiar to you in any way, nip it in the bud right now. Everyone knows that hindsight is 20/20 so I’m going to tell you what I should have done to keep the fire burning.
First (and integral to all parts of the marriage), keep the lines of communication open. If you are not having sex as often as you want, discuss it. Say it however you need to say it, but remember a man is not a mind reader so make sure it’s in plain English. Sugarcoating is optional. Tell him that you’re sure there will come a time when you are not as into it as he is and you expect him to be open with you as well; compromise as necessary.
Spice it up a little. If you are bored with your sex life and that prevents you from seeking it out, be proactive and spice it up. Leave work early one day and be waiting for him stark naked lying on the kitchen table when he walks in the door. Make sure the blinds are all pulled and secured first. Surprise him with a winter weekend trip to a romantic cabin with no sidetracking amenities (TV, etc.)
Go the extra mile for him. Make one night all about him. Give a deep massage, a pedicure or a manicure just for him. It might sound funny and he might resist at first but men really like to be pampered as much as we do every now and then and while we have no problem going into a very public salon and dipping our hands into paraffin wax and our toes into a bubbly bath of silky warm water, most of them do. Lavishing attention on him in this way makes him feel hot, appreciated and manly (even if you throw a little clear coat on those nails). One warning on this: don’t expect anything in return. Not that night or any other night in the future. Unless you ask for it, you will probably not get it. Give it a week and then ask for the favor to be returned. Tell him to use his imagination and do what he thinks you will want. What he comes up with just might surprise you!
Marriage itself doesn’t have to be a death sentence for sex. As individuals, we let it become one. The death of sex, however, could possibly signal the end of the marriage, so if it’s worth it, fight for it with everything you’ve got. Let me know what other ideas you have for keeping the fire burning or re-introducing sex after a long dry period.