What kills sexual intimacy in a relationship?

Expert advice: What kills sexual intimacy in a relationship?

Paula Quinsee, a relationship coach, author, and speaker, looks at common factors that lead to a decline in sexual intimacy in marriages. 

Couple sleeping in bed
Couple sleeping in bed /iStock

Sexually intimacy is crucial for a healthy relationship. 

According to statistics, married couples have sex once a week. Is this a cause for concern?

Paula Quinsee, a relationship coach, says when it comes to sex, there is no one size fits all approach and each couple should look at what works for them. 

"Let’s be honest, when it comes to sex and relationships, there are multiple views as to what is acceptable, how many times a week we should be doing it, how many partners we have had in the past and whether we should disclose this or keep our skeletons in the closet. 

"Intimacy and sex are different for each person and therefore there is no one size fits all but rather what feels comfortable for you and what works for you with where you are at in your life stage, relationship, and lifestyle."

READ: The married guy’s guide to a great relationship

She says "the worst thing you can do is compare your relationship to that of others."

However, after seeing what works for you as a couple, it is important to maintain the intimacy. 

What kills sexual intimacy in a relationship?

Paula Quinsee says there are different things that can contribute to an unhealthy sex life for a couple. 

These include one's mood, sex drive, and stress. 

"When it comes to doing the ‘deed’, sometimes our partner just isn’t in the mood and that’s ok, sometimes we have an off day. Other times, there may contributing factors such as stress at work, you’ve hit a bumpy patch, or your libidos are not totally aligned (i.e. one of you has a higher sex drive)," says the coach. 

She adds that feeling disconnected from your spouse can also contribute to a decline is sexual intimacy. 

"Real life involves commitment and responsibilities...housework, dealing with office politics, childcare, DIY, paying the bills, raising the kids, car repairs, gym time, managing relationships with extended family members, social activities, relationship misalignment (you’re out of sync with each other or disconnected) and more."

The expert says another reason there might be a decline in how often a couple has sex is the lack of effort in keeping the spark alive. 

"We tend to forget to make more efforts for 'date nights' or foreplay and romance doesn't seem to carry the same weight. We can get into a rut/routine and everything else becomes mundane so we stop making an effort. 

"Routine and stress may translate into less energy for our partner, our relationship, and sex. The passion fades and romance becomes a distant memory. So we need to be intentional about making time for each other, connection, intimacy, romance, sex, keeping the spark alive and constantly communicating with each other," says the coach. 

She concludes that sex and intimacy are important basic needs and the physical act of sex can help strengthen a couple's connection.

READ: ECR's Top 5: Things in a marriage that make life better

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