How many of you have met someone and couldn’t keep your hands off one another, then one morning you wake up and all you can think about is your laundry list of To-Dos, with sex at the bottom of the list. Well, guess what? You’ll always have To-Dos and it’s up to you to put sex where it belongs on that list.
After almost three decades of working with couples, I’ve seen how lack of effort when it comes to intimacy can affect relationships. A study spotlighted this trend and showed that sexual intimacy is the link that keeps partners positive about their marriages in the face of adversity, and a lack of sex makes things worse.
We don’t plan to lose that “honeymoon phase,” but we just get comfortable. We gravitate in different directions…he’s in the recliner with the remote watching the game, and she’s putting the kids to bed, packing lunches, doing laundry – the two reunite in the bedroom and think Should we do it? And then say, “We’ll do it tomorrow.”
This reminds me of a an episode of What Not to Wear which featured a woman who admitted she normally wears a frumpy T-shirt, “mom jeans” and hiking sandals on date- night with her husband. When the hosts asked if she ever put something on that made her feel sexy, she said once a year on their anniversary. She then went on to say, “We’ve been married 11 years, we have kids that take up most of our attention; the ‘wow’ factor just goes out the window.”
While many of us can relate, it doesn’t have to be this way. Just like we have to fight excuses like I’ll start exercising tomorrow, we have to commit every day to making an effort when it comes to our relationships and sexual exploration. Some mistakenly think that marital sex is doomed to get boring. For example, Country Singer Blake Shelton joked while hosting the CMA Awards: “I thought ‘Same Sex Marriage’ referred to the fact that you have the same sex every day” (his wife was looking on in the front row – and let me tell you, she didn’t look too pleased!).
It’s like when a new trainer tells you to start eating healthy and all you eat is chicken and salad for two weeks straight. We don’t want to think creatively about all of the options out there for healthy meals, because we look at it as work. But once we start trying new recipes, we’re often very surprised! The same goes for our sex lives! Of course it’s easier to just go through a drive through, but that’s just plain lazy and if there’s one thing we shouldn’t be when it comes to our intimate lives, it’s lazy – no matter how in love or committed we are.
Ask yourself, are you really seeking out your happiness by placing intimacy on the back burner? You may not even realize that you are compromising your health, your relationship and connection with this other person – and I truly believe that you connect better when you’re physical with one another. Of course, there are those who are suffering from mental or physical obstacles to intimacy and in that case, it’s important that they consult with their physician for advice and council. Regardless of what your particular situation might be, the bottom line is that the first step is putting attention on what’s important to you.