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8 steps to repair intimacy in your marriage

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

If you haven't figured it out yet, men and women don't actually need to have sex every single day to be happy in a marriage. Those times in marriage when you have less sex don't just have to be when you're sick, pregnant or postpartum; so if you are in a less-sex phase, don't worry. It doesn't mean the flame has gone out. It might just mean that this week, maybe sleep is more necessary than making love. Don't let statistics that say, "Happy couples have sex three times a week" bother you, because each couple is different, and each couple goes through phases.

Sex is not everything in a marriage, and not everyone wants sex all the time. However, if your sex life is permanently on a stand still, someone is likely to feel rejected. There is a big difference between feeling tired or sick and simply not making an effort.

If this happens to you, see if some of these situations fit into your case:

  • When one spouse initiates intimacy, and is regularly rejected, it causes profound damage to his or her self-esteem by making him feel rejected, unattractive, confused and even suspicious that the other is hiding something.

  • When trying to discuss concerns about your sex life, one spouse changes the subject. Occasionally when you actually do get a chance to talk about it, the conversation ends up going nowhere and no changes are implemented.

  • After you finally have opened up to each other and expressed how you feel, you might start having sex more, but there comes a point where you feel that the other person is just doing it out of obligation. It feels like they want it done quickly, just to avoid divorce or betrayal, which creates a lack of intimacy or connection.

  • After a lot of rejected attempts, the intiating spouse has simply stopped trying in order to prevent rejection. They might also seek a feeling of revenge in attempting to make the other spouse feel unloved as well.

  • His (or her, whoever is initiating sex) self-confidence is destroyed. Both feel alone most of the time, and feel they must maintain a marriage because of the children or other obligations.

Any of this sound familiar?

Every day this happens to couples worldwide. While it's most often a man rejected by his wife, some women also feel this way.

So what can you do?

1. Control yourself

Betrayal is not the solution. If you treat each other harshly, it won't solve any intimacy problems. Flirting around with other women to feel alive will only cause you major problems. That's a clear sign of lack of self-esteem. You can be better than that.

2. Check up on what they like

Make sure your actions are not a major turn off for your spouse. Small things can quickly kill the mood.

3. Forgive

The little things of everyday life in a relationship can make or break it. We all make mistakes. Forgive the little things they do and apologize for those moments you are unintentionally inconsiderate as well.

4. Review your expectations

That does not mean you have to do something you do not like. It means stop and think about why sex is actually important in your relationship. Are you just trying to use your spouse, or are you working to show them how much you really care? Both of you can work towards rescuing the relationship.

5. Resolve conflicts

Conflict kills sexiness. Talk openly and honestly. If things are being harbored inside secretly, it's hard to open yourself up enough to be intimate.

6. Join teams

Even with just the tiniest bit of love left, both of you can join together to try to improve your relationship. Make a plan together that fits both of your needs.

7. Have a getaway

You don't need lots of money for this, or even to repeat a honeymoon. It could simply mean switching up your routine to rediscover each other.

8. Become friends again

A marriage is much more than sex. It is a spiritual bond between two souls that are committed to one another. Every day you make that choice to be loyal and dedicated.

That's much easier when you like each other. Learn to be friends again by doing the things friends do together.

And finally, live to help each other and the lovely family life you are building. Sex is important in a relationship, and when you dedicate yourself to it, you and your spouse can both be happier.

If there are emotional issues involved, individual and/or marital therapy are advisable. It can be difficult to be patient while a spouse works through problems, but it is worth it. If there are medical problems, get treatment. Any problem that is preventing either of you from being intimate needs to be discussed in order to preserve your marriage.

If you feel you've done all this and your spouse isn't willing to work on things, have a conversation about the seriousness of the matter, and make sure other things aren't involved, including depression.

The secret is to find closeness and affection outside the bedroom, on your day-to-day interactions with the person who should be the most special in your life. Everything else you can do with everyone else, but your love deserves some special time, treatment, and consideration.

Looking for sex with someone else or divorce won't solve the problem, if you haven't learned to work through this. It will only be transferred to someone else sooner or later. Take care of your self-esteem as much as possible and remember the good things you have going for you in life.

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