4 ways you can fire up your sexually hungry marriage

The issues of sexual desire, unmet erotic needs, mismatched libidos, and the ravages of time in a long-term relationship or marriage are among the most common rants of the sex unhappy

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Pamela Madsen of Huffington Post writes,   you want sex and your partner doesn't. Or your partner wants sex and you don't. Or it seems like neither one of you wants sex and are more interested in watching Netflix. What's up with that? You know that you love each other and yet the idea of sex is just not that exciting and that seems somehow wrong. What then?

The issues of sexual desire, unmet erotic needs, mismatched libidos, and the ravages of time in a long-term relationship or marriage are among the most common rants of the sex unhappy. I know, not only because I work with hundreds of women who are living it right now, but because I have been a sex unhappy wife. I had the guts to do something about it and managed to stay married (34 years this summer). Yes, I was a child bride.

Couples can become sex unhappy for so many reasons. We have: mismatched time clocks, work pressures, family pressures, our sexual tastes can change over time including what turns us on, and married sex can fall into a boring routine. As my husband so clearly put it in an interview: "We knew exactly what was going to happen every time we had sex." And then there is self image -- many men get concerned about their erections as they get older, and many women get sexually shut down by their relationship with their own bodies. Illness can change our bodies and our sexual appetites. It can be a lot to deal with breast cancer or prostate cancer and face some very real shifts in how we function in our bodies erotically. One thing's for sure, the sex unhappy marriage is a painful place to hang out in.

As a sex unhappy survivor, I think it's important to understand that it's normal for sexual desire to wane a bit in a long-term relationship. I don't think people are always honest when they participate in surveys about how often they have sex and that creates a feeling that "something must be wrong with us". People don't want other people to know what is going on in their bedrooms. It's scary. They worry about being judged, or that they or their relationship is somehow broken.

As a sex coach, I personally think there is a lot more to marriage than sex -- but that sex is still an important part of marriage. The fact is, my husband and I have a beautiful marriage. We are life partners. And we don't have sex twice a week. Sometimes a months goes by. It's true. And I have other outlets for my sexual expression. I have cultivated that -- and have helped other women cultivate that as well. But that doesn't mean that we are not physically affectionate with each other every single day. We hug, hold hands, kiss, cuddle, and sleep spooning around each other's body. We communicate openly about our desires, even the parts of our sexual desires that simply don't match up. We have figured out a solution to make room in our marriage for all of it in a way that works for us. I am no longer a sexually unhappy wife, and I have my husband to thank for that. A part of that is not what he gives me directly -- but how he allows me to be in the world.

Being sexual with each other is a choice. And you need to be willing to put aside time, and attention for each other. This is all about doing something different and breaking the pattern that you are in. If you have reached a place in your relationship where you are ready to try on making a change from sexually hungry to sexually satisfied, I have some tips!

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