Sexuality changes over time and needs and desires wax and wane based on relationship circumstances, hormones, and age. When couples first meet they are in a relatively blissful state and all the emotions of a new romance wash over them, attracting them to their partner and increasing their sexual desire. Relationships, like the people they are composed of, can’t remain forever young.
Strongly held belief systems can get in the way when they surface down the road in a relationship. When everyone is feeling the love and couples feel in sync there is a tendency to believe that it will always be that way. Time passes, children may enter the picture, lives get busy and all of the sudden partners drift apart in the bedroom and in their lives. When miscommunications occur around sex, resentment usually follows and once this occurs it begins to affect the entire relationship.
Even if couples make the highly personal choice to not have sex before marriage, they still need to be able to talk about it. Learning to talk about your sex life with your partner early in the relationship, while stars are still in your eyes, will lay the groundwork for long term satisfaction.
Couples should not only be able to communicate their needs in the bedroom, in an open and non-judgmental manner, but also be able to discuss sexual issues outside the sheets. Topics such as how often they see themselves having sex as time goes on, and what happens if that number decreases, are important concepts to flush out. What would happen if one partner were unable to have sex for a period of time because of a health issue? Would the healthy partner consider having an affair? How would they get their sexual needs met? It isn’t important to create a plan of action for every possible scenario but this exercise does reveal some of these strongly held beliefs and uncovers the ways in which a couple solves problems together.
The key is to get the communication tools ready and in place before they are needed so that as changes occur over time, and they inevitably will, you will know how to manage disappointments and proactively solve problems that may arise. Many people feel uncomfortable talking about sex and in particular, their own sexuality, and if this is the case then seeking out the help of a marriage therapist could be what is needed to save the relationship both inside and outside the bedroom.
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