Remember the time in your relationship when sex was spontaneous, fun, and frequent? You'd both jump into bed eager for the physical closeness and the sexual interludes that would follow.
But as the years went by, suddenly she is not as interested as she once was. Suddenly, more often than not, when you crawl into bed, she is already laying on her side facing away from you. You gently caress her shoulder to assess her interest and right away, she not only gives you the proverbial cold shoulder but also the terse "not tonight" response.
When desire is missing
What happened men ask? His sexual desire is as strong and vibrant as ever but hers has fallen to the wayside. This is not an unusual scenario being played out in bedrooms across the United States. Women, who still love their husbands or partners, have found more of a desire to simply get a good night's sleep than to have a wild rumble in bed.
It's estimated that 24 million women in the United States lack interest in sex according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The lack of interest appears to peak when a woman is in her thirties and early forties before most women have begun to enter into the phase of menopause. Often blamed for this downward spiral of sexual desire is a weakened libido due to a progressive decline in estrogen levels that start during this time of a woman's life.
This makes sense but there are also many other factors involved putting up roadblocks to a couple's intimate relationship.
During a woman's thirties and forties is an extremely busy time. Whether she is working outside the home or not, caregiving of children and their busy schedules along with caregiving of aging parents puts a strain on her formally more carefree lifestyle manifesting itself by putting on the brakes in the bedroom. Along with all the activities and responsibilities she faces, chronic sleep deprivation can arise causing women to lose precious hours of needed rest. She feels tired, angry, and resentful and the last thing she wants is one more person asking her to give of herself.
Women who have been in a long-term relationship may be bored with "the usual" when it comes to sex. If the relationship has become routine with hardly any spark of newness, she may view it as feeling less personal and more of a chore. When sex isn't mutually pleasurable for both her and him - and usually it's him that does get the pleasure - she may lose desire in feeling like she is being used and missing out on a satisfactory sex life.
Depression among women can be another issue leading to a loss of interest in sex. This is when a woman needs to seek advice from her physician on whether an anti-depressant may be an answer in helping her discover more joy in life.
Other contributing factors possibly inhibiting libido can be oral contraceptives, an underactive thyroid, and blood-pressure-lowering medications.
Igniting sexual desire
What does it take to light the fire to where a couple once again resumes a mutually satisfying sexual relationship?
It starts with both the man and woman stepping back and really talking about what each of them want out of their sex life. Plan a time outside of the bedroom to simply discuss if their sexual needs are being met, what works and what doesn't, how frequent does each person want sex, and most importantly is for him to ask her "What can I do for you to make you more interested in sex?"
He needs to be prepared for whatever she will tell him and then be a man of honor and do what she asks. It might be doing more household chores, paying more bills, driving children to activities, doing yard work or simply giving her a massage every night.
When couples actively work together on sexual issues, the outcome can be greater and more fulfilling than expected. But if it seems like you're both struggling to be on the same page of intimacy, then it may be time to see a therapist. They can guide you through this delicate time so that neither one of you is blaming the other for situations out of your control and more importantly, it helps her get back that loving feeling once again.