When you were first married, you never imagined you’d ever lose interest in making love, did you?
But as the years go by, most couples do. We get too busy, our lives slip out of sync, to say nothing of interruptions from travel, children, health and relationship issues.
That’s a great shame. Because couples who have lots of sex together are generally much happier than those who don’t.
It’s also a great stress reliever, a big health boost, and reduces the risk of mental illness. A very good idea, in other words.
So why do we lose our desire for one another? And is there anything couples can do about it? Yes there is.
But it’s not simply about how often you’re intimate together. Though there is something magical about “once a week!”
Because couples who regularly make love less often than that generally feel discontented. But more often and they don’t seem to get any happier.
Which is probably why couples who tell researchers that they feel passionate about one another generally don’t talk much about how often they make love.
Instead they say how much having been together for a long time means to them, how much they enjoy kissing and cuddling, and how “good” the sex is.
Especially being able to make love whenever they want, and in whatever way they want.
So making out isn’t just about passion. It’s also about meeting each other’s emotional needs, and expressing affection for one another — by holding hands, kissing or cuddling, for example.
Women in particular often talk about wanting closeness, romance and emotional intimacy. Those things also matter to most men, of course, though they’re less likely to say so.
Being generous in bed is particularly important. Especially being willing to meet all your partner’s sexual needs, even if those needs are very different from your own.
Not surprisingly, couples who both share this trait are much happier together than couples who don’t.
They tend to be completely open about sex, talk about it a lot, and make love even when one of them isn’t really in the mood.
They both make a sincere effort to understand and go along with each other’s fantasies and preferences, even when they don’t match their own. And they don’t complain about it. No, not ever!
Developing that sort of generosity is probably the single best thing you and your spouse can do to improve your relationship.
But many couples struggle with the idea. Some are uncomfortable with talking about sex.
Some are unwilling to consider anything other than “the way we’ve always done things”. Some feel uncomfortable about vulnerability, or suffer from anxiety or depression.
Some feel disconnected or resentful of each other, or use sex as some sort of weapon within the relationship.
But if you’re affected by any issues like these, don’t give up. Talk to a counsellor to help you overcome them. Because you’ll be a lot happier once you do.