9. Pay attention to each other’s needs
Se x is both physical and emotional, and it’s common for couples to have different definitions of what that should look like. One partner might be concentrated on physical gratification, while the other is focused on emotional intimacy. “Both are valid, and both should be cultivated,” says Fisher.
“Couples should explore how to enhance both the physical and emotional closeness during sexual intimacy so both can feel satisfied.” Your biggest fantasies might not mesh perfectly with your spouse’s, and that’s OK—as long as each of you is willing to meet the other’s needs, se x can be a fulfilling experience for both of you.
10. Consider couples therapy
Don’t let the word therapy scare you. “People think couples counseling is for the last step and you’re on the verge of a breakup,” says Marter. “I don’t believe that at all. Couples counseling can be a really positive experience where you build on your strengths.”
Having a neutral third person guiding the conversation can help pin down what each of you wants out of the relationship. Even if you think you know what core issues are driving the distance between you, there might be more to the story, adds Marter. A counselor can help you get to the roots of the problem and find solutions to work through them.
11. Plan to schedule intimacy
Putting se x on the calendar doesn’t sound particularly steamy, but spontaneity isn’t always an option. Sometimes se x stops simply because your routine is thrown off. Maybe you’ve had a baby or started a new job with irregular hours. It’s normal to put se x on hold during those tumultuous periods, but it could be problem if you’ve settled into your new normal and the spark still isn’t back, says Thomas.
When your schedules take a big turn, you might not be able to have se x when you’re used to, so you’ll have to carve out a different time to fool around—say, during your lunch break or right before work. “Scheduling an intimacy date doesn’t have to be penetration,” says Thomas. “It can be laying down listening to music with your arms around each other or showering together.”
12. Practice body appreciation
As you and your spouse grow older together, you’ll probably see some changes in your bodies. If your own self-love starts to suffer, you might not feel sexy with your partner anymore. “We need to turn down the volume of our inner critic and speak to ourselves lovingly and kindly,” says Marter.
“You would never say to somebody else, ‘You’re fat, you’re gross, you’re unattractive.’” And that includes criticizing your partnerlike that. Pointing out your partner’s weight gain will just bring their confidence down. Instead, tell your spouse what you love about them, suggests Marter. No matter how long you’ve been together, those little affirmations can go a long way.
13. Realize that kids don’t mean the end of your se x life
Your kids might be your greatest joy, but a new baby can also put a strain on your marriage. A study of almost 700 couplesfound that relationship satisfaction takes a dip after children enter the picture, regardless of the couple’s work hours or household chores. Not only do new parents lose sleep and stress out over finances and baby care, but breastfeeding can have a direct impact on desire, says Marter. “Instead of the breast being an erotic part of the body, [mothers] suddenly feel like a cow milking,” she says. “They don’t feel sexy or attractive.”
That can resonate with fathers, too, if they start seeing their wife as maternal rather than sexual. Still, that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a sexless marriage. Keep your baby’s crib out of your own bedroom so you and your spouse have one-on-one time to feel like lovers—not just parents—as you rediscover what passion looks like with kids in the picture.Please Scroll Below for NEXT Page to continue