Tag Archives: Infidelity

Top 10 Reasons the Steam in a Marriage Cools

 

What are some of the most common things that suck intimacy out of a marriage? Let’s take a look at a few:

1. You’re out of the habit

What you don’t keep doing, you feel less comfortable doing. For example, suppose you need to send someone a thank-you card.  You keep meaning to write it, but you don’t get around to it. The longer you allow time to pass, the more uncomfortable it is when you eventually do follow through. It’s the same thing with sex. The longer you put it off, the weirder and less comfortable it seems, and therefore, the less likely you are to do it. Habit is everything.

2. Erectile dysfunction

Almost half of men over 40 have problems getting it up and keeping it up. However, before just popping a Viagra, guys should:

  • Try exercising, eating healthier, and not drinking or smoking.
  • Find out if any of their meds for aches and pains are getting in the way.
  • Stop exhausting themselves at the office (and having nothing else to give when they come home).
  • Make suggestions to their wives about how to assist them (as guys get older, the thought of sex alone may not be enough).

3. Menopause   

Over 60 percent of divorces are initiated by women in their menopausal years. Menopause is like a reverse-puberty hormonal hell, except this time you’re checking out rather than checking in. One thing that happens to many women when they go through menopause is they gain weight; not specifically because of the hormones, but because they get lazy. They become sedentary and don’t eat well, which restricts circulation (i.e. less blood flow “down there”).  If your circulation is compromised, it’s like a hose with a kink in it, and it becomes more difficult to get aroused.

4. Lost looks

This is a biggie. Forty-three percent of married people claim that their spouse isn’t attractive anymore. This usually means their spouse has let themselves go.  So much of a relationship comes from your commitment to your own health and well-being, both mentally and physically.  If you’re not treating yourself well, you’re not treating the relationship well.  Being fit not only makes you feel better, but it also shows that you give a damn.

5. Sexual differences

Men are over five times more likely than women (45 percent versus 8 percent) to think about sex at least once a day. If you and your spouse aren’t reasonably matched or cooperative, it leads to blame, resentment, anger, and disrespectful speech.  Gender-based differences in desire are biologically built in to any heterosexual union, which is sad, but a reality.

6. Infidelity

Infidelity shatters trust and withers intimacy.  Infidelity is a result of one of two things: 1) the cheater is simply a bad person (sorry, there is no such thing as “sex addiction”), or 2) their spouse wasn’t paying attention to them so they went elsewhere to be fed. In either case, infidelity cuts into sex drive (primarily for the person who was cheated on).

7. Parenthood

A third of women say they experience no sexual pleasure whatsoever for the entire first year after giving birth as a result of messed up hormones, exhaustion, and stress.  However, even though we may not feel incredibly horny, we can still cuddle, play, and do things that bring pleasure to our day and alleviate some of the stress and exhaustion.  There’s something rejuvenating about cuddling, touching, hugging, and kissing.

8. Pregnancy 

Women’s sexual pleasure may drop by as much as 39 percent during the third trimester (when the kid’s ready to pop) due to body-image issues, financial issues, impending role shifts, and/or hormonal-based changes. Many spouses don’t understand this and get mad at each other. As I said earlier, if you cuddle, caress, and snuggle more, you’ll be less frustrated, miserable, and depressed.

9. No time

Eighty percent of married couples blame their declining sex lives on being “too busy”. Whoever thought when you were younger that you’d be too busy to get it on? If you’re not prioritizing sex, you’d better. Men need to organize their lives less around success and career, and women need to schedule less around children and extended family.  Spouses should come together at the end of the day to eat, play, take a bath, hug, caress, snuggle, sip a little wine, and get it on.

10. Not in the mood

It’s normal for one of you not to be in the mood. So what?  Put on a sexy video, don some sexy clothes or perfume, and/or behave and talk in a sexy way. The best sex is not always spontaneous like in the movies when all of a sudden everyone’s clothes come off and they’re humping against a wall.  You can schedule sex – there’s nothing un-romantic about that.  Say cutely to each other, “Tonight at 9 when the kids are in bed, I’ll meet you in the shower/tub/bedroom.”  It doesn’t matter how many times you do it, it just matters that you put in the energy and thought.

My final piece of advice: Think quickies. You can have a lot of fun with quickies.

 

 

Your Spouse Has Cheated. Now What?

In the movie Closer, Clive Owen’s character grills Julie Roberts’ character about the nature of her infidelity.  He bombards her with a barrage of questions about the frequency, timing, whereabouts, type, quality and orgasmic nature of the sex she had with the interloper until she finally asks, “God, why is the sex so important?!”

Men and women react to infidelity differently. Women are more concerned with the emotional side while men care more about the sex. This is a result of hardwiring to a certain extent.  Females want to know if their male can still be a provider and protector for their young.  Males, on the other hand, are primarily invested in the preservation of their genes.  This is why, like Clive Owen’s character, men will ask about the sex and women will ask about the romantic feelings involved. 

Once you understand the differences in how men and women react to an infidelity, the next question becomes, “What should I do if I find out that my husband/wife has cheated on me?” 

First, you need to know that it’s possible for a marriage to survive an affair. In fact, the healing process can even improve the quality of the marriage. However, in order to improve the chances of your marriage staying together, you and your spouse need to seek professional help. 

Therapy helps you have adult conversations and develop skills to resolve your problems. When choosing a therapist, try to find one who has been in a long-term marriage. Be aware that therapists who have been recently divorced have a higher percentage of their patients and clients divorce.

I recommend high quality professional assistance because in order for you and your spouse to truly work through your challenges, you’re going to have to see and accept that both of you played some role in the infidelity. I am not saying that somebody had the right to cheat; I simply mean that if you decide to stay with each other, you have to figure out why things got so bad to the point that someone cheated. The success of your marriage pins on your ability to change the behaviors that alienated each other in the first place.  

If you truly think you did everything perfectly, then dump your spouse. You’re either right and this person is just a bad apple, or you’re not in touch with them enough to work it out. Either way, the relationship doesn’t have a chance of succeeding.  Don’t sit around playing the blame game for your unhappiness or their lack of a moral compass – it’s a recipe for disaster. 

However, if both of you are willing to work, there are some common mistakes you should try to avoid:

Don’t spend your time humiliating, debasing, challenging, and assaulting the cheater. Instead, try to get to the bottom of what hurt the relationship in the first place (e.g. lack of affection, being too busy to be sweet, etc.).

Contacting the person they had the affair with is usually futile. It rarely uncovers the whole truth, and oftentimes, the exposure alone will make them back off.

Naïvely taking your spouse’s word that he or she has ended the affair is one thing, but constantly following them around and checking their phone and email every five minutes is another. Yes, most people need help disengaging from an affair because there is a tremendous amount of physical and emotional investment.  However, hitting them with guilt nonstop isn’t going to help anything. 

Finally, realize that it’s going to take time. 

Ultimately, if your spouse has cheated, you need to ask yourself the following question: Is this a pattern of behavior (i.e. a reflection of their character), or is this a single event which indicates that something seriously wrong in the marriage wasn’t respectfully dealt with? Between work, the kids, and everything else going on, did one or both of you stop paying attention to the relationship? With better communication, better decisions can be made and priorities can be adjusted.  Hopefully, in the end, you can both look back at the affair as a slap on the back of the head reminding you that you weren’t paying attention to the relationship.