Back in September (or was it August?) we took a one month break from writing so we could prepare to move into a new house. After years of praying and being patient, God opened a door for us. The new house was everything we wanted and more…but it hadn’t been lived in for two years. We had our work cut out for us for sure. Between building bedrooms, finishing a basement, removing walls, cleaning and unpacking our one month break turned into a few more. When everything finally began to settle down and we started to talk about what we’d tackle for our first new post in quite a while one thing stood out. How long of a dry spell is too long?
It seemed fitting since we’d not written more than a couple of new posts for months. As bloggers, a month away was already too long. But we’re not talking about blogging, the question is pointed at sex. Sexual frequency, or how often a couple has sex is a commonly talked about issue for a lot of couples. It can vary wildly from one couple to the next, and many marriages find some sort of mutually satisfactory arrangement. But what if your normal situation is interrupted? What if life’s distractions take priority over sex more often, until a few days longer than normal turns into a week or more? Could what starts as a dry spell turn into a sexless marriage?
When a person feels that their spouse isn’t interested in sex several feelings can take hold. Hurt, resentment, suspicion, anger and frustration are just a few and the longer sex isn’t in the picture the more amplified they can become. Even a small disruption in your normal pattern can trigger negative feelings and thoughts, especially if you have what you would consider a healthy sex life. Obviously, communication is important here. Your partner may not see a problem, especially if they are focused on a new life challenge (like a house…) so being able to talk about how you are feeling without being on the offensive is crucial. But before you open up to your spouse sometimes it pays to take a step back and look at the big picture.
The season of life you happen to find yourself in has a lot to do with where sex fits into the picture. New jobs, babies, or houses can take a lot of time and energy that normally would’ve been reserved for sex, and when new priorities are introduced there is bound to be an adjustment phase. Learning to deal with life changes together helps to keep you focused on what needs the most attention at different times. In our 16 years of marriage we’ve had our share. Job relocation, new jobs, debt, three kids, addiction, depression and most recently – the new house. And even with all we’ve learned together through the years the house got us out of our rhythm more than once. Again, we had to look at the big picture together. Neither of us were withholding sex to hurt or punish the other, but without talking it through and finding solutions hurt feelings would have taken hold.
So how long without sex is too long for you? If you’re finding yourself feeling like your partner has lost interest, talk to them before resentment sets in. Remember to look at the big picture, seeing things from their perspective as well as sharing the view from yours. Be sensitive to each other’s needs, as well as open-minded to the circumstances you’re in at this point in your marriage. Even the highest sex drives can stall at times, but temporary lulls in your sex life don’t necessarily mean that a sexless marriage is in your future. If you are reading this and your partner has come to you with concern about your sexual frequency, ask yourself where your priorities are. Remember that the job, house and kids are part of the life you are building together. Don’t let what should be a good thing for the two of you become a wedge that divides you.
The word encourages a healthy sex life within marriage and reminds us to meet each other’s sexual needs frequently.
“Do not refuse and deprive and defraud each other [of your due marital rights], except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, so that you may devote yourselves unhindered to prayer. But afterwards resume marital relations, lest Satan tempt you [to sin] through your lack of restraint of sexual desire. [Exod. 19:15.]”
1 Corinthians 7:5 AMP
As in anything else, priorities in a marriage need to be reevaluated from time to time. For us, we’re glad that we are free to communicate with each other. We want to encourage you to build the same freedom in your marriage. Because whether it’s writing a blog, or getting things right in the bedroom, it sure is nice to be back in the saddle again.
As women it’s hard to not look at yourself and wonder “what’s wrong with me” when you go awhile longer than normal between sex. The truth is, before we go beating ourselves up we need to look at the circumstances around us and see the big picture. When you are in a change especially a big one like a move or any type of schedule change, there really is an adjusting time. You were in a good “routine” before and now it’s all changed. Allow time to get back into some sort of “routine” before melting down and feeling like he isn’t turned on by you any more. During these times however, you need to do what you can to “connect” somehow throughout the day. Take a little longer of a kiss goodbye or hello, make sure to call or text a little more throughout the day just to let them know you are still thinking about them. It’s so easy to get caught up in the craziness of life and all the changes that come with it at times and we don’t want to let that special connection we have with our spouse get lost in the shuffle somewhere.
Always remember it’s a season. Seasons don’t last forever and this “season” in your marriage won’t either. ~ Jenn
I can’t speak for all guys, but I tend to be very goal driven. I also tend to let my ADD get the best of me and chase rabbit trails. From time to time a perfect storm of rabbit trails and projects come together and take over my life. It’s not unheard of
for me to get up in the morning, eat breakfast and then start a major project until midnight without stopping (except for more coffee). In times like those even though I might be thinking about sex while doing other things, sometimes sex just loses it’s rank on my priority list. Thankfully Jenn has learned to live with a high energy, rabbit trail chasing, easily distracted guy and help to bring me back down to earth. My male ego wouldn’t take too kindly to being told that I’m not meeting her sexual needs, and we have learned over the years how to gently remind each other that it’s time once again to refocus our energy.
Communication once again is the way to get things back on track. Being honest and open with each other about our sexual needs all the time, and especially during major changes to our normal routine is key to having real intimacy. Remember to always speak to your partner in love, no matter how you might want to just vent your frustration. Good communication can’t happen when one person is on the attack or on the defensive. ~ Jake
***Ok, so you’ve talked it out but aren’t sure where to go from here. If you haven’t been getting busy as often as you used to, sometimes spicing things up a little can get you back on track. Here are a few ideas that are sure to get you exited to get back in the saddle!
Fantasies : Are You thinking What I’m Thinking (with a fun couples questionnaire)
Last Stop, Sex Shop
Dating Is For Married Couples
Date Night Hook Up
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