Things Men and Women Do That Kill The Mood for Sex in a Marriage

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Co-author: Lesli Doares, LMFT

You might think of physical intimacy between men and women as the ultimate cosmic joke. Men get physical as a way to open up and emotionally connect while women need to feel emotionally connected to get physical. I mean, who designed this system?

Given that married people report having more frequent and better sex than their single counterparts, it seems that at least some couples have learned how to successfully navigate the differences.

If you’re not one of those couples, you might want to consider if one of these common mistakes is the reason why.

Men:

1. Randomly grabbing her body parts - Treating her like just a butt or boob will not endear you to her. Neither does touching her only when you want sex. Real affection, with no strings attached, will increase intimacy when the time is right. And yes, women can tell the difference.

2. Making her feel guilty - It is a real turn off if you pout, get angry, or otherwise react poorly when your advances are turned down. I know it is hurtful, but your wife always has the right to say no. If it happens all the time, then it is a real problem that needs to be dealt with. If it is only occasionally, then making her feel bad will only make her resentful. Resentment ends up being a real turn off for you both.

3. Having poor hygiene - Women notice your bushy brows, nose and ear hairs. We do not expect you to look like George Clooney, but, we do expect you to notice and take care of your hygiene and grooming.

Showering, brushing your teeth, using mouthwash and trimming hair that grows in unnatural areas are all essential for keeping yourself attractive to your partner. 

4. Not acting like the man you are - Acting wimpy is not a turn on. Women enjoy men who are assertive, strong, protective and direct. (This is not synonymous with being controlling!) It may seem stereotypical, but women are attracted to masculine traits.

This is evolutionary and it's not about to change anytime soon.

Women:

1. Not making him a priority - Your guy wants to know that you want him; that he matters. When you put everything else before him – the dishes, the children, Pinterest – it hurts him and your marriage. Women may be great multi-taskers, but not when it comes to sex. If your head isn’t there, your body can’t possibly be. If being intimate with him is last on your list, he knows it.

2. Never initiating - Sex is a way of connecting on a deep level and should be a priority to both of you. When he is the one who always initiates, it creates an imbalance in the relationship. You may be like many women who don’t feel desire until they are physically aroused, but you can still be the one to get the ball rolling.

3. Talking too much (at the wrong time) - You are talking about anything and everything that is not sexy, dirty or hot when he is in the mood.  He does not want to hear how he forgot to change the light bulb today, how little Johny flunked a test or how much you hate his mom after he makes romantic overtures towards you. This is not the time for complaining or whining or chatting.

4. Not taking care of yourself - Just because you have been married more than a few years doesn't give you permission to stop shaving, trimming your nails or keeping it neat down below...especially down below!

Men are extremely visual. They do not want you to be lazy about grooming or letting yourself go. Letting your roots show, never wearing make-up, having a t-shirt and sweatpants “uniform” is not alluring.  It is great to feel comfortable with someone but know when you crossed into the "way too comfortable" zone.   

Remember that sexual desire often begins outside the bedroom. Sexually turning off your partner or making minimal efforts to turn your partner on is a step in the direction of a "sexless marriage." Don't let these turn-offs interfere with such a critical part of your relationship.

Purchase on Amazon:  Blueprint for a Lasting Marriage by Lesli Doares