Sexual attraction is triggered by scent, looks, hormones, and emotional excitement when you’re with that special person. Lasting love is based on shared experience, common values, sex, and friendship. When your hormones stop coursing and you find you don’t like your spouse, you probably need a divorce. However, if you’ve lost sexual interest because you’re too busy with work or children, your spouse isn’t interesting anymore, or you are angry at him or her, you can fix the problem with thoughtfulness. What happened to your marriage? Has your spouse changed, or did you? There are several reasons for loss of attraction.
- He or She Aged. Everyone loses hair as they grow older and our skin loses its smooth texture as we shed collagen and gain wrinkles. We aren’t as strong, flexible, or athletic by middle age. Aging and weight gain are the most common complaints among couples who have lost sexual interest in their partner. Rather than get a divorce, a better solution is to make a clear positive request to your spouse to lose some weight and take care of their appearance. Frame the request in terms of better health and sex rather than criticizing him or her.
- No Time for Sex. A healthy marriage needs three things: successful day to day living, friendship, and sex. If you focus most of your time and energy on your job, housekeeping, or the children, it’s time to change priorities. Do nice things for your spouse, say kind things to him or her, listen, and be a friend. Make time for sex and play. Turn off your phone, send the kiddies to grandma for the night, go out on a date, read a sex book, talk to a sex therapist, and initiate sex at least once a week.
- Your Spouse Has Poor Sexual Technique. Often men and women find their spouse doesn’t know how to arouse them so they get discouraged by clumsy sexual foreplay, low energy level, or lack of sexual technique. This is not necessarily your spouse’s fault. You should share what turns you on. Take some responsibility for the problem and show your partner what works for you sexually. Don’t criticize your spouse for not knowing what you want. Give him or her constructive suggestions, rent a romantic movie, write down and act out a sexual fantasy, and give your partner the benefit of the doubt as he or she learns to do new things.
- You’re Attracted to Someone Else. It’s difficult to compete with a fantasy lover. They are available when you need them, they’re unselfish, and a sexual affair is exciting precisely because it’s forbidden. However, there’s a big difference between being momentarily attracted to someone and inviting them out for regular lunches and a quick sexual tryst. Fantasy is fun and best kept that way–as fantasy. Real people are a mixture of good and bad traits. We all get sick, wake up grouchy, and forget an anniversary or birthday. Making a marriage successful is a lot of work and if you aren’t willing to put in the time and effort, you won’t enjoy the relationship.
- You’re Dissatisfied with Your Spouse. There are lots of things that can cause sexual dissatisfaction, including weight gain, aging, dirty hair, body odors, or an irritating personal habit. It may seem cruel to raise these concerns with your partner, but if you don’t, your dissatisfaction will grow and you will lose all interest in your spouse. Better to have that talk while being kind and positive. Don’t dump all the problems on your spouse at once. Pick one or two items that bother you and ask him or her to fix them.
Sexual attraction is based on scent, looks, excitement, and sexual hormones. Long-term love is supported by shared experiences, kindness, and the ups and downs of life. We may lose sexual interest in our spouse because he or she gets wrinkles and adds pounds with age. We can lose track of what’s important in a marriage and spend all our time at work or raising children. If you want a marriage to succeed, you need to work at it. Let your spouse know how to sexually arouse you. Don’t make them guess. Dissatisfaction because of bad habits or body odors can be irritating, but easy to fix. Gently tell them about the problem and ask them to change.