Some things just don’t get done every day in our crazy lives. Our top priorities are our jobs, kids, parents, and other obligations. If we’re lucky, we try to make time for the gym and all the other little errands that come up.
Often, very important things get pushed off the list, especially our relationship and sex.
Relationships require maintenance.
If the two people in the relationship aren’t spending time together enjoying each other’s company, then is it still a relationship? For a while it will be, but at some point, it just becomes two people living together, disconnected, with separate lives and interests. We’ve all see that happen. Maybe for some people that’s okay. But I believe that your life with your partner is the greatest relationship either of you will and should ever have, and you should make it a priority. And you know what to do. It can be anything from just taking walks together to a weekend away. But you need to take the time you need to keep connected and with enough time to appreciate your spouse.
And sex… sex is not just a checkbox. It’s a time for a couple to connect, explore, relax and recharge. Is that kind of sex getting pushed off your list of priorities as a couple? If so, you’re not alone. But how does your spouse feel about it? And how do you feel about it? You need to make sex a priority.
“It’s not a priority to me.”
Recently I saw the topic of sexless marriages being discussed on an online discussion board, and one gentleman, clearly distraught, bemoaned, “I come fourth on her list of priorities. Fourth! The fucking dogs come before me!”
I had to laugh, but I totally understood what he was saying.
I’m not sure what #1 and #2 were, but I’d guess that they are the kids and her job. I know, because I sometimes feel that way about where my wife’s priorities are. And if we had dogs, I suspect I’d often be #4 as well.
And I’ve struggled over time with this.
Sex is such a priority to me. And to be brutally honest, sex is the reason I do much of what I do. I work my ass off to provide a good home and lifestyle for our family… so that my wife will have sex with me.
When she doesn’t see it as a priority, well… to say my feelings are hurt can sometimes be an understatement.
But rationally, I understand she’s exhausted, stressed, often doesn’t feel well, and doesn’t prioritize sex as high as I do. The stresses she’s under are exhausting: her job, being a mom of three kids, helping her aging parents, and then all the household chores that pile up quickly (sometimes literally), from laundry to an uncluttered living room. Then she also volunteers at church and school, and does a hell of a lot beyond that.
I understand her stress. Hell, I even want her to do all those things.
But. I want her to save something for me.
Especially when I do a lot for her, to try to make her life easier, from nightly foot and shoulder rubs to all the household crap I do to all the stuff I do for the kids and our family.
And have I mentioned that my job is a high-stress, high-responsibility killer of a job? I bust my ass to leave there on time at night to be a good husband and father.
Then, she’s too tired for sex more than once every week or two… and then only wants to do the bare minimum when we do get time together.
Yeah, that really sucks.
Then there are Health Issues, too
In my case, my wife also has health issues. All women get screwed when it comes to their cycles and their periods, especially if it comes with migraines and cysts and a long list of other stuff guys don’t need to deal with. But in our case, my gal is the lucky winner of some additional endocrine issues, which leave her exhausted and feeling crappy all the time.
And, as time has gone on, her libido has tanked. Which isn’t her fault. I want her to feel well, because I love her. But I also want her to be interested in having sex with me. So, getting her health issues addressed is a high priority for me.
If you or your spouse is having health issues that are impacting your relationship, you have a responsibility to yourself and your spouse to get them addressed.
And I can attest that such issues can be tricky. As I’ve gotten deeper into the workings of the endocrine system, I’ve found it is terribly complicated, and frequently such issues are often poorly diagnosed and even more poorly treated.
So, if health issues are impacting your life and sex life, learn all you can about them. Be an informed patient. Connect with patient communities, and look for the good doctors who are going to treat you, not “a patient.” You aren’t a number or an average, and life is too short to not feel well if you can avoid it.
Is sex a priority?
As for relationships without enough sex… what can you do?
Well, first, you both need to discuss where sex falls in your relationship.
For my wife, sex fell further and further down the priority list. She wasn’t didn’t feeling sexy or much desire, and was glad when I didn’t ask for it. I didn’t ask for it, despite wanting it desperately, because I knew that she was exhausted, didn’t feel good, and wasn’t interested anyway.
But it finally got to the point that I had to talk to her about it, and she was surprised how strongly I felt, and how deprived and disconnected I was feeling. We agreed to make it more of a priority, and she also agreed to try to work on being enthusiastic, not just there taking one for the team.
We also agreed at that time for me to get more involved in looking into her health issues.
So, as is always the case, we had to talk.
If you’re having similar issues, you need to talk, too.
We decided together what was important. The next post in this series talks about prioritizing things in your relationship.
Read the next post in the Keeping the Spark Alive Series: Decide What’s Important. And that includes talking about Sex.