Libido Saboteurs. Every married couple encounters them. Stress, lack of sleep, physical pain, relationship problems, poor body image, children, depression, medications, the list goes on and on. Today we want to continue our series on understanding our sex drives and how they affect our marriages. We have already looked briefly at “I’d rather…” moments and how sex drives can be different. And today we’d like to look at many additional factors that may cause a decrease in one’s sex drive. Some of these include:
1. Relationship Factors: Guilt, shame, resentment, anger, and unforgiveness. Each of these emotions has the ability to affect your libido. Not only do they affect your sex drive, but they wreak havoc in every other area of your marriage and personal life. There may be seasons where you’re unaware you’re harboring any of these emotions, yet within your marriage you feel unresolved tension. The difficulty with these emotions is figuring out exactly which emotion(s) are causing these negative symptoms. Figuring this out helps get to the root of of a potentially low libido.
2. Physical Factors: If sex causes pain, obviously, a person is less inclined to want it. If there are performance anxieties (erection disorders, premature ejaculation, lack of orgasm, no feelings of pleasure) a big stop sign comes out when sex is initiated. Other body pain (back, hip, neck, etc.) or illness may also hinder one’s sexual desires. While these factors may hinder one’s sex drive for a season, they should not completely hinder it. Medical treatments are available (if necessary) and can help you get to a fully satisfying sex life.
3. Circumstantial Factors: Depression, work schedule, and the kids’ little league practices. There are literally hundreds of circumstances that may hinder one’s sex drive. While not all circumstantial factors can be eliminated, many of them can. Figuring out how to eliminate (or at least limit) these factors can be a huge help if you’re looking to improve your sex drive.
4: Other Factors: Many of these are less concrete than those previously mentioned, but they still create obstacles to maintaining or achieving a satisfying sex life. Busyness, being to tired, not feeling creative, craziness that comes with having kids. Our response: too bad! These are valid experiences but they are not excuses to deprive yourself or your spouse from having sex.
Biblically, we are not to withhold sex from our spouse and we believe it is detrimental to withhold yourself from the benefits of sex. The intimacy and bond that is created through physically joining your bodies cannot be found in anything else. Please, do yourself and your spouse a favor… say no to good things for something even better. Bring energy and creativity to your bedroom. You already make time for the simplest of daily activities (showering, shaving, brushing teeth, etc.) Make time for sex.
While the above list is far from exhaustive, it’s meant to be an encouragement for you. Take the opportunity to really think through what libido saboteurs may be lurking in your current lifestyle. Once you identify them, openly discuss with your spouse what saboteurs they may struggle with. Having an open and honest discussion with your spouse is a crucial step to building a rewarding sex life…and it’s certainly a step worth taking.
What saboteurs do you believe are most common in marriages today? What practical advice do you have to limit (or even eliminate) them?
Note to women: Here is a wonderful post by Sheila Wray Gregoire about not being in the mood. Very informative and encouraging.