In the course of marriage, we get busy with life and be preoccupied with many stuff that divert our attention away from things that matter at home. We further our studies, run businesses, climb the corporate ladder, and take more social responsibilities at church, local school, community sports clubs and so on. Add children to the mix, and with them added fatigue, body image issues and more physiological chemical changes not conducive to sexy time, then most of us feel like a total desire dud.
Truth is at some point in the course of life many couples do experience phases of pressure, both at home and outside. The length as well as the severity of that season can cause a strain in the relationship, sometimes causing it to buckle. Physical intimacy usually becomes one of the first casualties under these circumstances.
Sometimes the loss of interest in sex isn’t even about whether you love your spouse or not. It’s may simply be that you have different sets of priorities. Or even that you have starkly opposing libidos, which drive both of you against the wall.
A marital sex problem is like a canary in a coal mine, a warning that danger lies ahead. Absence of physical intimacy in marriage can be so devastating, and such a source of anxiety and frustration. It may even trigger the spouse’s insecurities, and in the long run, have damaging effects on your self-confidence.
If life is getting in the way of cultivating your physical intimacy, then scheduling it might just be the key. You may have a rough start, and not in a 50 Shades of Grey sort of way. But because you may have to re-learn how to turn towards each other afresh, since you may already have been used to living like a brother and sister.
Not making time to cultivate physical intimacy even during stressful seasons of your relationship has untold consequences, even more so if this becomes a way of life. Many couples, usually one partner, ultimately lose interest in one another and could even pursue that interest outside the relationship.
Often the idea of scheduling sex, whenever we suggest it as a solution to couples, is met by resistance. The argument is generally always as follows:
Scheduled sex isn’t romantic
There is this idea that scheduled sex isn’t sex. Basically, it’s missing something. But whether you know about it or not, you schedule sex implicitly throughout the year. Birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day and date nights generally come with an expectation of sex. If you are unromantic anyway, don’t blame it on scheduled sex. You don’t just show up to bed and say “okay, I’m here…let’s check this to do off.” Find ways to connect first. The anticipation and delay might enhance sex once you get to it.
Scheduled sex isn’t spontaneous
There’s nothing as close to a myth as spontaneous sex. Wives are meant to be swept off their feet without notice, taken to the bedroom and ravished. We don’t know about you, but with four kids, that doesn’t work always. Actually spontaneous sex happens extremely rarely in a long-term relationship like marriage. It’s unsustainable. If you waited for spontaneous sex, you’d be back in the sexless marriage club. It’s very rare that you’d both want to engage in sex simultaneously. Often sex happens because at least one partner has “scheduled” it anyway, without talking about it with the other in advance.
Scheduled sex feels like duty sex
There are two things to remember about scheduling sex. Firstly, the schedule should represent a minimum, not a maximum. If your spouse starts initiating on an unscheduled day, it’s wrong to reject them purely on the basis that it is not a scheduled day. This is not a quota. This is a declaration of a priority in your marriage. Secondly, the schedule should not be thought of as cast in stone. Things are going to happen. You’ll get sick, throw your back out, a child won’t sleep, you’ll have to work late, there will be a function that ends later than expected, life is going to happen. Don’t get bent out of shape about it. Tomorrow is still another day.
People add all kinds of unnecessary and senseless stigma to scheduled sex. Scheduled sex doesn’t mean your sex life is dead necessarily, it simply means you value that part of your relationship enough to prioritize it. In life generally, you schedule what’s important.
It’s also meant to communicate commitment to your marriage and how important your spouse is in your life. Being deliberate is an important part of being committed. You don’t arrange a date night out of “feeling like it”. You do so with a sense of intent and deliberateness to cultivate your relationship.
Furthermore, scheduled sex makes it easier to get ready. Knowing sex is on the schedule for tonight gives you a chance to get your partner’s mind prepared throughout the day. That way your partner doesn’t have to at the last minute be like, “Oh….you want sex….let me see if I can get out of the house chore mode”. That in fact, is what’s unromantic. You could physically prepare, girl-boy parts pruned, lingerie on, and you could set the stage with candle-lit bubble bath, romantic dinner, music, and aromatherapy.
Sex, we’ve come to learn, isn’t about an added perk of pairing up. It’s one of the things that keep us paired up. Love, trust, maturity and commitment are all hallmarks of a good marriage. But without sex, that’s just friendship.