Intimacy is Vitally Important to Your Relationship

Dear Karen,

I hate to say this – I feel really embarrassed about it – but I have gotten to a place where I wouldn’t care if my husband and I never had s*e*x again (Note to reader: I have masked words that would set off spam filters so this newsletter can get to you).  I never feel like it, although I do “give in” when I know he needs it.  How can I get out of this mess?  I love my husband, and I know it really bothers him. — Definitely Anonymous

Dear Def,

Thanks for having the courage to write in with this question.  Women tend to feel shame or embarrassment about this issue.  It’s more prevalent than you’d imagine…you are definitely not alone.

His Most Important Emotional Need

According to Dr. Willard F. Harley, Jr., multi-decade marriage counselor and author of “His Needs Her Needs – Building an Affair-Proof Marriage”, there are basically 10 emotional needs that men and women have.

Although men and women share the list, the order of importance is reversed; women’s most important emotional need is affection (expressions of love), and men’s most important emotional need is s-e-x-u-a-l fulfillment.

I don’t say this to make you more upset, or to have you feel more pressure about this, but rather for you to have more perspective and motivation, because you (more deeply) understand how important s*e*x is for your husband.

And I don’t mean the “get your jollies and be done with it” kind; s-e-x-u-a-l fulfillment for a man means that you, as his woman, are responsive to him s-e-x-u-a-l-l-y.  You’re enjoying it.  You want him.

It gets tricky when your desire for s*e*x is low (or non-existent), and your husband wants to be s*e*x*u*a*l with you.  You know in your heart you don’t want to deny him that part of your relationship (and this is an important point here: he married you trusting he would get his needs met for physical intimacy by you, for the rest of his life).

So how do you get to a place where you can meet him, even part way?

Getting Your Connection Back

It is possible to get back into gear s-e-x-u-a-l-l-y, even if you’ve had that aspect of you dormant for a while (even a long while).

You have to want to as the first step, however, which for some women feels like a daunting task.  There are ways you can increase your “want to”, so that the journey back to intimacy with your man is smoother.  Here are a few key steps to take:

1) Clean up any resentments that are lingering.

If you’re sitting on anything that is interfering with an intimate connection with your husband, take care of it.  Whether you need to forgive it, forget it, or talk it out with him to come to a resolution, do it.  Resentment is a massive killer of intimacy.  Deal with it so that it’s not the wedge being driven between you and your man.

2) Take care of how you’re feeling about your body.

Oftentimes, women’s lack of s-e-x-u-a-l desire is rooted in not feeling s*e*x*y and attractive.  For women dealing with menopausal issues, there is the added layer of hormonal changes that impact s*e*x drive, but that can be worked on through medications and supplements – check with your doctor.

If you’re not dealing with hormonal issues, then it may be that you need to firm up your body through exercise, or you need to nourish it with better foods that will help you lose the weight you don’t feel good about, or it may be that you need to care enough about yourself that you take more care in the way you look (hair, clothes, makeup – whatever you do that makes you feel good about you).

And it’s not about that you “should” weigh a certain amount, or wear makeup…it’s all about what *you* need to do for your own feelings of scrumptiousness.  In a perfect world, you’d feel like a goddess and in your glorious body, regardless of your weight, age, fitness/firmness, etc.

3) Spend quality time with each other.

If you aren’t regularly going out on dates, or somehow spending time in a way that reminds both of you that you’re lo*vers, it is very easy to have the “to do” list (and we know how long that damned thing is!) run your romantic connection into the ground.

What are the things you used to do when you were first together that you both loved and that kept the love juices flowing? Can you resurrect some of those things?  How about inventing new ones?  It’s worth the effort.

4) Schedule intimacy.

In so many marriages these days, the responsibilities of life are absolutely overwhelming: kids, bills, household chores, job duties that need to be continued at home, extended families needing attention, etc.  When you add “physical intimacy” to the list, it just feels like one more task – maybe the straw that’ll break the camel’s back.

The best way to handle that is to be proactive.  Don’t you notice that when you prepare for something – when you anticipate it and get ready for it – you’re very present to whatever that thing is?

The same holds true about being intimate with your husband.  It may not fit the romantic picture that connecting that way should happen in a spontaneous rush of love (or lust).

The reality is that if you don’t plan this part of your relationship, it’s likely to get put on the back burner.  This is a very bad idea.  And you know what?  It’s not just a bad idea because he needs it from you – it’s a bad idea because you’re a woman and when you’re being s-e-x-u-a-l with your man, it brings out a great part of you.  It works for you on all kinds of levels: your vibrancy comes out, you get to feel sexy and desirable, your mood improves, and you’ll have more energy to tackle the long “to do” list.

5) Get a little help.

Have you heard of “Bibliotherapy”?  It’s the use of erotica to get the brain (and body) warmed up and in the mood for intimacy.  I recently met a fabulous woman who is providing a wonderful service for women who just don’t seem to be in the mood like they used to be.  I encourage you to check out her website:  It’s very tasteful and respectful, and I think you’ll love it.

Sex in a marriage is critically important, and worth doing whatever you have to so that you are thriving in that area.  You will both benefit profoundly, on so many levels.  You’ll be so glad you found a way to reconnect with your guy this way.