Sex has started to feel like work to me. My husband and I have been married for almost eighteen years. We have very high stress jobs, no kids, but lots of obligations and responsibilities. I no longer initiate sex, and when my husband does, I don't feel like having it. Some times I feel like its just another chore on my list of tasks to get done. My husband has admitted that at times, he also feels like trying to have sex with me is like work.
That does not make us happy. We love each other, but miss our sex life.
What to do?
Overworked and Undersexed in Maryland
We are sorry to hear that you and your husband are feeling like sex is work.
Since we don't know everything that is going on, we're going to assume you are both happy and content to be in your relationship.
To bring the zest back into the bedroom, its seems that both of you need to learn how to release the stress and learn to relax. It also sounds like you've lost touch with yourselves and with each other.
We suggest the following.
1. Increase touching each other. A loving hug, and warm hand on the arm, eye contact, and cuddling are great ways to begin getting back in touch with each other. Hold off on sex, but give each other massages to help release the stress from the day. Be each others stress reliever!
2. Exercise. Either exercise together, or each of you find an exercise program that both of you can commit to doing 3 times a week. Calendar the exercise just like you do your work meetings. Make it a commitment to yourself, your marriage and your well being. Exercise is a great stress reliever, as well as a way for the two of you to spend time together that doesn't put the stress of having to have sex (or not have sex) on both of you. Just be in each other's company.
3. Date Night. Just like the suggestion for exercise, begin scheduling date night, or dating type activities in your calendar. Whether you're going to the movies, to a play, out to dinner or for a morning hike, schedule time together and do something fun! Refrain from talking about anything that has to do with work, or any stressful subjects. Talk about the things that really move you deep inside, and the good you want to be and see in the world.
4. Mindfulness. You can check out our blog on Mindfulness by clicking here. In short, begin practicing being present, anywhere that you are. Give it your full attention. Are you on the phone with your friend? Stop multi-tasking and speak with your friend. Are you with your husband out on a date? Then BE with your husband. Practicing being present will also help relieve the stress of things that haven't happened or are beyond your control. That cliche statement holds a lot of weight but it's sound advice: BE HERE NOW.
5. Don't force Sex. If you begin making the above suggestions commitments in your calendar, and getting back in touch with yourself and your husband, sex will come naturally. It will no longer feel like work. If you're both hesitant about initiating sex then just give each other a wonderful warm massage. See what happens!