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sex life in marriage

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My partner and I are guilty of playing the, “Whose fault is it that we haven’t had sex in a while?” blame game from time to time. I don’t want to have that argument. I know—from firsthand experience—that it never goes anywhere good. And yet, it’s almost like a train that can’t be stopped. I’ll just become so frustrated with the fact that we don’t do it as much as we used to, and rather than do something about it (like put on that g-string that he likes or just initiate sex), I’ll instead say, “We never have sex anymore.” And we all know how much that puts everyone in the mood…not. Unfortunately, I’ve probably said that on some nights when my partner had planned on initiating sex, but then my comment just killed the mood. If you fall into the trap of playing the “Why we don’t have sex” blame game, here are reasons to cut that out.


Nobody likes to feel blamed

Nobody likes to feel like they’re getting in trouble for something in the relationship. Even if you are right and your partner is to blame for the dwindling sex life (he always passes out too early or he’s been letting work stress him out so much it kills his libido) he won’t feel turned on while simultaneously feeling slapped on the wrist.


It makes sex a chore

The mere existence of this discussion takes sex from being a fun thing and turns it into a chore. Think about it: you’re talking about sex the same way you talk about doing the laundry or cleaning the dishes. “I did it last time—it’s your turn,” and “I’m busy too you know but it’s no excuse.”


It brings into question desire

Playing this blame game is also a form of suggesting that your partner simply doesn’t desire you anymore. If your entire goal in the conversation is to prove that your partner has been trying to get out of sex, then what you are saying is that he doesn’t desire you anymore. That’s a painful concept. Even if he tries to convince you with his words that he still desires you, that won’t satisfy you.


There is no winning

There is really no winning this game, is there? So, the point of the game is to prove that your partner doesn’t want to have sex with you anymore. You’re gathering evidence, trying to win your case that your partner does not feel like having sex with you anymore. If you do “win,” doesn’t that…just feel bad?


If sex happens, it feels forced

Even after all of this, if you both agree to just do it, right then and there, to stop fighting, it will be some of the weirdest sex you’ve ever had. You’re both wondering if the other is just doing it to get out of a fight. You’re wondering if the other feels forced into this.


Really—it’s not fun

I can promise you as someone who has had sex after the blame game, you will not have an orgasm. You’re both so in your heads. You’re just going through the motions to say you got one in.


Keeping score in general isn’t good

Keeping score of any type in a relationship isn’t healthy. Once you start keeping score, it means you have gotten into the mindset of, “How do I put the responsibility on my partner, and how do I get out of putting in the work?” That’s never helpful. Whether it’s about cleaning the apartment or initiating sex, you should come at it with the mindset of, “I want to be helpful and make things easy for my partner.”


Keeping this score is nearly impossible

Also, keeping score over who initiates sex the most or least, or who turns it down the most, is nearly impossible. You can claim that you touched his foot with your foot in bed last week and he pulled his foot away and that was you initiating and that was him rejecting you. But, that doesn’t hold much water.


Initiating feels like losing

You don’t want to have this argument because if you just initiate sex because it’s “your turn,” you have then equated the act of initiating sex with your partner (which should be fun) with losing. You’re almost doing it with your tail between your legs.


It just adds too much pressure

Once you start having these discussions, it puts even more pressure on your sex life. Sure, your sex life may have been dwindling a bit before. But the sex life of a long-term couple will naturally go through peaks and valleys. For all you know, a relaxing weekend around the corner would have resolved this on its own. But now that you’ve picked this fight, you’ve put a magnifying glass on your sex life.


You feel guilty just going to sleep

Now when you simply go to sleep at night, you feel guilty. You aren’t just going to sleep—you’re rejecting your partner sexually. Allegedly. You aren’t but, by picking that fight, you’ve added that element to the simple act of going to bed.


Desire is still there

Your partner probably still desires you. Does he still do sweet things for you? Show signs of affection throughout the day for no reason at all? Call you on his lunch break because he misses you? Then he probably still desires you. It’s just natural that a man’s libido dips a bit when he’s been in a committed relationship for a while. But if he desires anyone, it’s you.


Life just gets busy

Try not to get too down on your relationship if you aren’t doing it as much as you used to. Life is long. You’ll have times when you do it a lot, like when you’re both happy and relaxed, and times you don’t, like when someone is really stressed or has lost a job. It’s unrealistic to expect your sex life to be super active all of the time.


The argument kills spontaneity

Having any discussion around sex other than sexy conversation (like sexting and dirty emails) kills the spontaneity. Part of the fun of sex is that the desire for it can overtake both of you out of nowhere. But you ruin that possibility if you pick arguments about it.


It’s a hard rut to get out of

Once you start arguing about whose fault it is that you aren’t having sex, it’s a slippery slope. You’ll just start looking for evidence to gather so you can win the next argument about it. It’s a downward spiral. So just don’t do it. Next time you feel the need to say, “We never have sex anymore” just crawl on top of your partner and initiate sex instead.

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