Lack of Sexual Attraction in Marriage

by Shelli Proffitt Howells

    When physical attraction towards your spouse starts to fade, don't panic. Your marriage is not in trouble if you feel less passionate than you did when you first met, according to Susan Seliger in the WebMD article “Passionate Marriage.” It is inevitable that infatuation will fade, but that allows a real if perhaps less exciting love to settle in. You can still enjoy a passionate and satisfying sex life.

    Focus on the Positive

    Your husband may have grown around the middle, but he has probably grown in other, more positive ways as well. Perhaps he's a great dad, a thoughtful husband or a caring friend. You might admire his integrity, his tenacity or his ability to sacrifice for the people he loves. Also pay attention to the physical characteristics that you still find attractive. Focus on his gorgeous eyes, his sexy smile, his broad shoulders or his great pecs and biceps.

    Healthy Routines

    You can't stop the aging process, but there are things that can be done to help prolong health and vitality so you remain attractive to your spouse, says Vivian Diller, Ph.D., in the "Psychology Today" article “Maintaining Attraction in Long-Term Relationships.” Practice healthy routines, and encourage your husband to join you. Diller recommends avoiding smoke and excessive drink along with maintaining good sleeping and eating habits. Make a date to go to the gym together, or invite your husband to join you for a nightly walk after dinner. If you set the example by taking care of your own physical appearance, he might be inspired to make healthy changes.

    Communication

    Effective communication is important for sexual satisfaction, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health's report “Development and Validation of a Five-Factor Sexual Satisfaction and Distress Scale for Women: The Sexual Satisfaction Scale for Women (SSS-W)” by Cindy Meston, Ph.D., and Paul Trapnell, Ph.D. It not only facilitates feelings of closeness and intimacy but also allows you to discuss desires and preferences that can help you enjoy sex more. You can also gently let your husband know when something is bothering you about his appearance. Do it with kindness, but be genuine. For example, you can let him know that you love it when he is clean-shaven or when he tucks his shirt in.

    Add Novelty

    Participating in novel and arousing activities can keep your marriage from becoming boring, says Amie M. Gordon, M.A., in the "Psychology Today" article “An Antidote to Boredom In Your Relationship.” Such activities involve cooperation and provide shared experiences that can make you feel closer to each other. They make you feel happier in general, and that happiness is likely to extend to your relationship. In addition, these activities stir arousal, which people can misattribute to attraction to a spouse. This can reignite that initial spark. Try a new hobby, go for a hike or bike ride, or take up a new sport together.

    About the Author

    Based in Southern California, Shelli Proffitt Howells has written numerous articles about family life, marriage and parenting. She is a member of the American Night Writer's Association. She has a Bachelors of Science in zoology from Brigham Young University, which she has found surprisingly helpful while raising a large family.

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