Romantic relationships are incredibly complex; that’s why they require a lot of effort for partners. An important component is sex, especially for married couples.

However, when two people have been together for a long time and the relationship has already spawned a lot of responsibilities (such as taking care of the children, bills, work, etc), the insatiable passion that used to make this type of physical intimacy enjoyable can diminish greatly.

The growth of responsibilities within (and changes in dynamics of) the relationship, and a few other factors, are known to cause sexual problems for couples. Listed below are five of them.

  1. Lack of enthusiasm – Typically, it’s the women who demonstrate this because they’re often so tired with motherhood duties or their hormones go haywire during that time of the month. To work this out, communication is very important. Men can enquire about it and express how they feel about the lack of bedroom action. If women are committed to the relationship, they will realise that something is also required of them to keep the relationship strong and healthy.
  2. Negative body image – This typically stops any form of sexual advancement in its tracks and body dysmorphia can be an extreme version of a poor body image. Usually, words of encouragement (remind them about what you love about them, tell them they’re beautiful and sexy) for the self-conscious partner are enough, but if they aren’t, embarking on a health and fitness journey together may just do the trick. Take note of their progress, too, and they’ll feel more confident about themselves.
  3. Unequal enthusiasm – This causes tension right away because the ideal situation is for both partners to be excited. When one shows that he/she is not that into it, the other gets hurt or offended. Relationship experts advise hyping yourself up for the moment and just going with it. A little “faking it” doesn’t hurt – it’s actually a demonstration of consideration for the other. Having some alone time can help as well.
  4. Impotence – This is typically an issue for ageing men or men who are overly focused on performance issues. The inability to perform sexually can put a damper on the relationship. For men, healthy living (exercise, making the right food choices) and testosterone boosters can help.
  5. Boredom – This is common with long-term relationships. The same old routines do nothing to maintain the excitement within the relationship. There are all sorts of solutions for this: purchase a sexy magazine, for example, or a new “toy” – the introduction of something new can help reinvigorate dynamics in the bedroom. At times, even just a new look will do the trick in addressing boredom.

If your relationship is having sexual issues, search our directory for therapists and counsellors that specialise in sexual issues.