The Sex-Starved Relationship

So who is to say how much sex is the right amount of sex for couples in committed long-term relationships? There are many theories, but whatever the frequency and level of engagement it’s important they are on the same page and happy. 

Research is telling us that a significant amount couples are disappointment with their sex lives. Some focused on quantity some on quality and some just grateful for whatever is on offer with an ongoing hint of resentment.

Some want a richer and more passionate sexual connection but are afraid to bring up their true needs and desires through fear of not being loved or accepted.

Some are just not interested and see sex as just sex so not very important, totally unaware of the suffering their partner is feeling each time they are rejected. So for some, they will give up asking and start detaching.

Sadly so many couples are miles apart in terms of understanding each other’s sexual needs and this can create resistance and resentments that have a profound effect on the couple’s connection.

Sex is one of those challenging subjects for so many people. Some are open and happy to discuss in graphic detail (I know because I hear them) and some never talk about it all because it’s bad and dirty and for some a place of shame or embarrassment.

Most people would agree it’s important that everything in their relationship is discussed and agreed upon, but in the specific area of sexual connection, many couples don’t apply those same rules.

For many, the sexual connection is driven by one person usually the one with the lower sex drive.

Sexual starvation can create significant resentment on both sides as one person can feel unloved and lonely whilst the other feels pressured and simply disconnected to ever being “in-the-mood”.

One of the areas that surprised me most when I first started this work was the high number of men who didn’t want as much sex as their partner.

Some people are using sex or withholding sex as a power play to rebalance the relationship and gain control back.

What’s important to understand is if there is a sexual drive mismatch there needs to be a greater understanding on both sides that there is a difference.

There then needs to be a process so that both people are genuinely sexually happy because a sexual connection is a normal healthy part of keeping the couple connected for life, plus there are so many health benefits of a healthy sexual connection.

I remember seeing one lady who had withheld sex for years inevitably her husband felt unloved and sex-starved so he eventually became vulnerable to an emotional connection with another woman and that grew into a sexually physical one.

She had naturally withheld sex for years as means to protect herself from his lack of emotional connection. The problem is through her own pain she had created pain and suffering for him and it was a matter of time before something was going to break.

His wife was angry at his betrayal as you’d expect, but regardless of her moral high-ground, she had been part of the problem without knowing. It’s so important if a person’s needs are not met they will eventually find a way to meet their needs in a good or a bad way.

Both people did meet their own needs, but in this case, they did so destructively. She needed emotional protection which he didn’t provide so she protected herself from him through sexual withdrawal (he didn’t know what emotional connection meant or that she even needed it so he couldn’t provide it). He needed to feel loved and she was closed to him through her resentment so he eventually gave up and connected to someone new.

Loss of sexual connection is a danger signal. So if you don’t want to have sex with your partner, remember there is always someone that will. So if you have found your sex life has died then it’s so important to learn what’s happened and make getting it back on track a priority.

The next question is how? Becuase I’m absolutely not suggesting that emotionally disconnected people should just do it and that’s the fix because it’s isn’t!

What I help couples understand is how to build a natural bridge between men and women that enables couples to connect from a position of natural attraction thus allowing an increasing deeper, loving, safe, passionate connection.

The problem that couples face is that without a safe emotional connection the sexual connection is going to be challenging because without it attraction will feel impossible.

Every couple I meet is unaware of how to create this, she usually doesn’t know how to communicate what she needs and he is usually lost and resentful.

So they either have emotionally disconnected sexually or they simply don’t bother.

So for many of these people, their sexual connection can leave them feeling negative about their relationship instead of a deeper passion and love for their partner which is how it should be.

Your sexual connection is an excellent barometer of the quality of your relationship. Of course, everyone is different and what equals a good sex life is subjective.

BUT there is one critical factor and that is it has to work for both people.

One person cannot be sex-starved as it will breed resentment and the sexual connection must have a foundation of a strong emotional connection if you want to keep the attraction and passion alive for life.

About Stephen Hedger

International relationship expert Stephen Hedger's philosophy on relationship problems is this: Couples fail to understand their relationships because they are too focused on their problems and so they totally miss what created them. Stephen's approach is a refreshing and enlightening journey that helps couples uncover their truth. His strategies uncover the knowledge that all couples need to create a successful and lasting passionate connection. If you are in crisis and you need help, book an initial consultation today to get your life back on track.