Mismatched Libidos? Are your libidos affecting your sex life? Dr. Read identifies and examines 9 reasons how your libidos may be mismatched. BY DR. TRINA READ
Are your libidos mismatched?
You really need to ask yourself: is it really a matter of you and your partner having different libidos or are "mismatched libidos" a convenient diagnosis to a deeper unresolved relationship issue?
According to Michele Weiner Davis’ book The Sex Starved Marriage, one in every three married couples struggles with problems associated with mismatched libidos.
Obviously this statistic piqued my interest enough to want to write about it. Yet, while doing my research a common thread became apparent: most of the time mismatched libidos have little or nothing to do with sex.
Here are a few examples:
Body issues. One person does not feel good about their body and avoids sex. Or, after gaining weight, their partner no longer finds them desirable.
Prolonged unresolved issues or arguments. There is nothing that can throw a big wet blanket over a sizzling sex-drive faster than bottled up anger.
Power struggles that result in passive-aggressive tendencies. This is a big one. Money and sex can bring out raw feelings of lack of control that translate to unspoken power struggles. When one person feels they do not have any control or power they show their power in other ways.
For example, I know a lady that the more she gives into her husband’s demand for sex, the more intentionally messy she will make and leave their house.
Or, the more one partner "bugs" the other to have sex, the more the other silently shuts down, digs in their heels and refuses—this is the classic, "Not tonight honey, I’ve got a headache" situation.
Or, one partner declares they will be "watching" for signs that the other initiates sex.
Big points of unrest and change, like a promotion, having a baby, or moving. It makes sense that when change comes and disrupts what was once an orderly routine, people struggle to make new habits around their sexual practices. Unfortunately, because the disruption in the bedroom usually is not discussed the couple is thrown into disconnecting habits.
Boring sex (a.k.a. being stuck in a rut and not willing to try new things). The repertoire of sexual tricks a person brings into a new relationship is usually pretty limited. Once that bag of tricks gets used up the sex is like eating the same meal for supper every night. For one (or both) partners the sex gets boring and lackluster.
The natural ebb and flow of life. In the wise words of John Grey’s Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, sometimes men and women go into caves or become rubber bands and just want some time alone. Over time, it gets tricky and often discouraging to align two people’s ebbs and flows.
That is why very few times in a long-term relationship solely relying on libido and spontaneous sex works.
Different priorities. Day-to-day stresses of life means the focus and priority is taken off our significant other and put on other things. Then, once every couple of weeks the pair feebly tries to reconnect with half-an-hour of rushed sex. After time, the sex becomes less and less appealing and the other priorities are more fulfilling.
Birth Control Pill. Too many women lose their libido from being on the pill. In fact, there is a new study being conducted to find out if long-term use of the pill negatively affects a women’s libido for the rest of her life. Scary stuff.
Health problems like depression, medical issues, or surgery. While going through something where the body is compromised and/ or medication must be taken, understandably sex is not even on that person’s radar.
I am positive this list is the tip of the iceberg. The point I am trying to make is every couple faces hard life issues and couples who did not get the manual on marriage flounder, feel helpless and naturally want to give their situation a diagnosis.
The libido diagnosis is easy and convenient. Proactively dealing with the hard life issues is difficult. So many couples take the easy road and put their focus on the bedroom dilemmas instead of the real, deeper issues. Yet, when a couple deals with the tough situations head on, they form a stronger bond, which will translate to more intimacy. More intimacy equals more sex. Libido is no longer the issue.
Perhaps, in your marriage, one partner really does have an uber high libido or absolutely zilch. Chances are though a mismatched libido is no more than a disparity in your relationship that needs to be worked through.
Dr. Trina Read has a doctorate in human sexuality. Dr. Read is also an international speaker and offers a free sex audio tip weekly on her website www.trinaread.com/t-sextips.