Recovering desire in your marriage

Dr. Coleman's recommendations:

PRIORITIZE TIME TOGETHER: You can't feel close unless you have regular date nights. You need to be able to connect. As unsexy as it may seem, it's sometimes better to schedule in time for sex, especially when your kids are young, than to leave it up to chance.

FOREPLAY: Many men want to skip this step but it's crucial for most women to become aroused.

ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT: It's important to be able to tell your partner what you want more of, and less of. In addition, both men and women believe that men should know what to do without being asked or told. This is a problem because many men get their ideas about what is exciting to women from pornography. This is a poor source of information because it's geared to a man's fantasy life, not to what is exciting to women.

SOLVE THE BIG CONFLICTS IN YOUR MARRIAGE: While many men can be sexual even if they're mad at their spouses, most women can't. Therefore, if you want to improve your sex life, work on your marriage.


YOUR BELIEFS ABOUT SEX MAY BE GETTING IN YOUR WAY: Feelings of guilt, shame, or inadequacy can greatly interfere with a good sex.

WATCH YOUR STRESS AND EXHAUSTION LEVEL: Desire and sex take energy. It's harder to get aroused if you're tired.


REDUCE YOUR ONGOING FEELINGS OF WORRY OR OVER-RESPONSIBILITY TOWARD YOUR PARTNER: It's hard to get excited about somebody you're worrying over. This is especially important for women since they're bigger worriers.

FREUD SAID: "We're never so vulnerable to suffering as when we love." Many people lose desire when they become close because they're trying to defend themselves against how vulnerable they feel.

For most of Western civilization, low sexual desire has been a goal rather than a problem.

  • Kellogg's Corn Flakes and Graham Crackers were originally marketed as a cure for carnal strivings and masturbation
  • Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians: "It is better to marry than to be aflame with passion."
  • The highest form of love among the aristocracy in Europe during the 12th and 13th centuries was adultery, not marriage.
  • And according to the Countess of Champagne, it was impossible for true love to blossom in marriage.

WATCH YOUR DRUG AND ALCOHOL INTAKE: Too much can inhibit both desire and performance

MEDICAL PROBLEMS: Coronary heart disease and high blood pressure can cause problems with vaginal lubrication, and decreased blood flow to the pelvis and genitals. Disorders of the adrenals, pituitary, and hypothalamus can also negatively impact sexual function.

Buy the book on Amazon: The Marriage Makeover

About Dr. Joshua Coleman:
Dr.Coleman is a frequent guest on the Today Show, NPR, The BBC, and San Francisco's View from the Bay. He has also appeared on ABC 20/20, Good Morning America, America Online Coaches and numerous news programs for FOX, ABC, CNN, and NBC television. He is a psychologist in private practice with offices in San Francisco and Oakland, California and is a Senior Fellow with the Council on Contemporary Families. He has served on the clinical faculties of The University of California at San Francisco, The Wright Institute Graduate School of Psychology, and the San Francisco Psychotherapy Research Group. His advice has been featured in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Psychology Today, The San Francisco Chronicle, Parenting Magazine, Cosmopolitan Magazine, and many others. He is also a contributing editor for Twins Magazine. Dr. Coleman is the author of four books and his books have been translated into Chinese, Croatian, and Korean, and are also available in the U.S., U.K., and throughout Europe.

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