Why aren’t you having more sex in your marriage?

“Because I don’t want to!” or “Because he has a low sex drive!”

Those are likely the two most common reasons. And when the question comes around about why sex isn’t more frequent, we usually focus on one of two things: libido issues or relationship issues. Maybe she never feels in the mood, and so she tends to say no. Maybe he’s the one with the low libido!

(Women, if you’re the ones suffering from low libido, you need to check out my Boost Your Libido course!)

Then, if we keep digging, the next reasons usually given for not having more sex in your marriage is that one of you isn’t feeling loved and you’re not connecting. When there are relationship problems, sex often falls by the wayside.

All of these things are true, and I feel like I’ve talked about all of them a TON on the blog!

But you know what? Sometimes the reason you’re not having more sex isn’t just about the relationship.

Sometimes it’s about life. And so, while I do think those other issues are the most important reasons you’re not having more sex, I’d like in this post to look at 10 out-of-the-box reasons that we may not always think of–but that definitely do impact our sex life!

Here we go:

1. You’re too tired

Women need to be able to concentrate in order to make love. To feel good, our brains have to be engaged. That’s virtually impossible if we’re super tired. Many women actually have quite healthy libidos, but then they get into seasons of life when they’re so busy and over-scheduled that sex stops, not because they want it to, but because they’re just too tired.

Other times the guy is just too bone tired to want to make love. For many guys, stress and exhaustion are pretty much the only thing that lower their sex drives. Other than that, they’re raring to go. But when stress takes over or they go for too long without enough sleep, sex falls by the wayside.

If you are both chronically exhausted, that’s not sustainable, and needs to be addressed. It’s not good for your health, your marriage, or your family. Sometimes it can be solved by taking sleep more seriously. Sometimes you need to reexamine your lifestyle and cut back–especially with kids’ activities. Sometimes you need to say no to church activities! And sometimes you may even need to take another look at your jobs. But running on empty for too long simply can’t be considered the status quo.

 2. You’re eating the kinds of food that cause stomach and digestive issues

If you’re always farting, chances are you aren’t going to be thinking much about sex–and your spouse may be running for the hills!

The kinds of foods we eat can make sex less likely. If you eat a ton of junk food, or eat a very heavy, fat-laden meal soon before bed, you could feel so sluggish that you’re not going to want to have sex.  On the other hand, if you eat a meal filled with beans, you may not want to, either! Watch what foods make your stomach react, and steer clear of them at dinner time!

 3. Your kids are sleeping in bed with you

I’ve written at length recently about how having toddlers in the bed can wreck your sex life, and your marriage. Sleeping with older kids is even worse, and can impact their emotional well-being, too. And it isn’t always moms who want to co-sleep, either. Some moms are having problems with dads sleeping with kids! I know some families swear by co-sleeping, but if there are kids in your bed, you will have sex less, because you’re making sex more challenging. And whenever something becomes more challenging, you do have less of it.

4. Your spouse ISN’T sleeping in bed with you–because you aren’t dealing with issues like snoring, sleep apnea, or insomnia

We’ve had issues with snoring in our marriage on and off for years, and that can take a toll on your sex life. It leads to one of you not sleeping well. It often leads to one needing to go to sleep before the other heads to bed, so that the non-snorer can sleep. And if it’s sleep apnea, then the person with apnea isn’t getting a good night’s sleep, either.

If you can’t sleep together, I still recommend going to bed at the same time, talking and snuggling, making love, and only THEN splitting up into separate rooms. But even better is to figure out the underlying cause. In many of these cases, losing weight can fix apnea or snoring. But talk to your doctor to see if there’s anything you can do in the meantime!

5. You can’t switch your brain off

Work stress or personal stress will mean less sex.

But sometimes just having a ton of things running through our minds about what we need to remember for tomorrow is a problem, too.

Did you take the meat out of the freezer? Remember to put the crockpot on before you run your errands tomorrow morning. You need to pick up a birthday card for Mom. You forgot to answer Jim’s email about the potluck this weekend–don’t forget.

And all of those “don’t forgets” add up. As someone who suffers from this, here’s what I suggest: Take 10 or 15 minutes earlier in the evening to think about your day tomorrow. Have a to-do app on your phone that you can quickly write items in. If they’re there, then you don’t have to worry about forgetting them–you actually let them out of your mind, because they’ll be in your app tomorrow.

Talk through tomorrow’s schedule with your husband sometime earlier in the evening, too, so you both know what’s going on. When you feel like you have a plan that’s written down, and nothing will take you by surprise, it’s easier to turn everything else in your head off so that you can concentrate on your body being turned on!

6. You’re on screens until far too late

One Reason Not Having More Sex: You're on screens too late

Blue screens affect our circadian rhythms and make it harder to get to sleep! As the National Sleep Foundation says,

The truth is, using electronic devices before bedtime can be physiologically and psychologically stimulating in ways that can adversely affect your sleep.

Here’s what happens: Using TVs, tablets, smartphones, laptops, or other electronic devices before bed delays your body’s internal clock (a.k.a., your circadian rhythm), suppresses the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, and makes it more difficult to fall asleep. This is largely due to the short-wavelength, artificial blue light that’s emitted by these devices.

So they recommend setting a digital curfew when you turn devices off an hour before you plan to sleep.

“But, wait!” you may say. “We’re talking sex, not sleep!”.

Ah, yes. But sex is also easier if you’re relaxed. If you’ve been reading work emails, or going on rabbit trails that are making your mind race a mile a minute, it’s going to be hard to settle that brain down and just focus on your spouse. Besides, sometimes we get going on our devices with our spouse lying there, ready to talk (or something else!), and we think, “just one more game”, or “just one more email”, or “I’ll just check Twitter one more time!” And pretty soon 15 minutes have passed and our spouse is asleep, and now it’s too late.

7. You’ve got a TV in your bedroom

Maybe it’s a particular screen that’s worse for you, though. If you have a TV in your bedroom, it’s easier to turn to shows than to each other, and you could drown out that chance you have to connect at the end of the day. And watching CSI or some show about sex crimes is hardly going to be conducive to sex!

8. You don’t go to bed together

My husband likes to say this: “There’s a room where you’re more likely to have sex. And there’s a time when you’re more likely to have sex. If you want to have more sex, it’s best if you’re both in that room at that time, together!”

I mean, this really isn’t rocket science. If one of you turns in at 10:15, and the other one stays up until 1, sex is going to be less frequent. If you want more sex, be in bed, awake, ready to go, at the same time. Because adults need bedtimes, too!

When your sex life is lacking we usually point to two reasons: libido issues or relationship issues. But sometimes it’s neither of those, sometimes it’s about life.

9. Your bedroom is stressful rather than relaxing

When you walk into your bedroom, do you sigh and think, “Now I can relax!”, or do you sigh and think, “I’ve got to move that unfolded laundry off of the bed again before we climb in”?

You don’t want to walk into your bedroom and feel a heap of guilt. You do want to be able to climb into bed and feel peaceful and comfortable. So spend spare money on fixing up your bedding rather than throw pillows in the living room. Your bedroom is actually the most important room of the house! And special tip: Don’t have large pictures of your in-laws over your bed or on a bookshelf looking down at you, either.

10. You’re not getting enough exercise or you’re not getting outside enough

Getting your heart rate up a bit during the day helps you get your libido up at night! When we don’t move enough during the day, and when we don’t get enough fresh air, it’s going to impact your libido. The more you exercise, stretch, and walk, the more energy you’ll feel at the end of the day to make love.

So there you go! 10 reasons why you may not be having enough sex in your marriage.

And now I want to turn to our marriage challenge. Every week I like to give you a super-quick challenge that you can do with your husband that can help you grow together. So here’s this week’s challenge:

Why Aren't You Having More Sex?

Read through this list and identify the 1-2 biggest roadblocks to having more sex in your marriage.

Then have your husband read it and ask him to identify the 1-2 biggest roadblocks.

Now discuss together, and choose which 2 you’ll concentrate on fixing this week!

Note: If you’re not having more sex because you have some big relationship issues, I’d recommend instead reading 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage this week.

Why Are You Not having More Sex Challenge

Now let me know in the comments: What was the biggest reason for you that you’re not having more sex in your marriage? Or is there a #11 that I’ve missed? Let’s talk!

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