Low libido can be a big barrier to intimacy in your marriage. Misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and resentment can grow, causing distance between you and your spouse. You might feel annoyed with your partner, or frustrated with yourself, wondering why you don't feel the way you did when you first married.
Here a few lifestyle changes you can make to help improve your sexual desire.
1. Get off birth control!
One of the most common side effects of hormonal contraceptives, in any form, is low libido. Ironic, isn't it? You take a pill so you can have sex whenever you want, except now you never want to! Look into learning natural family planning - once your body resumes it's natural cycling and normal hormone pattern, you may discover you don't have a libido problem at all. In fact, ditching the Pill may increase a husband's desire for his wife as well.
Taking a natural family class as a couple is a wonderful way to get on the same page regarding intimacy. It can help you feel like you are working together as a couple toward the same goals, and you are sharing in the responsibility of family planning. Learning about fertility can also help you both to appreciate your sexuality. This increased communication and camaradarie is great for your libido!
Stress and low energy levels can contribute to low sexual desire. Exercising regularly, even simply a brisk daily walk, can greatly improve your overall well being and contribute to a healthier libido. Getting your blood flowing and moving stiff muscles and joints can leave you feeling refreshed, energized, and more in the mood.
3. Take care of yourself
When you feel poorly about yourself, whether emotionally or physically, it's really hard to wrap your head around being intimate with your spouse. Getting adequate sleep and eating well can go a long way.
Taking care of yourself emotionally is just as important, if not more so. Sexual arousal really begins in our heads, so if you aren't doing well emotionally it's going to be hard to think about sex in a positive way. Obsessing over extra baby weight or a bad hair day can take over your thought process and ruin intimacy. Chances are your spouse doesn't even notice those things that bother you so much! Take a shower, shave your legs, put on some luxurious lotion, wear some cute underwear - do whatever makes you feel beautiful and confident.
4. Take care of your relationship
Ongoing relationship issues can greatly affect intimacy. It's hard to desire sex with your spouse if either or both of you are angry, critical, bitter, jealous, hurt, etc. Talk through issues rather than stuffing them down. If your marriage is struggling, don't be afraid to get help. Talk to a pastor, counselor, or a trusted older couple that can mentor you. Sexual intimacy is a physical expression of love and emotional intimacy. Your marriage is a treasure - investing in taking care of it is one of the most worthwhile things you can do.
Pursuing spiritual growth together is one way to nourish your relationship. If going to church or praying together has never been part of your relationship, it's not too late to start. Or maybe you've always been 'religious' but somehow faith doesn't really enter into your daily life. Read the Bible, find a good church, join a Bible study, listen to some podcasts of sermons together, and talk about what you are learning. You might be amazed at how this strengthens you as people and as a couple.
5. Have fun together
With the busyness of life, kids, careers, family, activities, and crazy schedules, you may feel like you are just getting by. But think back to when you were first getting to know each other. What kinds of things did you do for fun? What was your favorite date? What are some fun activities that you've always wanted to do together, but have been put on the back burner? When was the last time you just looked into each other's eyes? Remember that no matter how busy you were, you always found time to be together?
Spending quality time together just for the sake of spending time together can be wonderful for your emotional and physical intimacy. Laugh together. Flirt. Enjoy non-sexual touching such as holding hands and cuddling. Talk about your dreams for the future. Your spouse may not be the same as when you first married, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Growth and change is part of life. Keeping getting to know each other, every day, and you may just find yourself falling in love again, and again, and again.