4 Things That Could Be Causing Low Sex Drive in Your Marriage

A man and woman in their bedroom sitting apart in the middle of a argument.

You’ve planned the wedding. You’ve said “I do.” You’ve tossed the bouquet and enjoyed a romantic honeymoon. But now that you’re back at home things are feeling…well, less than romantic. Simply put, you and your spouse just aren’t getting freaky like you used to.

If this is happening to you, don’t panic. Sexual dry spells are totally normal for married couples, and they happen for all kinds of reasons. If you or your spouse (or both of you) are experiencing a low libido, all you have to do is talk with each other and figure out why. Here are a few reasons that might be behind that low sex drive.

Medication

Sometimes, a low libido has nothing to do with your marriage at all. For example, are you or your partner taking any new medication? Sometimes pharmaceuticals can have unwanted side effects—like a diminished sex drive. This can happen if you’re taking antidepressants, ACE inhibitors (aka, blood pressure medication), chemotherapy treatments, or even some heartburn medications.

If you or your spouse experience a lower sex drive after starting a new medicine, it might be worthwhile to give your doctor a call. They might be able to prescribe a different medication that won’t interfere with your romantic life.

Too Much Partying

A group of young adults eating outside and toasting with wine glasses.

After you get married, you may feel like every night is a celebration. After all, you’re spending night after night with the love of your life! However, if you spend too much time celebrating, you might find that your sex drive takes a major hit.

While a little alcohol can put you in the mood for romance, drinking too much can kill your sex drive (and your performance). Smoking can also dull your arousal, as it decreases blood flow throughout the body (and this goes for both cigarettes and marijuana; a 2009 study from The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that men who smoke weed daily have a more difficult time achieving orgasm). It’s totally fine to indulge a little, but keep an eye on your habits.

Stress

It’s no secret that we are living in some very stressful times right now. There’s a global pandemic, unemployment is rising around the world (and skyrocketing in the U.S.), and social distancing has everyone feeling a bit on edge. No one can blame you or your partner for feeling the mental strain, and that strain could be affecting your sex life.

Even if COVID-19 has had a minimal impact on your daily life, the stress of the unknown could be putting a lot of weight on your shoulders—not to mention all the other stressors most of us face daily (financial stress, work stress, kids, etc.). If you or your spouse are feeling the weight of the world, you might not be up for hopping into the sack.

Life (and Hormone) Changes

A woman sitting on a bed with a pregnancy test.

You know that old saying: “First comes love, then comes marriage…”? Well, if you or your partner aren’t feeling too frisky lately, it could be because you’re headed towards the next stanza of that rhyme. The major hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can impact a woman’s sex drive (although every woman is different).

Conversely, if your wife is going through menopause, she might also be experiencing a lack of interest in sex. These hormonal changes are only temporary, but they can impact your sex life for a little while.

What Should You Do?

If you or your spouse (or both) are experiencing a diminished sex drive, the best thing to do is talk with each other. Figure out the root cause of the issue and work together to resolve it. Maybe you need to try a different medication. Maybe you need counseling to learn how to cope with stress. Maybe you just need to wait it out.

Whatever you do, if you and your partner continue to love and support each other, your marriage will become stronger. And when that sex drive does rev up again, all the work and the waiting will have been worth it!

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