One of the most complex and intricate parts of newlywed life is figuring out what sex and sexual intimacy will look like in your married life. Even couples who were sexually active prior to marriage often find this area affected post-wedding, and it can be difficult to talk about. It’s important to know that sexual issues are completely normally for newlywed couples and the more you’re able to acknowledge and address them, the faster you’ll be able to work through them with your new spouse! Here are a few common issues many couples face.
1. Real Life Schedules Get in the Way
Particularly after a honeymoon when you may have had all the time in the world to focus on your sexual relationship with your partner, getting back into the grind of day-to-day life can have a major effect on your marital sex life. The post-wedding high has calmed itself down and your schedules are starting to fill up, which can sometimes put sex at the very bottom of the priority list. Many couples find that their schedules don’t match up as well as they’d hoped and it’s even just logistically difficult to find the time for intimacy. If this is the case, it’s totally fine to literally put sex on your calendar. Planning ahead of time may seem boring or not spontaneous enough, but for many couples it actually adds a layer of anticipation and fun to their otherwise packed schedules.
2. Your Expectations Aren’t Reality
It’s relatively easy to allow unrealistic expectations to take over and spoil the realities of your sex life. If you or your husband or wife had expectations of mind-blowing sex seven nights a week, but what’s really happening are lots of early bedtimes and the occasional adventure between the sheets, your frustration with that dichotomy might start to manifest itself within your relationship in negative ways. It’s so important to not allow unrealistic expectations to sour your marriage or your sex life.
3. You’re Not on the Same Page
There are so many different factors to having a great sex life and it can be extremely tricky if you and your spouse aren’t on the same page about things. Maybe you like morning sex but your partner prefers to connect in the evening, or maybe you’d like to have sex daily but your partner would prefer just a few times a week. And even more than preferences, there’s also just the physiological aspect of libido to consider—maybe you just have very different sex drives. None of these things are insurmountable by any means, but they do require consistent check-ins with your spouse to make sure you’re making decisions and coming up with solutions that satisfy both of you.
4. You Have Physical or Emotional Difficulties
Particularly if you and your partner have never had sex before the wedding, you may realize one or both of you have physical difficulties around intercourse (although this can absolutely also be a factor in couples who were previously sexually active). Both women and men can experience physical issues that can make sex difficult or even painful and seemingly impossible to overcome. This is nothing to be embarrassed about or ashamed of, and is very common. If you or your partner experience physical difficulties having sex, reach out to your doctor for help.
Emotional difficulties like past trauma, abuse, or anxiety conditions can also severely affect the sex life of many couples. If you or your spouse is struggling with emotional conditions that are making an impact on your ability to have a healthy sexual intimacy, speak to a counselor or doctor to get some support. This is an extremely common issue for many people and it can be overcome with honest, open communication with your partner and your healthcare provider, so don’t hesitate to reach out and get that help.
5. Lack of Communication
This problem is the one that links all of the others together: lack of communication. Being completely forthright and honest with your spouse is going to make the biggest impact on your sex life. All of the other issues are affected by this one. If you’re struggling with your busy schedule and finding the time to fit sex in, but don’t talk to your partner about it, no solution can be made. If you need something different from your partner physically (such as more foreplay or a specific type of sexual activity) but never discuss it openly, they are not likely to change their behavior. If you’re struggling with a physical or emotional issue and would like to seek further help with it, let your spouse know so they can be a part of facilitating that. And if you’d like to adjust the frequency, timing, or activities you’re engaging in, the best way to do that is to communicate that desire to your partner. Your spouse is not a mind reader and it’s not fair to expect them to be! Lack of communication is the most common sex problem that all couples, not just newlyweds, experience in their marriages—but it is also one of the simplest to fix. Talk to your partner about your needs and wants and watch yourselves work together to start to change your sex life for the better.