Post-divorce dating is a mine field. There are too many things to consider. How much are you supposed to say about your divorce? When should you mention the kids? Will anyone even want to go out with you anymore?
There’s no way to escape the circus but here are seven tips to help you get through post-divorce dating in 2017. Whether you’re thinking about dating again after decades off the scene, or you’ve been playing the field for the last few months, this advice will help you get the year off to a great start.
Honesty Is the Best Policy in Post-Divorce Dating
It’s really important that you’re honest with your dates. You have to be truthful about the fact that you’re divorced, you have to be honest about having kids and commitments to your family, and you have to be upfront about what you want from her. You probably don’t want a full-on relationship and that’s fine but you’ve got to tell her. If you’re looking for someone to hang out with and maybe fulfil those primal urges, be honest about it. You’ll be surprised by her reaction!
Don’t Spill Your Guts
Being honest will open doors for you. Oversharing will get them slammed in your face. By all means explain your situation to your date but she doesn’t need to know every last detail. You shouldn’t be telling her about the argument you had with your ex last night or how your marriage ended. Your date doesn’t want to hear about other women when you’re with her, especially not your ex. If this woman has just met you, she also doesn’t care about your son’s report card or your daughter’s recital. She’s trying to get to know you, not them. That comes later and only if you want it to.
Confidence and Arrogance are Very Different Things
A woman likes a confident man. That’s no secret. What she doesn’t like is an arrogant man. You should be telling her about your skills and achievements but don’t brag. There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance and it can be difficult to find when you’re already nervous. If you’re the kind of guy who talks when he’s uncomfortable, beware. You need to make sure that you’re not boring her to death. Telling a funny story about work or describing your most recent half marathon is great but keep it to one story. Don’t bulldoze her with hour after hour of “I’m the most amazing man on the planet.” If nothing else, she knows BS when she hears it so steer clear.
Ask Her Questions (And Listen to the Answers)
The best way to keep yourself from appearing arrogant is to be interested in her. If you’re a nervous dater, have a couple of questions ready to ask her. It doesn’t matter if you ask every woman the same three questions, they’re not going to compare notes. Tell your story then ask a her a couple of questions. The trick is, you have to listen to her answers. Don’t start preparing your next question while she’s answering the first one. This is a date, not a job interview. You’ll quickly figure out if she’s worth spending the rest of the evening with. If the conversation is stilted after half an hour, it’s probably time to cut your losses and get the heck out of there.
Be Willing to Try New Things
Long-term relationships are comfortable. You and your ex knew each other well by the end and you probably had a routine. Maybe you kept going to the same two or three restaurants or you only every watched a certain type of movie. Whatever it was, you fell into a rut. When you start dating again, you’ve got to be willing to try new things. Your date might tell you that she wants to do something particular and you’ve got to be open to trying it. Ice skating isn’t exactly the manliest activity but if she wants to try it, what have you got to lose? If you like this girl, you can plan the next date and if you don’t, you’ve learned a new skill (or bruised your ass and your ego). Either way, no permanent damage.
Proceed with Caution
When you’ve been divorced for a while and you’ve had a few too many nights in an empty bed, it’s really tempting to dive back into dating. If you’ve set up your Tinder account and you’re ready to get out, have at it. You’re a grown man and you’re allowed to do whatever you want, but just think about it for a second. The women you date may get attached to you, even if they say they won’t. Are you prepared to handle that? If you’re not eager to deal with breaking it off with a woman who wants more from the arrangement than you do, maybe you shouldn’t be too quick to jump in the sack with her. It might be just sex to you but she may take it as more than that. Also, remember that safe sex is great sex. If you’re jumping back into the dating pool, it’s worth making sure your test results are all clear.
Yeah, Women Want You
Ultimately, successful post-divorce dating is about being yourself. Whoever that might be. After years of not dating, you worry that nobody will like you. Who wants to date a divorced guy anyway? More women than you think. Somebody liked you enough to marry you which means that there will be more women out there who like you enough to hang out with you. If you’re into gaming, be honest about that. If you’re a sports freak, talk about it. Women like authenticity and they can easily tell when you’re not being real with them. Just be yourself, it’s the fastest way to get a girl.
Bonus Advice: Deal With Your Family
Once you get back out there, you’ve got to tell your family what you’re up to. Your kids don’t need to know you’re on Tinder every night but they do need to know that you’ve started going out with women. There’s always a chance they might see you on a date or pick up your phone when one of your new lady friends texts you. You don’t want them to be caught off guard or, worse, tell their mother that you’ve got a new girlfriend.
Nobody has the right to say you can’t date, but they do get to be upset about it. There’s a good chance that your ex and your kids won’t be happy to see you getting back on the horse. That’s fine. They’re entitled to their opinions. Your responsibility is to keep the kids away from your dates until you know it’s something more than a fling.
One last thing…
Be yourself and you will find compatible women. You may not think that a woman will like you as is, but she’ll like you a lot more if she knows you’re being honest. Don’t pretend to be the guy you think women want, cut to the chase and be the guy you are.
What’s your post-divorce dating plan for the New Year? Tell us your tips in the comments below.
Parenting concerns? Check out What’s Holding You Back from Single Dad Dating: Telling Her You Have Kids. Don’t look back! 5 Reasons NEVER to Be Friends with Your Ex.
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Sex after divorce can be a magical combination of exhilarating, forbidding, awkward and satisfying all in ways you never imagined. A stark contrast from a deteriorating married life where it may have been months, years even, since sex was enjoyable or even present. For many newly divorced men, the thought of sex after divorce is met with optimism and apprehension. Keeping the 5 P’s of sex after marriage in mind can make the difference between a kiss goodnight and a kiss good morning.
Patience – Take it Easy on Yourself
The time leading up to sex after divorce may leave you feeling like a bumbling teenager complete with misread signals, clumsy kisses and the occasional awkward moment. If you find yourself plagued with deflating bouts of self-doubt remember this: you no longer have to ask dad to borrow the car and are now a legitimate member of Dollar Shave Club. Which is to say, all is not lost.
Have patience with yourself, mentally. Meet yourself where you stand. You may have mentally left your marriage long before it was over and are ready to put yourself back on the market. Awesome. Hop to it, the dating world is your oyster. On the other hand, if the divorce was not your idea and you’re still licking your wounds, be easy on yourself. Timing matters and when the weight that keeps you from running full speed into the next phase of your life has lifted, you’ll know it. Meanwhile, be easy.
Have patience with yourself, emotionally. Sex after divorce can be intensely liberating, and you may experience a release that goes well beyond the physical. Buried resentments may rise to the surface. Your ex’s voice and things she used to say. Old fears. New fears. You may wonder why on earth you waited so long, remained unhappy for as long as you did, or never had the guts to try that new position. Looking at your present sex life through the eyes of your past is like taking your ex to bed with you, the effects can be deflating. Recognize it, and understand that this too shall pass.
Have patience with yourself, physically. Sex after divorce if full of firsts you may not have considered. You spent years married to someone you knew inside and out. The new woman in your bed is unchartered territory. Her wants, likes, touch, all of this and more are yours to discover. Every woman will respond differently. Give yourself time to figure out what works, for both of you.
Play – Exploring Your New World
Think of sex after divorce as a clean slate. If you want to try something new, now’s the time. It’s a whole new world, so have fun and live a little! Figure out what your style is and understand what makes you happy. Or what would, if presented with a willing partner.
Understand that for a woman, sex begins long before you reach the bedroom. Paying attention to what she wants and making an effort to deliver will elevate the experience for both of you. LIke a variation on the old but wise children’s song, stop, look and listen, before you cross the sheets.
Concerned that you’ll never figure out what she wants? Take the 5 Love Languages Quiz and get a better understand of how you like to be treated. In doing so, you’ll be better suited to understand how and what makes her respond positively. Simple yet profound and the positive impact will leave aftershocks in the bedroom.
If you both respond well to physical touch, couples massages may be the way to go. If her love language is acts of service, run her a bubble bath. If yours turns out to be quality time, tell her. Not only will she be impressed that you’ve taken the quiz, she’ll make an effort on your behalf. Ask, and ye shall receive.
Passion – The Sex Life You Always Wanted
Now is the time to have the sex life you’ve always wanted. Understand everything you have working for you to that end. You’re not the same person you were when you first got married. You’re older. More experienced. Aware. You had a taste of what you didn’t want and it doesn’t have to be that way anymore. Sex after divorce can be whatever you want it to be.
Somewhere out there is woman who finds you attractive, who wants you to take her to bed and rock her world.
You can ask for things like an adult, and find a willing partner who is able to tell you what she wants. But wait! There’s more! Somewhere out there is woman who finds you attractive, who wants you to take her to bed and rock her world. She may even teach you a thing or two you didn’t know was possible.
Protection – Adult Sex After Divorce
Ever read the story about the guy that played the slots once and won a million dollars? Or the other guy that took one closed-eye shot from the half-court line and made it? Or any other titillating stories of people who had a million-to-one shot and hit it big?
Yeah, don’t be that guy.
It truly only takes a single contact to incur consequences that could last you a lifetime. And the odds are much lower than winning the lottery. Pregnancy. Sexually transmitted diseases. Some are curable. Many are not. Some are obvious. Many are not. Educate and protect yourself. Get checked. Establish a baseline and stay informed. Suit up. For life. For more on symptoms, testing and resources in your area, contact the American Sexual Health Association and learn more.
The awesome part of being single again is just that, you’re single. And an adult. You can decide to be a responsible adult who is having sex. Remember that she is too. Stay protected and stay honest.
Positivity- Enjoying the Ride
Sex after divorce can feel like a playground or a minefield. Or a playground on a minefield. Stay positive and stay the course. Rejected? Happens to best of ‘em. Hang a Michael Jordan poster in your office and keep it moving. Unable to cross the finish line? Not every athlete finishes every race. Keep training. Incompatible? It happens. Some dance partners are more thrilling than others. Some understand your rhythm and like the same music. Keep learning.
Sex after divorce brings with it a new set of challenges and opportunities. There is an exhilaration in feeling attracted to someone new. That feeling is intensified when the attraction is mutual. Yet the thought of getting into bed with someone new can be daunting. But let’s be frank, a single positive experience of fresh sex will eclipse your concerns, leave you feeling like a brand new man. If the going gets rough remember, so is growing a beard. Welcome to sex after divorce. Enjoy!
Ready to Roll? Here’s more Dating Tips for the Newly Single Man, then check out Why You Need to Get Tested for STDs Before You Start Dating.
Got any advice for the next guy?
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You and the bride are ready for the big day. You’re locked in for the dress, the tuxes, and the food. You’ve booked a great place for the party afterwards. You’ve already figured out how to pay for the wedding and honeymoon, but what about protecting your financial future with a prenuptial agreement?
Prenups Aren’t Sexy
Yes, I know. Prenups are not romantic.
For most of us, getting a prenup ranks right up there with getting a root canal. It’s painful, expensive, and makes you think about things you would rather not deal with.
Telling your soon-to-be-spouse that you want a prenup seems like the ultimate lack of trust. It makes you feel like your upcoming marriage is little more than a business transaction.
What’s more, unless you are a member of the uber-wealthy elite, you may think that getting a prenup is a waste of time and money … not to mention the ultimate way to kill “that loving feeling,” that you are so enjoying right now.
I hate to be the one to break it to you (lawyers are rarely the bearers of good news!) but, if that’s what you are thinking, you’re wrong!
Figuring Out When a Prenuptial Agreement is Needed
Prenuptial agreements are not just for the super rich. They are for anyone who wants or needs to protect the financial future for themselves or their children.
You should have a prenuptial agreement if you are:
• Anyone with children from a prior relationship.
• Anyone whose fiancé has significantly less income or assets than they do.
• Anyone whose fiancé has significantly more debt than they do.
• Entrepreneurs, or anyone who owns a business (either alone or with others).
• Professional athletes and celebrities.
• Inventors, writers, actors, or anyone who creates things that may potentially pay them royalties in the future.
• Anyone who has assets or stands to inherit assets that they might not be able to keep separate (like a home that they live in as a married couple, or a business interest).
A formal agreement may not be needed if you are:
• A young couple with no kids, no money, and no businesses.
• A couple where both soon-to-be-spouses have substantially similar assets, income, debts and expenses (and no kids).
• A couple where both potential spouses have less than $100,000 in assets to protect.
• Anyone who doesn’t care what happens to their money if they die or get divorced.
• Anyone who is not willing to be honest about their financial situation.
Make Sure Your Agreement Will Stand Up in Court
So, you’ve decided to bite the bullet and get a prenup. Now what?
The first thing you need to do is: Get a lawyer.
Yes. I know. You would rather do it yourself. Or, you think that you can just pay a few bucks, download a sample prenuptial form, fill it in, and call it a day.
Before you do that, ask yourself one question: If your tooth was causing you excruciating pain, and you had access to a dental drill and some temporary pain killers, would you do a root canal on it yourself?
I don’t think so.
If you did, chances are that, once the anesthetic wore off, you would either have destroyed your tooth, or it would be missing entirely.
Don’t step over dollars to pick up dimes. In other words, the attorney fees you pay today can save you thousands of dollars later.
While drafting a prenuptial agreement might not seem that difficult to you, a good premarital agreement (i.e. one that actually holds up in court) must meet legal standards.
If your prenup doesn’t meet the requirements of the law in your state, you might as well not bother getting one in the first place.
Your prenup will be worthless.
Six Ways To Protect Your Financial Future
Prenups can cover a multitude of different areas. They can be as simple or as complex as you like.
What you will want and need in your prenup depends upon your particular situation.
Here is a list of the six things you might want to include in your prenup to protect your finances:
1. Full Disclosure of Both of Your Assets and Liabilities
I once had a prospective client who was shocked to discover that the only way a prenuptial agreement would be valid was if both he and his fiancé honestly and completely disclosed all of their assets and liabilities to each other. I guess he was expecting his bride to sign away all of her rights to everything he had, even though she had no idea about what it was! Needless to say, that didn’t fly. No matter where you live, if you are not willing to come clean about your finances you might as well forget about getting a prenup.
2. The Names of Both of Your Attorneys
A court is not likely to enforce an agreement if you and your fiancé didn’t know your rights before you signed them away. To make your prenup enforceable, you and your fiancé should both get legal advice from your own, individual attorneys. (In some states getting this advice is required. In others, it is just recommended.) Also, you can’t both use the same attorney. You each need independent counsel to advise you of your rights.
3. A Clear Explanation of What Happens to Assets and Liabilities if You Divorce
This is the reason most people get a prenup: to determine in advance who gets what assets in case you and your then-spouse divorce. Depending upon the laws in your state, you may be able to determine what pre-marital or non-marital assets each of you will receive if you divorce. You may also be able to state what will be deemed to be marital assets (or community property) and what will always remain your separate property.
4. A Clear Explanation of what Happens to Assets if You Die
Many people don’t realize that prenups can operate, not only in cases of divorce but, in death, too. That is one of the major reasons that those with children from a prior relationship need a prenuptial agreement. You and your spouse can determine in advance what assets will be “non-marital” and subject to disposition at death through a Will. (Just remember, that a prenup should work together with a Will. It is not a substitute for a Will and will not be enough, by itself, to dispose of assets should you or your spouse die.)
5. A Determination of Spousal Support/Alimony/Maintenance
You can use a prenup to decide in advance whether either spouse will be obligated to support the other if the couple divorced. You can also determine how much the support will be, how long it will last, and under what conditions it is triggered. For example, you could say that neither party can get support from the other if you have not been married at least five years.
6. A Determination of Who Pays the Attorney’s Fees if You Divorce
One of the most hotly contested issues in a divorce case can be the payment of the attorney’s fees. If you and your spouse agree, you can state in advance that you will each be responsible for paying your own fees if you divorce. You may also want to state that, if either party contests the prenup in court, and the judge holds that the prenup is valid, the contesting party will have to pay all of the attorney’s fees involved in taking this issue to court.
The Bottom Line
Planning a wedding is fun (at least for some people!). Planning a prenup … not so much. Yet, if you could spend just a fraction of the amount of time, money, and energy that you spend planning a wedding, on getting a prenup, you can save yourself a lot of grief and money if the marriage ends.
Karen Covy is a Divorce Adviser, Attorney, Mediator and Coach. You can find her at https://karencovy.com.
Do you have a prenuptial agreement, or wish you did? Leave your comments below.
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Alimony has its place in divorce, but far too often it is like a punishment for men. Alimony has traditionally been used as a way to get them to stay in a marriage they possibly did not want anymore.
Your divorce is final and it’s time to move on, but you can’t seem to stop re-hashing it all in your head. Just about anything can trigger a thought that takes your mind and body back to the terrible memories of your failed marriage and bitter divorce. If you’re still pissed off all the time, and dealing with sleepless nights, headaches, stress, and body pain, you may be suffering the effects of PTSD after divorce.
What Causes Symptoms of PTSD After Divorce
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is defined by the National Institute of Mental Health as “a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event.” The Anxiety and Depression Association of America explains that PTSD is a reaction to a traumatic event, including experiencing or witnessing natural disasters, combat, sudden death of a loved one, violent personal assault or other life-threatening events.
If your marriage was a disaster, and the divorce was a long, losing battle, you may have experienced your whole life spinning out of your control. The sustained emotional trauma was real, and has lasting effects.
Let’s be honest, most divorces are not easy. You enter into a bond with someone who you plan on building a life with. The fear of things falling apart never enters your mind. Then the unthinkable happens: one day the divorce papers are signed, and life as you know it is over. While that thought alone is traumatic, it is the in-between times that leave lasting scars.
The arguing and fighting takes its toll. The mistrust, the understanding your marriage is ending, or even worse; it all buries deep in your subconscious. Then when these thoughts and feelings are pulled back to the surface, those reactions bring back some extreme emotions. When this happens and you are powerless to stop it, this might be a form of PTSD.
Signs and Symptoms Common to PTSD
While reviewing the signs, remember this is not an all-inclusive list. You may see yourself in some or all of these. Maybe you don’t associate with any but there are different symptoms for you. In either case, the things you are feeling are real, and deserve attention.
Recurrent Distressing Memories
If you’ve become consumed by remembering past upsetting events from your marriage and divorce, and you find yourself getting upset over and over again, it may be a symptom of PTSD.
Can’t sleep? Do you stay up all hours of the night even with an early morning alarm looming? Does your mind race into the wee hours of the morning with thoughts of what you could have done differently? Insomnia is linked to suffering from trauma.
Sustained or Uncontrollable Anger
After my divorce, I was angry constantly. There was little happiness or joy in my life outside of my children. Everywhere I looked I saw reminders of the life I once had and was now gone and every day the anger grew. I finally reached out because if I didn’t, the fire inside me would have consumed me.
How often do you feel defeated and alone? Depression is real. Your pain is real. Feelings of defeat and isolation can lead to severe depression after a tough divorce. There is no shame in accepting depression as a by-product of divorce. Understanding this as another sign of PTSD will lead you to recovery.
Body Aches and Pains
Body aches and pains tend to appear right along with depression or PTSD. Your body reacts to stress in different ways. One is chronic pain that can last until your stress is dealt with.
These are just a few of the many signs of PTSD. Others include: panic attacks, hyperventilating, flashbacks, and issues having or starting future personal relationships.
What You Need to Know
Whether or not you have developed full-blown PTSD after divorce, if you are experiencing many of these signs, you deserve to use every resource you can find to move on to a happy and stable life.
Now that I can look back and recognize many of these symptoms, I can say with certainty that I suffered with symptoms of PTSD after divorce. After many years, I have come to a place in my life where none of these bother me anymore. However, if I would have recognized these symptoms much earlier, I could have saved myself and my children a lot of struggling. This is why you are here, and we are understanding PTSD together.
I am not a psychologist. I can show you from personal experiences of my life and I can point you in what I feel are right directions. But, to beat this, you have to be willing to step outside of your comfort zone and get a little tough. Are you up for it?
Solutions for PTSD
So what can I do Dwight? I don’t want this to control me but I feel powerless to stop it. My friend, there is good news and greater news. You can, with a lot of hard work, overcome symptoms of PTSD after divorce. There is a life out there for you that is free from debilitating trauma.
It won’t be easy. There is nothing wrong with getting help, even at a professional level, and I encourage it. At the end of the day, you know what works for you.
Acknowledge the Stress
A good starting point is acknowledgment. You have seen the symptoms in yourself, it’s now time to accept them for what they are. By understanding what has brought you to this point, you can begin the process of healing.
Research-based ideas published by Psychology Today emphasizes the need to take care of yourself after a rough breakup.
I want to start with what you can do for yourself, before we get into what someone else can do. Taking care of yourself should start now. Here are a few ideas to get you going:
- Get active – Exercise releases endorphins which are natural mood enhancers and help with pain.
- Eat better – Studies upon studies have been done on the benefits of eating healthier. Bottom line: it will help the body while you are focusing on the mind.
- Connect with yourself – Whatever your preference: meditation, yoga, tai chi, fishing, take some time to connect to yourself and listen to what you’re saying.
- Be prepared to move forward – There is no going around this, you must go through it. Learn, understand, and be open to lessons learned
- Take it easy – Resting, getting extra sleep, and taking time out to relax are all positive steps to help you
Professional Help and Support
Getting off your butt and getting professional help can be a daunting task. Asides from the fact that we men are taught not to let anyone help us when it comes to problems, depression makes it hard to make the effort to do anything. Do it anyway.
Never take professional help for granted.
Military veterans return from war suffering from PTSD every day. They live with the terror and troubles it brings. Many have sought help, sadly many more do not. Traumatic events in our lives need not control us nor keep us from living productive lives. It is time for a change.
Do this for yourself – You’re Worth It
Divorce is rated right up there among the most traumatic events a man can face. Is it any wonder we now understand the impact it can have and the havoc it can cause?
Take some time to evaluate what you have gone through since your divorce. If you are experiencing symptoms of PTSD after divorce, admit it. Then take active steps to conquer what is holding you back. You’re worth it.
Does this sound like you? Tell us how you’re dealing with symptoms similar to PTSD in the comments below.
You’re not the only guy struggling with life after divorce. That’s why Real Men Join Divorce Support Groups. Maybe you never saw it coming? Check out How To Keep it Together When Divorce Blindsides You.
Don’t keep it to yourself.
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Do you find yourself wondering what happened to the passion in your marriage? Do you feel like you and your wife have turned into roommates? If you answered a resounding, “Yes!” to any of those questions, you’re living in a sex-starved marriage and heading down a dangerous path that could end in divorce.
In fact, a UK law firm reported that sex was a factor in 43% of divorce cases and it was the number one reason couples decided to divorce. Sex issues in marriage are so common that 21,000 folks google sexless marriage every month and apparently there are 16 times more complaints about a spouse not wanting sex than about a married partner not wanting to communicate.
The good news is there are many couples out there who are going through what you are going through right now and many that have made it to the other side. The bad news is you’re going to have to work to return the passion into your marriage.
1) Bring It Out In the Open
Often, couples in a sex-starved marriage will talk about everything other than sex. It’s almost as if there is an unspoken rule that you can talk around the issue, but not about it directly. This is not helpful. For your situation to improve, you need to start bringing up sex (or the lack thereof) on a fairly regular basis.
There are certain times and places where you should start these conversations. Don’t ask to talk about it right after you’ve been shot down and don’t add it to your list of grievances when you’re fighting about something else. Don’t continuously ask about when you’re finally going to get to have sex.
The best way to make your wife aware that this is a serious problem is to sit down with her when you’re both calm, tell her there’s a problem that will take both of you to fix. Tell her you love her and desire her, and the lack of sex in your relationship is hurting your marriage. Be honest about your feelings and frustrations. Tell her that this is very important to you and that if things don’t change, you’re going to need to rethink your marriage.
You should go into this talk with the intention of coming up with a solution together. This is not an opportunity to lay into her about how cold, selfish, and inhibited she is. This is an opportunity to sit down together and come up with a plan of attack. For that to happen, you need to be prepared to hear her side of the story. Is she stressed from work? Is she bored of the same positions? Does she feel unattractive because she’s gained weight?
Listen to her answers, consider these problems a team-effort, and work together to fix them. If she’s stressed with work, see if you can lessen the amount of work she’s doing at home. If she’s bored, maybe you need to introduce something new into the bedroom like toys, sex in new places, and more foreplay. If she’s feeling unattractive, make a plan to go to the gym together and cook healthy meals. You get the idea.
After this talk, make sure you keep the lines of communication open. Try to bring up sex on a fairly regular basis in a respectful manner. Check in with her to see how she’s feeling about your sex life and if she thinks it’s improving. After you have sex, tell her how awesome it was and how great you feel. Communication is important to women and a practical place to start when you’re having problems in the bedroom.
2) Schedule Sex on a Regular Basis
Sometimes, the only reason sex starts to dwindle is because there isn’t enough time in the day. When you’re both working, taking care of the kids and pets, and trying to juggle all the responsibilities in between, sex can sometimes take a back seat to ‘real life.’ Unfortunately, this can pull a couple apart and hurt the rest of the marriage.
As a couple, you need to make your sex life a priority in your life. If you’re feeling deprived and lonely, you’re less likely to work together as a team. Sex is the glue that can keep your marriage together and a sex-starved marriage can pull the two of you apart.
The solution to this problem is fairly easy. You need to schedule sex and make it happen.
Sure, it doesn’t sound sexy. It’s not like when you first started dating and you couldn’t be in the same room without wanting to jump on each other….however, it does have its benefits.
First of all, it gives your wife the opportunity to get into the mood. If she knows that you’re going to get down and dirty tonight, she’ll be thinking about it all day. Maybe she’ll let her mind wander and start to get warmed up.
Secondly, it get you off the hook from having to directly initiate sex every time. If you often get turned down, you may feel apprehensive about initiating. In this situation, you both know what’s going to happen so you don’t need to worry about whether she’ll go for it or not.
Lastly, if you combine this with date night, you’ll be able to have some time to do something fun with your wife. You can go out for good food, have a glass (or three!) of wine, and then head home for a massage and some fun. It changes things up so that it adds some romance to your night and makes the sex feel less routine and more like when you first started dating. This is especially effective if your wife has been complaining of a lack of romance in your relationship.
So, sit down together and figure out what days work for both of you. Star those days on the calendar and stick to it. Hire that babysitter and make reservations for that nice restaurant. If you can’t afford to do that, make sure you put the kids down early those nights and turn off the TV. Break out the candles and massage oil and lock the door.
There are no excuses to skip sex days, and if something comes up then you must reschedule for another day that same week. If both of you can make that time commitment to each other, the passion should follow.
3) Marriage Counseling Can Help a Sex-Starved Marriage
So, you’ve tried everything. You’ve had “the talk” and it hasn’t gone anywhere. You’re still initiating and getting turned down. You’re resentful, she’s resentful, and it feels like you’ll never see your wife naked ever again. You love her but you feel like you’re drowning in your sex-starved marriage. You’ve started to consider having an affair because the only thing missing in your marriage is sex and you don’t want to break up JUST because of sex.
Now is the time to seek out marriage counseling, stat.
You need an outside perspective. You and your wife are too close to the situation to fix it at this point. All of the years have worn you both down and now you’re stuck in a broken dynamic. This is an emergency, so treat it as such. It’s not embarrassing to get outside help – it’s the logical, smart thing to do.
If your wife refuses to go to marriage counselling, you have two options. The first is to give her an ultimatum. Tell her that you’ll file for divorce if she won’t go to counselling and put the ball in her court. The second is to go to a counsellor without her. The counsellor will still be able to give you useful advice you can use on your marriage.
Make sure that you choose a marriage counsellor who is sex-positive. When you’re shopping around, you need to be asking, “How do you feel about sex in a marriage?” If the marriage counsellor doesn’t see the importance in sex or deflects the question, you need to move along and find a professional whose beliefs align with your own.
If you’ve chosen someone you trust and respect, you should begin to see things improve both in the relationship portion of your marriage and in your sex life. If things don’t seem to improve, then that’s something you ultimately need to take into account when considering the future of your marriage.
4) Get Out Of Your Rut
After you get married, the dynamic in your relationship changes. Suddenly, you’re spending more time together and you begin to take each other for granted. You lose interest in your hobbies, you eat more junk food and forget the gym membership, you stop seeing your friends as much. You both become more dependent on each other for happiness and security and, inevitably, the mystery leaves the marriage.
Unfortunately, comfort kills desire and desire is not a negotiable topic. You can’t have a conversation about desire and expect there to be any change.
In some marriages, the quantity of sex is still there but the quality is what’s suffering. Your wife may have sex with you but she’ll lie there motionless. Perhaps, she’ll refuse to change up any positions or she’ll give up on oral sex. Maybe she seems bored during sex or keeps her eyes closed the entire time.
How can you change this?
You need to change that dynamic and the best way to do that is to change yourself.
Instead of sitting in front of the PS4 after work, go to the gym. Take a night class about something you think is interesting. Take off a weeknight and go play cards with your friends. Take the kids out for a hike instead of sitting them down in front of the TV like you always do. Take control of your life and try to make yourself a better man. Learn to control your temper and let yourself laugh more. Enjoy your life outside of your marriage. Be the man she fell in love with initially.
This doesn’t mean you should ignore your wife or become selfish, but it does mean you must strengthen your boundaries. If you used to let her walk all over you, now you have to respectfully stand up for yourself. You must make yourself and your happiness a priority in your life. She’ll see (and feel) the changes you’re making, and it will increase her desire for you because you’ll be new and interesting again. At the very least, it will get her thinking about why you’re suddenly trying so hard.
5) When a Sex-Starved Marriage Leads to Divorce
You’ve tried everything and your sex life is still not where you want it to be. Many people will say that divorcing over sex is shallow and wrong and you should just stick it out.
At a certain point, you two are no longer compatible. It’s as simple as that. If you’re both suffering and you’re both unhappy, then perhaps this marriage isn’t working for you. There are many women out there in the world who want sex just as much as you do. It doesn’t always have to be a struggle. Intimacy is an intrinsic part of marriage and if you’re not getting the intimacy you need, then your sex-starved marriage becomes a business or best friend situation.
Only you know if divorce is on the table for you. If it is, you’re in the right place. Before you take the leap, go through the articles on this site to arm yourself with enough information to make it through the divorce as painlessly as possible. And don’t feel guilty for divorcing over sex – sexually incompatibility is just as important as differing opinions on money, kids, and careers.
Have you tried any of these tactics to improve your sex-starved marriage? Tell us about it in the comments below.
Considering looking for sex outside your marriage? Here’s what you need to know if you’re Tempted to Cheat on Your Spouse. It’s not always lack of sex. Beware of The Deadly Seven: Behaviors That Kill a Marriage.
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