Therapists define a sexless marriage as one in which intercourse happens less than 10 times per year. Here are some ways to nudge that number upward.
Step 1: Talk to your partner Talk to your partner about why you're rarely intimate anymore. Long-standing anger and resentments can bring interest in sex to a screeching halt. Be honest about your feelings, and listen nonjudgmentally to theirs. Then see if you can come up with solutions.
TIP: Try having sex when you're not in the mood. Sex therapists say that once people get started, the passion often follows.
Step 2: Get checkups Get checkups, especially if you're getting older and you haven't had physicals in a while; medical conditions can cause sexual problems or a loss of interest, as can depression and some medications.
Step 3: Clear the bedroom Clear the bedroom of distractions – particularly electronics – to make it more conducive to lovemaking.
Step 4: Improve your self-esteem If a poor body image is the reason you're avoiding sex, take steps to feel better about yourself. Begin by asking your partner what they like about your body. Chances are it's a lot more than you think!
Step 5: Get away from the kids If all your time, energy, and focus have switched from your spouse to your kids, get things back in balance. Family therapists say the best thing you can do for your children is to keep your marriage strong.
TIP: If exhaustion is the problem, take steps to free up some leisure time and get more sleep.
Step 6: Get counseling Consider getting couples counseling with a therapist who specializes in sexual issues. They may be able to pinpoint a problem that you didn't even know existed.
FACT: Approximately 40 million Americans live in sexless marriages.