It’s no shock at all that if someone isn’t happy with you they’re probably not going to want to have sex with you, but what do you do when your otherwise happy spouse says they’re ‘Not in the mood’ over and over? What’s going on?
Most likely – STRESS.
Stress, when not properly managed, is one of the top killers of romantic relationships. And one of the biggest ways that this shows up is in your sex life. This is especially true for women. Whenever you’re stressed out about something, your body produces anti-libido hormones (officially known as cortisol) which prevents your body from getting anywhere close to ‘in the mood’. Your body is focused on resolving the stress, not building the chemicals necessary to make lovely love. Given how stressed out most people are, this does NOT look good for having a healthy, vibrant, and regularly active sex life.
But wait! There’s hope!
Men like to try and “do” things to fix the wife’s situation, to make it better. Of course they do this so that you they can get back to enjoying the love making, but they also do it because for most men it’s an expression of genuine non-sex-based love to help their woman feel good. Because of the connection you share, when she’s stressed, he’s stressed. And when she relaxes, he’s able to relax.
Women are hardwired to avoid sex while stressed. Men are hardwired to react to a woman’s stress.
To be clear: Stress affects men’s bodies too, but men often use sex as a way to relax and relieve stress. It’s totally natural for them because it’s one of the fastest ways to dump a large amount of feel-good hormones (oxytocin and serotonin) into their bloodstream, which helps their brains to solve whatever challenge created the stress to begin with. It’s been proven over and over that people who are relaxed have a greater capacity for creative, solution-oriented ideas.
To solve this dichotomy, a couple needs to learn how to work together in order to efficiently get back to the stressless space we all want to be in. When she’s stressed, he’ll want to help. If he can’t help, he’ll become even more stressed out, which compounds the problem. But if she can direct his energy in her stressed out moments by giving him something – anything – to do, he will be more able to help relieve her stress.
This could be anything, like taking care of other things on her to do list; creating a space of peace and quiet so she can work on the challenge alone if necessary; even just being present with her in the same room can help sometimes, even if you aren’t interacting. Even if he can’t physically do anything about her stress directly, just knowing that he’s a willing part of the solution will help her relax, which helps them both. Who wouldn’t appreciate the support of a loving spouse in a difficult moment? And the more she relaxes, the more her body is able to produce the right mix of hormones to be interested in sex again.
Whatever he’s doing to help, it is vital that SHE directs his actions in these moments. If he decides on his own to do some of her other tasks it can create more stress for her, not less, unless he is a master at doing it her way without asking (most people aren’t by the way). When she’s able to ask him for something, and he responds affirmatively, it takes one more thing off of her mind, allowing her to relax and be present with her challenge.
Remember: You are on the same team, working towards the same goal – greater intimacy, fun, romance. Learn to work together to meet that goal, and you’ll soon enjoy ALL the benefits, especially more wonderful sex.
Guys: What are some of the top things you can do to help you woman relax and feel less stress?
Ladies: What are the top ways you like your man to help you de-stress? Foot rub, help with something specific, sit and listen… ?
Share your idea in the comments below