With the emphasis on war and violence and a sagging economy, there is a strong tendency among many to worry rather than enjoy sexual pleasure and intimacy. Watching television news with war and a dysfunctional congress and Supreme Court puts people in a worrisome, negative mood.
Poor mood states make it very difficult to make love. I see far too many couples and individuals who constantly fret about their pocketbooks and the state of the world with climate problems and economic woes. These clients are having a hard time focusing on their relationship and on having fun.
Many cease to date, and they search for better jobs. Covid set in stone the problems of working from home where both partners are together all the time. This is a serious issue. Couples who are together almost all of their time tend to become roommates rather than lovers.
Many employers are demanding that workers come to the office some of the time. This may seem inconvenient, but it may end up improving their sex lives. There are child care issues too. When there are young children, someone needs to take care of them. Day care is not as great as kids who are cared for by a parent and/or the schools.
These problems are increased when there are more than two children. The tendency is for work, worry and a sense of “what can we do about it” to set in like concrete. There are steps that can and should be taken to provide some balance to an imbalanced life. If couples and individuals fail to spend quality time together, their relationships suffer.
There are choices we can make to enhance rather than detract from intimate relationships. Many of my clients believe there are no choices—that they must work and worry rather than play and enjoy each other. This is simply untrue! We can do good time management to spend more time doing fun things together.
To take a more positive and rational approach is to change the status quo of work and worry. Rather than being news junkies, we can make love. We can still stay informed without being obsessed with our troubled world. We do not need to lose sleep and fret. We need to exercise and eat well, and we need to carve out time for each other.
Through all of this we need to communicate clearly. We do not need to mindread, jump to conclusions and get into useless arguments. We can be smart and make love earlier rather than late when we are tired. We can focus on the marital relationship and not only on taking care of kids. We can hire a maid and be fair about chores at home.
Sex cannot fare well unless we rethink all of this. Sex is important to an intimate relationship. When marriages are sexless, they are only marriages legally. This makes no sense. These marriages are unhappy, and many of them end in divorce. Coordinating schedules and changing thoughts go a long way to solving the dilemma of worry, work, kids and sex. My couples counseling and sex therapy practice addresses all of these issues with homework and a plan.