This Is Why Couples Fight More If They Stop Having Sex, According to Relationship Experts
You’re not alone!
nd3000/ShutterstockWhen it comes to sex, it almost goes without saying that no two relationships are exactly the same. Some partners can’t keep their hands off each other, while others get intimate only on the rare occasion. Plenty of partners even have different sexual appetites. There’s no wrong answer!
No matter the case, a sudden drop-off in bedroom action can take a toll on even the strongest relationships. As a lack of sex leads to resentment and anger, those rising tensions could eventually blow up into a big old fight. What gives?
A dry spell doesn’t just change your relationship; there are ways not having sex changes your health, too. Your brain releases fewer “feel-good” chemicals (such as dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins) when you stop having sex. So in short, all of that pent-up anger might have something to do with your hormones.
But that’s not all. Research has also shown a link between satisfaction with our sex lives and how we view our relationship’s stability, according to Amanda Gesselman, a social psychologist and research scientist at The Kinsey Institute. In other words, we might be quick to jump to negative conclusions if our partner says no to sex.
“A person may interpret this decline as a signal that their partner no longer finds them attractive, no longer enjoys sex with them, or no longer wants to be with them, even if none of these are true,” Gesselman told VICE.
Feeling rejected can spark insecurity, annoyance, and yes, anger; hence, the constant bickering. And once one partner loses their temper, that tension can turn the other partner off—and it’s all a downward spiral from there. (Here’s why men say no to sex, and what you can do about it.)
The solution? Talk it out. Although it may not be easy to express your feelings of rejection at first, understanding and processing those emotions with your partner allows the both of you to be more honest about your desires and fantasies. That, in turn, means fewer arguments.
Now that you’ve aired out your dirty laundry, it’s time to get down and dirty—in the bedroom, that is. Feel free to experiment, too! “A lot of couples tend to default to intercourse,” Vanessa Marin, a Los Angeles-based therapist, told VICE. “You have to create a bigger menu. There’s a lot of different ways to have sex, but we lose our creativity and think that we’ve got to do the same old, same old.”
Need some inspiration to get you started? Steal these habits of couples with steamy sex lives.