Are You Spouses or Just Roommates?
You've drifted into a sexless marriage. Can this relationship be saved? Yes, experts say.
Vibrators and Pills
Tools and toys are important, too.
Men: Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis can be effective in men with erection
problems, but if you have certain medical conditions or are taking certain
medicines, you may not be able to use them.
Ladies: Don't fret if you're not feeling desire right away. Enjoy the
process of becoming aroused. A vibrator can help with that, she advises.
"After menopause, they may need a more intense vibration, at least
initially, if a woman hasn't been sexual in awhile. She may need a
If vaginal dryness and pain are issues, look into topical lubricants and
moisturizers, Foley adds.
Many vaginal products contain estrogen (which can come in cream, vaginal
ring, and vaginal tablet formulation), which helps with dryness, irritation,
and muscle tone in the area. If you cannot take estrogen, products like Replens
or K-Y Jelly can help with lubrication.
Try a Marriage Retreat
Keeping your marriage on track -- sexually and otherwise -- requires good
communications skills, Solee adds. A therapist can guide you toward improving
those skills, possibly recommending a marriage retreat.
"It's not our differences that pull us apart, it's how we handle
them," she tells WebMD. "You need to really listen to your partner in a
way he knows you love and respect him. Take a marriage cruise or retreat or a
wilderness workshop. Learn to disagree in ways that breed joy and
intimacy." Marriage education classes are also held in local community
centers, churches, and military bases, she adds.
Some workshops are intense group therapy for couples. "Some are
enrichment weekends -- you learn to massage each others' feet, or talk about
sensuality. It depends on how deep your rift is, whether a therapist would
recommend a lighter or deeper workshop," Schwartz says.
Group therapy lets you see the relationship more clearly. "Often, people
find it easier to give empathy to other people than to each other," she
explains. "But once empathy is in the room, it kind of fills the room. It
helps you give it to each other."
You learn from other couples in the room, Schwartz adds. "Some people
give voice to something you haven't been able to. It's different if it doesn't
come from an authority figure. It becomes a discussion among equals. Other
people can see things you may not see. If everybody looks at you and says, ‘Why
are you being so hard on her?’ everything changes. You suddenly see, whoa, I