Routine. It is one of the most useful methods that we can use to maintain a fairly predictable, organised life, but routine can also become the root of boredom. Without a doubt, I have seen the benefit of getting my daughter into a routine since birth. If her meals are running late, I’ll soon know about it! And when it’s time to sleep, I’ll see her mood become entirely calm – complete with her thumb. My daughter has come to expect certain parts of her day, thanks to routine – she even helps me to set up for her meals now and will eagerly grab her little plastic chair and drag it into position.
Routine is great, but there comes a time when we need to be able to step out of it. I get that this isn’t an easy ask, especially when you have spent much of your life being comforted by a sense of routine. From your school and home life, to college and University, to work and beyond…
We are taught how to live with routines from an early age, but we aren’t taught how to prevent routines from limiting us.
Sex can become “same old” very easily within marriage, especially when it is with the same person in the same position at the same place and maybe even at the same time each time! If you are both the type of people who are content with routine in your sex life, then that’s great for you! In no way should you feel a sense of shame about this, as the main thing is that you are both meeting each other’s needs in a way that you are equally satisfied with. My issue relates to when one or both spouses are not happy with sexual routine, but don’t do anything about it.
Far too many marriages fall victim to sexual routine, and this can stifle sex to the point where it no longer exists as part of the relationship. When this happens, frustration gives room to temptation, and your marriage is exposed in ways that put you both at risk.
When sex becomes boring, something clearly needs to be done differently.
Think about it, in so many other areas of your life, you wouldn’t stay somewhere or continue doing something that left you feeling entirely uninspired, uninterested and straight up bored. I know people who have left University courses half way through because they decided it wasn’t for them, despite the effort and cost that it took to get there. Some leave high-salaried jobs because they no longer feel motivated, despite pursuing a dream of their own that doesn’t guarantee the same financial pay-off. Others have decided to move to another country in the hope of a new start and new opportunities, despite leaving loved ones and everything that is familiar to them behind. Yet when we experience boring sex in marriage, nothing changes…
Why? I believe there are a few key reasons:
- We don’t know how to talk about sex to begin with
- We are afraid of offending our partner, as they seem to be fine with the way things are
- We have a limited understanding of sex, and have just resigned ourself to the fact that what we are experiencing is what sex should be
If one or more of these reasons resonates with you, then this is an area that needs attention in your marriage. Nothing will change if you change nothing, and the last thing you want is for your experience of sex to descend any further away from what it was always intended to be for you both. Sex is meant to be a part of your marriage that is always evolving with the both of you through life, but ultimately it is supposed to be something that you both enjoy and look forward to experiencing together. Of course you will have your off days (who doesn’t!) but you should never allow the mundane tendency of life to creep into the only area that has the capacity to create the ultimate expression of connection and love between two people.
When your sex life is where it should be, there is no one else on this earth who will be able to experience the exclusive connection with you or your spouse that you both share together. That’s what makes marriage so special.
If you are struggling right now with one of the above key reasons mentioned, then you need to keep the following in mind if you want to build your sexual connection:
Start to unpack your sexual shame
You need to do the work to unlearn the sexual shame that you may be carrying. This is a journey, especially if you have gone years or maybe even decades having never spoken about sex. Your home may not have been a place where this was ever discussed, so no doubt you have spent much of your life feeling your way along and hoping for the best.
If you need help with normalising this conversation in your life, then try to surround yourself with positive voices.
I found it really helpful to follow marriage and sex therapists on Instagram, I also began listening to podcasts on the topic, and I would read more content to help me begin to have healthy conversations with myself first. I always seek the perspectives of professionals in this area, and I find that this continues to be a great source of sex education for me. All of this information is easily accessible, we just need to be willing to look for it.
Find your voice for sex
This is also a journey, but it is the most crucial piece of the puzzle to improving your sexual experience. Communication in this area is everything, and you can’t expect to be on the same page as your spouse if you can’t even say the word “sex”. The more you educate yourself and hear other healthy perspectives on sex, the more comfortable you will feel with being able to make these conversations a normal part of your marriage. Your aim should be to talk about sex the same way that you would any other “accepted” part of your marriage. What are you happy/unhappy with? What questions do you have? What new experience would you like to try? From food to finances, sex belongs right in there as one of your go-to topics.
A great piece of advice I have learned is to develop the ability to have conversations about sex outside of the bedroom in the same way that you would anything else, as this will help to normalise these necessary conversations.
Don’t mute yourself for the happiness of others
The above two points will help you to break out of this destructive pattern, but it is still important to mention. Especially if you have grown up being fed certain expectations of what your role in sex is, it can be hard to think otherwise. Just because your spouse appears to be fine with the way things are, doesn’t mean that things can’t improve. Just because your spouse appears to be fine with the way things are, doesn’t mean that you are happy. When you shrink or even stonewall your own needs for the sake of someone else, you only make yourself miserable.
Sex was never meant to be one-sided.
Healthy sex should be a pleasurable dance of you both trying to “out-give” each other. It should be a chance to share yourselves with each other in love, not for you to take what is “owed to you” through marriage. Both your experience and that of your spouse matters equally – remember that! If you are not happy about your sex-life today, then make your feelings known in a loving way.
Sex within marriage has the potential to be one of the most exclusively, incredibly fulfilling journeys you can experience with another person. Don’t let sexual boredom continue to reroute both of you apart from each other.
Once you are at a point where you feel more comfortable talking about sex, then it might help to suggest something different to add some excitement back to your sex life. Here are some ideas:
- Have sex somewhere different
- Introduce a new sex position
- Set the mood (candles, petals, music, low lights – whatever adds a sense of romance!)
- Have sex at different times (being in bed together at night can turn into convenience, whereas daytime sex bring spontaneity)
- Ask your spouse if there are any sexual experiences they would like to have
- Book a weekend away so you have exclusive time for yourselves (especially as parents)
- Make a list of the things you would like to experience and share them with your spouse
- Enjoy each other – sex is supposed to be an exciting experience!