The acronym DINS (Double Income No Sex) was coined a few years ago in discussions about the evolution of marriage in this country. In research carried out at Georgia State University, 16% of married couples reported they had sex with each other less than once a month.

As a psychotherapist working with couples, I agree that the pressures of a fast life and hectic days (and nights) can contribute to the reduction in the frequency and quality of sex in couples who live together, whether married or not.

But is it only the fact that both partners work that reduces the frequency of sex in couples?

I believe this is a very complex situation that is not created uniquely by one factor, but a series of them. Possibly the most important one has to do with the nature and change in desire throughout the life of a romantic relationship. A the beginning, sexual attraction and desire for one another are very strong, as two partners get to know each other and testosterone levels are high for both men and women. As the couple settles in a routine and partners become more familiar with one another, attachment develops, while desire decreases. There is a paradox here that all couples have to negotiate, as attachment comes with what feels safe and familiar, and sexual desire with the new and exotic. It is thus a tight balance that needs to be maintained.

Having said this, however, the changes in sexual activities we see today with some couples, particularly those with young children, seem to be more drastic than the progressive waning of desire that comes with familiarity and growing attachment for one another.

Today most couples complain of being chronically tired. They are exhausted by the fast pace of their lives. They often complain of not having any time for themselves – or for each other. They feel they need to be good parents; they need to be good employees; they often have to drive long distances from work to home or to their children’s activities and sports events. At times they have to commute, being with the family only for a very short time each week. A lot of them don’t have extended families that help them with child care and other activities. No wonder they don’t think about sex! This may be the last thing on their minds, or the thing they are willing to give up because, on their list of priorities, it is not at the very top.

I would also add that it is not only sex that has disappeared, but time together, regular date nights, times of sitting down together and discuss the day, check with one another, hold hands, give each other a back rub or foot massage, enjoy each other’s company. When all this goes, it becomes more difficult to engage in sex, as couples feel disconnected and emotionally unengaged and cannot easily switch on at will. Or, one partner wants to do it, but the other doesn’t. This leads to tension, feelings of rejection, anxieties and fears, and all this keeps partners further apart from each other

The relationship with our partners, like all relationships, needs to be nurtured and attended to. When we push it on the back burner and leave it there, it will wilt and eventually die. So, we need to make it a priority, investing time, energy and interest in order to keep it exciting and vibrant. Can you think now of a kind way of letting your partner know how important he or she is in your life?

Author's Bio: 

Daniela Roher, PhD BIOGRAPHY

Daniela Roher, PhD is a psychotherapist in private practice with offices in Carefree, AZ and in Scottsdale, AZ. Daniela has worked in this field helping individuals and couples better understand their emotions and teaching them how to manage and regulate them, without letting them get overwhelming or frightening. She has been in this profession for over thirty years, both in Europe and the U.S. Aside from her reputation as a clinician, Daniela has developed a national reputation with her blog.