My Husband Rarely Makes Love To Me: My Husband Is Not Sleeping With Me

Are you in a sexless marriage? I'm a sex therapist in Orange County, CA and I assure you, you are not alone! About 25% of all marriages are "sexless," meaning that the couple has sex fewer than one to two dozen times a year.

Sometimes marriages naturally go through dry spells. A partner might be sick, be pulled by care-giving demands, or absent due to military or other job obligations. But when couples go for a year or longer without connecting in the bedroom, there's a problem.

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What causes a sexless marriage? Many couples stop having sex during the last part of pregnancy and during the first months they have a newborn. They struggle with finding time, but also with feeling sexy when there's an infant in the house with all the demands of parenting. Other couples struggle with sex from the beginning. One partner may have been raised in a very strict religious home and can't let enjoy sex, even though they're married.

There can be serious issues that get in the way of a couple having regular sex. If one member of the couple has been sexually abused or assaulted, then they may avoid sex because it triggers bad memories. Other problems, like depression or substance abuse, can get in the way of sexual pleasure.

What can you do about a sexless marriage? First, it's important that you and your partner acknowledge there is a problem. Try to talk it out together to figure out what the root cause is. When you do try to restart your sex life, be realistic. Though it may not seem romantic, you may need to schedule times for making love.

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Everyone has an opinion concerning what makes a marriage work; however, there are certain strategies that have a greater impact than others. Fortunately, there are some simple, but profound techniques a couple can use to make the most of their marriage. The following are some helpful tips for strengthening and nurturing such a union:

It is essential to understand that no couple will ever be 100% compatible in every way. In fact, attempting to achieve this state will generally lead to frustration. This is because no two people are exactly alike, even if they are in a romantic relationship. The only true way to make a marriage work is to communicate with one's partner on a regular basis and learn how to effectively compromise when the couple does not agree on a specific issue.

The Art Compromise

As mentioned above, one of the most important aspects with regard to maintaining a solid relationship with one's spouse is compromise. Everyone wants to be right. It is human nature to feel good when one has the upper hand in a conversation or wins a verbal battle. However, this type of competitive behavior within a marriage typically leads to negative results. Couples should remember that it is not about "winning", but rather about coming to a mutual understanding where neither partner feels walked on or discounted. In other words, a solution that both individuals can deal with without feeling slighted or disregarded. For example, from time to time, each partner should agree to participate in an activity for the sake of his or her spouse, with the understanding that the favor will be returned in the future.

Thoughtfulness and Courtesy

Those who want to know what makes a marriage work must also realize that in addition to the information listed above, small courtesies are not just a minor consideration. Thoughtful gestures, such as one partner phoning when he or she is going to be late, or offering to cook dinner if the other partner is having a particularly stressful day, go a long way toward strengthening a relationship.

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Appreciating Each Other

Noticing and acknowledging the tasks one's partner regularly completes to help keep the ship afloat is much more important than it may initially seem. This is because no one wants to feel under-appreciated, or even worse, not appreciated at all. Resentment can quickly build when individuals feel as if they are carrying the lion's share of the workload or that their efforts concerning the running of the home or the rearing of children are not being noticed. However, if both partners avoid taking each other for granted, they can expect a happier marriage.

Telling Versus Asking

An easy trap for anyone to fall into is inadvertently giving "commands." It is much better to ask questions and listen attentively for the answer. Either spouse who has gotten into a habit of telling the other partner what to do should stop immediately and instead begin asking for his or her spouse's opinion on a certain subject. Each person should make an effort to determine what his or her partner truly desires, instead of one person allowing the other to make all the decisions. Although one partner may initially seem fine with such an arrangement, he or she may have resentment building over the situation, and the other partner may be entirely unaware that it is happening.

Additional Considerations

To gain a better perspective on what makes a marriage work, couples may also wish to participate in focus groups with a counselor. Contrary to what many individuals may think, such activity is not reserved for those whose marriages are in trouble. Many couples choose to participate in such groups in order to enhance their communication and ultimately strengthen their marriages. In a neutral environment, with a professional keeping emotions from getting too heated, many small problems can be solved before they become major issues. Group encounters of this type are also available, and those running the sessions usually have a broad range of exercises in which each couple engages in order to strengthen their relationship.

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Some families becomes stronger under stress, others fall apart. What is the difference?

When expectations are met in a marriage, the odds are in favor of stability. When expectations are not met, the teeter totter of marriage becomes unstable. When I was an eighteen year old sergeant in the army, a 42-year-old corporal told me that his marriage was in trouble and that he needed help. In the army, stripes can make you a marriage counselor.

I didn't think about saying, "Well, go see the chaplain!"

Eighteen-year-old sergeants know about everything they need to know. I simply asked, "What is going on?"

After he told me his situation, I said, "You have alienated your wife. You have to give her more help around the house. You have to do dishes, vacuum the floor, help her with whatever she is doing. You have to do a lot more than she does."

Now that was a tall order for a Latin macho man. Doing a woman's work was not much of a macho builder. I told him that he would not only have to do more to help her but that he would have to court her again. That was in his self image. It was something he would love to do, tried to do. I told him that he would have to help her first or she would not welcome any loving gestures. About two weeks later he came up to me and said, "Sergeant, we are happier than we have ever been in our lives. Thank you!"

Now this man had just returned from Korea. If fact, he was in the same infantry division that I was in the next year. He was near the Yalu when the Chinese invaded Korea. He got lost from his unit, joined up with a Turkish Unit attached to one of our regiments, and barely got out of Korea alive. He said that that the last he saw of the Turks was them fixing bayonets and charging down the mountain with the startled Chinese turning and running in front of them.

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Separation is hard on a marriage. People change during separations. When a couple rejoins they may not be Mary and Bill but James and Henrietta. Now days, families may have both parents in the military. It is not always Johnny come marching home, its Margie comes marching home. The one away is under one kind of stress and the one at home is under other stresses. There could be an underlying current that says, "Why did you leave me alone with these kids to take care of? How could you endanger yourself when you have family responsibilities?"

Financial problems are not new to military couples. They are always wanting to make some extra money to survive. Now, with this deep recession, many families are under financial stress. Many have lost their homes and others are under the threat of losing their home.

I was raised during the Great Depression. My parents were under the threat of losing their home when President Roosevelt took over the mortgage and saved our home. Dad paid the mortgage off later and President Roosevelt got his money back and then some, a very successful endeavor on both parts. My dad was an ex-farmer and an accountant. He was out of work for two years until President Roosevelt gave him a job on the WPA as a bank examiner. He soon was offered a "real" job and went on with his life.

I asked my mother when I was a boy why there were so many cuts in the kitchen door. She said that for the two years that Dad could not get work he threw his jackknife into the door. Yet, despite the stress of the Great Depression, Dad never took his stress out on his family. He always acted like all was well.

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After all, there was actually never a time in my Dad's life that he was not living in a financial depression. His family moved from ranch to ranch always going broke in the process. He and his father almost starved to death on Ten Mile Pass east of here while proving a homestead claim where grandfather helped my father make skis that allowed him to hunt which saved their lives. So, recession was the normal state for my parents. Mother had been taking care of her widowed mother and her sisters since she was fourteen years old.

We had seven kids in our family. Dad's love for our mother never failed. He was always hugging her especially if she was cooking something good. It was not only President Roosevelt that kept our family functioning. Our church had no welfare plan to helps us as they do now days. It was our neighbors who helped us. Without our neighbors, there would have been no Christmas for us.

When I was attending the University of Utah after our first son was born, we were in trouble. My wife could not work. Then one day my folks came over carrying boxes of groceries. I don't know how they knew we were in need, they just knew. We need to keep an eye on each other too. People need help and we are the ones who should be doing the helping.

When a marriage is hit by stress and when expectations are not met, we need to stop thinking of ourselves but instead think about each other. By helping each other we help ourselves too. We need to support each other.

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Does it sometimes feel to you that there is no end in getting better at understanding men? As soon as you think that you've discovered something, you realize that you're back at square one. I have to apologize on behalf of my gender; although we can seem rather simple at times, we can be quite complicated, especially once we get into a relationship with you. In this article, I'm going to talk about why your man may be ignoring your love and how you can make him respect and actually crave the affection that you give him.

1. Less Is More

This is a concept that has been around since the Shakespearean days. In the modern day, it simply relates to the economic concept of supply and demand. Even if you haven't done economics before, you would know from logic what it's all about.

The basic idea is, the more you give of something, the less perceived value it has in the other person's eyes and the less they want it. The less you give of something, the higher perceived value it has and the more they want it. Is this applicable to love as well?

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2. Love Dollars

Yes it is! Love and affection should be used as a bargaining tool in your everyday life with your man. Though this might sound shallow and contrived initially, you may not realize it, but the times when your man has been most affectionate with you has been when you "rationed" your love.

When there is any possibility that he may lose your love, this makes him work harder to try and secure it. This is another concept that is integral to the "less is more" principle: people will work harder to prevent themselves from losing something than to gain something they never had.

3. How To Ration Love

It does take a bit of practice and for women who are bountiful in the amount of love that they give, this might seem sort of authoritarian. However, if you are simply indecisive and dispense love freely, it's hard for your man to value it, no matter how hard he tries.

Be harder on us. If we come to you complaining about a small matter, simply tell us to harden up. We're men, we can take it.

This is a key concept in understanding men and why we don't value love as much as you would want us to. Make it scarcer and we will not only value it a lot higher, we will actually strive to get more of it from you by being better men.

Saying or doing the wrong thing can actually cause your spouse to feel even more distant from you. You can make your spouse fall back in love with you, all over again.

You don't have to worry about whether your spouse is on the brink of asking you for a divorce. You can control the situation and use specific techniques to naturally make them fall hopelessly in love with you.

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