feeling sexually disconnected from partner

Feeling Sexually Disconnected From Partner: 6 Tips to Try Today

Takeaway: If you’re feeling sexually disconnected from your spouse, you’re not alone. Many couples experience this, and it is possible to reconnect with each other. In this post, I break down some of the common reasons why this happens and offer my expert tips for what you can do about it.

Ever felt like the closeness you used to share with your partner is not there anymore? Are you wondering if there’s a way to rekindle that connection or is the distance normal? Even though your situation can be confusing, know that you’re not alone. Most couples experience an ebb and flow in their sex life. Take it as a good sign that you’re interested in figuring it out!

What does it mean to feel disconnected sexually? Is feeling disconnected from your husband or wife normal? And what can I do about it? Can my marriage recover from a slow sex life? These are important questions and I’m here to answer them for you. If you’re wondering about your partner’s feelings or curious about your changing interest in sex, you’ll find useful answers here. 

Let’s explore common causes of sexual disconnection in relationships and helpful strategies for dealing with it.

Common causes of sexual disconnect

Sexual intimacy is a vital part of any relationship. It’s not the be-all and end-all of a relationship, but it plays a crucial role in partner bonding. Sexual disconnection in the relationship can interfere with that bond and leave couples feeling confused and frustrated. 

The first step in overcoming this challenge is to seek understanding. What’s going on within each partner and the overall relationship that has led to this disconnection? And how much sexual distance is normal versus when it’s time to address the issue?

Let’s take a look at why couples might experience a disconnect in their sex life:

1. Communication breakdown

Healthy communication is the foundation of any good relationship. When communication breaks down (as I’ve seen in so many couples who have asked for help), partners tend to drift. It’s not always easy to talk about desires, boundaries, and concerns, but doing so is important for healthy communication. Avoiding uncomfortable emotions or daunting conversations only serves to push partners further away from each other, physically and emotionally.

2. Stress and Libido

No matter what stage of your relationship you’re in, stress can hurt your sex life. For example, work, money, or personal issues can get in the way of physical intimacy. Stress reduces libido, so it’s important to recognize your stressors. In therapy, we can find ways to manage stress effectively so that it no longer follows you into the bedroom. 

3. Changes in Desires or Preferences

Our desires and preferences aren’t static – they grow and evolve just like we do. Sometimes, we might notice shifts in our desires or what satisfies us sexually. It’s completely normal, but it can become an issue when we ignore these changes or don’t communicate them with our partner. 

4. Physical health issues

Sometimes physical health issues can get in the way of our capacity to be intimate. Maybe it’s a health condition, medication side effect, hormonal changes, or other physical conditions that impact the libido. Again, communication is key here. When you can be open with your partner about how you feel and what you experience, you make it much easier for them to help you. 

5. Emotional Distance

One of the most common causes of sexual disconnection is emotional disconnection. When partners stop communicating with each other and allow emotional distance, they’re far more likely to experience unresolved conflicts, not meet each other’s needs, and allow resentment to build. All of this soon manifests as sexual disconnection. When we address the emotional connection in the relationship, we pave the way for positive shifts in the sexual relationship. 

6. Too much of the same

A lack of variety in a couple’s sexual experience can lead to disinterest, especially when partners have been together long-term. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to go to extremes in the bedroom – it just means that it may be worthwhile to try some new things. Consider new activities, talking about and exploring fantasies, or simply trying something different with each other. This sense of novelty can reignite that spark and cultivate a new sense of connection. 

In essence, if you want to maintain a healthy sexual connection with your partner then healthy communication is key. It’s normal to feel out of sync with your partner from time to time but when issues persist it’s crucial to address them. If you’re both willing to address these challenges and work towards a healthy relationship, you can find compassionate and dedicated support in therapy.

feeling disconnected sexually

How feeling disconnected sexually can impact your relationship

Feeling disconnected in your relationship means you don’t experience the same level of closeness as before. When you feel sexually disconnected from your partner, it can impact the overall relationship. Let’s explore how this sexual distance affects partners:

1. Emotional Distance

Distance in the sexual connection can lead to emotional distance. Again, sex isn’t the be-all and end-all of a relationship, but a lack of sexual connection can leave one or both partners feeling isolated or lonely. These feelings have a snowball effect, causing partners to drift even further apart. Addressing the emotional aspect of your relationship in therapy can work wonders for rekindling the sexual connection. 

2. Communication Problems

Verbal communication is just one type of communication that makes partners feel connected. Sexual intimacy is another important type of communication. When we don’t address sexual issues, we create a barrier. That barrier can make it hard for partners to express their genuine selves – both sexually and in other areas of the relationship.

3. Decreased Relationship Satisfaction

Extensive research shows that couples who are more sexually satisfied report higher overall relationship satisfaction. Equally, couples who feel disconnected sexually may experience reduced overall relationship satisfaction. 

4. Tension and Resentment

When needs are unmet and concerns are unaddressed, partners are more likely to point blame and harbor feelings of resentment in the relationship. Negative feelings come up and may lead to decreased desire. Approaching issues with curiosity, openness, and non-judgment can dissipate this tension, leading to stronger connection and greater relationship satisfaction. 

5. Impact on Self-Esteem

It can be hard for one or both partners to experience the other’s lack of physical affection. Many of us internalize this circumstance as a reflection of our attractiveness, sometimes even our worth as a person. This impact on self-esteem has a domino effect on the relationship. Nurturing each other’s self-esteem and offering support in reassurance is key in keeping the relationship afloat. 

6. Risk of Infidelity

Sometimes, distance in the sexual connection may increase one or both partner’s likelihood of infidelity. Intimacy is a natural human need and when we struggle to experience satisfactorily in our relationship we may begin to seek it outside the relationship. Of course, sexual disconnection doesn’t guarantee that a partner will look elsewhere, but it tends to make partners more likely to be tempted.

It’s important to understand how feeling detached sexually can impact your relationship. When we understand the impact, we acknowledge the importance of nurturing our relationship healthily. Remember that some sexual distance is normal from time to time, but if you need some support know that it’s readily available.

no connection during sex6 strategies for when you’re feeling sexually disconnected from your spouse

Feeling sexually disconnected from spouse? The good news is healing is possible. It requires collaboration, intention, and communication, all of which can be cultivated through the right therapeutic relationship.

In therapy, you can learn about effective strategies to stay connected and strengthen your sexual bond. Below I’ll cover 6 strategies I’ve found to be highly effective in clients’ relationships. These strategies are based on evidence and my wealth of experience as a therapist. 

1. Prioritize Communication

I’ve mentioned it already but it’s worth reiterating – healthy relationships are formed and maintained through open, healthy communication. Even though you might struggle to find the right words, try talking to your partner about your experience, your emotions, and your desires. Invite them to share too, and enter a safe space for both of you to connect on the issue at hand. Remember that empathy and mutual understanding are crucial.

2. Shake things up

Sometimes all it takes to reignite the spark is a little novelty. Long-term couples are usually familiar with how routine can take a toll on intimacy! Consider trying new activities together – even outside of a sexual context – or explore fantasies, take things outside of the bedroom, or just try something new. Aim to break the dullness of routine and spark new excitement in your relationship.

3. Try Sensate Focus Exercises

Try sensate focus exercises with your partner, such as holding hands, non-sexual massage, and sustained eye contact. These exercises are designed to help partners focus on the sensation and experience of physical touch without the pressure or expectation to have sex. Slowly and mindfully exploring touch in a non-sexual context can help you and your partner feel present with each other and reestablish a base sense of closeness independent of sex. 

4. Try Sex Therapy

Sex therapy can lead to a profound transformation in your relationship. It’s not just for couples in crisis, either. Sex therapy offers partners a supportive, non-judgmental, and structured environment to work on issues concerning sex and intimacy. Sex therapists offer partners effective tools and strategies to explore intimacy and rebuild not just the physical but also the emotional aspects of the relationship, including behaviors that may contribute to the relationship disconnect.

As a certified sex therapist in Cincinnati, I can help you navigate your intimacy challenges with compassion and evidence-based support. 

5. Collaborate on Shared Goals

Working on shared goals can make a big difference in your relationship, especially for couples who feel disconnected. Spending this quality time together establishes a sense of collaboration and unity which leads to a stronger bond. Whether it’s a fitness goal, a hobby you both enjoy, taking care of the kids, or working on an exciting new project, achieving your shared goals can reignite the spark in the relationship.

6. Cultivate Emotional Intimacy

The sexual aspect of your relationship is just one part of it – don’t forget about emotional intimacy! When you nurture the emotional connection, you lay a strong foundation for a healthy physical connection. Spend quality time together, find a quiet moment to connect, explore bonding activities, and express non-sexual affection. 

Remember that each relationship is unique, and you know best about what your relationship needs to thrive. If you’re struggling to figure it out, you don’t have to do it alone. The support of a certified sex therapist such as myself can nourish your exploration and take you far on your journey to rediscovering intimacy.

Signs it’s time to see a sex therapist

Remember that if you’re currently feeling disconnected from your partner, you’re not alone. The good news is that I’m here to support you. The following are some major signs that sex therapy is worth considering:

1. You experience persistent relationship disconnect

If feelings of relationship disconnect persist, it’s best to address the issue. Relationships can recover from disconnection but it requires acknowledgement of the issue and a commitment to resolving it. Professional support can go a long way in finding a resolution. 

2. You’re dealing with frustration

Not feeling that same pleasure or excitement anymore? An absence of pleasure and satisfaction in your sex life can impact the overall relationship. An expert sex therapist such as myself can help you address your frustration and rediscover joy and pleasure. 

3. You experience no connection during sex

Sex is an important aspect of relationship health, but it should center around a strong intimate connection. When that connection is lacking, sex can feel more like a chore than a celebration of your relationship. Sex therapy can help you explore and reestablish that crucial sense of connection. 

4. You’re feeling tired and overwhelmed

It can be tiring to feel disconnected from your partner. If you’re experiencing mental tiredness and frustration in your sex life then reaching out for professional support is a wise decision. 

5. You feel uncomfortable beginning conversations around sex

Do you feel uncomfortable when you try to talk about sex with your partner? Do you fear awkwardness or anxiety? Or do these conversations with your husband/wife/partner simply not happen? This conversation can be daunting but it’s crucial for your relationship health. Sex therapy can offer a safe and supportive environment to talk openly about your experience without fear.

It’s normal to feel hesitant to seek help but remember that it is not a sign of weakness. Reaching out for support when feeling disconnected is a sign of emotional maturity and strength. It’s a proactive step toward the relationship fulfillment and satisfaction you seek.

sexually disconnected from spouseRekindle your Connection with Sex Therapy Cincinnati

It’s not uncommon for couples to feel disconnected from time to time. However, we shouldn’t fear these feelings or let frustrations fester. The point of sex therapy is to create an environment where we re-learn the joy of connecting, explore our feelings and behaviors, and establish a sense of unity in your marriage or partnership.

On your journey to rediscovering intimacy in your relationship, remember that support is available. As a certified sex therapist serving clients in Cincinnati, I’ve helped many clients feel comfortable addressing a range of issues around sex and intimacy. It’s my privilege to help you explore, grow, and thrive in your relationship.

Together we can create renewed intimacy and greater relationship satisfaction. Want to learn more about how sex therapy can help you rewrite your relationship story? Schedule a free phone consultation today to take the first step toward the relationship you desire.