If a relationship is in trouble, it probably started in the bedroom.
That’s the honest advice that health coach Dr. Mark Shannan’s grandmother once offered him — and, Shannan said, the notion often holds true for couples today.
“This is because giving love, having it accepted, and then having it returned are some of the greatest emotions that a person can feel in life,” Shannan, the author of “The Original Design for Health,” told Fox News. “All three components are critical for a healthy marriage [or] relationship.”
A lack of any of any of those components can snowball into bigger problems, he said. If you feel things have drastically fizzled out in the bedroom, here are three foundational signs there may be a bigger problem.
You’re not having sex or even kissing.
If you or your partner has lost the desire to make love or so little as touch one another, something’s up, Shannan said.
“Everyone knows that stress, and being physically or emotionally exhausted from the pressures of life — like work, kids, caring for an elderly loved one, or a thousand other responsibilities — can take the wind out of your sails,” he said. “However, we all need to connect physically with our wife or husband, and if you can’t or won’t give that to them, they will seek it out elsewhere in some shape or form … it’s just a matter of time.”
Your partner acts uninterested or turns you away.
If you are attracted to your spouse and you come on to them regularly, but they often turn you down, it’s time to talk. “This is a huge red flag,” Shannan said.
That said, it’s crucial to be sensitive to your partner’s schedule and energy level when you’re initiating physical intimacy. “If the love of your life has been going full speed all day, then seconds after you’ve put the kids to bed may not be the opportune moment to try and seduce them,” Shannan pointed out.
If that’s the case for you and your sweetie, Shannan recommended incorporating some pampering into your bedroom time — or, simply time your pursuits more wisely. “Consider attempting to get frisky after a long, hot bath and a sensual massage that you offer to give them, or let them get a full night’s rest and try again first thing in the morning,” he suggested.
Sex and intimacy feel like an obligation.
If your partner agrees to engage in physical intimacy but acts uninterested during sex, you may have a problem, Shannan said. “A non-responsive husband or wife who won’t return love is not in a good place. You can feel it, and so can they,” he said.
Shannan explained that while these individuals may think they’re “doing their marital duty,” this kind of behavior can put a relationship on the chopping block if it isn’t addressed.
What to do if you’re unsatisfied in the bedroom:
The underlying reason why one partner may be unenthusiastic in bed can span from emotional scars that haven’t yet healed or even medical conditions that lead to sexual dysfunction. However, he noted, “Most commonly there are other relationship issues that lead to a loss of sexual desire.”
The fix for any of these three issues? Talk it out. “Communication is often at the center of the problem with any number of peripheral issues that aren’t being resolved,” he said.
After having that conversation, consider trying to reignite that spark by doing the kinds of things you and your partner did when you began dating — whether it’s going to that local pizza joint for dinner, staying in for popcorn and a movie, or going to a baseball game, or the like.
If those approaches don’t work, you may want to consider counseling, Shannan said.
“There’s often something that can be navigated through to get you past the issues and back to the kind of relationship that you were originally designed to experience,” he said.