In earlier decades, a couple's bedroom troubles were often too-readily be blamed on the wife. From fluctuating hormones to full-blown PMDD (pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder), going through the "change of life" to a sheer desire to withhold sex for control, in the past gals have gotten a bad rap when it comes to participation in mutually satisfying intimacy. Luckily, today medical science offers a more balanced picture of the reasons behind marital anger and resentment in relationships, and the different effects they can have on libido and intimacy.

Reason #1: The Attraction is Gone

Marital Anger, LibidoThe Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 35 percent of adults ages 20 and up are obese (69 percent are overweight). Anger or resentment in relationships over a mate's weight gain can be a common reason for losing attraction, which can be experienced as "low libido." But here, there is nothing wrong with your libido itself –you just aren't attracted to your mate anymore! The best solution is to introduce a more active lifecycle you can share together. Not only will this help with trimming and toning, but research suggests more active couples communicate more and are generally happier (both of which are also libido boosters!)

Reason #2: Your Sex Drive and Your Mate's Don't Match

Marital Anger, LibidoThis can be a real cause for anger and resentment in relationships. Sometimes it is a simple mismatch in how often you or your partner desires intimacy, but often it can also point to deeper issues that manifest as "low libido." For instance, it is not uncommon for even close couples to struggle in the bedroom after their first child is born. Fatigue, stress, unmet expectations and other factors can make that child seem like a line in the sand rather than the fulfillment of a long-held dream for both partners. An effective solution is to carve out some couples time to rest and be intimate (in that order). Often it is necessary to hire a sitter so a struggling couple can connect without worrying the child will walk in or overhear and become scared.

Reason #3: One Partner Needs More or Less Space Than the Other

Another common reason why anger or resentment in relationships can manifest in the form of low libido is because, as Psychology Today discusses, easing conflict in the bedroom is often about easing conflict with space between both partners. One partner is an extrovert and wants lots of "togetherness" time, while the other partner is an introvert and needs alone time to recharge. One partner loves a lot of cuddling and hand-holding, and the other partner prefers to have more personal space. These issues can be deadly both inside the bedroom and out. One of the best ways to address this issue is to stop criticizing and try to put yourself in your partner's shoes. Refrain from "debriefing" or assigning a rating after each sexual encounter. If you are the introvert, try to initiate more. If you are the extrovert, step back and give your partner some room to take control. Underneath it all, learning to share responsibility for bedroom time equally can be a real healer here.

Reason #4: A Legitimate Underlying Medical Issue

Marital Anger, LibidoJust because one partner is experiencing a low libido from medication, post-surgical complications, ED (erectile dysfunction), overusing alcohol or substances, menopause, or other health issues, doesn't mean it won't cause anger and resentment between the couple. Often it will, which just makes the libido issues seem even worse. While it may take time to work out the best treatment for the underlying medical causes, the anger and resentment should be worked out alongside it. Good ideas include increasing communication and finding simple ways to pleasure one another (offering compliments, taking baths together, foot rubs, massage—all are pleasurable and can lead to intimacy over time).

These are by no means the only four reasons that marital anger or resentment may come up in a marriage or partnership, with a corresponding negative effect on libido for one or both partners. Although low libido is cited as one of the major reasons couples divorce, with patience, time, and willingness, it is possible to turn your intimate life around and save your marriage.

Related Articles:

The Neurochemistry of Romance and Attachment
Sex Doesn't Have to End After 50
The Benefits of Emotional Intimacy in Relationships

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