Therapy for Desire Discrepancy

By Jasmine M. McLean, LCSW

Photo by Hà Nguyễn on Unsplash

            One day, seemingly out of the blue, your partner mentions that you have not had sex in a while. You might think they have it wrong because you feel like you and your partner recently had sex. As you get ready for the day, driving to the grocery store between work meetings or maybe while shopping, you try to remember the last time you and your partner had sex. You realize that maybe you can’t remember the last time. You might even realize that you don’t remember the last time you had an interest in sex. You also realize that your partner’s interest in sex has not seemed to change, in fact in some cases, your partner’s interest in sex may have even increased.

This happens to many of us at various points of our life. It can be caused by any number of factors such as stress, or a recent life change such as the addition of another person into your family or a recent loss of a loved one, or changes in our bodies. Regardless of the reason, you realize your desire for sex isn’t present. This is what is normally referred to as desire discrepancy in couples.

            In the most basic definitions, desire discrepancy is when one person in a partnership has less desire in sex compared to their partner. There is nothing wrong with having less desire, in fact it is a natural part of human sexuality. It is common for sexual desire to wax and wane during a relationship as our desire is influenced by what is going on in our everyday life.

            Some of the ways to increase your desire include identifying what has caused your desire to decrease. It is hard to experience sexual desire if you have had some recent life changes or feel stressed. By limiting or decreasing the amount of stress you feel, you may be able to increase your desire. Try to outsource some of your responsibilities or seek help from a trusted individual to find out how to decrease some of your stress. If you recently changed your medication regime, then that can affect your sexual desire. If that’s the case, it may be helpful to speak to your medical provider about seeing what your options are in terms of medication.

            Sometimes relationship concerns can cause desire discrepancy. In that case it would be worthwhile to discuss with your partner what concerns may be present in your relationship and discuss some of the ways in which the concerns can be addressed. It may be helpful to seek out a therapist if you feel that the relationships may need additional support to be resolved.

            It is also possible that you aren’t sure why your desire has decreased. That’s ok! Sometimes its hard for us to identify a cause of desire discrepancy, in which case, it is recommended that you seek an experienced professional so they can help you identify the potential causes of your desire concerns.

Desire discrepancy doesn’t inherently mean that your relationship is doomed. In most cases, desire discrepancy concerns can be resolved with some effort. If you find that you are struggling with desire discrepancy then it is ok. Working with a sex therapist may help you with these desire concerns. If you think you want to see a sex therapist for desire discrepancy, then Growth Therapy, LLC may have a provider who is a fit for you. Reach out for a consultation to see if any of the sex therapists at Growth Therapy, LLC in Connecticut are a good fit!