Grace was really tired and knew her husband would approach her in bed. She just wasn’t in the mood, but thought she should probably have sex and get it over with–not the best motivation to be intimate. At least, she was honest with herself. But admitting that to her husband would just raise issues, so she dutifully complied.
Did it matter what her motivation was for having sex? Wasn’t it just important to keep having sex in her marriage?
New research says, YES, motivation matters and it affects your marital satisfaction. Studies at the University of Toronto concluded that couples who want to improve their intimacy, feel closer, or have what is called an APPROACH motive for sex are more satisfied long-term than couples who have sex to AVOID issues like not feeling guilty, not having conflict over sex, etc.
Survey data from couples found that when the motive for sex is more positively oriented than negative, there was more marital satisfaction and a higher level of desire. The opposite was also true. Having sex for negative reasons like avoiding a hassle or just getting it over with resulted in more negative feelings. Apparently, it matters to your partner WHY you have sex. And the negative can build up over time.
So how can you motive yourself positively? Think about what you want in the relationship–more intimacy, closeness, desire and then let that motivate your approach. Work on enjoying each other and making the experience positive. Since you now know that your motivation affects your relationship, positivity goes a long way towards feeling more satisfied with your partner and increasing desire.