Withholding sex can lead to this...

Most people would say that one of the most hurtful things one can do to their partner is withhold sex from them. I've had a couple of male friends in this position, but I can only assume women feel the same way.

Contrary to popular belief, not everyone -- and that includes men -- wants sex merely because they're turned on and desiring to release pent-up sexual tension.

Here are some often-overlooked reasons as to why people might want to have intercourse:

  • They're tired/stressed out and wish to decompress 
  • They want to take their minds off their daily worries
  • They want to connect with their partner on an intimate level
When someone is deprived of intimacy for a long period of time, he or she can feel hurt and confused, which can quickly snowball into deep feelings of sadness and, in the worst cases, depression. 

So why would someone deprive their partner of sex? It can run the gamut from having a low libido to being stressed at work to feeling depressed over the loss of a loved one. 

It's the person's responsibility to communicate this to his or her partner. Leaving the other person in the lurch will give the person the wrong impression. 

He or she will assume that the person is cheating or no longer finds their partner attractive. Openness is key to a successful relationship, especially during tough situations like these.

Once the person is made aware of the situation, provided he or she loves his partner and wants to remain in the relationship, he or she ought to do everything possible to be supportive -- from letting the person air their frustrations to doing little things to make their day easier, whether it's preparing lunch, doing the laundry, or taking them to work.

If the weeks and months keep passing by without any noticeable change in your sex life, it may be time to enlist a marriage/relationship counselor. 

If your partner isn't interested or if the therapy proves futile, the person who feels sexually frustrated has a decision to make: stay in or jump ship. 

Sex isn't the most critical element of a relationship, but it's still important nonetheless. If it weren't, you wouldn't see so many sex-deprived people cheat on their partners by seeking sex outside the marriage. 

Everyone feels a need for closeness. For many of us, sex connects us to our partner in a way nothing else can. When that connection is absent, it could seriously derail a marriage or relationship. 

That's why it's so important to keep the lines of communication open at all times. If you're going to withhold sex from your partner, at least tell him or her why you're doing it and how long they can expect your sex life to be put on hold. Then, the two of you can work on ways to get through it together -- as a couple. 

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