How to Fix a Broken Relationship for Seniors

Senior Dating

How to Fix a Broken Relationship for Seniors

April Braswell April Braswell
Updated:

Just because you’re a senior couple doesn’t mean your relationship is immune to some of the same problems your younger counterparts experience. Senior couples can deal with those same problems as well as problems related to aging.

If you feel like the passion has fizzled, suspect your partner is cheating, or you both argue a lot, don’t give up on your relationship just yet. There’s hope for you two, and here’s some help.

1. Manage Your Expectations

If you’re comparing your sex life to what it was like when you were in your 20s and 30s, then your expectations may be off. One of the key differences is, of course, physiological. Your hormonal drive is no longer set to warp-speed. You both may be very interested in sexual intimacy, but the drive, energy, and stamina are not the same as when you were 25, 35, or 45.

Photo of expectations vs. reality graph

If your expectations are too high, then you’re probably going to be disappointed with the outcome of this situation.

Once you know this, updating your expectations helps. Then you can manage all the wonderful options before you without feeling that the differences are a sign of your partner not being thrilled by you.

Your partner is probably quite turned on by you and may be feeling either female or male inadequacy. It may benefit both of you to buck each other up at times. Be sure to keep verbally admiring and appreciating each other as sexual beings.

2. Be Completely Honest About What You’re Physically & Physiologically Experiencing

According to a Harvard study, 50% to 80% of mature couples engage in sexual activities, including intercourse, on a weekly basis. If you’re not having sex as often as even a few years ago that doesn’t mean it’s all over.

Ladies, has your partner tried Viagra or Cialis? It’s just a reality of aging that many men could benefit from a little assistance. Members of numerous forums online discuss these medications, the realities of taking them, what to expect when taking them, and where to acquire them. Try Googling phrases like “erectile dysfunction forums.”

And, ladies, our being too understanding can actually be deflating. We’re not our partner’s mother. Be understanding while also gently pushing for him to try pharmacological assistance.

Photo of a sad couple in bed

Hiding what you’re really going through in terms of sexual intimacy won’t do any good.

Your encouragement can even become part of your cute couple banter and daily flirtation. Cue up “Sexual Healing,” scamper up to him with the package of pills, and say something like, “Isn’t it time to take the pill for later today, darling?” Make eyes at each other. Be flirtatious in how you express your interest in intimacy today.

Then be accommodating if he responds, “I’m kinda tired today, dear. Could we make an appointment for tomorrow afternoon?” Scheduling sexual intimacy increases your likelihood of it occurring. Communicate all of this in a fun and romantic manner without being emasculating.

On the flip side, it could be the woman who’s experiencing issues. Men, has your partner considered that she may need assistance in the form of personal lubricant and/or Progesterone cream? These products can be necessary at times with the onset of menopause.

In addition, when you’re shopping for personal lubricant together, every now and then pop into an adult store. You and/or your partner may feel a little embarrassed, but going together can make the situation more comfortable. Make it a weeknight date night. Explore and make it an adventure.

3. Consider Seeing a Therapist

Whether it’s a sexual issue, infidelity, a family disagreement that is leading to fighting, or something else, I’d recommend going to a couples therapist if you two can’t seem to solve the issue on your own.

Photo of couples counseling session

If you two can’t solve the problem on your own, it’s worth trying couples counseling.

This can make all the difference in the world — whether you stay together and rebuild the relationship or you part ways with new skill sets to improve your love life going forward.

Here’s an in-depth list of therapists, coaches, and counselors for you to check out.

4. Look at Outside Stressors Like Your Job

Studies show that stress has a significant effect on people over 50, particularly in terms of sexual function. That same Harvard study I mentioned earlier in this article determined that older men and women often need emotional and physical stimulation to feel in the mood.

Stress can also come from your job if you’re still actively working. Now is the time to be more forbearing with each other and incorporate new habits for actively decreasing that stress.

Photo of a mature couple taking care of an elderly parent

Having a stressful job or an elderly parent who needs you to take care of them can have negative effects on your relationship.

Or perhaps you’re dealing with stress related to raising children or taking care of elderly parents. This can take a toll on you physically, emotionally, and sexually.

Your health can play a big role in your relationship problems as well. If there ever was a time to quit smoking, reduce or eliminate alcohol, and improve your diet, now is the time. All of the unhealthy habits of youth have a cumulative effect for mature men and women.

Make time every week to put these stressors aside and incorporate intimacy-fostering activities together. Try taking a yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, or meditation class. You’ll enjoy the double benefit of decreasing stress levels and stimulating feel-good hormones like melatonin and serotonin.

No Matter What Your Relationship is Going Through, Communication is Important

With all the changes you both may be experiencing, it’s good to take a proactive approach. Read articles about stress, sexuality, and love when it comes to seniors. Equip yourself with the latest information, and talk to your friends and family to get their insights. Then consider seeking out a quality couples therapist to help you navigate this chapter.