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Tuesday 5 December 2023 Dublin: 5°C

Is work stress following you into the bedroom? Try these 7 tips from a sex therapist

Finding that work/life balance hard to crack?

SUCCESSFUL AND SATISFYING relationships require time, attention and nurturing.

The lack of work-life balance impacts negatively often leaving partners feeling lonely, neglected and disillusioned.

Harder economic times in more recent years have led to increased demands on individuals to work long hours with high expectations of effort and input in relation to lower levels of reward including job satisfaction, pay and job security.

This imbalance contributes to personal and relationship distress which in turn seeps back into work, impacting on concentration, productivity and attendance.

In addition to being overworked, people find themselves with unreasonable or impossible deadlines, often doubting their abilities and afraid to ask for support in case it reflects poorly on them.

Bullying is increasing in the work place and is closely related to emotional distress, exhaustion, sleep disturbance anxiety and depression. Those who witness bullying are also negatively effected by the environment and experience fear and anxiety with regard to their own security.

shutterstock_207787303 Shutterstock / KieferPix Shutterstock / KieferPix / KieferPix

Bringing work home further devalues their personal life and leads to relationship conflict and disharmony.

Individuals often develop maladaptive behaviours to cope with stress such as aggression, substance abuse, including alcohol, drugs, food, porn and sexual compulsivity. These behaviours can lead to multiple issues within a relationship, including communication issues, lack of equality around household chores and roles, lack of emotional and physical intimacy.

Stress and fatigue impact negatively on a woman’s desire for sex often experiencing it as yet another chore. Men are increasingly becoming effected by a lack of desire and erectile problems related to stress and anxiety. Men often find it easier to avoid sex with their intimate partner as this demands emotional engagement while turning to porn for a quick sexual fix in an attempt to alleviate stress.

Guidelines to support stress free, happy relationships:

1. Be mindful of the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. A person rarely looks back with regret at not spending more time in the office but often regrets neglecting their partners and children.

2. Leave work issues in the office and be selective with what you rehash with your partner. You may need to get support from a colleague or friend. Women are more likely to suffer from interpersonal stress at work, but also more likely to seek support.

3. Switch off before coming home, use the journey home to quieten the mind, calm down and relax by using mindful breathing and centering oneself.

4. Learn to manage stress in a healthy way, by identifying the source of the stress at work and taking control of the situation. Self care includes exercise, diet, restful sleep and hobbies.

5. Disconnect electronically by making your living and bedroom space a technology free zone.

6. Make time for the relationship. Send a text or voice message to stay connected while at work. At home take time to relax together, to listen and engage emotionally. Sharing chores leads to feelings of support and closeness. Organise date nights and stick to them. Develop a shared interest.

7. Prioritise your sex life. Sexual intimacy starts outside of the bedroom so be mindful of creating a romantic space to connect emotionally.

Nuala Deering is a Psychosexual therapist and an accredited member of The College of Sexual and Relationship Therapy (COSORT) with over 20 years experience in counselling and psychotherapy, she runs Mindwise Counselling & Psychotherapy.

To contact Nuala check out She also works with

Read: What’s the most common problem Irish couples want to talk about with a sex therapist?>

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