Tell me if this sounds familiar. You work hard for eight hours, even more if you're getting over-time. During those eight hours you experience a wide range of emotions: happiness, stress, anger, and confusion.
At the end of that shift you're exhausted, and emotionally drained. On the ride home you do your best to leave all the junk from work behind, but it's hard.
You do all the activities you normally do when you come home. All is well and then it's bedtime. Your significant other starts to rub your back and kissing you, signaling it's "time."
At that point your mind and body send out conflicting signals. You would love to rip your clothes off, and do the deed, but you're tired. You're angry, stressed, and mentally drained.
Gallup just released a poll that says the average person spends 47 hours at work. When you spend that much of your week doing something, it affects every other aspect of your life.
In that moment when you could be experiencing magic, all you can think about is sleeping. In order to get through the horror of those eight hours all over again the next day, you need those precious moments on the pillow.
Your work is affecting your sex life one way or another. The effect it has is up to you, and largely the type of job you have. If you are in a job you hate, which is 87 percent of us, according to the Washington Post, it could destroy your sex life. Here's five ways how.
1. The stress is killing your sex drive
After you spend all day busting your butt at a stressful job, you just don't have all the energy you need to have for sex. You can muster up a second wind, but that last little bit of energy doesn't give you enough time to embrace the experience.
Dr. Logan-Levkoff points out five ways that stress is affecting your sex life in a great blog on The Huffington Post. The second point she makes is that stress takes a toll on your libido.
Basically hormones affect our bodies in different ways. Cortisol is one of the hormones produced by stress. Elevated levels of Cortisol being produced for long periods of time, like from a stressful job day in, and day out, suppresses other hormones. Lower levels of these hormones lead to a lower libido.
I realize stress comes from many different places, but I would argue that when you spend 40 hours plus of your week somewhere, it's probably one of the major causes of your stress.
2. The hours are killing the quality
If you are tired from work, it will affect how much energy you have. Less energy means less effort. Your partner is thinking chocolate and champagne, while you're thinking a solid ten minutes and you're good.
Dr David Delvin, GP and Christine Webber, psychotherapist, wrote an article for Net Doctor pointing out how the hours affect your sex drive and quality. They also point out that the hours, along with stress, lead to an unfilled sexual experience for both partners.
3. Neither partner feels sexy
When you're stressed out, tired, and overwhelmed from work, it's extremely difficult to feel sexy. Dr. Logan-Levkoff says. The stress alone can lead to a negative body image; a lower self-image leads to less sex.
A stressful work environment leads to bad habits. It could range from quickness to anger or odd sleeping patterns, or bad eating. This leads to weight gain; even a little amount can lead you to not like the way you look with your clothes off.
4. Your mind isn't clear enough to embrace your passion
Great sex requires a lot of you. One of the major ingredients to great sex is mental, not physical. When you have all that junk in your mind from work, you can't have a clear mind. You can try to free it up during that moment, but it's not the same thing.
5. You can't completely give into the experience
When you're dealing with stress, body image issues, a clouded mind, and all the things you constantly have to deal with at work, there's no way you can completely let go.
The best sex happens when you feel like all that exists is that moment. You block out the chaos of life, and just completely give in to those animal urges you have for that person who you love.
A bad work situation robs you of this kind of sex. Those work issues will always be in the back of your mind keeping stress levels on the surface. You just can't let go.
The picture I painted at the beginning of this post doesn't have to be yours. I'm not sitting here saying that every sexual experience has to be movie caliber, but it can be, if that's what you choose as a couple.
Your work affects your sex life, and every other area of your life. We don't get a second chance at life. How you spend your time now is important and irreversible.
My strong advice is don't spend it on a job you hate. I don't know what this means for you specifically, but you can leave a job you hate. It's going to take time, determination, a great plan, and more perseverance than anyone has ever seen.
Don't be the person that reads this, and automatically dismisses it because it's hard. Be the person that will at least think about it, the person that starts to see what's possible because he starts to believe.
Choose yourself, choose your relationship, and choose to truly live life. Choose a better relationship, and an amazing sex life. There are no easy answers for leaving a job you hate. All I can tell you is that if you start today, you can get there.
Has your work ever affected your sex life?
This article original appeared on The Good Men Project
Photo: Flickr/ JFullDivaJackett