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The stresses and strains of modern life are being blamed for causing a slump in the bedroom, after it was revealed one in three married Brits find sex 'a chore'.
Sheer fatigue, stress at work and a general lack of satisfaction in the bedroom have emerged as some of the main reasons why for many being intimate with their spouse is now well down the list of priorities.
Worryingly, one in four went so far as to say sex was 'boring' and one in seven 'would rather read a book'.
A lack of attraction towards their partner and over-familiarity also ranked highly for killing the romance.
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The study of 2,00 adults, commissoned by a health and well-being mutual organisation, found the average couple has sex just five times a month.
The results of the study revealed a resigned one in ten of those polled say they just 'don't click' with their partner in that way any more.
And, sadly, one in 20 confessed they just don't think they love their partner enough.
Meanwhile, a fifth have faked an illness rather than face getting intimate in the bedroom.
Lawrence Christensen, spokesman for Benenden Healthcare Society, which commissioned the study, said: 'The strain of modern life is forcing married Brits to put their romantic lives on hold.
'Sadly, it appears that the statistics confirm the stereotype of sex lives taking a downward plunge within marriage - with it becoming a chore for a third of married Brits.
'Married couples are finding that their priorities are elsewhere and this is down to a variety of reasons, but the important point is that this is causing worry and impacting on mental well-being.
Sex isn't just the physical act but includes the expression of intimacy towards a partner and the statistics show that even then, Brits would rather read a book.'
The study shows the average Brit now ranks reading a book, watching television or making sure the kids lunches are made up as more important than sex.
Ensuring work is all done and making sure there is ‘nothing good is on TV’ are also distractions.
One in five said they have to feel their partner has shown them affection that day before they feel as if sex is an option.
And 43 per cent think their diet has impacted on their sex life.
The majority of people said it was inevitable their sex life faded after marriage - with one year, eight months and 23 days the actual point given for the spark fading.
One in ten married described their sex life as ‘non-existent’ while four in ten said it was ‘okay’.
Only a quarter reported they had a ‘good sex life’.
And if ever there was a reason for not letting yourself go once the wedding bells have faded, a massive 40 per cent of the study claimed they don’t find their partner as attractive as they did when they first got married.
Unfortunately though four in ten Brits think they and their partner are not well matched in terms of sex drive.
Mr Christensen said: “While a fifth of Brits say that sex is not an important part of marriage, many are finding that modern lifestyles are preventing a functioning sex life even when it is important to them.
“This is leading to worries and arguments and placing great mental strain on individuals. Is it time for married couples to reconsider their priorities?