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The Sex Dance. Are you in a Sex-Starved Relationship?
August 31, 2016
Welcome To The Latest Issue Of Relationships Matter!
HELLO from Richard Hamon, LMFT . . . here’s the guidance you need to TRANSFORM your problems into opportunities to achieve relationship bliss. Welcome to the August issue of Relationships Matter! My topic for this issue is sex and marriage, or problems that can negatively impact a couple's romantic life.
Is Your Marriage A Disappointment . . . Sexually?
Many of the couples I work with tell me their relationship has gone cold in the romantic area. I ask them, "How long has it been since you've had sex?" The answers are often shocking: "I don't remember," or "A year and a half," or "Five or six months," etc.
When I discover that a couple does not have an active or satisfying sex life, I know there are underlying problems in the relationship. And I know to identify and address those problems, or the sex life isn't going to get much better.
In fact, a couple's sex life is often a barometer for the relationship. A good relationship results in healthy sexual activity, whereas a bad one leads to problems in the bedroom, such as avoidance of sex.
Below you'll find some of the biggest reasons a couple's sex life may go south in intimate relationships.
Ten Relationship Problems That Interfere with Sex
Here are a few of the most common problems that impair sexual relations -- problems I often see with couples in therapy.
1. The spouses have drifted apart and are no longer well connected
2. Poor communication and low levels of trust
3. Excessive anger or hostility
4. An unresolved previous affair or a secret affair taking place in the present
5. A serious resentment pertaining to the past or present
6. "Negative sentiment override" (Gottman: the couple views their relationship pessimistically and every molehill is turned into a mountain of negativity)
7. One spouse no longer feels good about himself/herself and in turn does not feel sexy or attractive
8. Finger-pointing and blaming in the marriage
9. One spouse has a strong sex drive and the other a weak one, and they end up avoiding it because it's difficult and disappointing
10. Overwork and stress, one or both spouses are work-aholics
There are many other issues that ill-affect a couples romantic life, such as the failure to listen, an ADDICTION of some kind, including an addiction to Porn. Or one of the spouses has a physical or emotional illness that gets in the way.
Now, let's take a look at what a sexually frustrated couple can do to help themselves.
First, counseling and therapy may help a couple identify issues, discuss and move beyond them. It makes it easier to talk with an objective third party in the room. Another possibility is to get coaching from a professional relationship coach.
But there are many steps a couple can take to solve their problems. The most important step may be sitting down to talk about their sex life. Each spouse would reveal their feelings and their hopes for change. Then the spouses can begin to dialogue in a non-judgemental way about barriers that may stopping them. No blaming and no criticizing allowed. Just heart-t0-heart talking and listening, where the spouses work toward a greater understanding -- a blame-free, dynamic understanding.
Basically, it's important to find the underlying problem(s), address it and take steps to solve it. If there has been an affair, which was never fully disclosed, discussed and healed, there will be trouble in the bedroom, perhaps for years to come.
If there is a lack of trust in the relationship, the sex life will be a struggle. If one partner feels as if she/he has been taken advantage of in the past, they are going to cross their arms and go into self-protection mode, losing interest in sex.
Almost always a poor sex life sits upon a crumbling foundation of unsolved relationship problems. In other words, the friendship is no longer close or enjoyable, and one or both spouses may have given up on the marriage.
How to fix it?
Yes,it can be complicated, but repairing the friendship is the key to the kingdom.
To improve the friendship, solving a few problems may be in order. For example, If a partner holds a resentment that causes anger and fear, the resentment needs to be aired and understood.
Or, if the couple can't deal with conflict effectively, new rules for handling conflict need to be put in place, and spouses need to learn how to make it easier to talk and decide a course of action, instead of sweeping the conflict under the rug or getting made about the wrong things. A goal must be set to stop avoiding issues that result in conflict. Both will have to practice emotional control and bring up problems in a soft way, not a harsh one.
Learn to Compromise
When you can't resolve differences, try compromising. Compromise is a skill that sets strong relationships apart. Remember, solutions that a couple comes up with must work for BOTH spouses, not just the dominant, most narcissistic or loudest one. Expectations for your sex life may need to be discussed, too. Differences in expectation often result in unhappiness. Try to arrive at realistic expectations, upon which you both can agree. If, for example, one spouse is happy with the sex life, but the other isn't, it's time to talk, tell each other what you want and figure out how you can get there -- working together.
A healthy sex life is vital for a happy marriage. Sex creates a powerful way to bond with your mate, and to keep your relationship strong. The single best way to improve your romantic life is to grow your friendship. For, friendship fuels the flames of passion. And, remember, any issues involving trust are essential to clear up and overcome. Rebuilding trust takes time, hard work and patience.
Good luck, and write to me if you have any questions or comments. Thank you for reading this month's article on marriage and sexuality.
I have written many articles on how to solve mental health and relational problems over the past several years. Many are stored on my website and others can be linked to at eZineArticles.com Please help yourself to the articles, learn and enjoy! And, let me know if you'd like for me to write something on a different topic.
You'll find my original eBooks for sale on the website, too, which go into some detail and offer clinical insights and pointers that can help you navigate life's shark-infested waters.
Go to: www.happy-relationships.com and check them out:
1. "Relationship Gold"
2. "The Ultimate Relationship Solution"
3. "The Secret to Happiness" or what I like to refer to as the Happiness Prescription, my newest eBook
Relationship Gold is my most popular book (some people use it as a guide or resource, to help them rebuild a troubled relationship or affair-proof a marriage.
If you're interested in Finding Help for These Problems: try reading the free articles on my site, and don't forget to look for past issues of the eZine. You'll find help with situations like these:
1. You and your partner can't stop fighting
2. You’re about to give up on your relationship or marriage
3. You have lost an important relationship and don’t know how to get it back
4. You want to make your good romantic relationship bullet-proof, affair-proof and cutting edge
5. You want to enjoy all the benefits your relationships can give you, but feel your relationships are not reaching their potential
6. You’re stuck in a relationship rut, you’ve lost your passion and you want to re-invigorate your relationship
7. Your romantic life has hit rock-bottom, or has been slipping, and you want to re-ignite your sex life and make it sizzle again
8. You’re still holding on to your relationship, but you and your partner have grown distant from each other, and you want to be best friends again and communicate better
9. You let your relationship go, while you attended to other things, but time has gone by and now you can’t seem to get your relationship back on track
10. You want to take your relationships more seriously, and get more out of them, but you aren’t sure how to go about it
If you’d like more information on my articles, eBooks or Relaxation/Stress Management tapes, please go to my website at www.happy-relationships.com.
Thanks for reading The Hamon Group, LLC newsletter everyone, and have a great day. I’ll see you again soon.
Richard E. Hamon, LMFT Licensed Therapist & Certified Coach
Ezine ArticlesMore of My Writings
In addition to writing articles for Happy Relationships.com, I write articles for EzineArticles.com, and they have the articles published with magazines and newsletters on the internet. In the past few years, I have written over 100 articles on all kinds of mental health and self-improvement topics, such as depression and anxiety, loneliness, leadership and management, happiness, relationships, Near Death Experiences, meditation, hypnosis, parenting strong, resilient kids, and interpreting your dreams, etc.
If you'd like to see some of my MOST POPULAR articles, or my NEWEST articles, feel free to run over to Ezinearticles.com, and look up my author's page.
Get the links below . . .
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