And do you hate to admit it? Do you feel like you’d really like to have a good sex life but struggle with marital problems that get in the way? Are you not attracted to your husband anymore? Have you lost your attraction to your wife? Or does it seem like your spouse is ALWAYS up for sex, and you’re NEVER up for it? Has this become such a painful or anxiety provoking issue that neither of you knows what to do about it anymore? Have you tried everything you know to try?
Perhaps you’ve tried talking about it, but it turns into a fight. Maybe you’ve tried romance, a little alcohol, or even antidepressants, but these only get you so far. Perhaps you have felt like communication is the issue, so you’ve tried to improve how you interact to improve your lack of intimacy, but the desire just hasn’t returned. Maybe you’re the one more interested in sex, but you’ve stopped initiating, tired of the feeling of rejection. Maybe you’re waiting for your spouse to make the first move…and you’ve been waiting now for months…or even years.
It’s so easy to think everyone else is having an amazing sex life, but it just isn’t true. In fact, intimacy issues are among the most common relationship problems. While it can be very scary at times, there are effective ways to work through these marriage difficulties using Sex Therapy, online counseling, or intimacy counseling. If you’re like most couples, you may be concluding that something must be terribly wrong for you to be having these problems in marriage. You may feel a lot of frustration with yourself or with your spouse. Perhaps you feel hopeless at times.
All of these feelings and reactions are normal. The sexual tug-of-war is more common than perhaps you think here in Georgia, and it comes in many forms. There’s the go-along- to-get-along pattern where a partner who may have lower desire sexual desire has sex to get it over with, usually in the hopes to get her partner off her back so to speak. There is the pattern where the couple stops having sex and stops talking about it at all. Akin to this pattern is the one where the couple stops having sex but argue about it painfully and unproductively. It feels like a celibate marriage to some. Of course there are variations on all of these, and many times one morphs into another.
Most often, when couples can begin to look at their intimacy issues as normal, they can gain the perspective needed to move toward a more satisfying sex life.
I love this cartoon because it speaks to so many aspects of sex therapy here in Georgia and around the country. It looks at the fear many couples have about sex counseling…like: Just how “in-our-bedroom” will this sex therapist get?! Many couples feel concerned about how much they will have to share about their sex life and their sexual preferences. It’s an understandable fear, but one that most people get through very quickly in the first session. Once couples realize that the sex therapy isn’t about judgment and that their sex therapist isn’t going to freak out when they hear something private and personal, couples can settle in and share what they feel is relevant and helpful for progress. The important thing about effective sex therapy and intimacy counseling is that couples get to the emotional patterns that keep the problem going. An experienced sex therapist can help guide this process along.
The other thing I love about this cartoon is that it pokes a little fun at therapists who maybe sometimes feel as if they can rescue couples from their problems. I understand it, but over my 20 years of practice here in Georgia I have learned that the most effective marriage counseling occurs when couples are empowered to take on their own issues…with guidance, of course, from their therapist. The most important sex and marital therapy will be the work you learn to do on your own.
This is a very common problem, when one spouse wants sex therapy or marriage counseling while the other is unsure. Consider these options:
*Start from the beginning if you haven’t already: Ask your spouse to go to therapy with you. Let them know that it’s important to you.
*If they are unsure, ask your spouse to consider attending just one or two sessions as a way for the therapist to hear both sides of the story.
*If they still say no, tell them again how important it is to you and that you will be attending a session at X time on Y date, and you hope they will join you. Remember, it only takes one to get the ball rolling in your marriage and in your sex life. Don’t be afraid to take the lead.
Sex therapy is not about getting one spouse to have more sex with the other. Often times this very pressure and the reactions that follow are what bring couples into sex therapy to begin with. I also don’t assume that more sex equals good sex. When my clients stop assuming this as well, it’s an important step in the right direction. When couples can step back from the tug of war with each other they also seem to be more able to respect each other. Respect for self and other is the beginning of a more satisfying and meaningful sex life, regardless of frequency. Frequency tends to increase when satisfaction increases.
Contact me today to learn more about Sex Therapy and how I can help.
"Getting over the superficial chatter is hard...Fortunately, Miriam has a way of lightly leading us from the periphery into the messy middle.