CUR­RENTS

Bayview Post - - Currents -

re­la­tion­ship sat­is­fac­tion, you have to ad­dress the ele­phant in the room in a pro­duc­tive way. If you hurl ac­cu­sa­tions, make de­mands or frame your­self as a vic­tim, you won’t get the re­sult you seek.

In­stead, talk about why you’ve stopped hav­ing sex and how you feel about it. Be hon­est about the role of life changes (e.g., kids, hor­mones, health, stress, grief) and look for so­lu­tions to the un­der­ly­ing is­sues. You may want to seek the sup­port of a ther­a­pist or coun­sel­lor to guide you through these heavy con­ver­sa­tions.

Be mind­ful of the fact that a range of in­ter­est in sex is healthy and nor­mal. If you ac­cuse your part­ner of hav­ing or be­ing a “prob­lem,” you’re look­ing to place blame — not to iden­tify po­ten­tial so­lu­tions.

It is pos­si­ble to find mid­dle ground if you’re both will­ing to lis­ten. If your part­ner has lost in­ter­est in sex, you need to en­sure they feel safe ex­press­ing why. Some­times we lose in­ter­est in sex be­cause it’s not ex­cit­ing or sat­is­fy­ing. This can be a dif­fi­cult sub­ject to ad­dress, but it’s an es­sen­tial con­ver­sa­tion. You both need to know what the other likes and how ad­just­ments to at­ti­tude, ap­proach and reper­toire might af­fect in­ter­est in sex.

In other cases, we lose in­ter­est in sex be­cause of un­der­ly­ing re­sent­ment or ex­haus­tion. You’ll need to work to­gether to ad­dress these is­sues and make spe­cific changes with­out the ex­pec­ta­tion of sex as a “re­ward.”

You’ll also want to con­sider whether you both want to rebuild your sex life. If it’s one-sided, you may be at an im­passe. If you’re both open to re­build­ing the sex­ual connection, it’s im­por­tant to iden­tify the de­sired out­comes.

While you’re work­ing on un­der­ly­ing is­sues and en­gag­ing in mean­ing­ful con­ver­sa­tion, sched­ule time for al­ter­na­tive forms of af­fec­tion and connection. Sex­less is not syn­ony­mous with loveless, so look for ways to con­nect emo­tion­ally and in­ti­mately so that when it’s time to con­nect sex­u­ally, you’re not start­ing from scratch.

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