Sex ad­vice

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - ADVICE -

There’s some­thing about our re­la­tion­ship that bugs me and I’ve never seen any­one else write about it so fi­nally I’m go­ing to. Maybe it’s a gen­der dif­fer­ence, but to me it’s be­gin­ning to feel more like a to­tal lack of con­sid­er­a­tion.

We’ve lived to­gether in a small apart­ment for three years now. We bought it as our first step into the prop­erty mar­ket. It’ll take for­ever to pay off the mort­gage so I can’t see us mov­ing to any­thing big­ger for a long time. My part­ner has lots of women friends who she likes to in­vite around for drinks, fre­quently. My own pref­er­ences for leisure time are ex­er­cise, some­times on my own and some­times with my part­ner, read­ing, on­line gam­ing and maybe so­cial­is­ing once a week.

You can see where this is go­ing: I feel like our space is in­vaded by women who talk at length about every­thing. I can’t bear to be around this and I don’t want to have to go out con­stantly. Then when they go, my part­ner, slightly drunk, wants to make love and I feel com­pletely turned off her. Is this a deal breaker? No, it doesn’t have to mean the end, but you two cer­tainly need to talk about this fun­da­men­tal dif­fer­ence be­tween you. I’m not sur­prised you don’t want sex when you’re re­sent­ing the sit­u­a­tion. Nei­ther of you are wrong, you’re just two in­di­vid­u­als, not syn­chro­nised swim­mers. How do I be me with con­sid­er­a­tion for my part­ner and our re­la­tion­ship is a great ques­tion to re­visit through­out your re­la­tion­ship. Raise the is­sue in these terms, mak­ing clear you want to get things right for both of you. Per­haps in her plea­sure at be­ing able to host her friends, your part­ner is over­look­ing your equally im­por­tant need to have some quiet time at home.

Is this ten­sion in you spe­cific to this mat­ter or are you wor­ry­ing about your mort­gage and other life re­spon­si­bil­i­ties? Per­haps you two have po­larised with your part­ner par­ty­ing away hap­pily and you spend­ing all your time be­ing se­ri­ous. This split isn’t nec­es­sar­ily gen­der based and it won’t be the last dif­fer­ence be­tween you that raises a chal­lenge. You two might find my book Stay­ing in Love help­ful (avail­able from sex­ther­apy.co.nz).

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