Can This Relationship Be Saved?

An intimate relationship is not without its problems; follow the fortunes of Sean and Tricia to see how they cope with their relationship challenges; especially in the bedroom and beyond. These two short films explore the issues of communication, sex and the “other woman”. Produced by Better Blends Relationship Institute, Ultimate Prestige and Fresh Productions, these films were shot on location in beautiful Barbados.

Follow the links to watch and please feel free to comment

 

 

 

When You Are Not In a Sexual Groove

boredLet’s picture it. You come in from work feeling a bit tensed and tired. You undress and pop into the shower for a long steamy bath. You step out to dress hoping to unwind to a wonderful movie, magazine or book; you know, some good old me time. Then you sense it. You’re being watched by a pair of hungry eyes but really, the last thing on your mind is making love. So you look for that long snugly tee shirt, make sure you put on a pair of unsexy undies, hall out your dog-eared novel and pretend that you didn’t read those heated signals.

Let’s change the scenario. You and your spouse have not connected in a while and you have a bit of an itch which needs to be scratched. So you spend some extra time in the shower that night. You put on some of that new scented stuff you bought recently and pull out a little sexy number you haven’t slept in for a while. The kids are all tucked in and you give your man that sexy come hither look. He doesn’t need a second invitation but promises to be in, as soon as he completes that urgent, need-to-be-delivered-in-the-morning project on his computer. What begins as a bearable half hour wait begins to feel like two hours.  By the time he turns in, your mood is gone and you’re half asleep and angry at the same time.

What each of these scenarios reflects is the reality of mismatched timing and differences in desire; clearly a part of any marriage relationship. What should the response be when our spouse wants to get his groove on but we’re clearly not in the mood? What happens when the tables are turned and our amorous advances aren’t exactly met with immediate enthusiasm? The fact is that in a relationship, our sexual expectations will not always be met. Of course we have a number of response options to choose from when this happens; these responses include sulking, anger, withdrawal or understanding. Getting to a place of understanding may not, however, be always easy since we tend to link our sense of worth, acceptance and attractiveness to our sexual desirability. And the truth is that we don’t usually handle sexual rejection or insensitivity very well. We often take it very personally and if it occurs frequently, we can begin to wonder if our partner is cheating on us or no longer finds us attractive. These notions in our head, real or imagined, can introduce much tension into the relationship.

While unresolved issues, buried anger, hidden affairs, relationship neglect and a failure to communicate will most certainly be felt all the way in the bedroom, quite often, desire differences can be a consequence of other factors. Reaching a place of understanding when these differences occur will be critical to our ability to move our relationship forward. The following reflects some of the common reasons why we may not always connect sexually with our spouse.

1. Contrary to popular opinion, most men are not always sexual ever-ready batteries. Work-stress, financial difficulties and even testosterone levels can all affect a man’s desire for sex. Male depression can often be masked and because men are usually not raised to be emotionally expressive, they bury their feelings and can act out by sexually rejecting their spouse.

2. The female hormonal cycle plays a big part in a woman’s desire for sex. As nature would have it, a woman is horniest when she is most likely to get pregnant; which is usually mid-cycle. Outside of this, her desire for sex will fluctuate but can be positively influenced by her partner’s sensitivity to her emotional needs, the overall quality of their relationship and by how she feels about her sexual self.

3. Our misreading of signals on the sexual radar can also contribute to bedroom misses. Our tiredness or preoccupation with work issues can cause us to miss heated looks. A simple request for a back rub or neck massage, can be veiled expressions of sexual desire which men especially miss because many want direct hits like crotch-grabbing, which most of us women are not inclined to give. A simple request by a woman to talk, can also be a roundabout invitation to pleasure-land, since most of us want to also experience a strong emotional connection. Many men who dread communicating with their women, miss the opportunity to turn talk into great sex.

4. In the general scheme of things where meeting our partner’s sexual needs is concerned, selfishness is perhaps the greatest enemy. Being tuned in only to our own needs and concerns means that we care very little about our partner’s. So focusing on our tiredness, our bad day, our feelings, our sex drive or lack thereof, will cause us to deliberately ignore or see as unimportant, the body language of our partner which is screaming at us “make love to me”.

Ultimately, understanding why our sexual groove with our partner may be out of sync, is the first step in attempting to make it right. Carving out time to relax and reconnect in a non-pressured environment, is a great way to get our sexual groove back. Scheduling dates for sex also ensures that at least in those times, we and our partner are on the same page. Of course I am not suggesting that our sexual desires will always match our partner’s or vice versa. Knowing, however, that we each need to move away from an overt focus on ourselves is the first step in attempting to satisfy each other sexually. While a relationship is about a whole lot more than sex, prioritizing sexual intimacy, signals that both you and your partner understand what makes this relationship exclusive and distinct from all others and indicates your willingness to work at it.

 

 

 

Have You Settled For Sexlessness?

According to sexperts, if your marriage is characterized by sex which occurs ten times a year or less, you are living in a sexless marriage. Some experts argue that if both members of a couple are content with this light-sex or low-sex trend, then there is really no issue. I disagree. An individual may be content or even happy to live without exercise, he/she may be happy with consuming loads of calories without eating healthy; this does not mean that this individual is making the best life-choice. Healthy eating and exercise undeniably improve the quality of life for us all. And if we fail to eat healthy, it will tell on us sooner or later.

In the same way in marriage, sexual expression is an indelible part of what defines the marriage. The idea of “two becoming one”, which is often repeated in marriage ceremonies, makes intuitive sense to most of us because it ratifies the significance of marriage as a sexual union. Marriage is not room-mating; it’s not just about sharing living spaces and bills with our best friend.

If either spouse or both are content with minimal or no sex, they are actually denying themselves a vital marriage “vitamin” which is guaranteed to strengthen and deepen their intimacy. It’s like deciding NOT to be your best self. Yes; how much times we have sex is not etched in tablets anywhere and we don’t have to get caught up in a keeping-up-with-the-Jonses’ routine in the sex department.  However, striving for an ideal of regular sexual connection can only benefit our marriages.

If sexlessness defines your marriage, you don’t have to settle for it with the belief that this is okay and no deal-breaker.  It’s time to stop robbing your marriage of its vitality. Hopefully, these tips may help.

Start the Conversation

Some may say, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. I say fix it before it becomes broken. This means making the discussion about sex a priority in your regular marriage dialogue. I’m sure that most of us discuss the bills, the need to change our vehicle, our bosses, and our kids. Well we also need to discuss our sex. Are we content with how much sex we’re having? Are we sufficiently connected sexually or is our relationship lacking? Do we relate like brother and sister instead of like lovers? Do we pay so much attention to being parents that we have forgotten what it is like to be sexual partners? When we think about sex with each other do we do an enthusiastic “Oh yes!” or a regretful “Oh no”?

Carve Out Time

Yes we all want great passionate, spontaneous sex but there is nothing wrong with planning a liaison especially when children are around. Carving out time is however not restricted to when we have sex but refers as well to the time we commit to the general relationship. Sex does not occur in a vacuum but reflects an ‘out-flow’ of the entire tone of the relationship. While some may say that sex sets the tone, things like communication, mutual validation or spousal-support are also critical measures of relationship health. Taking time to improve our relationship health all-round, is sure to redound to  the sexual  department.

Be a Sexual Person

For us women, there is a distinctly sexual -feeling we get when we don that sexy lingerie or have a make-over done. Thinking sexual  thoughts about  our spouse as well  as celebrating our own body by  pampering it a bit  is  a  great way to turn our sexy on. Once we’re in a place mentally where the sexual light is flashing green, then it’s a whole lot easier to initiate the act with our spouse. (Listening to that R and B classic “Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye, may also help quite a bit).

Re-Invent Your Marriage

If sexlessness has defined your marriage to this point, re-inventing it will be no easy feat. Getting a different outcome means doing things differently. This will mean altering your mind-set and making the sexual expression of your marriage a priority.  Of course if there are unresolved issues in the relationship like un-confessed infidelity, pervasive anger or a serious lack of communication, then these issues will need to be dealt with before the issue of sexlessness can be fully resolved.

Viewing your marriage as an intertwined whole as opposed to a series of unrelated fragments, is critical to addressing the issue of low-sex. Where the issues go deep and may be connected to past abuse, then intervention by a counselor or therapist is advised.

Regular sex is like the “apple a day” of your marriage. You may not need to compete with a national average but keeping that sexual connection going is a sure-fire way to guard against the threat of both sexual and emotional infidelity. On top of this, it serves to distinguish your marriage as a relationship which is distinct and set apart from all others.  Is this not the reason you exchanged the vows in the first place?