Should You Break up With Someone if You Aren’t Sexually Compatible?

Should You Break up With Someone if You Aren’t Sexually Compatible?

Human sexuality was not a topic broached in America for most of its history. It wasn’t until the Kinsey Report in the 1950’s that we started talking about sex. This is also when we started to learn how wide and varied a spectrum human sexuality actually is. Sex is important in a relationship, and an integral part of human life. It helps couples stay connected. When a couple is not having sex, it usually speaks to some unresolved issue brewing underneath the surface. So if you used to have good sex together, but it somewhere fell apart, it is important that both of you sit down and work it out together, without any blame, guilt, or shame. Just try to find out where you went off the rails, and what you can do to get back on again. For those who believe that they are not sexually compatible from the start, or that once the honeymoon phase wore off, things fell apart, take a look at what the problem is. Each person should be able to explain to each other calmly and rationally why it is not working. Couples can have all sorts of sexual issues that put strain on their relationship. But many of these can be worked out, so that the couple can enjoy a happy, healthy sex life.

One common problem is the frequency of sex. Oftentimes, one person has a stronger libido than the other. This libidinal differential can be overcome in many ways. One is the one person who is less interested clear away presumptions and see if they can get in the mood. What turns this person on? Is it a certain kind of talk or atmosphere? Try and build that atmosphere and incorporate those aspects that they like, and see if they can get turned on. But if it does not work, perhaps some other accommodation can be made. No one should be forced to have sex against their will. Everyone has the right to sovereignty over their own body. That said, there may be other ways to please the libidinous lover in a way that is mutually acceptable such as digital stimulation, oral sex, body contact, watching while they masturbate and engaging in dirty talk, and more. A total lack of libido is often a symptom of a deeper psychological issue such as depression, or a physical one, such as a side effect of a certain medication. The appropriate person should get checked out if this is the case.

Another problem could be competing roles. Usually in the bedroom one person likes to be dominant, the other submissive. There are a scant few who are known as “switches” who can go equally both ways. But what do you do if you both want to be dominant or submissive? Why not take turns? Remember that giving your lover the kind of sex they want is a gift. It speaks to your generosity as a lover. What’s more, being able to grow beyond our comfort zone or normal mode of operation from time to time helps us to test our boundaries, and ultimately grow as a person. If it is a specific sex act your partner does not want to engage in, like oral sex, consider how important it is to you. Can you really not live without it? Most couples take it out of their performance and move on to things they are mutually interested in. But if you cannot live without it, you may have to talk about other arrangements, or just find a new partner. Another difference that can come up are “comfort creatures” who know what they like and want to stick with it, versus “thrill seekers” who get bored with repetition, and desire novelty in the bedroom. How do you negotiate this situation? The best thing to do is to each of you explain what your fantasies are, and find places where you can compromise. Another option is to negotiate. “I will do (blank) for you if you do (blank) for me.” Find ways to have both novelty and safety, like role playing and wearing different costumes. It is still you, but it isn’t. That way you both get what you want.

To learn more read, Marriage and Sex Box Set: Best Prescriptions on Keeping the Flame Ablaze and Maintaining a Happy Bond (Relationship Advice & Marriage Help) by Sheila Butler and Cassandra Levy.

 

Reminiscing Can Renew Your Relationship

Senior Couple Lounging on a Wood Deck

Reminiscing Can Renew Your Relationship

Of course we have to discuss the day-to-day upkeep of the household and so on with our partner, but this can get dull fast. However, sometimes when you’re sitting around, talking about the old days you can get to laughing and really get the old engines purring. Reminiscing can renew your relationship, so says a study out of the University of Queensland.

Just last year psychologists Kim Halford and Susan Osgarby sought out to test positive reminisce as a tool to boost relationships. Participants were all married for at least one year and ranged in age from 21 to 65. They all had varying degrees of marital satisfaction. None were in couple’s therapy. Two groups were created from this one pool. There were 27 put in one group and 25 in the other. Each person was asked to describe a “really positive relationship memory.” Then each partner proceeded to spend five minutes explaining one. Important events in their life together such as the birth of a child, their wedding, holidays, and shared successes such as buying their home.

Happy couples were more intimate than distressed ones as shown by this study. Happy couples became even happier sharing their reminiscences together, while distressed couples became sad. Researchers believe this is because they realize how much happier they had once been.  Happy couples seemed to be telling the stories jointly, joining in and adding facts or color as the other went on.  They elaborated on one another’s comments and this seemed to make them happier too. For happy couples even negative things that happened in their life were recalled positively. Happy couples even hugged and shared close behavior, which was absent in the distressed couples.

A lesson to learn from this study is not taking part in negativity in your relationship. Distressed couples criticize, invalidate and take part in negative behaviors towards one another. This reminiscing can make you sad if you are in a distressed relationship. If so, realize when negative behaviors pop up. Agree to take a time out at these times, and come back later with clearer thoughts and discuss calmly the issues at hand. Reminisce often. Get those old feelings flowing again. If reminiscing makes you happy let it renew your relationship. If not find out why and fix it. For more advice read, Renewing Your Wows!- Seven Powerful Tools to Ignite the Spark and Transform Your Relationship by Jeffrey H. Sumber.

A Lasting Relationship Comes Down to Two Things

lasting

A Lasting Relationship Comes Down to Two Things

How many married couples make it to happily ever after? According to psychologist Ty Tashiro only three in ten marriages contain health, happiness and longevity. So what makes some marriages toxic while a slim few stick it through? John Gottman might have the answer. He is a prominent psychologist who has been studying relationships for only about four decades. He along with psychologist Julie Gottman—his wife, run their own institute figuring out what it takes to make love last. “The Love Lab” at The Gottman Institute in New York City has run many a fascinating study. In one, newlyweds were hooked up to electrodes and asked a series of questions including how they found each other, what was a big problem they faced together and to share a cherished memory. The electrodes measured their heart rate, blood pressure and sweat response to signify the level of stress each was experiencing. The couples were followed up with six years later, to see if they were still a couple. Soon a pattern emerged. Gottman separated newlyweds into two groups: the masters and the disasters. Those who were still together six years on were masters, those who had broken up disasters.

Couples who had activated systems where their heartrate was racing, their blood pressure was high and their sweat glands were active were the disasters. Those whose systems were calm were masters. The reason was, those disasters just sitting next to their spouse and answering questions made them nervous. Their body was in a state of hyper-arousal, the fight-or-flight response. This raised their heart rate and blood pressure, and perhaps that of their partner. This physical response made them more likely to lash out at their partner which made the couple unstable. As a result of following thousands of couples over a long period of time, Gottman found that the quicker their system was during these initial interviews the less likely they were to have staying power. Masters were generally well connected, and calm during these interviews. Now the researcher wanted to know what aspects of masters helped them to keep intimacy flowing and how they stayed so close and connected. In the inverse, how did disasters shutdown channels of intimacy? What he noticed was when interacting, those couples that showed an interest in one another’s interests had a closer relationship. When one mentioned something they were interested in, called “bidding” if the partner responded positively, this helped build connection. But those who turned away or responded negatively missed a chance at connection.

Couples who had staying power looked for places where their significant other did something well and complimented them on it. They built an atmosphere of respect, tenderness, curiosity and love. The masters would notice things about the partner and compliment them on it. It came down to two things really: appreciation and kindness. Conversely, the end of a relationship was near when one or both partners showed contempt. Being kind bound couples together. Contempt and being taken for granted tore couples apart. Kindness should be thought of not as a trait but as a skill we all have that we either hone or do not. Some are kinder than others but we all have the capacity for compassion. It’s what makes us human. In our technological world we often get caught up in emails or social media. But instead of just muttering a response to our spouse, we should really listen to them and find elements of interest, when we don’t we miss an opportunity to grow closer. If we can remember to keep kindness and appreciation in our relationships, according to Gottman’s research, then we have the best chance of success. For more on the logic of love read, The Science of Happily Ever After by Ty Tashiro.

The Happiest Couple’s Secrets According to Science

date

The Happiest Couple’s Secrets According to Science

Is your relationship as happy as it could be? Thanks to some recent breakthroughs in research we have some indicators of what the most sublime duos do to perpetuate their love locked bliss. So if you want to know how to bump up the contentment quotient in your relationship, read on to see what the happiest couple’s secrets are according to science.

First, research has shown that celebrating one person’s good news fortifies the relationship considerably. In one particular experiment couples who celebrated small benchmarks three times a day for a week increased their bliss and decreased depression in their relationships. According to another study a happy marriage or long term relationship is worth $105,000 per year in terms of satisfaction. Who knew? Joyful couples have been found to have five positive interactions per day to one negative one. This is being called the “happy couple ratio.” Those who divorced however had eight tenths of a happy interaction to one negative one. It seems that if you increase the positivity, your marriage or long term relationship gets happier. This may sound simple to some. But look at your own relationship. How often do you interact positively versus neutrally or negatively? Observe your own relationship for a few days and see what conclusions you have.

Some of the ways to increase positive interactions within your relationship could be paying your sweetie a compliment. Just a simple text saying “Hi handsome” or “How’s it going gorgeous” would suffice, though doing a little more when something noteworthy comes along would be even better. A small gesture or gift from time to time is a great way to show your appreciation and love. Another positive move, reminisce together, bring up great memories you both share. Lastly, do something nice for your partner like cooking them dinner, giving them a massage, doing a chore for them, or watching the kids to give them a break. The biggest influence that determined the quality of a relationship was found by a whopping 70% to be the quality of the friendship between partners. Part of that close friendship includes talking more and spending more time together, five hours per week more actually.

Couples who spent more time in the bedroom were happier too. Those who had sex two to three times per week were the happiest. In fact, 55% reported being happier when they had intercourse every few days. When congratulating your significant other for accomplishments large or small, research suggests asking questions, saying congrats, showing enthusiasm and reliving the experience along with them. For more advice read, The Normal Bar: The Surprising Secrets of Happy Couples and What They Reveal about Creating a New Normal in Your Relationship by Chrisanna Northrup, Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D., and James Witte, Ph.D.

Convincing a Relative to Leave an Abusive Spouse

men-talking

Convincing a Relative to Leave an Abusive Spouse

It’s horrible when you find out a relative of yours is in an abusive marriage or relationship. You can feel so helpless. On the one hand, you want to say something so badly. On the other, you are afraid that they will resent you for trying to break them up, or merely swear nothing is wrong and distance themselves from you. This is a delicate matter which must be approached correctly, and with finesse. One way to handle it is to get them alone. Talk to them about your own relationship. If you are single, talk about your parents, a sibling, anyone else’s relationship. Talk about positive things that their spouse or significant other did for that person, or how they handle fights by communicating so well.

Get them to open up about their relationship. With enough details they should start to compare and come to the conclusion that something isn’t right. Don’t push and don’t expect that they will come to this conclusion the first time. Instead, keep trying to drop subtle hints without coming right out and saying it. If this doesn’t work, you may have to have an intervention. The problem with this kind of relationship is that the spouse is so manipulative they make them think that the spouse needs them and eventually that they cannot live without the spouse.

Be careful as his or her behavior may not be counted on. They may lash out at you at times, get depressed, even miss the spouse who is abusing them. Be patient with your relative. Remind them why this is happening. Get them away from it all to a place where they can relax and have fun. Give them chances to show what they know and help them to build self-esteem. In many abusive relationships, one spouse beats down the other for so long, that they can feel worthless. Give them little goals and celebrate it when they reach them. Give them space if they need it. But let them know that you will be there for them, no matter what.

In terms of safety, get your relative to a safe place like a battered woman’s shelter, or to live with you or another relative without contact with the abusive spouse. If need be, have them contact the authorities. Make sure that they get the help that they need. Your relative should start therapy if and when they are ready. The town or city can direct you to free services in your area.  Take heart, your relative will get through this. They will thank you and will be so grateful that they had you and other good people to get them through this difficult time. And someday they will meet someone who treats them right. If you’re trapped in an abusive relationship read, The Emotionally Abusive Relationship: How to Stop Being Abused and How to Stop Abusing by Beverly Engel.