Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Does Good Sex Lead to More Sex? It Depends on Whether You Are a Man or a Woman.

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The couple is basking in the afterglow of lovemaking. Both have felt sexually and emotionally fulfilled. They discuss how this was a pleasant experience.

Several days later the man feels sure that his partner will agree to have sex that evening. He wants to recreate the wonderful connection of just a few evenings before and approaches her with an offer for more lovemaking. However, he is surprised and hurt because she is not only unenthusiastic, but is absolutely unwilling.

He feels rejected and cannot understand why his partner would not want to repeat what was such an enjoyable encounter for both of them. He knows her pleasure was real – why would you not want more of a good thing?

A man sees the sexual relationship as a specific pleasurable experience which helps him escape from other tensions in his life, including tensions in his relationship with his wife. The better the sexual encounter, the better to shut out those tensions!

A woman sees sex in a different context. The sexual experience is a part of and an expression of the relationship. Good relationships create the grounds for good sex.

Women are more likely to connect their sexual desire to their experience in the relationship as a whole. A woman who has a great night of sex followed by a few frustrating, emotionally distant days with her partner is more likely to feel sexually distant despite the recent pleasant sexual experience.

Men can use sex as a way to connect despite tensions in the relationship, whereas women need to talk out the tension. Men use sex to let go of tension, whereas tension interferes with women’s sexual desire.

A man should not be surprised that his partner resists a sexual encounter if there has been tension in their relationship. But he can still pursue sex.

The proper pursuit of sex would be through discussing the issues leading to the tension, offering reassurance of his commitment to work through the problems and offering physical contact free of an effort to elicit sexual arousal.

If you are thinking that your partner would say, “That sounds like too much work for sex,” then you have a more serious relationship problem.

When a woman feels emotionally and physically secure, she is more likely to be receptive to sexual advances, regardless of how great the last sexual encounter was.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Commitment to Marriage Counseling

    Kim Leatherdale

    I enjoy Kim Leatherdale’s, LPC, ATR-BC, NCC  blog, Creating Rewarding Relationships

    In a recent post she lists some of the signs of a lack of commitment to couples counseling. I think this is an excellent list and hope you will also check out her signs of commitment to couples therapy.

  • Not doing your "homework" between sessions
  • Only thinking about and processing the issues while you are in session
  • Avoiding true participation in session and keeping everything "light"
  • Trying to run the therapy yourself by determining what you "can" and "can't" talk about
  • Being a sporadic visitor to counseling
  • Hiding information from your counselor
  • Undermining counseling by picking fights, minimizing what the counselor teaches, and bad behaviors
  • Being a "yes man" - saying yes to what your counselor teaches and then not doing it
  • Refusing to make behavioral changes
  • Being disrespectful of the counseling directly or indirectly when not there
  • Blaming (overtly or covertly) your partner for everything
  • Not allowing your couples' counselor to speak to your individual therapist
  • Dropping out of therapy without processing the end with your counselor

A lack of commitment can reflect one partner’s power being the deciding force in seeking therapy. Take time to agree on seeking therapy, even if this means delaying choosing a therapist.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Making a Good First Impression at Home

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I recall my father coming home from work each night with a frown on his face. Was he unhappy to be home? No, I believe that he was lost in thought as he parked his car in the carport. Yet, the frown made an impression on me. I chose to keep a distance until I learned that he was in a good mood.

Now picture yourself entering your home after work. What message do you send?  Do you greet your mate with a smile that communicates, “I’m glad to see you” or do you communicate another message?

When you meet someone new, you make an impression in the first minute. Knowing this, you make an effort to appear friendly by smiling, making eye contact and turning your body toward this stranger. Do you make the same effort upon greeting your mate? Your body language, your tone of voice and your focus can communicate that your partner is a valuable part of your life. Conversely, ignoring your partner and diving into the mail or the television can send the opposite message.

A smile and greeting can set the tone for the evening. Make an effort to communicate your partner’s value by greeting him or her with a smile and make an effort to connect emotionally and physically before moving on to other tasks.