If you are reading this, you probably know a woman, are married to a woman, or are a woman who has had sex with her partner resentfully.
It happens all of the time.
Women. Please, stop engaging in this damaging activity.
If you are unfamiliar with the why’s and how’s of this behavior, let me explain.
For many (most!) married people (especially with children), sex changes in the first 5-7 years of their relationship...changes, like, they are not having it as much any more. Women say, “If I don’t have sex with him, he gets angry and grouchy…so it’s just easier to do it even if I don’t want to.”
As a woman who has been married, going on 15 years, I understand the seeming logic of this thought process. As a couples’ therapist, it makes my skin crawl and my heart ache because this line of “problem solving” creates more problems than solutions.
My skin crawls because I know what kind of internal havoc plays out when a pattern is created and supported in a relationship where someone must betray themselves in order to satisfy their partner. Ouch.
My heart aches because what a disservice to our men to believe that they cannot handle their own emotions but that we must take care of their hurt feelings through sex. Ouch.
Of course, men have a role in this dynamic as well.
I most commonly hear from men that they feel so tired of being rejected that they resort to adolescent overtures when it comes to initiating sex. This in an effort to self-protect from what seems like the inevitable let down.
Not surprisingly the adolescent gesture is rebuked by the wife who further infantilizes her partner by likening him to having a “third child in the house” that she needs to take care of.
You see where this is going right?
When sex is transactional it feels like a chore to tick off the list next to grocery shopping. All the things that make sex enjoyable: spontaneity, desire, whimsy, and emotional connection erode and what is left is a physical act which is maybe a notch above our primate ancestors.
Is this really the best that we can do?
As I see it, sex and intimacy are the emotional and spiritual training ground for our own personal evolution.
In committed relationships, sex and intimacy are almost always where conflict emerges and where people feel stuck. In these stuck places, you are faced with returning to the “dysfunctional comfort zone” of acting in ways that will cause resentment, blame, and anger or moving in to the new and uncharted territory of the unknown — the place that stretches you in to being a better version of yourself and calls your partner to do the same.
The landscape of intimacy can feel like an emotional minefield so it is no wonder that you revert to behaviors that you know won’t “work” in the long wrong. But the choices get you through this moment so that you don’t have to think or feel the extraordinary discomfort, ache, longing, or disconnection that is really there.
Dig deep! Expect more from yourself in relationship not the same-old-same-old.
Drop the martyr roll in your relationship and re-orient to a new place of vitality, desire and connection. Make a commitment to that with your partner and see transformation happen before your eyes!
If you are really ready to do things differently, get some support. Call us today at 720.457.3342 and let one of our trained and licensed relationship therapists help you have the sex life that you can look forward to.