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I posted this question on the Divorced Women’s Club page a couple of weeks ago and it sure opened up some interesting discussion and comments.
It’s difficult or near impossible to establish just how many relationships are in serious ‘trouble’ due to the issues or conflict in the areas of sex and intimacy however I would have to say that from my experience working with a number of women it is right up at the top of the list of contributing factors, either directly or indirectly, of failed marriages and relationships.
Judith Steinhart, a clinical sexologist in New York City, says, “Problems in a marriage [like] lack of trust, anxiety, financial issues, misunderstandings, pressure from children, all can impact a couple’s sexual patterns.” The question, of course, is whether refraining from sex causes other problems, or if the other problems stop the sex in the first place?
Yes, there are a zillion different reasons why some couples are not having sex, some still intimate, many of these are legitimate and it takes two committed people to manage this as best they can. What I’m talking about here are marriages that are more like sharing your life with a room-mate.
Many people are embarrassed or ashamed to admit that when it comes to all things sex and intimacy things are not that great and decide that it’s easier to just ignore the situation, cross their fingers and hope everything gets better all by itself!
We all know how that plays out!
If you find yourself as the one feeling sexually unsatisfied, or craving physical touch and caressing which is, certainly from my perspective, a very basic human need, what do you do?
Most unattended situations that arise become problems and then big problems due to lack of clear and honest communication between the people involved. One or both parties holding back on saying the things that need to be said, expressing their concerns or desires for something to be different and asking for help from the other person to work through the problem together. It takes two people together to want things to be different and if you find yourself being the only one who is prepared to do something about it then from my perspective you have two choices.
You suck it up and accept that this is the way it’s going to be for the rest of you life together or you decide that you want and deserve something better than this and would prefer to go it alone and get on with your life.
Some of the ladies who commented on my question “Would You Stay In A Sexless Marriage’ on our Facebook page had this to say!
- Definitely sex and intimacy are two different things. Some people are “sex only” types and don’t understand how important other types of intimacy are to a relationship. But a life without intimacy is definitely roommate status. Intimacy can be anything from hugs – happy to see you hugs, shoulder to cry on hugs – or just snuggles to watch a movie and much more. But I don’t know many successful relationships with no intimacy and certainly couldn’t be in one.
- I did for 8 years too long!! Until I found the strength to move on xxx
- I did it for 10yrs, wishing & hoping it would magically get better – it never did – in fact got worse.
- Leaving a loveless and sexless relationship was best decision I ever made!
- Umm let me think…. No way!!
And just to keep things on an even keel from a male perspective my friend Bob Paff had this to say:-It’s a sad irony that sometimes it takes leaving the marriage to find the best sex! The reasons people withhold physical intimacy are complex and multilayered. Control, fear, embarrassment, prior abuse, depression, anxiety, etc. Unless they are dealt with, talked about and resolved, no one who seeks intimacy should have to live with a partner like this. It’s time to put sexual intimacy on the table for discussion, for both men and women.
It’s the most beautiful gift two committed people can give one another. For me, lack of this is a deal breaker.
I sometimes observe couples when I am in a coffee shop. It’s easy to pick the ones who are in the early stages of a new relationship where they are hanging onto each others words and completely engrossed in each other and then there are the ones who have obviously been together for a number of years, have very little to say to each other and just seem to be completely disconnected. And of course there are the ones that fit somewhere within that spectrum that just seem to have ‘something special’ – they way they smile at each other or a look that speaks a thousand words and just watching them warms my heart.
Maybe I’m just a hopeless romantic but why wouldn’t everyone want to be in a relationship where what you share with the other person is a very deep and special connection unlike any other in your life?
To share your comments or personal story – send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
With love and gratitude
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