She Said, He Said: Wanna rock your world? Make sure your partner knows what you like, want
She Said, He Said
Dear Lori and Jeff,
My husband and I have been together for almost six years and I still love him every bit as much as I did when we got married two years ago. The problem is that I’ve become less and less interested in sex with him as time has gone by. He’s a great guy, stable and responsible and attractive, but I sometimes fantasize about being swept away by some mysterious lover who can better fulfill my needs. I would never risk losing what we have or hurting him by leaving or having an affair but I know something has to change. Help!
Fifty Shades of Fantasy
Lori and Jeff: British research published in 2017 in The BMJ surveyed over 10,000 adults about their attitudes toward sex. Among some of their related findings, 15% of men and 34% of women reported that they had a lack of interest in sex. Women more frequently reported diminished interest in sex once they were in a relationship for more than a year, and both sexes said poor communication and a lack of emotional connection were contributing factors. The study also found that when heterosexual couples were at ease talking about sex, women were more likely to be satisfied with their sex lives.
Jeff: Relationship guru Esther Perel says it’s difficult to have sexual eroticism and emotional vulnerability at the same time. We all want to feel the safety and security that allows us to open up emotionally, but that often dampens the energy for erotic intimacy. It sounds like your relationship has defaulted to a more stable and predictable storyline with your husband going too far in that direction. While it’s nice to have a solid, stable guy, sometimes over encouraging that behavior backfires when it comes to wanting to be swept off your feet.
Rewarding him for being steady and predictable might be sending the wrong message — that you don’t want him to be impulsive in the bedroom (or on the kitchen counter). Ask yourself if you are depending too heavily on his stability to create safety and security in the relationship and what you might be able to do to encourage him to be more spontaneous. Let him know that you appreciate his reliability but that you’d also welcome a bit more mystery and intrigue.
Lori: What are your needs? Are you looking for your partner to help you unleash your unbridled passion? To make you feel like the sultry goddess you crave to be? If you’re disappointed that your partner is not making you feel something about yourself — sexy, desirable, spontaneous — you’re blaming the wrong partner. There’s a natural high that we get early in the relationship by having a new mate so satisfyingly stroke our ego simply by being into us. The reality is the more time we’re together, their interest in us no longer creates that “I’m a walking thirst trap” feeling. Their opinion of us just doesn’t hold the same power over time. It’s one reason some people get stuck as serial daters. But for you, and all the other readers who want to keep their relationship, the work is in owning your sexuality. Who are you in your fantasies with others? What’s the energy that your imaginary lovers evoke? If you want a satisfying sex life, it’s your responsibility to embrace and become that. If on the other hand, the problem is that you’re not getting to the big O, find out for yourself what gets you there and share your discoveries with your man.
Lori and Jeff: As with most relationship issues, diminished interest in sex can often be overcome with more open communication. But first you have to really be clear of what you’re asking for, and then give him the space and permission to rock your world.
Lori and Jeff are married, licensed psychotherapists and couple-to-couple coaches at Aspen Relationship Institute. Submit your relationship questions to info@AspenRelationshipCoaching.com and your query may be selected for a future column. For more relationship advice, subscribe to our “Love Matters” podcast on iTunes.
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