Our relationships are important to us. They are part of who we are and we depend on them for passion, support,and companionship. When a relationship has become unsatisfying or we believe it to be in jeopardy, we may lose a sense of security or seek other, sometimes unhealthy, ways of meeting our needs. Problems with intimacy and sex are common in relationships. There might be a lack of sexual desire in one or both partners or failure in communication. There are often psychological factors that may contribute to a sexual disorder such as erectile dysfunction, or a lowered desire after a new mother has given birth. If there is no resolution in sight, it may be time to seek therapy for guidance.
What contributes to a fulfilling relationship?
- Trusting and being trustworthy
- Mindfulness and thoughtfulness
- Mutual respect and self respect
- Open, honest, communication
- Intimate and passionate sexual connection
- Assuming the best about one's partner
- Showing an interest in the other's interests
- Taking care of one's health and fitness
- Having a social network that is supportive of the relationship (friends in common)
Some of the signs that sex problems are affecting a relationship include:
- Disappointment in oneself or the relationship
- One or both partners are feeling dissatisfied
- Couples lack communication and disconnect from one another
- One or both partners feel neglected or unwanted
- A feeling of sexual boredom or unhappiness
- Sleeping on opposite sides of the bed, or in separate rooms
- An aversion to the other's touch or lack of playfulness
- Infidelity or one or both partners wanting an open relationship (as a new, and uncharacteristic development)
- Excessive use of pornography or masturbation
Steps to take for treating sexual and intimacy issues begin with:
- Psychosexual Therapy: this technique allows couples to express themselves in a safe environment with a trusted and supportive professional.
- Relationship Counseling: healthy relationships require strong connections and time to build trust. Whatever the issue may be, a therapist can work with individuals together or separate to overcome the problem.