Even today, sex can be a taboo subject, more so any dysfunction in a sexual relationship – and with good reason! Sexual relationships are generally a highly private and sensitive matter, but what does that mean when things start to go awry?
Sexual behaviour can be frivolous, or intentionally highly loving and emotive, maybe both, but there are few areas of our emotional psyche that are more affected by our past, and current emotional and physical wellbeing. Put in other words, we often re-act within relationships, and especially sexual engagement, with a basis from previous and/or formative experiences.
Another way of considering this might be – who are you in a relationship with, sexual or otherwise? You ‘know’ who you met, originally. You ‘know’ how they look, smell, feel, sound and yes, taste!
But who are they emotionally?
When behaviours in the bedroom become unexpected, where does that come from? Here are some possibilities:
- At a deeper level, were the transitions through the various psychological growth periods – from ‘toddler’, child, adolescent or adulthood – interrupted by anything?
- Has there been any ‘abuse’ or significant emotional harm (to the recipient) in the past?
- What has changed if all appeared well before?
- An increase stress and pressure at work or home?
- Increase in alcohol intake?
- Depressed feelings?
- Intolerance and fatigue?
- Previous relationship memories?
- Illness? (Worth checking with your GP that there are no medications affecting you, or other physiological reasons for the symptoms)
Perhaps it is that communications are an issue? It frequently is!
When affected by any of the above or similar, and our sexuality is questioned it is perhaps inevitable that this will bring about painful and sensitive emotions. There is no better time than this to learn how to communicate and demonstrate kindness to yourself, rather than the usual self-berating stuff… and empathy (rather than sympathy) for your partner.
It is also worth remembering that both parties are deeply affected and without effective deep communication, the imagination begins to run wild…
“I’m no longer good enough, man enough, women enough”
“I’m no longer attractive, sexy… wanted”
…and, in reality, this is often far from the truth!
When affected by sexual dysfunction, it is crucial to communicate in whatever way possible. If you feel unable to talk, face-to-face, can you write down your feelings and thoughts? Just doing this for yourself is helpful and can put things into context – and if you can share this with your partner, then so much the better. By doing this, or however you convey what you are experiencing, you reduce the chance of misinterpretation from overactive imaginations! (When we are worried and imagine stuff in life, it is usually much worse than the reality!)
If you feel unable to communicate, in any way with each other, how will the challenge you both face resolve?
…affairs, relationship breakdown, anger, depression, and anxiety all eagerly wait.
…or you could do something equally courageous and use the guidance of a counsellor who has no stake in your relationship other than to improve matters! Understandably, this takes a huge leap of faith. Once again, the imagination dances in and states that this is ‘your’ business, no-one else’s, or what will the counsellor think of me/us, or, I/we can’t be ‘seen’ of as failures!
It is a failure if, as individuals or as a partnership, you are unable to communicate in any form. It is however, a sure sign of your commitment to yourself and your relationship if you care enough to do whatever it takes to enjoy the rest of your time together.
Anglia Counselling will provide the secure, and appropriate, conditions in which you can ‘unpack’ and learn to resolve these and other challenges. You can be seen as an individual, or couple, impartially and without judgement. Be the best you can, for you and your relationship.
Call or write soon for a view – in confidence and without obligation!