Most couples can revitalize their relationship after they’ve lost desire for each other and/or after being in their non-sexual relationship (10 sexual encounters a year (less than one per month) for a while, even for decades! This is good news! These dissatisfied couples loose hope of ever having an interesting, stimulating and satisfying relationship with their partner that includes a healthy sexual component. This does not have to be the case!!
Dissatisfied couples fall into patterns of relating that hold them back from their true intimate potential. They have a very limited repertoire of interactions within their tedious and boring daily routines and in their interactional style. They don’t utilize the spectrum of behavior and experiences available to them that automatically engender the feelings and relationship they crave.
Partners say they love each other, even though sometimes it might even be difficult to concede that, but crave the feeling of being-in-love with their partner, of having passion. Anthropologist, Helen Fisher, speaks of Romantic Love, comprised of passion, as a by-product of novelty. She claims that mystery, newness, physical activity, and joint endeavors increase the chemical levels in the brain that make us feel elated, in-love, passionate, energetic, high.
Couples don’t take advantage of the natural and built-in benefits of the novelty factor. Couples that have been together for a long time and that know each other well believe that novelty has gone out the window, but novelty can be brought into any relationship at ANY time with some external assistance: Doing new fun and physical activities, creating new routines, going on trips and vacation, doing joint projects or ventures, etc.
These couples’ situation is compounded when they bring into the relationship distorted views and definitions of intimacy and sexuality. Their expectations of fairy tale romance or porn/movie-like sexual encounters set them up for disappointments. These contribute to couples’ misconceptions, expectations and negative images of self and other that impede establishing and maintaining real levels of intimacy including mutually satisfying sexual interactions.
This can be addressed with a reality check, honesty, openness, and acceptance, and by adapting an anti-avoidance approach to intimacy, which includes: Positive anticipation, pleasure oriented sex and regular consistent sexual interactions.
Sometimes, with even the best of intentions, sex is worlds away. Sex follows a specific formula: Desire, Arousal, Orgasm and Satisfaction. This process is truncated when there is a lack of desire because of relational and circumstantial issues. Couples can manage this by reformulating their approach to physical intimacy: They can go for arousal first which in turn invites desire promoting the continuation of the encounter. Just get moving!
There are 5 Gears of Physical Intimacy according to Couple Sex Therapy Expert, Dr. Barry McCarthy, author of Rekindling Desire. The gears include:
Playfulness/Genital or Non-Genital
Erotic Stimulation (High Arousal)
Couples that are having difficulties or who are not fully satisfied in their relationship usually have only two out of these gears. They go from affection to intercourse. And, if they don’t make it to intercourse, they also give up on the affection… Not for nothing these partners feel disconnected, unloved and dissatisfied!
Integrating additional physical intimacy gears to the couple’s repertoire of interactions assist in creating the anti-avoidance mind set, promotes arousal/desire, and are a source of novelty. This is a must have tool!!
Couples can break the avoidance/dissatisfaction cycle, become more intimate, meet their needs and create a satisfying relationship. Add some novelty, touch more and have more sex and watch the Passion soar!!! Revitalize your relationship today!!!
~ Your MetroRelationship™ Assignment Their expectations of fairy tale romance or porn/movie-like sexual encounters set them up for disappointments. These contribute to couples’ misconceptions, expectations and negative images of self and other that impede establishing and maintaining real levels of intimacy including mutually satisfying sexual interactions. Non-judgingly discuss with your partner how this might be true in your relationship and create a more realistic joint perspective.
~ Share Your Thoughts & Successes in the comment box at the end!
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Copyright (c) 2016 Emma K. Viglucci. All rights reserved.
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Emma K. Viglucci, LMFT is the Founder and Director of Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC, a private practice that specializes in working with couples, she is the creator of the MetroRelationship:tm: philosophy and a variety of Successful Couple :tm: content that assist couples succeed at their relationship and their life. Stay Connected:tm: with Emma and receive weekly Connection Notes in your inbox with Personal Growth and Relationship Enrichment insights and strategies, visit: www.metrorelationship.com.