Marriage Therapy

6 Apr 2021

Unhappy Marriage; Unhappy Sex Life

When a headache becomes an excuse for avoiding intimacy, it’s often a sign of dissatisfaction in the relationship, whether at a physical, emotional or spiritual level. This is usually due to unaddressed or unresolved issues which can lead to resentment.

Couples’ ability to communicate and resolve issues is critical. When communication breaks down, as it so often does, couples may start to actively avoid contact with each other. The business of life offers plenty of opportunities or reasons not to have to deal with each other, which means couples only really come together at the end of the day when they climb into bed.

Now, as sexual beings with inescapable needs, we want to experience sexual intimacy – ‘the icing on the cake’, but unfortunately, if we haven’t mixed all the right ingredients together, we painfully discover that there isn’t even a ‘cake’ to begin with.

This is why I say sex starts in the kitchen and ends in the bedroom. It’s what you do for each other and how you relate throughout the day that determines what happens at night. For the sake of a healthy marriage and sex life, couples need to make a conscious effort to connect in a deep way every day.

There’s a good equation which says I = (D + F) C, in other words, Intimacy Equals Depth and Frequency of Communication. One of the most important things couples need to do is to learn how to dialogue with one another, which is a process of communicating on a predominantly emotional level. I call this the ‘Work of Love’, which really helps us know each other at a heart level.

From dialogue, we can move into the more familiar form of communication which is discussion, understanding what the other person thinks and wants on any given matter. These communication tools, when understood and applied properly, move our relationships from an unconscious and random experience, to a conscious and chosen encounter. It may sound clinical and contrived, but because we humans are complicated, how we relate with one another is extremely important if we are to get the most out of our lives together.

I encourage couples to invest the appropriate time, energy and finances in their relationships by understanding more of what’s really going on, just as you would engage in studying for a qualification to advance your career. You should not be surprised when, with greater understanding, the famine turns into a feast and you get to have your cake and eat it!

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