Couples Therapy for Sexual Problems
Couples have many different reasons for seeking help besides low desire. Sometimes one partner wants a different kind of sexual behavior that one partner doesn’t. Partners may have trouble negotiating an alternative lifestyle. You may have gone through a big life change like a long separation and are having trouble being sexual. Here you can find competent, compassionate couples therapy that goes beyond just teaching a technique but gets at the heart and soul of what needs to change to make love better.
- Abby and Len had on-going power struggles that so turned them off to each other that Abby would push Len away if he tried to approach her for sex.
- Whenever Sherry approached Bill to make love, he felt annoyed because they only made love when she wanted to, and then very infrequently.
- Juliann was date raped in college, but Noah never understood why she couldn’t have an orgasm. After 2 years of marriage, he was feeling so rejected he began an affair. When Juliann found out she was crushed and felt depressed.
In all three scenarios, there is very possibly an underlying couples’ problem. In the case of Abby and Len, they may be stuck in a pattern that they saw between their own parents. Sherry and Bill argue about sex; not only can’t they stop, but they are afraid to argue about anything else. And Noah withdrew from Juliann when she needed him, because he couldn’t talk to Juliann about the fact that he needed her; men just didn’t do that in his family.
In couple’s sex therapy, the relationship gets treated as well as the sexual symptoms. The aim of couple’s sex therapy is to make the overall relationship better, not just the sex. There are a few things that couples can try on their own:
- Have a “kitchen table” talk about your sex life. Talk about what you think is and isn’t working and see if you can sort things out by light of day.
- Stress is a desire killer; try decreasing or learning to cope better with demands.
- Take a vacation from all sexual activities and focus on other aspects of the relationship until you both feel reconnected.
If you’ve tried things like this, or you and your partner just cannot cooperate, then you owe it to your relationship to try sex therapy. A therapist trained in two different disciplines—marriage therapy and sex therapy—will be the most successful couples sex therapist. Dr. Buehler has a doctorate in psychology, emphasis in marital and family therapy, and is certified as a sex therapist. The work can be rocky at times, but is generally very rewarding for all involved when the relationship and sex life improve.
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