Are You Having Sexual Problems in Your Marriage?
Has Sex Become Boring?
Are You Feeling Disconnected?
Is it too Difficult to Discuss?
For many people sex is a sensitive subject. Even having a frank discussion with one’s partner can seem like a daunting experience. It becomes even more intimidating when a couple is having other problems that are affecting their sex life.
It is obviously very difficult to feel warm and fuzzy when there is conflict between you. I’m referring to the kind of discord that causes one partner or spouse to become disconnected to the other.
Once you enter into a long term committed relationship with a partner you are subject to the pressures of everyday life together. Developing and maintaining a loving connection that also has an erotic and sexual component is a challenge.
In most relationships one of the partners has more sexual drive than the other. There are also partners who feel sexy at different times of the day. He may want to have sex in the evening and she may want it in the morning.
Sexual intimacy issues often occur however when there is poor communication between partners that causes them to feel disconnected and at odds with each other. When sexual needs are not being met resentments often build and spouses can become distant and unhappy with their relationship.
Like with so many things, couples tend to form patterns of behavior in their sexual lives together. They will typically get comfortable doing the same types of sexual acts or behaviors over and over again, forming a predictable set of behaviors which, over time, may become less and less exciting.
Many couples are fearful of taking the risk of stepping out of those formed patterns. Despite how they may be feeling when it comes to sex, some partners do not share their feelings with their spouses.
There are many reasons why partners may keep their feelings to themselves when it comes to their sexual likes and dislikes.
For example: by calling attention to something that is lacking in the relationship (in this case the sexual/erotic component) you worry that your spouse may feel like they are being blamed; you may feel embarrassed to discuss your sexual preferences and think your partner will be unaccepting and reject you; you may even be ashamed of thinking “dirty” thoughts (even though those thoughts turn you on sexually) and would never want to say such things out loud.
Some Common Male Problems
Erectile Dysfunction (ED). You may be having problems with your ability to get or maintain an erection. This is often caused by psychological issues that could be dealt with in sex therapy or individual counseling.
Premature Ejaculation (PE) You find that you frequently ejaculate upon penetration (or before) and are unable to control this process. Here too psychological issues may play a significant role.
Inhibited Sexual Desire You find that your libido or desire for sexual activity has decreased significantly. Medical contributors such as diabetes, obesity, or even low testosterone need to be assessed so that a comprehensive treatment plan can be followed. When medical issues are ruled out, sex therapy can help you to better understand what may be going on psychologically and create strategies to treat this issue.
Men experiencing any of the above sexual issues can become depressed or even irritable and angry. It is a blow to a man’s self-esteem to think that he is unable to “perform” sexually or to satisfy his partner. His manhood is literally at stake.
His spouse may notice that he has become detached from her and could blame herself for what appears to be his disinterest in her when in fact it is he who is feeling too conflicted to be sexual or even romantic.
Sex counseling for couples with a professional sex therapist can help you and your spouse begin to sort this problem out without fear of being blamed or misunderstood.
Some Common Female Problems
Inhibited Sexual Desire This is the same issue for a woman as it is for a man. There is a diminished interest in sex and the desire for it. There could be many reasons for this including: stress, added responsibilities, age, illness or even a feeling of boredom with one’s sex life.
Lack of Orgasm (Anorgasmia) There can be many factors that contribute to a woman’s inability to be orgasmic. For example: illness or a medical condition, extreme stress or anxiety, her perception about having or deserving to have sexual pleasure in the first place, a hormonal shift caused by childbirth, pregnancy or even menopause.
Painful Sexual Intercourse This problem is often caused by medical issues such as: Vaginitis (vaginal infections), Vaginismus (vaginal muscle spasms experienced upon penetration) or other medical conditions causing painful intercourse. Psychological trauma can result from this as well causing anxiety to occur around any type of sexual activity.
From a strict medical perspective an addiction is a compulsive physiological need for and use of a habit-forming substance (such as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol). A person’s system builds a tolerance and, if he suddenly stops using, he has clear negative physiological symptoms which we call withdrawal.
By that definition having excessive amounts of sex is not an addiction because there is no substance being taken. However, in the complex world of modern society we have come to view this compulsive behavior as an addiction.
The features that make this type of behavior an addiction are that: 1) the individual seems not to be able to control the sexual behavior, and: 2) the sexual behavior has significant harmful consequences and continues despite these consequences. These features are the same for any compulsive or addictive behavior
In sex addiction therapy the client learns to understand both the psychological and physiological components of this type of compulsive behavior and how to deal with those components effectively.
Sex therapy with a certified sex therapist is a specialized type of counseling or psychotherapy. Through sex therapy, you can begin to address concerns about sexual function, sexual feelings and intimacy – either in individual sexual counseling or in sex and marriage counseling with a partner. It can be an effective resource for adults of any age, gender or sexual orientation.
Partners often experience a lack of desire for sex with each other. This, contrary to popular belief, is quite normal. It is a sign that the couple is ready for a change that can restore their interest in sex and intimate connection once again.
Sex counseling with couples is focused on helping the couple to achieve a healthy sexual relationship and learn more about sex and stress relief. This is sometimes accomplished by employing strategies designed to help the couple engage in activities that promote closeness and intimacy. However sex therapy can also help the couple establish more autonomy and separateness, often creating a new interest in each other and enhancing their desire.
Dr. Stan Hyman Can Help.
I am a Board Certified Clinical Sexologist, Diplomate of the American Board of Sexology and a certified sex therapist in Miami. As a board certified clinical sexologist I have studied the wide spectrum of human sexuality. I help individuals and couples address their sexuality and sexual concerns in a safe, non-judgmental environment.
I also help individuals who are dealing with compulsive sexual behaviors like excessive use of pornography, masturbation or promiscuous behavior. These and other problems can be treated effectively using comprehensive strategies.
For many people discussing sexual issues with another person, even a professional, may feel embarrassing or even shameful. In my Miami office you will find an atmosphere of understanding and acceptance.
Services are rendered either at my office located at 2999 NE 191 St. Suite 703, Miami, Florida 33180 or through video conference. Serving all of the greater Miami, Florida area or, through video conference, anywhere that there is broadband internet connection.