Putting Passion Back Into Your Relationship
After getting a number of letters from women who aren't getting enough sex in their marriages, Dr. Phil wrote a column in O, The Oprah Magazine. The following are some of his suggestions for improving your sex life.
- Diagnose the problem. Examine your lifestyle and make sure that you are carving out time to have sex with your partner. Sexuality is a pattern, something that needs to happen on an ongoing basis or else other things will crowd it out. It's about behaving your way to success. Like the old adage: Use it or lose it.
- Figure out how sex got moved down the priority list. One of the biggest mistakes that couples make is when they have children, they stop being friends and lovers because they've become moms and dads. Being a parent is just one of the roles that you play, and neglecting the role of partner and lover is a huge mistake. It's possible you may need to spend less time at the office or learn to say no to other commitments.
- Put your sex life on project status. Make a conscious decision to recommit to each other and move sex higher on the priority list. Physical intimacy in a relationship deserves a lot of attention. You can start by making small changes. Put your kids to bed earlier, don't fall asleep on the couch and go to bed at the same time as your partner.
- Ask yourself what you might or might not be doing to contribute to the situation, and what you can do to change things. Men are visually stimulated, so find places where you can make small changes. For example, fix your hair, lose the weight you have been talking about for years or dress sexier.
- Give yourself permission to get what you want. Claim your right and give a voice to your needs. Being sexually satisfied and feeling wanted by your partner is a legitimate and healthy part of a relationship.
- Talk to your husband about your concerns. Remember to be sensitive when bringing the subject up and pick an appropriate time — not when you are in the middle of an argument. Your husband may resist the conversation because there may be underlying issues such as stress, depression or medication that are interfering with his sex drive, but be supportive. If he is reluctant to be open about it, encourage him to look within himself in order to gain insight into his issues. If all else fails, ask him to participate in one session of couple's therapy so you can start making changes.
- Stop complaining about what you're not getting and start creating what you want. Women tend to take marital problems very personally, and consequently feel sorry for themselves. You are not a victim; you are an adult and can work through this problem.
- Get creative with your sex life. Find new ways to put some fun, energy and excitement into your relationship. Have sex in different rooms of the house. Try different positions. Don't feel shame or fear when asking for what you want. Give yourself permission to explore each other's fantasies any way you can. However, bringing a third party into the bedroom is not the answer.
- Be patient, and most importantly, turn toward your partner. Come up with a plan together that you both agree on and can be excited about, and will put it into action.
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