Romantic and sexual relationships go hand in hand, but sometimes these two aspects are hard to maintain when life gets difficult. Relationships are things that grow and change and require constant maintenance.
Intimacy issues can arise when marriages have interpersonal and sexual intimacy issues. To make it worse, these issues can become cyclical. Communicating poorly in bed can lead to poor communication outside of bed.
First, we will cover emotional intimacy issues that affect your sex life and how sexual intimacy issues can affect your relationship! Now let’s dig in.
Communication Problems In Relationships
The foundation of healthy communication is vulnerability and intimacy. This intimacy is what builds a relationship with mutual understanding and positive communication practices. But when you hit an inevitable bump in the road, and communication breaks down, it can be difficult to stay intimate with your partner. Struggling with interpersonal intimacy can decrease your sex drive, and harm your relationship.
Healthy communication looks like this:
Listening to each other and giving thoughtful responses.
Coming up with strategies to communicate better with one another based on each other’s time, energy, and needs.
Consistently talking about issues that need to be resolved.
Giving each other time to process emotions and communicate those emotions.
Allowing space for them to have feelings even if those feelings are temporary.
Remember, honesty and kindness are not always the same. Be honest, but be kind, too.
Unhealthy communication looks like this:
Avoidance of serious topics, especially repeated issues.
Difficulty speaking your mind and talking about your emotions clearly.
Feeling like you aren’t being listened to or ignoring your partner's words.
Withholding your opinions and needs from your partner, especially when they could change their behavior if you informed them of your needs.
Gaslighting, lying, manipulating, and talking badly about your partners to others are also negative and harmful communication.
How can you resolve communication issues all depends on the time and energy you have. Relationships are work, and need time to grow, change, and learn! Remember, you and your partner should be teammates, not on different sides.
If your conversation begins to feel like a “Me versus You” argument, slow down, take a step and try to reframe topics with your partner as a team. They should try this too since it takes two to tango.
Unresolved Arguments and Resentment
If you dread conflict and equally hate receiving texts that say, “we need to talk,” you know that unresolved arguments lead to drama, resentment, and further miscommunications. Feeling resentment can wreak havoc on your date nights and sexual activity. How do you keep things from building up? First, let's dig into the unhealthy communication patterns that build resentment and then dive into the ways you can keep your relationship afloat!
Unhealthy arguing looks like this:
Omitting important details to your partner.
Letting things slide when you know you shouldn’t.
Teasing and criticizing instead of confronting and resolving conflict.
Saying you don’t have the time or energy to talk, and using this as an excuse to never talk.
Being rude and rolling your eyes when your partner is trying to be vulnerable.
Taking your partner's comments as personal attacks instead of them trying to resolve issues.
Ok, that was heavy. Let’s get into some of the ways you can be a teammate with your partner and move past common relationship problems and common sexual problems.
Set a specific time to chat.
This can help if you are really dreading the chat, and it can keep you from making excuses to get out of it. Scheduling your talk can also help the two of you prepare better for resolving some of your issues.
Scary, we know. But it is necessary to be vulnerable with your partner if you want to rebuild trust, settle disagreements, and get on the same page again. Being vulnerable can be really hard, especially when you want to be defensive and on your guard after a fight with your partner. But remember, it is not “You vs. them”, you are a team!
Don’t make assumptions.
I know, this can be hard when you think you know someone really well. But making assumpting about your partner’s feelings or the reasons behind their actions can actually negatively impact your ability to resolve conflict with them. Try not to bring in those assumptions and ack your partner directly what their feelings, intentions, and actions mean.
Stay on topic
If you are fighting about one topic, don’t bring up another issue and use it as ammunition. Try to keep your focus on the relevant issue and only discuss your feelings around this one thing before moving to the next issue.
Be patient with yourself and your partner.
Take your time resolving issues, sometimes you need more than one conversation to air everything out. Be conscious that you and your partner are both showing up to these conversations, again and again, to work things out, which means you both care a lot for one another and the wellbeing of your relationship. Keep your well-being as a priority, and take a break from solving things when you need to.
Communication with my partner is negatively affecting our sex life
It is not surprising that interpersonal issues make your sex life worse! For most people, good sex and a good relationship go hand-in-hand. Effectively communicating needs, resolving issues in a timely manner, and cultivating emotional intimacy take time, practice, effort, energy, and lots of love.
Find the right form of communication for the two of you when you need to bring up issues. Try to be patient with one another, and maintain positive interpersonal communication. Or, utilize resources like a marriage counselor, sex therapist, or a sex therapy app!
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