Everyone wants an amazing sex life. Many couples start out their relationship with a satisfying sex life. However, if the couple continues to stay together and increase the complexity of their relationship via careers, financial obligations, children, aging parents and their own personal health issues, sex often can and does change. Unfortunately, too often it changes in a way for the worse.
Too many couples do not have the comfort level, information or skill to be able to effectively deal with changes in their in their sex lives. Many people are so uncomfortable as to how to bring up sex. Many fear that they’ll be rejected or hurt their partner by discussing sex so it often diminishes their resolve.
One of the most common solutions to an unsatisfying sex life that I see from couples choose, is to assign blame. One or both individuals in the relationship decide that someone is at fault and someone must be blamed. Some couples will collude together in this and decide either one or the other is to blame. Other times, this is a high conflict area where they are arguing who’s fault it is that their sex life sucks.
Stop For a Moment:
I cannot think of anything that would make a person NOT WANT TO HAVE SEX MORE than if they are being criticized and blamed. Criticism and blame are not hot or erotic. Yet, this is the solution that most people choose.
One primary reason that people choose BLAME is that they think if they can identify the problem then the solution will become easier. It makes it even easier to fix if there is a specific person because than it is that person’s problem to go off and fix.
HOWEVER, our human brains are quite limited in being able to accurately identify problems. The success rate goes down when we are not very knowledgeable about the workings of a problem, like relationship sex. So if you define the problem wrong: It is my partner’s fault; don’t be surprised when it doesn’t work. Read our article on If you define the problem incorrectly, you may never be able to fix it.
Sex is always always a Relationship Issue not an individual issue
Blaming your partner for their lack of desire, their refusal to say yes to sex, their non-initiating stance will not solve the problem, but probably make it worse. Further making it worse is send sending them off to see a doctor or mental health counsellor by themselves to get it fixed. I can’t think of anything that will create more distance and kill eroticism than the message of “you are broke and it’s pissing me off so go get this fixed.” Yet this is a very common approach people choose, and one that will ruin not only the couple’s sex but their relationship.
Sexual issues are a relationship issue- not an individual issue. If your partner had cancer or lost their job, it is a relationship issue. You would both pull together and figure out how, as a team, we are going to deal with this crisis. We would decide what the optimal use of our resources are, understand each person’s position and preferences and then create a joint game plan to tackle and solve this problem that makes us both happy.
When it is a sexual issue: people lose all sense of a team and often abandon their partner to fix it. It often becomes a power struggle. If one person is deciding that they are now in charge and they get to assign blame and a “treatment plan” such as see a doctor or counsellor, the other partner may refuse or resent being identified as the problem and not being seen as an equal. This is not the time to pull apart but come together.
Sexual issues are rarely about sex. Sex is often the symptom to some other underlying issue elsewhere in the relationship. Any time a couple faces major life changes outside the bedroom such as a relocation, money issues, death in the family, a new child, a new job or a loss of a job or unsatisfying friendships or even aging parent issues, these individual issues will affect the couple.
Every individual issue becomes a relationship issue. Each person has unique responsibilities to solve individual issues, but as a couple we must figure out how best to utilize our combined resources. Blaming is not an effective way to go.
If you and your partner are running into problems with your sex life you may want to take a position of curiosity rather than of blame. Stepping back and looking at the bigger picture of how your life is going and if there are areas of dissatisfaction that need to be resolved. Sometimes things that have nothing to with sex have the most impact on sex.