Why sex is fundamental to a stronger bond with your partner
The absence of sex is not a trivial problem, and we should not underestimate just how important it is to a healthy, stable relationship. There is one statistic that cannot be ignored: 42% of marriages will end in divorce, and the number one and number two reasons for initiation divorce relates to sex. https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/love-sex/the-nine-most-common-reasons-couples-get-divorce-a6875356.html.
The reasons that sex is so vital to a relationship is, in essence, sex forces us to acknowledge parts of ourselves that are hardest to express with strangers: vulnerability, honesty, tenderness and release. When we have the self-confidence to ask what it is we need from our partner or enquire sympathetically as to what is happening to our partner when they refuse sex with us relationships have the potential to reach a whole new level of satisfaction. Let’s look into some of the difficulties couples refer to in the therapist’s room when their needs aren’t being met in the bedroom.
When there is a lack of reciprocation from one side of the partnership, this comes down to the so-called ‘terms and conditions’ not being met for sex to happen and there has been no proper communication for the other partner to fix this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRaaqN2Atxw
When sex isn’t wanted, certain conditions aren’t being met – this can range from anything, from attitudes around sharing household work, listening more about family problems or being open to playing out sexual fantasies. ‘Relate’ completed a survey of 5000 individuals and revealed only 34% of people stating they are satisfied with their sex life. https://www.relate.org.uk/sites/default/files/the_way_we_are_now_-_lets_talk_about_sex_0.pdf
From this finding, we must consider the large percentage of people in relationships who are being let down sexually by their partner. There can be many reasons for this dissatisfaction to arise with rejection being a significant cause for staying quiet. It can feel very shameful to experience rejection, especially when you’re in the comfort and safety of a long-term relationship. Rejection or shaming can reaffirm feelings of self-disgust and be a major blow to self-esteem, further reducing the chances of sex happening.
One partner may not realise what is at stake when one partner finally builds the confidence to express their deepest desires. When one person asks for an intimate part of their partner, the other partner may not realise what is at stake if handled without gentle consideration. It is not merely the act of sex that builds a strong bond between two people. As Alan de Bottom states in this article in The Guardian, it is the “symbolic act that reaffirms trust” and lets us know we have an individual who we can truly be ourselves around. (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/may/17/alain-de-botton-sex-talk)
When we feel this is not the case, we can begin to question the whole relationship. As a result, symptomatic behaviours are acted out instead of communicated. Sexual frustrations can manifest themselves in many ways, including sarcastic comments, slamming doors and shorter tempers. We may not realise how much sex affects our mood and how vital it is to our emotional, physical and mental well-being when we decide to seek this through someone apart from our partners.
Through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, the first step is to find a way in which what you want and what your partner want can be compromised. By giving our partners a more sobering awareness of how fundamental our sexual needs are to the survival of the relationship, there can begin a more open and honest discussion about how both people can receive the satisfaction they deserve from their partner. Whether it is satisfaction from feeling heard, or having the sexual confidence to ask for sex without scrutiny from the one we love, it is vital that each person feels wanted in more ways than one.
If you were to write a letter to your partner, clearly outlining what exactly it is you need, why you think you are not receiving it, and why it is essential to you, do you think you can share this with them in the safety of the therapist’s office? Sometimes by taking the time to outline exactly what it is that we need and how our partners can help, it can help minimise what may seem like a big issue, into smaller, more manageable obstacles to overcome together.
Efficacy therapists are all experienced, professional and sought-after treatment options located throughout London. They provide quality solutions to couples using CBT techniques that empower them through positive behaviours that can be implemented straight away. The health of your sexual well-being plays a big part in your mental and emotional well-being – don’t delay the help that is available to you right now.