As stated in part 1, money sex and kids are the three topics I see couples argue about the most in counseling. I addressed Money in Part 1, and will now discuss the sex details many couples disagree on.
The most common misnomer is how often couples are having sex, especially compared to how often they assume everyone else is having sex. There is no average, no number that is healthy or not. Every couple has to set their own preferences that accomodate their schedules, their libidos and their lifestyle. Some factors that can hinder a couple from agreeing on the frequency of their sexual activities can include past trauma affecting trust, safety or enjoyment of sex; biological factors that decrease libido like hormones, medication, or mood disorder; low self esteem; sexual addiction; poor communication; difference in values.
Communication is a challenge for many couples in general but especially regarding sex. But if you can’t communicate regarding what you like and don’t, what you need, what you wish, what works and what doesn’t, sex might not be successful. If you expect your partner to read your mind you will likely be disappointed. It just doesn’t happen.
People grow up with varying opinions on sexual topics. Masturbation, pornography, oral sex, open relationships: all have a wide range of acceptance from no-way to bring-it-on. If you and your partner aren’t on the same page these could be topics for hurt feelings and big arguments. Again the need for good communication.
Also beneficial is an understanding of the biological differences between men and women regarding sex. Men are often physically aroused, turned on by what they see. This is a primal reaction they have no control over (how they choose to act on that arousal IS in their power). Understanding this will help women not be so jealous if a man turns his head as a scantily clad woman walks by. Women on the other hand tend to need to be emotionally connected to be aroused. If they aren’t relaxed or they don’t trust or they are distracted or they aren’t feeling emotionally close to their partner, this could hinder their arousal. So after an argument a guy might still say “wanna do it?” and she might say “no I’m mad at you!”.
Sex is a very common topic in couples counseling. There are therapists and doctors and clinics who specialize in sex therapy. But most counselors have addressed this with couples in therapy and could help. Don’t be embarrassed to bring it up. It is more common than you think and having a healthier happier sex life could help both you and your partner in the relationship.