Saving Your Marriage 101

I love the Gottman Institute. Dr.’s John and Julie Gottman have made a lifetime study of marriage, and developed an approach that supports and repairs troubled relationships and strengthens happy ones. Their blog is always informative.

In a recent post, they listed 10 things to try before giving up on your marriage. The first and last three have to do with handling conflict in constructive rather than destructive ways. Numbers 4 – 7  are:

  • Boost up physical affection
  • Nurture fondness and admiration
  • Spend time together daily and
  • Communicate honestly about key issues in the relationship

This is what we teach at Pleasure Evolution. We believe that a strong intimate connection strengthens your relationship. Not only that, the lack of good sex can be the underlying cause of conflict. Victor Baranco of Lafayette Morehouse used to say couples were either “f*$#ing or fighting.” Energy that gets stirred up in us through plain old daily living, has to go somewhere. Sexual intimacy is a key issue that often gets relegated to the back burner. Even when a couple is communicating about other things, our bedroom life seems either too big or too small to mention. Our erotic identities are so often shamed by cultural and religious upbringing. It can feel super vulnerable to let our partner know what arouses us. Especially if that something is new to us. Honestly, there is nothing new about sex in all its forms. If you are isolated, it’s easy to feel that you are the ONLY one who likes something. Believe us when we tell you, you aren’t.

Nothing You Desire is Unique

According to some theories, BDSM has been around since the 9th century BC. Art from a 6th century BC burial site in what is now Italy was found depicting two men whipping a woman while having intercourse with her. Apparently threesomes are as old as dirt too.

How to Jump Start Your Intimacy

Let’s say your relationship is needing a boost. If it’s stagnant, or even good but routine, there is always more and better available. The Gottman post gave us the what, let’s look at some how.

  1. Boost up physical affection
    How often do you touch your partner in non-sexual ways? Do you kiss each other hello and good-bye? Do you sometimes kiss deeply for no reason? Even a light caress as you pass in the kitchen will begin to build connection. Try introducing at least one physical demonstration of affection every day. Set a reminder on your phone if you have to!
  2. Nurture fondness and admiration
    After the courtship is over, we can get out of the habit of wooing our partner. What you focus on grows. Make a practice of saying nice things to yourself first, and your partner second. Every night, before going to bed ask each other, “What did you love about me today?”
  3. Spend time together daily
    There is a difference between “together-alone” time and “together-together” time. Sitting in the same room while one of you reads, and one watches TV, is not the same as spending an afternoon wandering through antique shops. Find a mix of activities that you both enjoy, and some that each partner likes and wants to share, and write these into your schedule.
  4. Communicate honestly about the levels and types of intimacy in the relationship
    Be willing to speak the truth of your desires with your partner. Be willing to hear theirs with an open mind. A desire shared is only an invitation to look inside their hearts, not a demand to engage in behavior that isn’t comfortable.

Need help with any of these steps? We are here for you. Read our blog posts and articles. Consider a class, webinar, coaching, or the Partners in Paradise Retreat.

It takes a village to raise a couple. Thanks for being part of our loving, sex-positive tribe.