What to Do When you Want “It” and Your Partner Doesn’t

Posted by on Feb 15, 2016 in Couples Counseling | Comments Off on What to Do When you Want “It” and Your Partner Doesn’t

Gaps in Sexual Desire, Part 1: Tips for the Partner with Higher Desire

One out of every three couples experience gaps in sexual desire.

It is one of the most common sexual problems of those seeking couples counseling. The lower desire person isn’t really the cause of the problem. However, he or she is often looked at as the one who needs to change for things to improve.

The reality is that both partners have to adjust to make things better.

This post is aimed at helping the higher interest person help his or her partner, the lower interest person, become more likely to want more intimacy.

Consider the following 9 tips:

1. Don’t take it personally.

It’s hard not to do this when your advances are repeatedly rejected. However, keep in mind that your partner’s reluctance might not be about you. It may not be about attraction, your characteristics, or you as a person. Remember, this a mutual problem. You partner likely feels distressed knowing his or her lack of desire is causing problems and hurting you.

2. Increase your emotional connection.

You may not want to, but it is in your best interest, and that of your relationship, to get on board with meeting your partner’s needs. For instance, your partner may need the following things to want to want sex:

  • more time together
  • more appreciation shown
  • more conversation and sharing more of your emotions

3. Take sex off the table.

It may seem counterintuitive, but you’re not really getting what you want anyway. Essentially, by removing sex, you shift the pursuit-decline cycle, which is a frustrating dance that just causes your partner to pull away more and more.

Tabling sex is hard to do, but try to give your partner some breathing space. Back off a bit, for at least a few weeks, to see if interest develops naturally.

4. Touch affectionately (without expecting sex).

A person with low sex drive can get annoyed when touch always carries an expectation of sex. It can even get to a point where he or she doesn’t want to be touched. To prevent that, engage in more hand holding, cuddling, kissing, or other kinds of touch that are not necessarily sexual.

5. Masturbate.

Realistically, it isn’t reasonable to expect your partner to meet all your sexual needs.

It’s okay to satisfy your own needs from time to time. If you’re already doing so, you may be pretty resentful. Try to accept and come to terms with the sexual differences that exist and the fact that neither of you is 100 percent responsible for meeting all of each other’s desires.

6. Accept what your partner offers.

Your low desire partner may offer sex more for your sexual needs than his or her own. Try not feel put off or insulted.

Recognize that this is really a gift of love. People in relationships do things they don’t want to do sometimes. This is real giving. It’s okay to accept the intimacy your partner is offering, even if he or she isn’t really interested personally. It’s okay for your partner to show love this way if he or she is willing.

7. Pay attention to what’s best for your partner.

You may be ready to go any time any place, but your partner may require a certain set of circumstances to feel turned on. If your partner has confided in you that he or she needs the environment to be a certain way for sex, honor that. Respect his or need for that atmosphere and help create it.

8. Be brutally honest.

Are you considering leaving the relationship?

Are you fantasizing about others out of frustration?

Make sure your partner knows that the current situation is untenable and may be a relationship deal breaker. Let him or her know that you are considering something you really don’t want to do, simply because the circumstances are too strained.

Be sure not to discuss this problem during an argument. Try to bring it up calmly and seek to iron out a workable solution. Simply let your partner know that you don’t know what else to do and you want to make your relationship better.

9. Seek professional help, if necessary.

If you are having trouble or your attempts to work it out are not working, get help.

Things are not likely to get better on their own and you could do a lot of damage continuing on this way. Once things reach a certain point, it’s hard to rectify them without professional guidance. Reach out to a professional soon.

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