Archive for ‘assertiveness’

30 August 2012

Why sextherapy?

It often happens that one of both partner is a little bit dissatisfied in his relationship for any sorts of reasons:

  • Too many arguments
  • Not enough sexuality
  • Too many sexual demands on behalf of the spouse
  • Disappearance of  sexual desire
  • Too many disappointments
  • Financial troubles
  • Boredom, routine, etc.

When there is an attempt to discuss the situation, the conversation does not end in tangible solutions and the dissatisfaction remains.

Some may suggest to go to sex therapy together but the partner does not want. He might say:

  • We are capable of solving our  problems
  • I do not want that a third person learn our story
  • I do not want be argued by two persons
  • Its not that bad…

There are several categories of couples which consult in sex therapy, for exemple:

  • There are the new couples without children who want help to improve their sexuality or the quality of their relationship
  • There are the couples with young children who are taken in their obligations and forget themselves
  • There are the couples which made a success of their professional life and which find themselves after 25, 35 years of common life wanting to end a lifelong status quo and finally,
  • there are couples which consult but which dont want to change nothing.

During the first meeting in sex therapy, the couples often are uncomfortable, they are a little ashamed to have to ask for help and they can even feel as they betray the other one by expressing their dissatisfaction.

Sex therapy demands a lot of courage and willingness from both partners. The couple often arrive in a state of crisis and it is often one of the status quo. Not telling what one really wants, think, like or dislike because it seems that nothing will be considered. Couple often seek help when an ultimatum is launched.

This crisis, even if it can be  extremely difficult,  remains often beneficial for the relationship.

A sex therapist can  guide you in this process where you can talk about your relationship difficulties as well as your sexual worries.

(C) Mériza Joly

29 January 2012

Limits, avoidance & secret

We all have our share of frustrations every day. How we deal with it is very personal. Sometimes we learn by “trial and error,” we talk to someone, we get some advice, other times we “sleep on it” in order to avoid making mistakes, we can go out partying to forget our worries for a short while. We adopt a variety of strategies to try to be okay despite the events that life brings us. Human interaction can bring much pleasure and satisfaction but it can also be a major source of conflicts. For various reasons, when life is not going well, people adopt ways of dealing with it that are not always positive in the long run. I am not talking about behaviors that are used from time to time, but mechanisms that are used consistently, every time we find ourselves in a frustrating, unpleasant or uncomfortable situation.

Rare are those who have never been in a situation where all you want is to forget what happened. The action taken then was more to avoid the unpleasant feeling than solving the problem so one went for: shopping, partying, watching TV, spending hours in front of the computer, over-eating, etc.  That’s not bad in itself, what could become a problem is when the avoidance strategies would be the main way the person would act upon displeasure.

For example: I fight with my wife *, I let myself be overwhelmed by her demands, I don’t argue,  I am frustrated but I do not say anything…. I stay quiet, but in my mind, I know that later on I could either: 1. Go for a ride and search for a sex worker. 2. Connect to the Net and masturbate for hours, etc. 3. Grumble all week making it clear (telepathically) that I am frustrated to my partner by having an attitude.

In sex therapy, when you look at the events prior to episodes of hypersexuality, you can often find stressful situations, unpleasant circumstances, conflicts with the partner, etc. Another thing that we can observe when one analyses further the previous events is the lack of assertiveness of the individual when dealing with the spouse.  Sometimes,  the person has adopted a secret sexuality as a mean to cope with unpleasant feelings.
At first, the secret activity helps maintain a certain psychological balance. Even if the situation is not satisfying, one knows he can always go back to that secret activity. Somehow along the way, all the secret surrounding the illegal activity may become a perverse incentive in itself reinforcing the benefits of the secret activity and  the lack of assertiveness in the communication skills.

Not being able to set your limits in a relationship can be frustrating. In the present situation, the lack of assertiveness causes a lot of issues that could be avoid. Issues related to the lack of assertiveness are legion, but the benefits associated with assertiveness and good communication allow both partners to grow and evolve within the relationship.
Learning to be assertive and to set limits can be scary in the beginning: «If I say who I am, if I say no, if I do not agree, maybe the other will reject me? » Maybe yes, maybe no, but you have to try and give yourself a chance to grow. In the area of romantic relationships, bad habits can appear very quickly in the beginning of the relationship. Beware of extremes. As they say, we must learn to “Be neither an hedgehog nor a doormat.” (its cuter in french, sorry)

Some tips

• Choose an appropriate time together to address a sensitive topic;
• Say what one has to say  and avoid opening up on too many thorny issues at the same time;
• Avoid insults (you are stupid, you always-you never,  lazy, etc.).
• Do not to speak for too long before you let the other one talk;
• Make a step towards each other, think better for the 2 of you, not the best for only you.

If you want to learn more about communication skills, you could check under «assertiveness»  on the web.
Have a good week and  feel free to leave me a comment or to give me some suggestions.

* The term wife is use here but the dynamic can be present with any other significant relationship: parents, family, friends, etc.

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