When it comes to how do we do in marriage, we have all been seduced by a common myth. It is the idea that the problems in the room are sexual problems. There are stories that tell you otherwise. They tell you that if you just used that purple bunny shaped vibrator or that other cherry orgasmic balm, it would all magically come back to those dopamine-filled early days of your relationship. You’d brush that pile of dirty diapers aside or let the sink look like a war zone on a Wednesday night and have sex late one night instead. The message? The problems of life are the problems of life. Sexual problems are sexual problems.There’s only one problem with this idea: it ignores the research-based idea that the way you live your married life is often a mirror of how you do it. love. In other words, sexual problems are often just a reflection of life’s problems.Research by University of Utah psychologist Daniel Carlson, for example, find that couples who work as a team, dividing household work equally, also tend to have more and better sex. It’s logic. Bad teamwork leads to confusion, conflict and resentment. And it’s not like all of that emotional baggage goes away the moment you start to take your clothes off. In fact, it’s all this emotional baggage that could be the reason why you don’t get naked in the first place.So how can you solve some of life’s problems that turn into problems in the bedroom? How can you experience outrageously good sex by becoming an outrageously good team? Here are four tips to remember.
1. Clarify your roles
When my wife and I interviewed over 100 people about their marriage for our new book The 80/80 marriage, we noticed something interesting. Couples who reported the highest levels of conflict has also adopted what we call the “wing it” approach to roles and responsibilities. Instead of communicating with each other about who is doing the dishes, picking up the kids from school, or planning vacations, these couples let historical accident and chance determine their roles. The usual result? Conflict, drama and resentment. There is a better way to divide the roles in marriage. It starts by sitting down together and coming up with a more intentional structure, one that plays on your unique strengths and interests, while balancing the workload. This structure helps you work as a team and get rid of the constant energy drain that comes from role confusion.
2. Reveal your resentment
It turns out that experiencing a burning resentment towards your partner is the height of the erotic buzz. It’s just not very sexy to feel angry and out of sync with each other.A better approach is to reveal your frustrations with one another in a spirit of radical generosity. This is something you can do without blame or criticism. The key is to stick to the facts of the situation and reveal your unmistakable emotional experience. Instead of saying, “Your problems with control around the dishwasher are driving me crazy”, a sure-fire way to start a fight, ie: “I notice that when you report problems with my dishwashing technique, I feel irritated and lose some of my motivation to help in the kitchen.
3. Create space
There are two words that describe what might just be the ultimate challenge facing most modern couples: no space. The demands of work, raising small human beings, living in the midst of a pandemic, and managing a household have left many of us in a constant state of action.All this activity is in contradiction with the space necessary for the development of intimacy and eroticism. Amazing sex, after all, isn’t like writing emails to get to Inbox 0. It’s inefficient, unproductive, spontaneous, and anything but busy.It may therefore be useful to set aside time and space to do this. Maybe it’s a “date night.” Maybe it’s a “Party!” Invites you to put yourself on the other’s calendar. Whichever way you choose to do it, the key is to block out the time with nothing else to do.
4. Move from individual success to shared success
One of the most toxic sources of tension in our relationship was the idea, forged in us from a young age, that we should be amazing and do great things (as individuals, of course). This tendency to view success as individual achievement leads to all kinds of problems in modern relationships.It generates jealousy and competition. When your spouse gets that big promotion, he just won and you lost. When you have to go on an important business trip, you just won and they lost.There is a better way to structure your life together. We move from the idea of success as an individual achievement to the idea of shared success – the idea that “when I win, you win” and “when you win, I win”.This alternative mindset is the key to winning together, as a team. Paradoxically, this is also the key to having incredible sex together, as a team. Because, let’s face it, the more you see yourself as competitors or even rivals, the less likely you are to let your guard down, open up, and allow yourself to have an amazing night of sex together.
Nate klemp is the co-author of the new publication The 80/80 marriage: a new model for a happier and stronger marriage. He is also co-author, with Eric Langshur, of the New York Times Bestseller Start Here: Master the Habit of Lifelong Wellness and regularly contributes to Inc. Magazine, Fast company, and Aware. He is a founding partner of Aware, one of the largest mindfulness training and media companies in the world.
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