Last week we considered the aspects of Connection, Leisure and Money; now we will look at Sex, Friends and Career.
Sex in a relationship is meant to be a source of deeper connection, pleasure and comfort. For some (most?) couples, the sex is good at the beginning of the relationship and becomes less so with the passage of time, particularly after the children arrive, when there isn’t the same amount of time, energy, privacy or even inclination!
Most couples want more or better sex but don’t know how to talk about it or ask for it. This is another one of those aspects of relationships that no-0ne ever teaches you about, and contrary to popular opinion, it doesn’t come naturally to everyone, for a whole range of reasons.
If you use the Relationship Wheel regularly in your relationship it puts all of the aspects of your relationship, including Sex, on the agenda for discussion, and by that I mean open communication without fault finding, complaining or blaming. The mistake that most couples make is seeing their sex life in terms of frequency or performance. All very logistical, when in fact it is a highly emotive aspect of a relationship. In spite of this it is one that is least talked about in any depth.
A very important thing to remember is that there is a Sensual component to Sex. You can immediately improve your sex life by paying some attention to your, and your partners sensuality, by attending to the environment; lighting candles, sensual music and smells, a long slow mutual shower together; all this can set the scene and is pleasurable in itself. Remember everything does not always have to end in penetrative sex.
Think about having regular Sex dates with each other, and also some Sensual dates, which may or may not end in sex. At least put the topic on the agenda for discussion to start with. The busyness of life may mean that you have less frequent sex but it can actually get better as well as more interesting and enjoyable right into old age, if you both choose to pay attention to this important area of relationship.
Does your marriage or relationship support your links with friends outside the relationship? It is important for both parties in a relationship to maintain their individual and joint friendships. That doesn’t translate into continuing to behave as if you were single, going out pubbing and clubbing every Friday night! It simply means consciously deciding and supporting each other in keeping in touch with and spending some quality time with friends. It is also important that you have a social circle which you attend to routinely.
When was the last time you both spent an evening with friends or had someone over for lunch or dinner?
Think about how you can set up regular contact with your important friends. Alan and I have a small group of friends whom we see at our home every month. They bring some wine and nibbles and I usually source an interesting DVD which we watch and then discuss afterwards. This is a very easy, relaxed, inexpensive and regular way of not only maintaining contact with friends, but also deepening the friendships over time.
It is worth just checking out with yourself if your friends are supportive of your marriage or relationship. If they are not, then it may be that you in fact consider spending less time with them.
Is your relationship supportive of your career development, and is your chosen career supportive of your marriage or relationship? If not, this can set up an ongoing source of conflict or tension. Some peoples careers at different times can be quite time and energy intensive and may even involve time away from home. It is important that you both talk about what you want in this respect and how you see that playing out in the future.
It is often the case that women set aside their career when children come along, which may be what they wish, but if the marriage breaks down they can be disadvantaged in terms of their earning capacity and lifestyle. The important thing is that each party respects the others needs and wishes and that you collaborate with each other and work tgether as a team.
You may have heard it said that there are not many people on their death beds who wished they had worked a bit harder, so do consider keeping an eye on your Work/Life balance. Remember it is useful to have a Vision, so consider how you would both like life to be in 10 years time.
What action can you take now to increase how you rate your Sex Life, Social Network and yours and your partners Careers. Discuss how you can assist each other in each of these areas.
I look forward to connecting with you again next week when we will look at Holidays, Communication and Family Time.
Here’s to your relationship success,