The Right Way to Talk to Your Partner About Your Sex Life
It seems one man was so upset that he and his wife weren't having enough sex that he began tracking his attempts and the outcome. And we're not talking about a mental list here. The man documented his wife's reasons for turning him down in an Excel spreadsheet over a seven-week period. The list of what he deemed her "excuses" included "I'm exhausted" and "I might be getting sick" and "I'm watching my show."
But he didn't stop there: He emailed the spreadsheet to his wife as she was en route to the airport for a work trip. Needless to say, she didn't take too kindly to it and posted the document to Reddit's relationships section with this note:
"I open it up, and it's a sarcastic diatribe basically saying he won't miss me for the 10 days I'm gone. Attached is a SPREADSHEET of all the times he has tried to initiate sex since June 1st, with a column for my 'excuses.' .... According to his 'document,' we've only had sex 3 times in the last 7 weeks, out of 27 'attempts' on his part." (Watch the video above to learn more about the couple.)
Talk about communication issues. Though the woman has since removed both the note and spreadsheet from Reddit, the post has generated more than 700 comments. This as-yet-unidentified couple's story is a great example of how NOT to approach your partner about your sex life. Helpful hint: being passive aggressive won't solve the real issue at hand.
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So what should you do if there's a sexual mismatch in your relationship, where one person wants sex more often than the other? Gail Saltz, MD, Health's contributing psychology editor, says it's important to acknowledge that there's a difference and to try to compromise.
"Compromise means having sex sometimes when you don’t feel like it and, on the other side, NOT constantly asking to have sex even though you want to," she says. "It means agreeing to a middle ground."
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This balance is something you should figure out before one of you is angry enough to literally start keeping score. Ask to talk to your partner somewhere besides the bedroom, and don't do it immediately before or after sex.
"Pick a neutral, relaxing place like the kitchen or living room to say you want to talk about your relationship," Dr. Saltz says. "Avoid acting angry or critical but rather say what isn’t working for you and how it makes you feel."
Don't monopolize the conversation either: Ask your partner to tell you what isn't working for them and then repeat each of your concerns so you know you understand each other, Dr. Saltz recommends. Now, you can start brainstorming compromises to have a more satisfying sex life, whether that means having longer foreplay so you "feel like it" more often, being more affectionate so your partner doesn't feel rejected, or asking for help around the house so you don't feel as exhausted all the time.
Yes, that may be a tough conversation to have, but it sounds a lot better than becoming an Internet sensation over your sex problems, doesn't it?
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