- Relationship/Marriage In Crisis
- Mid-Life Crisis
- Empty Nest
- Conflict and Power Struggles
- Not Connecting Any More or Not As Much As You Used To
- Lack Of Intimacy And Sex Life
RELATIONSHIP/MARRIAGE IN CRISIS
When in crisis our brain goes into overdrive, we are probably in panic and are very anxious. You will be in FIGHT, FLIGHT or FREEZE. You will be in Relationship/Marriage meltdown and you will be in a place of fear and you will definitely not in a place of love. You will be in desperation about how to survive in this relationship/marriage and/or how to survive out of the relationship/marriage. You will need support either on your own or with your partner with a professional person to help to move out of the desperation and then move into aspiration.
Desperation is out of fear, anxiety and reactivity (being by chance), aspiration is out of love, affection and proactivity (making a choice). Being in a relationship/marriage crisis will take courage to reach out for support. Don’t leave it any longer as chances are you will not restore your relationship/marriage on your own with your partner.
At Love Life Matters we can help you to navigate through the crisis.
Affairs are a violation of the agreement and commitment in a relationship/marriage, that it will be an exclusive monogamous relationship. There are many reasons that are around about why an affair happens. These can be sexual addiction, opportunistic, notice me, retribution, emotional and sexual attraction elsewhere and many other reasons why. I want to just bring it back to the two specific reasons that affairs happen which will cover all the other reasons why they happen.
First of all there is sexual addiction where the craving for sex outweighs any agreement about being monogamous. It can be similar to being in a relationship or marrying someone and you find out later that their consumption of alcohol, their flutter of gambling or the recreational drug use is out of control. It is an addiction and you will not be able to fix it. So with sexual addiction, you will not be able to fix it with your partner. Your partner or if both of you have a sexual addiction and affairs are happening, you will need help for the addiction before you can completely restore your relationship. Get help now for the sexual addiction.
The second reason for affairs is the lack of emotional and sexual connection between both of you. You made a commitment to monogamy when you got together and/or marriage when you were either in the romantic or early stage of your relationship. In this stage there is a lot of physical, emotional and even spiritual attraction together. You are bonded and connected and you can have many hopes and dreams together. You can experience much infatuation and ecstasy together as “lovers”. Then the children come along, the financial pressures, the over-weightness, the mid-life crisis, the sickness and you name it. You then don’t have connection with your partner any more or it is insignificant. You are no longer talking to each other or spending time together. You think that it is all too hard to connect with your partner again but you deeply want connection with someone. You find someone else and next minute they are taking notice of you. Next minute there is an affair.
Affairs can be deeply hurtful and deeply shameful. An affair is an extreme way to show that there are problems in a relationship. Problems of communication and lack of connection. It does not necessarily mean that the partner that has the affair does not love their partner, they are craving connection.
Relationship and marriages where an affair has occurred can be restored. The affair will need to stop, the communication will need to start, the deep hurt will need to be listened to, witnessed and respected, a deep apology will need to be offered, trust will need to be restored again and forgiveness will need to happen over time.
If an affair has happened in your relationship/marriage or you suspect that there has been, you will need support from a counsellor to work through what has happened. Don’t try to do it as a couple on your own. It can be a highly emotional time and be very reactive. If you suspect that an affair is happening, it does not help ignoring it (putting your head in the sand) nor does it help being a detective. You need to ask and get help to sort it out whether the affair has actually happened or not. There will be a lack of connection and trust either way.
At Love Life Matters we can help you to work through the effects of the affair to get you both back on track.
Porn in our society has gone rampant. What used to be a “blue” movie that got you stimulated sexually has gone to inexplicable sexual acts that can over stimulate us and even stimulate us in an overly aggressive way sexually. Most extreme acts of porn are unrealistic and place an unrealistic expectation on intimate sexual relationships. Granted, that some light porn can be stimulating sexually for an intimate relationship but do you know when to stop and do you know when your partner wants to stop.
When a partner is just watching porn on their own without their partner and their partners knows, it can be as though an affair is happening. It can be destructive to the relationship. If porn is watched regularly or extreme porn is watched there is a big problem in your relationship/marriage.
As with an affair, there may be sexual addiction that needs to be addressed. Porn is only focussing on stimulation through the body and body parts in porn are always extreme and mostly unrealistic. Connection and intimacy in porn is not important. We are much more than our physical bodies in sex and love making and pleasuring needs to be mutual. Porn makes sex commitment free and can be a serious relationship issue. You may think that you can keep your porn use separate from your relationship but this is not possible. Watching porn over time can make love making boring and that you can’t perform sexually with your partner without fantasizing about a porn scene. It can lead to sexual dysfunction over time with not being able to get an erection or maintain an erection. When all this happens, you have brought the porn into your relationship.
You need to replace the unreal porn sex to real authentic sex with your partner within your relationship. Connect emotionally with your partner as scary as that may be and experiment and explore with mutual consent. If you and/or your partner are using porn and want to change we can help you change.
At Love Life Matters we can help you to regain your focus and connect to each other with a better sex life without porn.
Are you or your partner in a mid-life crisis and things are said like “ I love you but I’m not in love with you” , “ I am not happy anymore and I need to make a change”, “I want something more and I want more meaning and purpose in in life”. A mid-life crisis is normally an existential crisis of questions about mortality and dying. It is the big fear that I am going to die sometime and a sense that life is passing me by. We are not “where” we want to be. It is not helpful or healthy to leave the family/partner, find a new partner, a new job a “new body”, a new car etc all at once. This would be reactive to the mid-life crisis. I’m not saying that getting a new car, a new job is not helpful as long as you communicate with your partner and take some time about it.
A mid-life crisis is always to do with the inner self, the internal thoughts and emotions and it can be pretty scary for the partner in the crisis and the partner that isn’t. Also maybe you are both in a mid-life crisis. This can happen when the children leave home (the ‘empty nest”) and you both don’t “know” each other anymore, actually you may not know yourself anymore. You can be disenchanted with life and your marriage. You will need to answer the question internally.
How do you both understand each other at this time? It does not help to pretend that nothing is happening or it also doesn’t help to over-react to the situation. You need to listen to each other. A mid-life crisis is a “wake-up” call and can be “turned around” to be healthy positive growth for each other and the marriage. It can be a time to start living more with more purpose and meaning. It is time to look at areas that need to change. Is the marriage stagnant? You may have to explore different activities separately but you do not have to leave the marriage.
What do you want in life? Work on connection in the marriage. Restart doing activities together like you used to do. Unfortunately not every marriage stays intact through a mid-life crisis.
At Love Life Matters we can support you to find out what you need in the mid-life crisis and what the marriage needs for it to continue.
THE EMPTY NEST
The empty nest is when your children have left home and you are not caring for them or providing financially for them on a regular basis and you may feel lost, sad and not knowing what your purpose is outside of being a parent. As a couple in relationship/marriage you may not know your partner anymore, you may not have done any activities together or lost track of having any “date nights” together. You have both lost that loving connection that you used to have and have just been “living for the children”. As a couple, you may need help to “find yourself” and to “find each other” again in a new and meaningful way without children around.
Love Life Matters can support you through the “empty nest” and help you to thrive in life again with each other.
CONFLICT AND POWER STRUGGLES
Conflict and the preceding power struggles can “hit” at any stage or any age in a relationship/marriage. Fight, Flight and Freeze can happen. There can be a major disagreement about something but then even the littles things cause conflict and a “game” of who is right and who is wrong. The “blame game” starts. It becomes a win/lose argument. You both become defensive and feel threatened by your partner. Your “reptilian” Amygdala primitive brain kicks in as its purpose is to look for threats and will respond accordingly as though your partner is a “Wooly Bull or Sabre-Tooth Tiger” as though you were back in cave-man times. It will do everything to protect you physically but mainly emotionally. It is re-active and fast in response. It does not think as there is no time to think when you are “under threat”.
Your Limbic system of the brain is also working with the Amygdala and is doing the emotions of fear, hurt, anger and frustration. The only way to stop this is to take time out to calm down and I mean calm down, not to think of what your next strategy is to win. When you calm down your Frontal Lobe and Cortex new brain with come in and you will then start thinking rationally and calmly and you will “see” the argument differently.
At Love Life Matters we will help you to work through deep seated issues that create conflict and power struggles and will also teach both of you to be able to “ fight fairly” to resolve conflict and/or to agree to disagree and be both comfortable with this.
There can also be deep seated wounding from childhood and other adult relationships that cause conflict and at Love Life Matters we can help you both to have compassion and empathy for each other about these woundings.
NO CONNECTION OR NOT CONNECTED AS YOU USED TO BE
Intimate loving relationships/marriages need emotional connection. They will not survive if they are starved of this. A deep emotional connection is the “life blood” of a relationship. The connection happens at the start of a relationship and in fact it is probably over emphasised in the romantic stage. Over time, with stress, being too busy, neglect or fear of intimacy can take over your relationship/marriage.
To be connected or stay connected in your relationship/marriage you need to spend time together, doing activities together, your need to know each-others “love languages”, and most of all you need to be vulnerable and share freely, openly and honestly about how you are feeling. Our emotions are a big part of our life and we too often don’t prioritise our emotions and share them.
In our gender socialisation, men have been taught to minimise emotions and value the rational practical side of life/relationships/marriage. Unfortunately for you men, you will need to learn that your emotional connection and attunement with your partner it essential for longevity of your relationship/marriage. Being emotionally connected is valuable and most times essential for your love making.
At Love Life Matters we help couples to emotionally connect again and start to attune to each-others emotions. This will help understanding each other again and have an amazingly positive effect on your relationship/marriage.
LACK OF INTIMACY AND SEX
There can be many factors that affect intimacy and sex ranging from the physical issues of low libido, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation etc. These factors of low libido, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and simply lack of interest or lack of attraction and desire can be psychological or emotional issues.
We at Love Life Matters can help, assess and address these issues as a couple so you can both have an understanding of how you both can help each other to bring back the zing in your love making. Communication is paramount. We can help to unpack and unblock emotions that are getting in the way. Also differing libidos and the lack of desire can bring about frustration for you both of you. Love making loves an edge of sexual desire. Making love does need foreplay and arousal. This can be sensual touch but it may also mean the way that you talk to each other, the way you look at each other and the anticipation of making love.
As mentioned under the heading of porn, light porn could have a positive effect on love making but most porn has a negative effect on intimacy and sex. Sexual love making needs Connection, Desire, Arousal, Orgasm and Satisfaction. Sometimes for women the arousal may have to come before the desire and then sometimes orgasm is not achieved and this can lead to dissatisfaction or may still lead to satisfaction. Ideally these five states are achieved for both couples most of the time but not necessarily all the time.
At Love Life Matters we can help you to work out what your needs are as a couple to best attain your connection, desire, arousal, orgasm and satisfaction.