Sep 282011

relationship problemsMost relationships run into trouble around sex at some point. Sex is such an intimate and revealing experience. Any tensions in a relationship are likely to come out, often unexpectedly. This was the case with Joel and me last night, but I didn’t begin to look at it until this morning.

Joel and I have been together for 11 years. We’ve weathered a lot of strife together. I love him deeply. In a lot of ways, we are very good for each other. Because of the economy, Joel works two hours from where we live. This means that he spends half the week away from home. We’ve worked it out, but we don’t have as much time together. The time that we do have is not as spontaneous as it was early on in our marriage. Less time and opportunity for random fucking.

We do, however, have a weekly date night – a luxury we didn’t have until recently. We can go out and spend time together. We have a chance to talk without interruptions. It’s pretty awesome. And we can come home and have sex! But for various reasons, we often don’t.

Last night we ate dinner at a lovely Thai place. I made sure that Joel knew early on that I had designs on his body. I was having a very nice time. Then Joel brought up a phone conversation that we had a few days ago. He was right to do so because he had lingering emotions about the exchange that he needed to work out. I was able to listen to him, but unfortunately, I also started to feel hurt and resentful. I felt that Joel wasn’t supporting me. I knew that he was, but I didn’t stop feeling abandoned. Typical relationship stuff, where our baggage collides. The well adjusted part of me helped Joel talk through his feelings. The hurt child part of me withdrew from the conversation and from Joel.

We got home and went to bed. We both still wanted to make love. We went through the motions and our bodies reacted, but it felt mechanical. I didn’t have that experience of opening up. I couldn’t feel Joel with more than my skin. I didn’t come, but I was too tired to pursue an orgasm. I’ve been getting up at 5:00 a.m. to get our daughter off to high school. I just wanted to sleep.

Today, I feel sad. I miss the connection that Joel and I used to have. I feel like we’re both changing, but we haven’t been able to get close enough to share who we are with each other. Yet in some ways, we are incredibly close. Why isn’t sex working between us?

Time is a factor, but we can work with that. There’s also a reluctance to discuss the hard stuff. I think we want to keep everything pleasant in the time we have. But I want to have amazing sex, so maybe we need to have those hard discussions. When I think about it, I realize that it sometimes takes me a couple of hours of talking with Harold before we can have fabulous sex. I need to work out anything that’s bothering me so I can let go. I think Joel and I need to give ourselves time to sync up before we get physical.

Joel and I talked this morning. It was hard for me to bring the subject of our sex life up. It’s tempting to let it go, even though I’m dissatisfied with the direction our sex life is going. If everything else is good, does sex really matter? I think it does, so I’m willing to look at our relationship problems.

  • Hardin Reddy

    The research of Dr. Barry Komisaruk at Rutgers and others has shown that the cognitive parts of the brain need to shut down in order to achieve orgasm.  Apparently this didn’t happen for you last night, perhaps because Joel brought up that phone conversation and it was still on your mind.  It would have been better if he’d waited till after you made love to bring it up.  Also, of course, you’re more likely to orgasm when you’re rested, which you haven’t been.

  • Evoe Thorne

    It makes sense that the cognitive parts of the brain need to shut down in order to orgasm. I always feel like I need to clear out my brain before I have sex!