Do You Have a Goal?
One reason conversations about sex may get stymied is that you don’t have a goal in mind. Your goal might be specific or general. It might be that you want to know yourselves or each other better. It might be that that you want to find a way to stay together and both of you be happy. It might be that want to figure out if the relationship is worth saving. Maybe you have more than one. You can also change your goals. This tip isn’t one that will work for everyone, but for some people having a goal to work toward can help keep them on track.
Avoid Blaming, Take Responsibility
It’s easy in this situation for one partner to be labeled as the “problem” and for the other to deny any responsibility, claiming that they are happy with the way things are. If you’re that partner, ask yourself if you’re really happy knowing that your partner is unhappy? In reality, if one partner in a relationship is dissatisfied often the other is as well. When you do talk about issues of difference in sex drives avoid the temptation to blame each other and make an effort to each take responsibility for the situation.
Remember You’re a Team
Sometimes differences in sex drive are so great that a couple will choose to end the relationship. Ultimately this is the couple’s decision to make. But regardless of the outcome, if your partner is someone you love and respect, try to cultivate a sense of teamwork between the two of you rather than being on opposite teams battling it out. The ultimate goal is one you want to arrive at together, but when defenses go up and we feel challenged its often easier to get into a fighting posture than a cooperative one.
Make Change a Possibility
Often we can talk about ourselves and our partners as if we are incapable of change (“I’m just not that kind of person.” “She would never do that,” “I can’t see him offering that in a million years.”) The fact is that we are all capable of change, probably far more change than we imagine. This doesn’t mean we will change, but it does mean we can. But when we talk about our situation as if change were impossible we shut ourselves and our partners down and may actually make change harder to accomplish.
Talk About Your Options
There are many causes of sex drive discrepancies in a relationship and many ways of addressing the problem. Read over the above tips and talk about the options available to you. Are you both willing to try counseling or therapy? If you found a good book to help you navigate through these issues will you both be committed to reading it and talking about it regularly? In the end if only one of you is willing to work on this issue there may not be a lot of hope for a mutually satisfying resolution, so making sure you’re both on board seems like a crucial step in working toward change.