How To Stop Having Painful Arguments About Sex & Reconnect With Your Partner

How many times have you and your sweetheart engaged in a ridiculous looping argument around sex that always sounds the same and never ends with an actual solution?

Would you believe me if I told you it was possible to change things from your end in such a profound way that these fights stopped for good? If you truly have the desire to end the painful dance you’re in, it can be done, tonight.  Really.

Let’s play out a scenario here.  For a close friend of mine, the all too familiar argument sounds like this, as they slide under the covers at 11pm:

*H – he         *S – she

H – (hrmpppphhhhh sound……….deep sigh………..rolling over away from his partner)

S – “What’s the matter?”

H – “Nothing.  We just never have sex anymore and I’m tired of it.”

S – “Well, that’s not my fault!”

H – “I’m ready any time.  You’re the one who’s not interested.  It’s obvious you’re not attracted to me any more.”

S – “Why do you always put that on me when it’s not true?!  I’m so sick of hearing you tell me how I feel. And by the way, it’s hard to be attracted to someone pouting about sex and thinking I’m going to be turned on by that.”

H – “You’re not turned on by anything, anymore.  It’s like we’re living as roommates.”

S – “Honestly?  Right now I could care less if I ever have sex again!  We don’t do anything fun together, you don’t do the nice things you used to do when we dated, you don’t compliment me or make me feel like I’m sexy and then you think I’ll still just want to jump into bed with you!”

H- “There’s a million things you don’t do any more for me either, but I’m not refusing to have sex with you like you are with me.”

S-“Well, I’ll tell you what, if you want us to have sex again, you’ll need to do a hell of a lot more than just demand it late at night.”

H – “Oh, so now you say I’m just a guy who “demands sex” – that’s insulting.”

S – “It’s insulting that you don’t treat me more respectfully.”

H – “Hell, I’m the one who’s not being respected!”

S – “I’m not doing this any more and I mean it.”

H- “I’m not either.”   (gets up, grabs his pillow and heads out to the couch)

S – “Oh, nice. That’s mature.”

H – “#$%*

It puts a knot in your stomach just reading this, doesn’t it?  And whether you can totally relate to this argument, playing out some version of it yourself or feel like you and your partner could be headed down this path as each tiff gets more and more hurtful, I’d love to help you stop it right here, right now.

What’s required to honestly “never” engage in a familiar, dysfunctional dynamic again, around any issue? 

  • The first is an understanding that you have zero control over another person and what they do or say. 
  • The second is that you have absolute control (and responsibility!) for yourself and how you show up with every single person you interact with.

It doesn’t matter what your partner does. It matters what you do and if you add to the “looping” or nip it in the bud. This requires shifting from any mindset that has you acting like a “victim” in a discussion, going into defense mode and instead, taking responsibility for what you want to create between the two of you. Then taking a stand for ONLY healthy interactions and stopping anything else.

Ok.  What could that sound like in the above example?

H – (hrmpppphhhhh sound……….deep sigh………..rolling over away from his partner)

S – “What’s the matter?”

H – “Nothing.  We just never have sex anymore and I’m tired of it.”

*KEY CHANGE HERE!*  (do these things first, as they are as important as any “words” that get spoken)

TONE – calm, loving, direct

BODY LANGUAGE – soft, open-hearted, rolling over closer to your partner and touching them in an affectionate way to connect

MINDSET- This is my partner who I love deeply and I feel them hurting.  I want to be kind and help solve this pain between us.

WORDS – “Honey, I know this hurts and we keep having the same conversation. I’m committed to getting out of this loop with you and figuring out what we both need.  Could we set up a time this week for us to really solve this problem so we can get close again?  I love you and want that for us.”

Depending on how hurt your partner is, you might get anything from a grateful, “That would be wonderful!  I love you, too.” to something that still reflects frustration, like “We’ll never solve it because you don’t ever listen to me!” 

And again, I’m going to stress here, you get out of the familiar dynamic by not going back into what YOU normally do!  Don’t get hooked into your partner’s negativity. Ask yourself again, “Who do I want to be and how do I want to show up, from my end?”  Anything else is simply falling into reactivity again.  And the loop continues.

You get a short tempered response? 

Be loving, direct and stop the conversation from spiraling down. If you hear “We’ll never solve it because you don’t ever listen to me!” you can say, “Well, I love you and I truly do want to hear what you need to say around this, so let’s both make a decision to listen well to each other and get a new plan in place, Ok?”

It’s our choice, how we show up for ourselves, what conversations we participate in, and what we add to our relationship dynamic, if we are willing to bravely take a stand for loving, healthy, compassionate interactions. What’s amazing is that while we have no control over another person, I witness weekly huge changes my clients make in their relationships simply by the change they make from their end as they model conscious, mature, kind behavior and set clear boundaries around anything else. The positive “influence” that ripples out through the relationship is powerful. 

And one last, extremely important thing?

You have to follow through and truly be ready to solve the problem by listening with the intent to understand your Beloved and with a mindset to create a win-win. 

Oh, yeah. That.