Is Your Husband Bad in Bed?

Dollarphotoclub_62532251Without a doubt, women come in with this complaint way more often than men.  By the time I see the couple, the wife is exasperated and ready to talk but her husband is feeling humiliated and embarrassed.  He would rather get a root canal than discuss why his wife isn’t satisfied in the bedroom.

The wife is often surprised when I say to her “If your husband is a bad lover then you are a bad teacher”.  She doesn’t want to hear this.  She wants sex to be romantic and spontaneous.  She doesn’t want to have to actually talk about what she likes or dislikes.  She shouldn’t have to teach her husband how to be a good lover!  But the truth is…all of us wives have this responsibility.

For a man, good sex happens when the woman he is with looks and sounds like she is enjoying the intimacy.  If his lover is just lying there with a bored look or worse, a ‘get this over with quickly’ look, it is a huge buzz kill.  All a woman has to do to make sure her man feels good, is to look and sound like he is making her feel good. But for a woman to have great sex, it requires skill.  The only way for him to acquire this skill is for you to teach him.

Every woman’s body responds differently.  Learning how to be a good lover for one woman does not mean he will be a good lover for the next one…unless he is taught.  The only one who can teach your husband how to be a good lover is YOU.

Some women tell me they have tried to do this and it hasn’t worked well.  But as I dig a little deeper, I find they have not really done much trying.  Talking about sex…about what you like and don’t like…. can be really awkward.  Sharing and acting out fantasies can be intimidating.  I get this.  But not making the effort is far more damaging.  Women who feel their husbands lack finesse in the bedroom are vulnerable to looking outside of the marriage for sexual satisfaction.  Many of them will stop having sex with their husband altogether.  There are a LOT of married people who simply aren’t having sex.  This is unbelievably sad for me because this is fixable!  It really doesn’t have to be this way.
Two resources I recommend to my clients are written by author, Ian Kerner.  She Comes First is for the men and Passionista  is for women, however I highly recommend both of you read both books!  Even read them together and discuss what you think.  It may open the door for all kinds of interesting communication!

In my counseling practice,we have some great worksheets you and your spouse can do together in the privacy of your home that will also help you open up more about your specific sexual likes and dislikes.  It isn’t reasonable to expect every sexual encounter to move mountains, but if you aren’t enjoying sex with your spouse stop settling for less to avoid awkward conversations!  This is why they call it “intimacy”.  You have to be willing to share your feelings and thoughts.  If you need help getting the conversation going, give us a call.  We want to show you how to swim in the deep end of the intimacy pool!

Next week I will give the men specific tips to help when your wife says you are bad in the bedroom.

When Your Spouse Always Gets Their Way

My Way, Highway Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.There has been a flood of clients recently who have presented with similar situations: one spouse has taken control of the relationship from the other spouse.  For each couple, the methods are different but the results are usually the same.  The spouse who relinquished control is angry, exhausted and wants out of the marriage.

Not one of the controlling spouses meant any harm.  They admit to strong persuasion tactics but they simply wanted something and used their good negotiating skills to get it.  Their spouses however felt very differently in the marriage.  They felt harangued.  Beaten down.  Powerless.  They learned a long time ago their spouse would not quit until they “won” arguments or got their way, so they stopped fighting for their own opinion or desires. They learned to “give up to get along” and they lived quietly resentful for years.  Their spouses never even knew the damage they had inflicted because none of them spoke up. They just grew more withdrawn and resentful each year.  Until the day they decided they didn’t want to live this way anymore.  So they told their spouse they were finished and wanted a divorce.

Here is one story:

Mark and Susan (names changed) came to see me because Mark wanted a divorce. Susan was devastated.  She kept breaking down in tears as she explained she knew for a long time the marriage wasn’t “great” but she didn’t think things were this bad until Mark told her he was done.  She couldn’t believe he was walking out without a fight.  She wanted one more chance to fix things and she believed I could help her because she had read my articles and felt there was hope.  Mark sat there quietly and showed very little emotion.  I could tell he was nervous.  I asked Susan to wait outside and I talked to Mark alone.  He told me he appreciated my desire to help but he really was done.  He said he had lived in a miserable hell for years and couldn’t take it anymore.  He said Susan was a wonderful mother and he didn’t hate her but he didn’t love her either.  Mark described his life with Susan in detail.  Susan was outgoing and had a strong personality.  She was opinionated and very determined. If she wanted something, she didn’t quit until she figured out a way to make it happen. These qualities initially attracted Mark.  He could see how those traits came in handy many times throughout their marriage but eventually, Mark felt he was losing his own power to make decisions.  If he and Susan disagreed about something with the kids or the household, Susan always got her way.  Disagreeing with her meant hours of conversation until Mark got tired of the struggle and gave in.  When he told her she was spending too much money, Susan started hiding the purchases and then minimizing the damage when Mark would express his feelings of anger or concern.  If Mark tried to discipline the kids, Susan would override him and tell him he was being too hard on them.  Finally, Mark stopped trying to have an opinion.  He just kept giving in to what Susan wanted because he was sick of fighting and he was tired of talking about it.  After a while, he felt very disconnected from Susan and the kids.  They complained because he didn’t participate in certain activities with the family any more.  Mark answered these complaints with more avoidance.  He started working more hours and being less available.  Eventually, the family unit learned how to operate under this new normal and years passed.  Mark came to resent Susan.  He felt completely powerless in his own life.  He told me he needed to get away from Susan and was ready to start a new life.

I asked Mark how he contributed to the marriage being in its current state.  He wasn’t sure what I meant.  I mentioned Susan’s control and how he felt he needed to divorce before he could be free to make his own choices.  I knew this would be difficult for Mark to hear.  He wanted to put all the blame on Susan for the way their marriage had been going.  But Susan was only part of the problem.  I explained to Mark that he gave her all his power.  He never learned how to set boundaries with Susan.  He said he couldn’t make Susan do anything…he had tried for years!  I explained to him that boundaries aren’t something he puts on Susan.  Boundaries are limits he puts on himself.  He can’t control Susan’s behavior, but he can control how much he lets it affect him. He can control how much access he allows.

I could tell this was new information for Mark.  I knew Susan could be a handful but I also knew Mark was conflict avoidant.  Setting limits with Susan raised his anxiety and made him very uncomfortable.  It was much easier to give in than to hold his ground.  But giving in every time wasn’t good for the marriage.

Getting Mark to understand he didn’t need to divorce to get back his freedom was an interesting proposition.  He and Susan have a long road ahead of them as he learns how to set boundaries and enforce them, but Susan finds the progress interesting.  She has come to realize Mark with boundaries is a good thing.  It is way more sexy to her to have a man with an opinion who will give a little push back than one who just goes along with everything.  Together they are finding more passion than they have had in years.

I think Mark and Susan will work things out, but it doesn’t always end this way.  Sometimes the conflict avoidant partner finds solace in another person and begins an affair.  Don’t let this happen to you!  Whether you are the one who feels powerless in your marriage or the one who has taken all the power, let us show you how to re-balance with healthy boundaries.  Do something before one of you wants to call it quits.