Finding yourselves in a place of wanting less conflict and more sex is not uncommon. Yet there’s a purpose behind the conflict. It’s not aimless and something you do for fun, is it?! Nor is it because one of you is bad, wrong, or annoying. It happens for a reason. Because human relationships are crucial to your wellbeing, you get distressed when you feel insecure and or your romantic partnership is in trouble. You’re so important to each other.
You both have largely unconscious patterns of ways you feel and behave in a relationship. You laid down a seriously influential emotional template based upon your relationship with your earliest caregiver. That template has had a significant impact on how you respond in your meaningful relationships and how you protect yourself when feeling disconnected or insecure now. These learned patterns influence the stuck conflict cycle you have in your current relationship, and the good news is you can change that. You can have less conflict and more sex.
Why do we fight?
You get into conflict and end up both getting more and more upset, yes? That’s because your ways of reacting, those ways of protecting and connecting we talked about above, get into a horrible spiral. Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) calls this a negative cycle – EVERYONE can get stuck in one.
It looks like a repetitive, exhausting conflict and feels like emotional distance.
You fuel your negative cycle by your best attempts to feel safe and connected, but this matters worse. Each of you is protesting in your way about the disconnection, which means it is co-created. No wonder you don’t feel like being intimate.
Your protest might look like staying quiet and avoiding arguing as your way of trying to stop things from going off the rails. Or maybe it shows up as you getting frustrated and critical as you try to get through to your loved one and correct what feels like another lousy conversation. Either way, you both end up with more conflict and less sex.
How do you move to a healthy emotional connection?
Good question! How do you move to less conflict and more sex ? The good news is that the more you understand what’s leading to disconnection (it’s not what you think) and address the emotions underlying your negative cycle, the more your natural positive love cycle can emerge. Then you both feel closer, emotionally safe and intimate, which definitely reduces conflict and usually naturally leads to you both wanting to re-engage in physical intimacy.
The key to this approach is to look at the emotional underpinning of your relationship. EFT has developed a clear understanding of what makes a loving partnership, and we can now understand and help you shape it. This therapy approach enables you to reach practical insights that will help you be open, attuned and responsive to your partner. Connecting with your emotions is the way to enhance or heal your intimate bond.
How are conflict and sex related?
Suppose you and your partner are good friends that work out stuff and can talk comfortably about sex. In that case, you’re likely to have better sex. Findings show that couples that report having Magnificent Sex deliberately develop their ability to communicate well together. This connectedness leads to affection, trust and intimacy. And a lot less stress! Conflict (being unable to successfully address issues and any disconnection between the two of you), on the other hand, reduces the willingness to engage intimately. The female brain, in particular, lights up, looking to see that there is safety when aroused. You can create a safe sexual adventure by listening to her concerns, considering how to attend to any issues and showing acceptance for her feelings, whatever these may be. Conflict with each other doesn’t contribute to either of you feeling safe together.
In a nutshell
Conflict happens in all relationship. What matters is that you discover how you and your partner feel and behave and why you get stuck. With this new understanding, you can (with support) reshape the bond in your relationship. This new knowledge enables you to reduce conflict and increase emotional and physical intimacy. Less fighting, a more positive cycle and more sex.