Sex in healthy relationships is about not making each other wrong. Making each other wrong is like the buzz kill of sex. When your partner feels wrong or ashamed, he or she is not going to feel turned on. It’s so easy to blame your partner for what is not going right in bed, but the truth is that blame just makes everything worse. Is you want to have great sex in a healthy relationship, ask yourself this:
Would you rather be right or be happy?
If you dissect the root of almost every fight – one or both parties is determined to be right. In fact sometimes we’re so determined to be right that happiness or the health of the relationship is our least concern. Winning the argument, or being able to say “I told you so,” or getting the other side to “admit” that you’re right, or give in to your point of view, are all versions of wanting to be right.
We all like being right. In fact sometimes I wonder if there isn’t some organ in our primitive brain that they haven’t identified yet that is our “control freak” zone. This squirrelly little trouble maker is determined to be right at the expense of logic, kindness, harmony…and most importantly great sex. Healthy sex and love relationships are about giving up the addiction to being right.
I guess no one hires a sex therapist to tell them how great their sex lives are, so by the time we see couples, they’re feeling like their sex lives are on life support. The opening words Katherine presented me with in our first session were: “Our sex life is all wrong.” She could just barely contain the words she was thinking, “And it’s all Tom’s fault!”
Sometimes when couples hit this impasse, they have a big investment in finding the other partner wrong. It’s his fault or it’s her fault that we don’t have a great sex life. It’s just so much more fun to make the other person wrong than it is to take responsibility for making something right.
The only cure to this lethal-to-your-love-life habit is to discover that it is more fun to find the other person right than it is to find them wrong. It feels better. And finding your partner right leads to more right behavior from both of you, and improves both of your sex and love relationships.
We were very careful not to argue with any of the fourteen-years-of-marriage-list of reasons Katherine presents as to why their lousy sex life is all Tom’s fault. First, because at that moment she is more attached to being right than she is to hearing any new information, and second, she is more committed to being right than she is to finding a solution.
It’s so easy to ruin your sex and love relationships. All you have to do is find your partner wrong. That’s the fastest way to ruin sex in healthy relationships. Making someone wrong is done by judging, nagging, blaming, belittling, abusing, criticizing, and saying anything that makes them feel like a loser. Complain out loud.
Or inside your own brain. Make sure they know how unhappy you are. Play the role of victim. Assume it will never get better because it’s (person’s name) fault. Never ask for what you want, but always blame them for why you are not getting what you want. And always assume that you are right.
Making someone feel wrong makes them feel defeated. When we feel defeated we are less willing to try again – which means less willing to try to please your partner sexually. When we feel like a loser, we are less able to succeed. So becoming a loser becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy, ruining your sex and love relationships.
This is the cycle of why partners stop trying to do all the nice things they used to do in courtship when they felt they had a chance of pleasing you. When you feel you can please your partner, you feel like a winner – and that feels so good you are delighted to do more of it!
You probably have done all the research you need for one lifetime to know the experience of losing. You’re ready to try something different. After all it’s much more fun to have pleasure now than to have an epitaph reading “She was so right. Dead right.”
After listening to Katherine’s list, and watching Tom squirm, we asked Katherine; “What would it take for you to drop all charges and all complaints against Tom?” She didn’t like that idea. But I explained: “Men have an allergic response to being wrong. It’s actually a healthy self-preservation reaction. When they are made to feel wrong, it weakens them. So shutting down emotionally or physically is definitely a survival response.
And when men feel belittled they can’t really please the woman. Or don’t want to please her because they feel hurt. Or won’t please her because they feel mad. I explained to Katherine that if she keeps making Tom feel wrong he will find somebody who finds him right. Most affairs are about people seeking someone who makes them feel right.”
The stunned silence told us we had hit home. We asked Katherine what the pay-off was in making Tom wrong. After awhile she realized that she had this idea that if she didn’t keep “on him” he wouldn’t change. Tom chimed in finally, saying he didn’t want to change because then it would mean she was right.
But this time they both could see the impasse they had co-created. They were both strong people and neither wanted to “give” in. Because neither Tom or Katherine wanted to be wrong which sets up that cycle of losing.
So we sent them home with homework. Give up making the other person wrong for seven days. Just as an experiment. Instead start making lists about what you find right about the person. Start with tiny things and work your way up to character traits. Maybe what brought you together in the first place. Make sure that you tell each other what you truly find right about them. Finding your partner right leads to more delight in sex and love relationships.
Tom and Katherine weren’t all that hopeful when they left, but they were determined to try. What they found was that when they started reversing the flow of energy back to positive reinforcements, they began to start enjoying each other. When they came back the following week, they had had sex twice. This was the first time they had had sex in three years.
Once they began to find each other right (in many areas, not just sex) instead of finding everything wrong, the delight in each other began to emerge. Just feeling happy with each other opened them up to wanting to express amorous feelings. Enjoying each other once again led them naturally to each other’s arms.
The Pleasure Line: To add more pleasure and delight in your sex life, find your partner right.
It is a self-defeating habit to find any part of your life wrong, because it keeps you in the victim zone and gives you little to no energy to change. Today, notice what you are making wrong. Just notice what you are disagreeing with. All the little complaints, the person at the coffee counter moving too slowly, the traffic light turning red when you are in a hurry, your boss or co-workers who always… (fill in the blank) your mate…(fill in the complaint of choice).
The point here is how it affects you to find someone else wrong! Maybe they’re wrong, maybe they’re right – it doesn’t matter – what matters is how this thought process ruins your day. When you are finding things wrong you are in a state of resistance, which is the opposite of feeling joy and delight. Your job today is to take your focus off of what you believe is wrong. Just turn your attention to what is right. When you find it right, you turn on more delight.
Next you want to direct this process to issues of your love life. At first this is just an internal process of self-examination. Notice how you are making yourself or your partner wrong when it comes to your love life. Practice switching this mental process. Put on your “right” colored glasses and begin to notice what is right about yourself (especially about your body!) and about your partner.
Remember, we are disengaging from the attachment to finding wrong, and we are teaching our brain how to have more pleasure by focusing on what is right about our sex-life. If you have a lot of accumulated “wrongs” in your mental file, you will have to start with small things such as “It’s great that I have sexual desire.” Or “I have a great imagination.” Or “I have a great capacity for pleasure.”
It really doesn’t matter how great or how small the subject you start with, the mental benefit of switching works just as well on small issues as on larger ones. It may be easier to switch if you start with smaller issues. Even if you have to start with “negatives” such as “At least I’m not sexually abusing children and small animals…” whatever it takes for you to switch your focus to what is positive.
After you’ve spent some time internally cleaning up your wrongs, you begin to erase the (conscious or unconscious) list of wrongs. And you get the benefit of having a mental clean slate. It can be like having a whole new partner when you drop the mental history you have been carrying.
So, with your old “new” partner, you get to start with a clean slate. You may not believe you can do this. But if you are willing to believe, it can be true. I have seen people clean the slate of affairs and betrayals and deadly sexual routines. If you are willing to find it right, you can have more delight!
So, now with your “new” approach, you are going to seek delight by finding everything right. Begin this new courtship getting to know each other’s bodies and pleasure places as if for the first time. Begin a new process of finding what brings each other delight. And when something pleases you, be sure to let your partner know how good it feels!
Affirmation For Sex And Love Relationships: What I Find Right Brings Me Delight
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