Good sex requires more than just passion to work. It also requires a willingness to be open to one’s partner, especially emotionally open. When a partner holds resentment for any reason, that openness is compromised. In fact, resentment negatively affects nearly every enterprise a person engages in, according to Psychology Today (link below).
Resentments in a romantic or marriage partnership can accumulate from a number of different sources. They come from jealousy of attention paid to others, resistance to communication, manipulation, dishonesty, discovering an affair, and more. Resentments in singles who have lost their sexual drive often relate to experiences of being used for sex or money, rather than truly cared for.
Physically, resentment causes an increase in production of cortisol, which shuts down our libido. Love, on the other hand, causes an increase in oxytocin, which calms us and promotes healthy social and sexual behavior. Honest, loving communication, in which resentments are shared and explored, is the key toward releasing resentments and sparking sexual desire .
Here are some inhibitors:
Jealousy – Jealousy makes couples shut down due to a sense of betrayal and the fear of being left. When a partner pays too much attention to someone else, it’s hard not to worry. When a partner has an affair, it’s hard to keeping trusting them.
Resistance to Communication – Talking is one of the best ways to resolve issues between partners, but when one partner refuses to communicate, it effectively tells the other not to bother – that the topic, finding a resolution, or the partner themselves are not that important.
Manipulation – Manipulation is an attempt to trick another person into doing something they don’t want to do. In whatever form, for whatever reason, manipulation is disrespectful and cheapening. It tells the partner they are not strong enough to handle a situation, or are not worth being honest with. Any partner being manipulated knows it and over time begins to shut down. Any kind of shutdown reduces sexual pleasure.
Healing the Pain – For a couple to regain the love they experienced during their first moments of sexual interaction, they need to open up communication again, and talk out the resentments. If they can’t talk with each other at first, then they can ask for the help of a friend or counselor.
Here are tips for opening up communication:
- Start out by looking for the things you love or loved in the partner. Then, when you are immersed in love and appreciation for them, approach them with an offer to talk. Make sure the time is right for them and the setting is conducive to intimacy.
- During the discussion, take responsibility for your own feelings. Then talk about how much you love them and appreciate the sex you’ve had in the past. Talk about how you long for intimacy again and share what you’ve noticed about yourself. Answer questions, if they have them.
- Ask your partner to reciprocate, if they are holding resentments too. Be prepared to accept what they say. Be prepared to be asked to change.
- End with embracing your partner and reiterating how much you love them. Tell them how much you appreciate the discussion.
- Give it time for the effects to take place, before trying sex again.