Want to explore new moves with your partner, but don't know how to ask? How can Pursuers approach and encourage their Withdrawer partner to open their mind to new things?
Pursuers can get discouraged themselves after being rejected time and time again; They assume it is a hopeless attempt and stop trying, eventually resulting in pain, distance, and resentment.
When we want variety or want to suggest something new to our partner, energy and enthusiasm can carry the day. When there is reluctance, a Pursuer needs to resist the wish to fall back and at least bring their heart and passion.
On the flip side, the partner receiving the request can really support their partner’s vulnerability at asking, with encouragement and responsiveness. Unfortunately, when a sexual Withdrawer is the suggester, it can feel like just a drop in the bucket compared to all that has been longed for. Instead of receiving the new suggestion with grace and gratitude, it often becomes an opportunity for the sexual Pursuer to complain and feel disappointed.
In order for Withdrawers to feel safe enough to initiate or try new things, Pursuers must acknowledge their effort and vulnerability – no matter how "small."
Pursuers – in order to open a conversation about sexual variety, ask your partner what THEY want and need, and tell them what YOU want and need. With your heart and deep vulnerability.
All of us have struggles communicating, and these struggles often seep into the bedroom. As sex and couples therapists, we often run into couples who avoid talking about sex and sexual needs. Instead, they defer to an avoidant-style habit that can be a sex life killer: making assumptions.
When we make up stories about our partner, it kills the curious drive that creates sexual magic. When we assume our partner knows what we want, we forfeit the possibility of getting our needs met.
People make up stories and assumptions for understandable reasons. They do it to avoid embarrassment or vulnerability. They do it because they don't want to hurt their partner, make them feel insecure, or because communication wasn't received well in the past. But no matter the reason, we can't stop trying. The cost of not sharing is so much worse!
Let's talk about some practical solutions to breaking the habit of assumption, and talking explicitly to get better sex.
Where were you on 9/11? We all remember. It's been 20 years.
Most of us were stunned, watching the twin towers fall, but George was with the FDNY rushing to Ground Zero, following his training, following his instinct to get people out of there.
Listen up as he shares about the worst of times -- the horror of the day and months to come, searching for people who were still alive and finding none. And the best of times -- the support and love that people poured out to the first responders, to their neighbors -- the cohesion of a community and a nation united. "There's value in pain if we face it with others." -- George Faller
Today, we honor George and all the first responders who ran toward the danger. We send gratitude and peace to Kathy Faller for watching her young husband leave in the midst of chaos, not knowing what would happen and for holding down the fort afterwards. To both of them, we celebrate that in the midst of fear, they could turn towards each other and find comfort.
G - we love you! Thank you for your vulnerability in sharing with us.
#20YearsLater #911 #FirstResponders #NeverForget #SendingRespect #PrayingForYourPeace #LieutenantFaller #28Truck #BraveHearts #343FireFightersGone #HarlemHilton_Manhattan #HelpingCouples #SueJohnsonTrainsGeorge #DoctorLove
Couples who find themselves stuck in the boring and mundane are often couples who have failed to be vulnerable.
George uses a three-road analogy to explain why some couples remain in mediocracy. The High Road—the road of great energy, great sex, vacations, and excitement.
The Middle Road—the grind of everyday life. It’s doing the dishes, mowing the lawn, and cooking dinner.
The Low Road—relationship depth. It’s diving into deep conversations, sharing, and vulnerability.
Failure in vulnerability reinforces our opposition to vulnerability and keeps us from exploring the Low Road. We perceive failure when we share with our partners, and they react by trying to fix us (yellow zone), blame us (yellow zone), or shutting down and saying nothing (red zone). Vulnerability contains a sense of danger.
When someone is vulnerable, it's important to understand that they are already in the yellow zone. Every couple must face the dilemma of addressing vulnerability. When our fears and triggers arise, if we draw closer to our partners and see beyond our triggers, we can rebalance our relationships.
We always talk about sexual Pursuers and Withdrawers—those who seek sex and those who withdraw from it.
Because sexual Pursuers are usually the sexual initiator, they are often facing rejection. Over time they become anxious about initiating. For Pursuers, rejection goes beyond being told “no” when they make a sexual advance. Rejection also happens when they perceive or assume rejection. It may seem unfair but it feels true to the sexual Pursuer.
Pursuers are prone to stories from others, past experience, and ideas they tell themselves about what they will happen if they ask for sex. The feelings created by potentially false assumptions are as real as the sting of actual rejection and can leave a pit in their stomach.
Couples (Withdrawers and Pursuers) usually have opposite protective strategies which can create psychological, sexual tension and frustration from the negative cycle.
How can Withdrawers seek to understand and help their frustrated sexual Pursuer? We’re breaking down 5 ways Withdrawers can protect their partner from rejection!