Blog: Articles by Becky Makous

A Surprising and Powerful Way to Rekindle Your Love Life 

Many couples struggle with vanishing intimacy, feelings of boredom, routine, and reduced sexual connections over time, sometimes leading to thoughts of breaking up or taking other steps to bring intimacy and connection into their lives. There are a multitude of reasons for relationship breakdown, but what follows is a discussion of one that is frequently overlooked.

Read more on Psychology Today

5 Benefits to Knowing Your Core Erotic Themes

The vast majority of people experience sexual fantasy; indeed, to have fantasies is to be human. This rich world of sexual fantasy offers a window into the inner world and one’s psychological needs and has even been described as a Rosetta Stone to one’s psychological life. Identifying Core Erotic Themes (CETs) through sexual fantasy provides a window into your psyche. Core Erotic Themes can be broadly defined as the feelings a person wants to feel during sex.

Core Erotic Themes can be exceptionally varied. Some examples include: taken, merged, at peace, in control, surrender, humiliated, dissolved, accepted, transcendent, celebrated, impressive, adventurous and much more. In fact, virtually any emotion can promote or negate arousal.

So, what are some of the benefits of knowing your own Core Erotic Themes?

Read more on The Women's Business Initiative

 Ingredients for Successful Repair:

Vulnerable sharing: Focus on the emotions you are experiencing as opposed to the narrative. Only when the emotions are addressed can you start addressing the problem at hand. Try to share from your own experience of feelings as opposed to labelling your partners actions. It's a lot easier for your partner to hear "I feel scared when [x] happens" as opposed to "I perceive your actions as aggressive when you do [x]." It's a subtle but important difference. This leads to the next point.

Empathetic listening: For the listening partner, take yourself out of a defensive mode and be fully present with your partner without reacting. It's difficult to do this in any circumstance, but especially difficult if the voiced frustrations are about you. Try to put yourself in a position of listening to a friend, and save any reactions for later. You'll get a chance to voice them when the time is right.

Get on the same team: Sharing vulnerably and empathetic listening will help you get back on the same team. Emotions are always okay and once you and your partner get on the same team holding space for the emotions, you'll be able to get on the same side of the problem. It's not YOU vs. ME; it's YOU and ME vs. THE PROBLEM. Once the emotions are seen and held, you can move on to problem solving.

Taking responsibility: It's important for the listening partner to step up and take responsibility for some portion of whatever is bothering the sharing partner. A simple acknowledgement, without excuse, can go miles and really help repair.

Turn-taking: Once the sharing partner feels complete, switch and the sharing partner will listen and the listening partner can take a turn to share. It is so important for both partners to feel heard in this.

Time for reconnection: After both partners have vulnerably shared, empathetically listened, and taken some amount of responsibility, be sure to take some time to reconnect. Once both partners feel heard and validated, this will probably happen naturally. This could be as simple as taking a moment to hug or cuddle before moving on to the rest of your day.