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OK, before everyone starts jumping up and down and throwing their hands in the air in anger at the title of this post, let me just point out that yes, men close their legs and women have affairs too! Whether we like it or not, women and men are on a level playing field in this department!

It is time to take an open and honest look at what happens within a relationship’s dynamics that creates the desire for us to connect to someone outside of the bedroom we share with our beloved other.

I know you all have your perceptions about why this happens and every situation will differ because it is personal to you. My purpose for writing this is to help you understand why it happens in the first place and how it can be avoided.

So rather than pull the blanket over our heads in the hope this won’t happen or it may go away, it is time to get real and rip the covers off.

 

Intimacy Does Not Just Happen In The Bedroom

It is time to reveal what happens in and out of the bedroom and why, when intimacy is lacking in a relationship, the substance that keeps it glued together is also lacking. Let me remind you that intimacy is so far removed from anything that happens in the bedroom. Intimacy is about seeing your partner completely. It is about really feeling them and acknowledging and accepting your partner wholly.

In all honesty we begin a relationship with baggage in tow, filled to the brim with all of our primary expectations around love and what love is supposed to be.

Love is a very real energy or feeling state, but it is our perceptions of love that feed our beliefs, conditions and expectations of what love should feel like. Love can sustain many adversities, but a relationship will begin to crack at the foundation when we place too much need on the relationship to sustain us (the individual).

Let’s face it. Most of us were not taught how to have great relationships, and we certainly were not taught how to have intimate ones.

So it is no wonder that in today’s society the success rate for lasting relationships is not high and the statistics show that 1 in 3 marriages end in divorce. It has even been said recently that when you get married you and your partner should put away 5% of your income to pay for your divorce! It is pretty sad it is now considered wise to budget for it in our futures.

Where does this leave us?

With extra baggage filled with compounded insecurities that we will carry through to the next relationship we share, it is not easy to share your life with another person. The relationship needs just as much attention as every other aspect of your life, but too often it is not given priority. Complacency takes over and we start to take each other for granted. More so if we are married, as the common belief is held that “if we are committed through marriage then my partner will accept things as they are.” Unfortunately this is not always the case.

Our basic human need is to be loved and to be touched. This is one of the highest forms of validation that keeps us connected. When your partner compliments you with words of love, encouragement and support, even when you are wearing your sexy bed hair and no make-up, or thongs and old work shorts, it naturally affirms that they care and they still find us attractive even when we aren’t quite feeling it. When this does not exist, it is the first area of intimacy in the relationship to suffer and when this door closes, your openness to communicate begins to shut down too.

So why do we have difficulty staying connected in a loving partnership. In all honesty, if it truly was loving, you wouldn’t be thinking outside the relationship and dreaming of greener pastures.

Let me paint a picture for you.

Society has changed and the roles of the modern woman and man have changed along with it. After the bra burning days of the 60′s and the women’s liberation movement, the world became a little imbalanced. We moved from the constant daily routine of the 60′s where Men were the providers for the family and Women were the nurturers and care givers. But the difference between the 1950’s to the 21st century is the mutual respect for each other and the roles they took care of to keep the relationship balanced. These days, not only do we not respect the roles we play or that of our partner, we have a way of resenting our partner if it seems we are contributing more, so our relationship becomes yet another chore.

Our expectations are higher we tend to nag a lot more and nothing appears good enough. And as we are generally not meeting our own needs as individuals, we are certainly not meeting our partner’s. We long to connect but we are either too tired, too busy, or we don’t have time. In fact, we are busy creating the distraction because it is easier than taking the time to enjoy one another like we used too. We suffer low self esteem; and we have an imbalanced view in terms of who should initiate intimacy. “I already do enough; do I have to do this too?” For most of us we go through the motions and forget to feel into intimacy. Thus becoming charity sex. Oh my god, I didn’t know that loving another could be so exhausting…

When we reach this point, we have stopped communicating physically and emotionally altogether. We become starved of connection and we feel that our partner does not see us anymore. For men they feel that they are nothing more than a wallet and a handyman and for women they feel like they are nothing more than a housemaid, holding down a job on the side, with no pay, having sex just because it is a duty of care.

Sound familiar…?

We look to our partners to validate our worth within the relationship, but when we are not connecting intimately (and let me clarify -­‐‑ this is not just sex) we create the veil of separation, and shutdown. You feel unloved, lonely, sometimes depressed, not validated, in fact you don’t feel that special and that loving feeling has gone, gone, gone.

That is when the pastures look greener and we begin to look outside of the relationship and sometimes we don’t even know we are doing it.

Women cry out to be heard and men will often go into their man cave and pretend it will go away.

That is when women will close their legs and why men have affairs…or when men close their legs and women have affairs.

Curiosity Opens The Door

All it takes is for another person to see us, give us a compliment, and we begin to get that loving feeling all over again. Our endorphins are released and we start to confuse this feeling state with physical attraction. Curiosity opens the door and we step into the illusion that this person gives us what our partner can’t.

Stop Shutting The Door

The reality is, your partner can give you what it is you think you need, if only you would stop shutting the door in their face every time they knock. It never ceases to amaze me, when both of you have been trying to communicate what is happening, yet neither of you are prepared to listen.

Are you that full of self importance that you have forgotten to care enough for the one you love? And actually take time to hear what their heart is trying to tell you. But no, we believe that our wants and needs are far more important than theirs and any attempt to communicate this is taken as a personal attack. Your ego is hurt. I get it. But so is your partner’s. If you both stopped and took the time to hear what is been said, you would both realise that you want exactly the same thing, you are just expressing it differently.

You both need to begin to understand each other and how you both need to be loved emotionally and physically in the relationship. When you have this understanding there is no room for your insecurities to manipulate the relationship you share.

So if any of this has resonated with you, or even pushed your buttons and made you feel frustrated or even angry, then I would suggest you do something about it. Let me help you understand a little more what you can do to get your relationship back on track.

Here are a few basic practices that with a little effort and professional help if you need it can turn your relationship around from drab and dreary to fantastic and fab.

Stop trying to control the outcomes in your relationship. This means stop trying to change your partner into something or someone you think they should be, because you believe it will make you happy. The reality is it won’t. Your partner is not responsible for your happiness; you are on every level. Life is full of change and it is going to happen in the relationship you have. This is how we grow and evolve.

Let go of your expectations. You have created an illusion of how you think a relationship should be, should feel, should look and whilst you have those judgements it will never be true, because your partner will never live up to what you expect them to and you will always feel let down.

Learn to understand your partner and how they want to be loved.

Communicate from the heart, without blame and accusation of what your partner is or is not doing. Speak with kindness and compassion. You speak to your partner, how you wish to be spoken too. A little understanding goes a long way.

Take positive action to bring awareness into the relationship. Your relationship should be one of giving not taking.

Learn to accept what you cannot change, and love what is in the relationship for you both are a by product of each other and how you reflect love is how it is received.

You are the one who creates your suffering in the relationship with your judgements, perceptions and expectations. Take time to learn a new way of loving yourself and your partner so you both can find a joy filled love again.

Change IS possible, but often the best place to start is with deep reflection into the relationship you have with yourself. It starts with acknowledgement that you are the one who creates suffering in the relationship because of your own perceptions and expectations. Take the time to learn a new way of loving yourself and your partner so you can both find joy in the relationship again, When we love and approve of ourselves wholly, we have even more love to give to our significant other.

Do you agree? Tell us your views in the comments below.

  • My partner’s family never communicates about their problems and never ever shows affection towards each other. I lived with my partner and his family for 4 years and during that time I never ever heard any of them say “I love you” or give each other a hug (not even for birthdays). I grew up in a completely different environment, where communication and affection is valued.
    My partner doesn’t want our kids to grow up not knowing how to love someone else or be unable to speak about personal problems. We make a point to open up in front of everyone and to be (PG rated) intimate and loving towards each other.

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  • Communication is absolutely key. Surprisingly, I have many friends who do not communicate with their partner or vice versa. It’s a little bit mind bogggling to me because in my relationship, and during our 30 years of marriage, we communicate a lot, and about all the stuff. I’m a talker, and I’ve made hubby a talker too, even if it’s only to me.

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  • Wow this is not bad I need to show my partner thank you Anne Evelyn some powerful words and I just wanted to add to all you MoMs that have said that this article is putting more of the blame on us Women than the Men ‘Then you ladies need to go back and READ this article to the very END’ and really think about it from both sides (not those men/man that have done yous wrong in the past) just put that aside an ‘really think’ about it cos to me Anne has wrote something that could help alot of couples if they sit and READ it PROPERLY……..
    ie ~she not a prophet/writer etc so her article isn’t exactly in order if that makes sense~ lol I dont even no this lady (she could be a he for all I no????) just saying sorry Anne hehehe but just look at it from both a man and woman point of view lol

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  • Probably one of the best articles on this website !
    Communicate, communicate and communicate,

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  • A great article to read.

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  • Great article and quite probably the reason marriage succeeds so well is all those who are friends as well as lovers so they do talk through their problems with each other. Such a pit 1/3 of marriages fail, but they are the ones who never got round to taking off the rose-coloured glasses early enough to become friends as well as partners.

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  • Haha. Women have many faults, but men have only two – everything they say, and everything they do. Just saying……????????????

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  • Wow! Had no idea about the suggested 5% divorce savings! Never heard that before. We found that letting each other vent, and knowing it’s just a vent is key – particularly during COVID when everyone is stuck together in the same place, under the same challenges. Sometimes venting is all you need, not someone to try and fix it.

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  • There are some helpful tips here, but ultimately, being honest and communicating openly can help with any relationship, not just the intimate ones.

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  • I believe the key to any successful marriage is friendship and communication. No one ever said marriage was easy and after nearly 22 years I can assure you that every relationship has its ups and down but the one constant is the friendship you share. Behind all the love and sexual attraction is the bond of friendship and it can be what gets you through the difficult times when you don’t like each other very much. Talk about your feelings and needs and allowed your partner to do the same. Try to see things from each others point of view and make compromises when you can.


    • I agree communication & friendship is the key

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  • How sad that they suggest saving for divorce as soon as you’re married. Sounds like they set you up for this thing

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  • I am not sure if your views on this topic are yay or nay. Although you make some good valid points you tend to err on the side of the woman who it usually always is, (as men will never accept that there is a problem)needs to take a step back and have a good look at herself. We all crave affection touch etc but sometimes people who try and try and try cannot win the battle. You say take positive action to bring awareness into the relationship. Is that one or both parties involved in the relationship? As I can see a majority of men scoffing at this suggestion and by passing it. However in saying that this article will help people to understand the complexities of human relationships and /marriage/partnership.

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  • Great article, yes I agree. We can all be tired by the demands of life, but taking time to listen really listen and connect is so important. And yes intimacy is not only sex, it even can be looking each other in the eye and expressing emotions, making yourself vulnerable towards each other, seeking companion, truly validating each other, physical touch and hugs

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  • It takes two but men need to also put in the effort as well.

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  • There is a certain amount of truth in some of this, but some parts sound a bit like blaming the woman. It’s a two way street.


    • Yes it’s a two way street indeed

    Reply

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