Harness the power of communication in your relationship!
Join licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Sex Therapist Dr. Elliot Kronenfeld as he shares his expertise on sex and relationships. He discusses the nature of infatuation, sex, the power of communication and curiosity, and what it can take to recover from infidelity.
Intimacy wanes over time because we start taking each other for granted, and we start to lose the anticipation we felt at the beginning of the relationship. This is why Elliot encourages others to live in the “I don’t know.” Over time, we think we need to know everything about our partner, and we start seeing each other as fixed and stable. We don’t notice how they’re changing.
Two things that keep a relationship vibrant are attention and curiosity. Being curious is incredibly attractive when we can be intentional in our relationships and not take others for granted. At the beginning of the relationship, during the infatuation stage, curiosity comes easily. Infatuation is new and exciting, and it fades over time, but we must remember that it does come back.
Real sex is not the same as porn. Porn is for the audience, sex is for the partners, and both are often confused with each other. Couples need to talk about what sex and intimacy look like in their world with curiosity and good communication. Balancing the two is essential to fostering safety and vulnerability. Sex is where we go in our heads, and words have the power to bring us there.
But people don’t often know how to listen effectively, which impacts intimacy. Elliot urges his clients to ask a question and not make a statement. We often just want to feel heard, seen and understood.
Sex might take a back seat to other obligations over time or even start to feel like a chore. So, Elliot encourages partners facing this situation to ask themselves- why do we have sex? Reproduction, anger, makeup after a fight, and more are all acceptable answers. It isn’t always about libido or obligation.
Infidelity recovery capitalizes on the dialogue around sex and can often be very confusing. There’s grief that needs to be worked through because the victim of infidelity is not the only victim of the relationship. Both partners crafted the relationship’s dynamic where the cheating happened, so where was the one partner when all the infidelity happened? That’s an accountability many don’t want to hear but need to.
There are far too many therapists citing specialties they don’t have, so finding a good sex therapist is important to help you navigate through the nuances of your specific relationship. A good sex therapist will be under the supervision of another sex therapist even when certified because these issues are critical. Remember: sex is supposed to be fun, and the healthiest relationships have the best boundaries.
Harness the power of communication and curiosity and rekindle the intimacy in your relationship by listening to this episode!
Elliott Kronenfeld is a licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Sex Therapist for individuals, couples, and families dealing with issues that inhibit future growth and happiness. He earned an MS in Communications and an MSW from Simmons University and a Ph.D. in Human Sexuality from the California Institute of Integral Studies and is the author of the book Couples by Intention.
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