Five steps to reclaiming your sex life

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Too often when people think or talk about a sex life that has taken a turn for the worse, they think of what they consider the ‘big stuff’, for example, the possibility that their partner is having an affair, the fact that they themselves are having an affair, or even perhaps the death of a person significant to one or both of them.

What they may overlook – and what is not uncommon – is ‘mini’ trauma. Note that the word ‘mini’ is representative of our perception of it and not our experience of it. 

Often, when I say trauma, people think of the ‘big stuff’ – death or even disease – but there are many other things that may not meet the threshold of being big or serious and yet have the same impact on a person physically, psychologically or emotionally.

You may have been robbed and it messed with your sense of independence. You may have escaped a carjacking and despite the escape, it called into question your sense of safety in the world.

You may have always thought of yourself as the sort of man or woman who could take care of themselves effectively, until someone threatened or pierced that belief.

You may have been the sort of man or woman who thought of themselves as too intelligent to be conned, until you got conned in a way that you now deem ‘silly’ or ‘simple’ which makes you walk around questioning everything and everyone.

Perhaps you were the sort of person who prided themselves on their ability to live on instinct, successfully navigating your relationships in your friends and family circles, until someone in those very circles took advantage of you in a way that you never expected. Maybe you were the ideal hardworking, honest, committed employee who was unfairly fired or laid off despite your best efforts at making yourself indispensable.

Perhaps you invested most of your money and even that of your friends and family into a business idea that doesn’t seem to be as successful as you had hoped it would be.

All these things can be filed under the “that’s life” umbrella and yet sexually speaking, these things can wreak havoc on you and your sex life. 

If this is you or your partner, I suggest the following:

1. Resist this temptation

Don’t believe your thoughts during this time. Your mind is generating those thoughts as a way to understand, conceptualize and help you cope with them. Your mind is simply doing its job; processing and filing. Your job is to allow it to work without believing every single thought generated.

2. Get your power back

Part of the challenge of trauma in general is helplessness that often accompanies it. It can be really difficult to feel more like yourself if at the same time you’re wondering how and why you didn’t protect yourself or your loved ones. So take this opportunity to do more of what you need in order to feel more like yourself.

If there has been a crime, report it. If the issue is physical safety, do your part to increase your protection e.g. installing cameras, self-defense classes. Even helping others to spare them from suffering what you have suffered can be very empowering. Whatever you do, make sure that it is life affirming and not yet another thing that you will have to cope with e.g. revenge.

3. Take responsibility for only what is yours

When you are reeling from the impact of negative events, the temptation is to take responsibility for all of it so that you can control and end the pain as fast as possible.

I want you to see that by doing this, you are really just tying yourself to the situation for longer than is necessary. Instead, think critically and ask yourself questions such as “presented with the same circumstances, what can I do differently?”, “is this representative of a pattern that I need to address e.g. do I trust too much too soon, do I abdicate certain responsibilities because I trust people too much, do I keep certain toxic relationships alive so people will like me?”

In other words, take the lesson and save it for next time. Another good question to ask yourself is “what am I willing to accept about this situation, and what am I willing to change about this situation?” Make a literal list of these things.

4. Keep having sex

You heard me right! Keep having sex. Yes, it might be different from what you’re used to because you’re more stressed or preoccupied but sex is an in-built stress reliever. Besides, the connection to another human being and to yourself is important in reminding you that there are people, places and things that are still good and positive in your life.

5. Give it time

As for the actual trauma, give it time. Remember that while you may think of it as a ‘mini’ trauma, there is nothing ‘mini’ in its impact. Allow yourself the time needed to grieve, process and make the necessary decisions.

I hope that these five points are useful to you as you reclaim what is yours; joy, peace, safety and a happy fulfilling sex life.

Five steps to reclaiming your sex life Five steps to reclaiming your sex life

Reviewed by odewole Olusegun on Saturday, June 02, 2018 Rating: 5

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