Relationships are not easy, especially long-term ones. There are so many issues that can come between couples that often feel impossible to solve. Yes, you should sit down and talk it out, take time away from each other, or even seek out a couple’s therapist to give you and your partner a hand. But there are some relationship problems that can be fixed with sex.
Sex can’t solve all your problems, but it can help with some.
That’s good news! Who needs to pay for couple’s counseling or fight in the kitchen all night? Just set aside a little alone time with your boo and work it out between the sheets. (Or above them. Or nowhere near them.) Here’s the catch, though: You can’t use it as a replacement for actually doing the hard work that comes with making a relationship WERK.
Wendy Strgr, CEO of the Good Love and the author of Sex That Works, tells HelloGiggles that more problems arise “when couples use sex to avoid their emotional conflicts and don’t engage in discussing what is happening between them, then the sex actually works in reverse.” It pulls you apart.
Worse, you set up a dangerous pattern. “Also, using sex to avoid the work of emotional intimacy in communicating and showing up can get kind of addictive,” she adds.
Here are some problems you can work out with sex:
1You’re not spending enough time with each other.
People have busy schedules, and sometimes it’s hard to make time to hang out with your partner. Scheduling sex does not sound sexy at all, but it should be done in the worst case scenarios. Instead of a date night where you have to pull your worn out selves to a restaurant (and fight about which one), make a date night that involves staying in and getting intimate. No pressure, obviously, but putting yourselves at least in an environment and headspace conducive to sex will help. Trust us.
2You’ve hit that dry patch.
Strgr calls this the “initiation dilemma,” and it’s more common than you might think. “This is the most common issue that all long term relationships face…it often becomes the most toxic kind of scorekeeping that undermines all the other connection in the relationship,” she tells HelloGiggles. The only way to solve it? SEX. Otherwise, you end up risking losing your sex drive altogether or getting crazy resentful. Just do it, girl.
3When you’re not talking to each other.
Sex opens you up to your partner. If you feel like you’re just not talking anymore, make getting laid a priority. Strgr says, “Physical intimacy is a great way to lift the layers of story that can stand between a couple and cut right to the heart of the issue. I often find that the intimate conversations shared after good sex are so much more honest and articulate than if we just keep fighting over our own version of whatever story is going on.” That sounds about right. Make time after the deed to just chill and enjoy each other.
4When you need to hit the reset button.
Sex can get boring in even the best relationships, and sometimes this lack of satisfaction is the main problem for couples. Strgr says it’s something most couples deal with eventually.”Here is the sad truth about sex: In many long term partnerships, it is either the glue that keeps the relationship strong or the thorn in our side, a source of persistent pain and discord.” If that sounds familiar, then you just need to have some more sex with your partner. But better sex. You’re going to have to talk to you partner about what’s wrong and it might get uncomfortable. Don’t do anything you don’t want to, but remember the three G’s for a healthy sex life — being Good, Giving, and Game in the bedroom.
5Any time you need to make up after any fight.
Really, having sex is the best way to say sorry. “Make-up sex is so charged because we enter into it, fully aware of the emotional content of our conflicts that we need to resolve,” Strgr says. Make-up sex can be hot as hell. So when you find yourselves battling each other, bang each other instead. Then talk about your problems like grownups and work things out. The sex makes it a little easier to admit you’re wrong sometimes.
Don’t be afraid to use sex as a way to work through some problems. Just make sure you’re tackling the problems and feel like you’re getting what you need. In and out of the bedroom.