Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy For Dummies
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Couples who maintain emotionally safe relationships find new ways to explore their relationships and renew their lives sexually. Here are some suggestions for reigniting your passion:

  • Review your expectations. Realistic expectations are the basis for a satisfied sex life. Life isn’t a romance novel or a porn flick. Making things real between you begins with connecting at an emotional level in your relationship.

  • Recognize that great sex begins in your relationship, not just in your bedroom. Clean up the kitchen, notice how your partner looks, lay out a compliment in the morning, and show your partner that you think of him or her even when you aren’t together. These things can often help pave the road to desire.

  • Keep in mind that couples are more adventurous and playful when they feel emotionally secure. In turn, couples are more secure when they enjoy a satisfying sex life. So, don’t just work on one or the other.

  • Take the pressure off. Finding times to express physical affection (touching, holding, caressing) without intercourse can take the pressure off helping you and your partner better express your sexual needs and desires.

  • Practice emotional presence. Showing up for sex is about more than being physically ready — it’s about being emotionally present. When you’re emotionally present, you see your partner and his or her emotional needs.

  • Put aside sexual activities that one of you isn’t interested in. If both of you aren’t into it, don’t press the issue. Pressure feeds anxiety, and anxiety is the enemy of arousal.

  • Take time to talk about what matters to you sexually, not in the heat of the moment. Talking about sex away from participating in it can allow each of you to be less defensive and more open to sharing and listening.

  • Make time to make out. Younger couples sometimes think that setting up times for sex is too routine, but many couples with children or busy careers find ways to schedule closeness. Anticipating these times can be a real turn-on.

  • Know yourself, know your body, know your needs, and then communicate what you know. Every body is different. Different strokes for different folks. Get to know your partner and what works for him or her. And help your partner know what works for you.

  • Get outside your routine. Try something new, but keep in mind that taking risks begins with feeling safe to explore. Be creative and invest in spontaneity.

About This Article

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About the book authors:

Brent Bradley, PhD, is Associate Professor of Family Therapy at the University of Houston-Clear Lake, and president of The Couple Zone (www.couplezone.org). Dr. Bradley is a certified emotionally focused couple therapist, supervisor, and trainer. James Furrow, PhD, is Professor of Marital and Family Therapy at the Fuller Graduate School of Psychology. Dr. Furrow is executive director of the Los Angeles Center for EFT and a certified emotionally focused couple therapist, supervisor, and trainer.

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