What Is Breakup Sex?

What Is Breakup Sex? Breakup sex is the bittersweet, passionate sex you have with your partner shortly after or shortly before breaking up with them. Some people consider breakup sex to be even better than make-up sex. The exciting nature of “goodbye” sex is due to its unique circumstances: This is the last chance to enjoy sex with each other. Sometimes breakup sex can be the best sex ever. In other words, “one for the road,” “the last hurrah.”

goodbye kiss

Couple kissing during breakup sex

The psychology behind breakup sex reveals why this questionable decision can feel super hot and awesome in the moment. Sex is exciting when their are no other expectations than arriving at an orgasm. Breakup sex can also be some form of denial that the relationship will actually be over. Having breakup sex can be seen as an implicit way of saying the relationship is not over.

Breakup sex as one facet in the drawn-out process of ending a relationship. Most people think relational collapses are an immediate event when in fact, they aren’t.  Instead, breaking up is part of an ongoing process.  And having sex one last time can be an important part of letting go of that person. Sometimes it helps couples find closure in a healthy way. Breakup sex helps a couple move past feelings of sadness and literally feel better. It can be healing because it has the power to validate certain parts of the relationship that may have once worked well.

Sometimes breakup sex can be a last ditch effort to save the relationship. If the decision is to terminate their relationship break up sex could be a means to engage in sex after their breakup. And to have what is also known as “friends with benefits” and “hook-ups.”

With the release of Dopamine, people can feel close to their sex partners.  It’s important to understand that sex with or without an emotional connection can weigh heavy on our psyche.

For more information about breakup sex contact me at CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com

What Exactly Is MakeUp Sex?

What Exactly Is MakeUp Sex? For some couples sex after arguing/fighting is almost like verbal foreplay. Makeup sex is sexual intercourse after conflict in intimate relationships. Conflict can range from minor arguments to breaking up. Sex under these circumstances can be emotionally charged and gratifying. Emotional significance can be conceived as a physical expression of reconciliation and rediscovery of a partner’s cathartic experience of a fight (psychological relief through the open expression of strong emotions). Often times makeup sex can resolve underlying conflicts.

Makeup sex

Makeup sex:

  • Can make you feel more connected because you survived a challenging situation (fight)
  • The anger/aggression after fighting is energy that fuels high emotions turning good sex into hot sex
  • Sex can be used as an apology, the wronged partner overcompensates and makes sex a great experience
  • Is a band aid in dealing with the underlying issues
  • Restores the feeling of connectedness due to the release of Dopamine 

Couples therapist

Romantic conflict can increase feelings of sexual desire. Increased sexual desire is high due to the fear of losing the relationship. The experience can be psychologically threatening. Feeling threatened activates our biologically-based attachment system. This system keeps our important relationships intact. It motivates us to increase our sense of closeness and security with important people in our lives, such as our intimate partner.

The difference between couples who feel like roommates and couples who feel intimacy is the ability to share thoughts and feelings, ask for what they need and want, and avoid being conflict avoidant. Expressing feelings makes for being vulnerable and being vulnerable makes for intimacy. Fighting takes a lot of energy. That energy is a range full of emotions. When couples tell me they never fight I find their relationship suspect. Being cordial suppresses emotions that need to be expressed. The lack of sharing those emotions keeps couples from feeling intimacy.  Although fighting is not an appropriate means for resolving conflict, it does make for highly charged feelings.

For more information about makeup sex please go to my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com or call me at (858) 735-1139.

 

 

Monogamy Myths And Truths

Monogamy Myths And Truths.  Conservative estimates show that 60 percent of men and 40 percent of women will have an extramarital affair. Most people expect monogamy to be a normal part of marriage or any committed relationship. When stating marital vows it’s either implicit or explicit that monogamy is expected. Some couples who come in for Affair Recovery do so where one of them has made a unilateral decision to open up their marriage by cheating.

Photo by Shawn Goldberg
Monogamy myths and truths

Some monogamy myths:

  • Society supports monogamy as the norm in society as a whole.
  • One person can meet all of your needs
  • If an affair happens, it’s strictly a personal failure of the people involved
  • Cheating and affairs are more common among the rich and less common in conservative cultures
  • If you really love your partner, you’ll remain faithful
  • We generally agree on what counts as cheating
  • Your partner won’t stray as long as you keep your sex life exciting
  • Most married people don’t cheat
  • Jealousy is an indicator of true love
  • Intimacy is only for romantic relationships
  • Monogamy means you don’t experience other attractions

Couples therapist

The reality about Monogamy is despite society’s lip service to monogamy there are significant societal factors that support and encourage affairs. Just look at advertising idealizing relationships by suggesting you can have it all.  That monogamy is not the norm by today’s standards

Monogamy is a choice. As years go by in long term marriage it is recommended to keep the line of communication open and be able to talk about what you like and don’t like in the bedroom. Being able to initiate conversation, express thoughts and feelings, and asking for what you need and want keeps the intimacy in tack to continue to choose monogamy. If and when couples choose otherwise, it would be advisable to develop New Monogamy agreements so relationship expectations are explicit rather than implicit.

For more information about monogamy and new monogamy agreements visit my website at CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com or call me at (858) 735-1139.

 

 

Is Your Husband Depressed?

Is Your Husband Depressed? Depression isn’t just a female condition. It’s true depression is more common in females than in males.  The prevalence is due to biological, hormonal and social factors unique to women, however, depression isn’t just a female thing. The National Institute of Mental Health  (NIMH) shows in a 2017 study the following:

  • An estimated 17.3 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. This number represented 7.1% of all U.S. adults.
  • The prevalence of major depressive episode was higher among adult females (8.7%) compared to males (5.3%).

Man in denial about his depression

Depression is not to be taken lightly. Clinical depression goes far beyond “having a bad day.” We tend not to recognize depression in men because the disorder itself is looked at as unmanly. Depression carries the stain of stigma of mental illness and also the stigma of femininity. Women in a relationship with a depressed man are often faced with a painful dilemma.  As a marriage counselor, couples come in to see me for communication issues, loss of intimacy, and infidelity. Often times the presenting problems have underlying issues of male depression.

Women married to depressed men have two options. They can either confront him about his depression or collude with him minimizing it. There’s already a certain amount of shame that goes with having depression in general, but for a man, it is shame filled and shameful. Depression in men goes unrecognized and unacknowledged by the men who suffer and by those around them. The hidden condition is enormous. Men and women handle feelings differently. Females are socialized to allow for emotional expressiveness and foster emotional connection while being systematically discouraged from asserting their authentic selves. Males are socialized to greatly encourage their assertive public selves while being discouraged from exercising emotional connectedness and developing skills for making and appreciating that connection.

As a result, men tend to internalize their feelings and when these feelings are left suppressed or repressed, they can erupt like a volcano. Depression in some men can manifest itself through rage, aggressiveness, withdrawal, irritability, and frustration. Physical symptoms include headaches, feelings of restlessness, agitation, appetite change, fatigue to name a few. Alcohol and drug abuse/dependency, as well as working long hours at the job, is another sign where the underlying issue is depression.

No two people are affected the same way by depression and there is no “one-size-fits-all” for treatment. Typically medication and talk therapy is the mode of treatment. As a marriage and family therapist, men I work with are opposed to medication as they think taking medication is a sign of weakness. I tell them if they had Leukemia or Diabetes they would surely have no qualms about taking them. In addition to medication and counseling men can incorporate some of these tips to managing their depression:

  • Regularize your schedule. Eat, sleep, exercise at the same time.
  • Try to be active and exercise.
  • Set realistic goals for yourself.
  • Try to spend time with other people and confide in a trusted friend or relative.
  • Try not to isolate yourself, and let others help you.
  • Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately.
  • Postpone important decisions. Discuss decisions with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
  • Continue to educate yourself about depression.

Couples therapist

It may take some trial and error to find the treatment that works best for you but doing nothing will have you feeling and doing more of the same. Contact me at (858) 735-1139 or email me at [email protected] for more information about male depression and what it’s doing to you and your family.

 

Are You Overfunctioning?

Are You Overfunctioning? If yes, stop. As a young woman I learned to overfunction in all my relationships which is another sign of codependency. When a person in a relationship overfunctions the other tends to underfunction. Meaning one partner does all the work and the other looks like they aren’t doing their part. When my husband and I had our child he was new to parenthood. I’d been in a previous marriage and was parenting my then 12 year old. Because I was accustomed to doing “everything” I took care of our newborn 24/7. I’d do the every 2 hour bottle feeding, bath time,  laundry, etc. I was exhausted and could barely get in a quick shower. All the while I was upset because my husband was doing very little except for putting in a long day at work. I asked my husband if he wasn’t helping me because he didn’t want to or because I wasn’t making room for him to do anything? He said the latter. I realized my overfunctioning was managing the anxiety of being a new mother again. My anxiety prohibited my husband from performing tasks of being a new parent himself and providing me the help I needed.

Overfunctioning

Goodhousekeeping Mother overfunctioning

Overfunctioning, as much as the word is self explanatory for some begs the question…”what is overfunctioning?” More importantly, what does it look like. As a Marriage Counselor, explaining what behaviors look like is very helpful and become teachable moments. When a wife asks her husband to help around the house, what does that look like? To the wife it could be cleaning every nook and cranny with disinfectant. To the husband it could be picking up his shoes and some water glasses he left throughout the house. When you ask someone to do something tell them what you expect…behaviorally. In this case, the wife wanted her husband to make sure all items left on the floor were picked up and placed where they belong. And take the trash out on trash day.

Overfunctioning is seen in many scenarios:

  • Doing all the party planner thinking others can’t do a better job.
  • Making all the decisions for vacation planning.
  • Doing all the housework yourself believing only you can clean it the way you want.
  • Parenting with little regard or insight to your spouse because you think you can do it better.
  • Over talking someone during a conversation.
  • Keeping a conversation going not allowing others to chime in.

Overfunctioning for others can be effective at managing anxiety or tension, but can prevent both you and the other person from becoming a more responsible person. Overfunctioning can create anger and resentment toward the person underfunctioning which tends to lead to disharmony in relationships.

Couples therapist

In working with my couples I give them directives to help them move forward from a stagnate status quo. I believe, and stress this in counseling, the “we” in relationships is only as strong as the “me.” So when one person is neglecting their “me” I tell them to stop overfunctioning and concentrate on them self and what they need. Self-care and understanding what is creating their anxiety and appropriately managing it is a good start.

For more information please contact me at my website www.couplescounselorsandiego.com or call me at (858) 735-1139.