Communicating With Your Sex Partner. Part 3


Lombard counseled one couple that had been married 25 years but hadn’t had sex in more than 20 years. One night, the husband rolled over and touched his wife. She rolled the opposite way. He stopped trying. Neither knew how to communicate about the problem.

Part of the solution is to motivate people to change. Therapy is done within the framework of each couple’s standards for acceptable sexual behavior, which often are influenced by cultural and ethnic differences, Lombard says.

“We don’t impose our beliefs on them. You can’t hand them a recipe,” he said.

But he does urge them to be creative and discard stereotypical beliefs that are often influenced by what television says sex is “supposed” to be.

Finally, couples must be receptive to counseling. That means opening up.

“Most of our adult life is going to be tied around a close relationship that’s going to have sexuality,” he said.

Even then, counseling cannot improve or salvage every relationship.

“Some couples are so far away from each other, so defensive, that it doesn’t work,” Lombard said.

“In sex therapy, it’s not the other person’s behavior we’re trying to alter. It’s our perception of the other person’s behavior,” he said.

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