A new study has revealed that one in four men regularly dream about their ex-girlfriends. But don’t worry ladies, 26 per cent said they dream of their work colleagues, boss or even their mother-in-law. A third of women, according to the study by Premier Inns, dream most about their current partner, followed closely by dreams about their parents and children.
DID YOU KNOW?
Less than half of the adult population is now married, according to figures recently released from the Office for National Statistics. The number of people who have never tied the knot has doubled since the 1970s and one in three women has never wed.
THE JOY of giving
Generous couples are five times more likely to be ‘very happy’ in their relationship, according to a new study at the University of Virginia.
A fulfilling sex life ranked as the single biggest indicator of happy marriage, but high levels of generosity – anything from making a cup of tea to giving rubbing your partner’s back – also contributed. The five elements most likely to make a marriage happy are: sexual satisfaction, commitment, generosity, a positive attitude toward the couple’s children and social support from friends and family.
Calls to Relate increased by 59 per cent – from nearly 5,000 in October to November 2007 to more than 7,500 during the same period last year.
A spokesperson said that job insecurities and money worries were taking a toll on relationships. She said: “The problems are to do with the recession – to do with job insecurity, to do with interest rates changing and also the escalating costs of running the family. If you’re dealing with these anxieties all on your own it can be very isolating, and can lead to depression and anxiety.”
The LOVE CLINIC
The one who controls sex, controls the relationship
Sex and power can often go together – but in a very real sense the person who controls sex may control the relationship itself. Sex can be used for many reasons – procreation, pleasure, entertainment, relaxation – and sometimes reward and punishment.
When things aren’t going right in the relationship one of the ways in we may punish our partner is to withhold sex. If this becomes the case, the person controlling the supply of sexual activity has control over the relationship – the dispensing of sex can be a reward; the withholding a punishment. This can motivate the other person to act in ways which comply with the desires of the person who controls sex.
At some point the partner who is receiving sex as a reward may decide that this doesn’t work for them. They may harbour resentment towards the “giver”. They may even begin to look elsewhere to have their sexual needs met.
For many people this act of withholding sex and pleasure is unconscious. The cause of this withholding may be existing resentments within the relationship; it may be an attempt by the withholding partner to regain some sense of balance within the relationship or maintain some form of control. Often the action comes through unconscious fears which may even pre-date the relationship itself – in many cases going back to childhood.
In my work as a sexual healer, I see many clients who withhold at a very unconscious level because they have the illusion that this gives them some control over their partner. It is usually very destructive for the relationship.
There is also a particular way in which some women may withhold from their partners. I’m speaking about orgasm. Although most women want to experience orgasm with their partners, many do not. Some may never have had one, while others are able to orgasm alone, but not with their partners. Why is this?
This may be an act of withholding. As one client said “I’m damned if I’ll give him my orgasm” – as though her own orgasm was a reward to be handed to her partner, rather than something of pleasure which she could experience for herself. In her case, a fear of being powerless inhibited her orgasmic response with her partners, although she was able to orgasm alone. Orgasm can easily be seen as a sign that the other person has done a good job or is sexually exciting for the partner. This takes it out of one’s own experience and makes it something the other person has control over.
So although it may be easy to do, be careful of withholding sex and intimacy from your partner. It may do you and your relationship more harm than you imagine. Conversely, allowing the flow of sexual passion between you can lead to a much more fulfilling and connected relationship.