Resentment and Sex after Kids, where to now?
We’ve all seen the Instagram photos: “I breastfeed because he can’t, I sleep because she can’t”. No matter whether you are in the same life situation or not I’m sure there’s been a point where resentment looms like a dark cloud over your relationship. The world of motherhood is filled with resentment towards a partner, often because as much as the partner tries to be an equal parent often (not always) they fall short and are Assistant Mumager.
Personally, for me motherhood has definitely brought the greatest moments of resentment. I’ve watched my husband sleeping peacefully while I breastfed and thought about punching him in the face just because. “Mummy!” is called first by my kids because they know I understand their routines and will get what they need.
Like all dark clouds they carry negative associations. In this case resentment and insecurity can negatively impact sexual satisfaction. There’s nothing worse than staring at someone with bitterness lurching towards you for intimacy. Ummm…no thanks!
Women in relationships need to feel safe and secure with the person to allow them to open up to pleasure and satisfaction. This sense of security and safety comes from our attachment style to our partner. There are 4 main types of attachment: Secure, Avoidant, Fearful-Avoidant and Anxious. The ideal is to be in a securely attached relationship, where the ability to trust, love, accept intimacy and accept the need for time apart are apparent. Insecure attachment styles like: Anxious attachment, which is run by a fear of abandonment, Avoidant attachment, run by fear of intimacy, and Fearful-Avoidant attachment which is a combination of both, where a person craves affection but also avoids intimacy, can lend to relationship problems.
Coupled with the ability to self-differentiate and balance autonomy and intimacy, sexual pleasure can either skyrocket or plummet. Those who struggle with this balance often become dependent on their partner. Link this to an insecure attachment style and after years of thinking, feeling and doing for their partner the resentment cloud looms large.
Sexual pleasure comes from the ability to let go and enjoy the moment, which requires an acceptance of love and trust in self and a partner.
No matter whether you are good at differentiation or the attachment style you use, the advice is the same.
For sexual satisfaction you NEED to be a confident communicator.
- Use “I” statements “I want”, “I need”, “I feel” to express yourself and avoid defensive conversations.
- Name emotions and your attachment style.
- Actively listen to each other. Stop seeking validation from the world asking on social media “what men think”, only to find out the majority think the same thing your partner told you. LISTEN to the person who actually matters, the one in the relationship with you!
Like all dark clouds they have a silver lining. Recognise what the cloud is filled with, let communication rain to wash away the negative, and sexual satisfaction will sprout.
Join the Mama’s Sensual Safari and be guided by a Sex Therapist with communication scripts for yourself and with your partner and take control of your sex life!