What makes a satisfying and fulfilling relationship?
Questioning your relationship and whether you are with the right person after having kids is common. Long-term relationships, especially after kids, are easy. Said no one ever! Relationships are great for emotional support and companionship but it’s also stressful and frustrating dealing with someone else’s emotions and behaviours. Here’s what you need to know about fulfilling relationships, satisfaction and pressure.
The 3 C’s for a fulfilling relationship
Relationships thrive based on the dynamics of the 3 C’s. Commitment, conflict and communication. The 3 C’s interactions are vital for sexual relationships because women especially, need to feel safe in relationships to be intimate.
People need to feel their own and their partner’s commitment to the relationship is equal. The more committed someone is to their relationship the more they invest in positive thoughts and behaviours, and reducing resentment and negative thoughts like “Is the grass greener”?
People show commitment to relationships in different ways. Men are more likely to show commitment through their attitudes about sacrificing for their partner than women. “Sacrificing” by choice as opposed to necessity.
Sexually speaking, masturbation plays a controversial role in commitment. Controlling your sexual satisfaction can prevent infidelity by maintaining your pleasure through a combination of solo and partner play as opposed to seeking a new partner because only partner play is accepted.
The more negative interactions you have together as a couple including arguments, bickering and tension, the more likely you are to seriously consider separation and have difficulty recalling positive moments.
What you argue about is one aspect. Unsurprisingly people have common relationship arguments. Never-divorced couples’ most common argument is about money. For previously divorced couples’ the most common argument is about children.
But it’s not just what you argue about it’s how you communicate.
Conflict often leads to resentment. Resentment and negative emotions induce inefficient communication. Things like criticising, belittling and withdrawing from each other. 42% of men and women both report males are more likely to withdraw during arguments.
The 3 C’s and Sexual Pressure
If you feel pressure to meet all your partner’s sexual needs and wants know you are NOT alone.
The person with the lower sexual desire feels pressure to be at their partner’s beck and call to keep them sexually satisfied.
Your 3 C’s dynamic is out of sync.
When sexual pressure and relationship problems become too much it leads one or both people to alternative monitoring. Wondering what it would be like to seriously have a different partner.
My sexual preferences changed after kids
It’s not unusual for a mother’s sexual pleasure and preferences to change.
Here are 3 reasons why:
- Mums are busy and don’t have time to engage in unsatisfying activities
- What previously felt good and worked (or she pretended it did), she no longer enjoys or can be bothered pretending she likes
- Mums who have a vaginal delivery experience different sensations post-birth. Sometimes sensations return and other times they change permanently.
This can be shocking for partners and relationships where communication is an issue.
How to make your relationship stronger
Most people don’t want to separate from their current partner. You just need to redefine where your relationship is now and where you want it to be.
Your next steps to remove pressure and address the 3 C’s are to answer the following questions.
- What other relationships do you have, other than your partner, and what does each relationship bring to your life?
- How do you and your partner each show commitment to your relationship? Your methods are likely to be different BUT you need to understand each other so you don’t “keep score” incorrectly.
- What are you missing in your relationship that is making you feel disconnected from your partner?
- What are the best and worst traits your partner has currently, and what do you think they see as your best and worst traits currently?
- Are your life and relationship expectations being met? Think about all your relationships because your expectations might be a reality in an alternate way to what you’re anticipating.
Drive your relationship to the next level by taking ownership of your satisfaction and the 3 C’s.