Sunday, August 17, 2008

Relationship Satisfaction

Answer the following questions.

1. Talking about sex with my sexual partner(s) is a satisfying experience.

2. Overall, I feel satisfied about my current sexual relationship(s).

3. I have difficulty finding a sexual partner.

4. I feel my sexual partner(s) avoids talking about sexuality with me.

5. When I have sex with my sexual partner, I feel emotionally close to him or her.

6. Overall, I feel close with my sexual partner(s).

7. I have difficulty keeping a sexual partner.

8. I feel I can express what I like and don’t like sexually.

9. I feel my sexual partner(s) is sensitive to my needs and desires.

10. Some sexual matters are too upsetting to discuss with my partner(s).

Yes responses for questions 3 4, 7 and 10 require long-term follow-up

No responses for 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9 require long-term follow-up

Much of the current culture places a sense of happiness within a healthy and fulfilling relationship. Regardless of sexual orientation, long-term personal happiness, health and wellness are correlated with healthy relationships. In fact, you get breaks on your insurance plans if you’re in a committed relationship suggesting that even wealth is correlated with relationship status. Whether you agree or not, our current culture also emphasizes that sexual behavior should occur within a monogamous relationship. In the realm of sexual health, relationship issues are a major factor, both as a target and/or goal of an individual as well as a factor for unhappiness. Too often the same people complaining that they are single are next complaining that they aren’t happy in the relationship.

Addressing relationship satisfaction is a major component of sexual health. Beyond the simple topic of satisfaction, the question of disclosure of sexual compulsivity is a topic reserved for stage 3. In this topic you are encouraged to focus on your level of satisfaction in your current relationship. In scoring the questions, pay attention to the responses that require long-term follow-up. Why did you answer the question the way you did? What are your plans to address these issues raised?

In addition to the above questions, clarify what type of relationship you would like. The typical expectation is that only monogamous relationships are healthy. How much do you agree with this expectation? In fact, there are a multitude of types of relationships. The key to the approach taken in this book is that you be honest, open and responsible for the type of relationship you want. This is where full disclosure is important as well. Are you being honest about what you're looking for and what you are doing?

If you choose an open relationship which is typically defined as a relationship where there exists a primary sexual and emotional partner followed by secondary partners it is important for you and your primary partner to clarify ground rules and expectations. When, where, who, how often, are all some of the questions to be addressed. What are the plans for communicating and coping with fear, jealousy, and insecurity? What are the safer sex rules? One caution is that all partners be open and honest in the conversation. Do not agree to an open relationship if it isn’t consistent with your values. It might be better to end a relationship than agree to a type of relationship that is inconsistent with your values. In the same way, if you want an open relationship clarify what needs aren’t getting met within your primary relationship. It is encouraged that significant reflection occur with your support network to clarify the reasons you want an open relationship. In particular, be careful that you’re simply not trying to get out of the first relationship. If the primary relationship is not healthy, it is important in my opinion to address the issues first. If it should end, do this with integrity versus causing a rift that ends the relationship.

No comments:

Post a Comment