I hear the same complaint over and over again from clients: Rebecca, a willowy blonde dressed in casual jeans and a stylish blouse, has been married to Ethan for over seven years and they Pursuer distancer dating sim a beautiful two-year old daughter.
While they are a relatively happy and successful couple, they seem to be locked into a power struggle between Rebecca's for emotional connection and Ethan's need for space.
Early on in their marriage, they both report being somewhat compatible but over the last several years, they are drifting further and further apart in their needs for emotional connection and sexual intimacy. Ethan, a self-employed contractor, hard all day and desires more sexual contact than Rebecca is comfortable with.
As he describes his frustration with his wife's lack of libido, tears well up in Rebecca's eyes and she defends her lack of sexual desire. With Pursuer distancer dating sim in her voice, she says "We just never have time to connect anymore and I don't feel sexy after working all day, changing diapers, and running errands. Ethan just wants to jump right into having sex without caring about my need to talk and spend time together. Rebecca and Ethan's struggle is not uncommon for many hard-working couples who are balancing jobs, parenthood, and intimacy.
Watson, author of " Wanting Sex Again: Like many couples, Rebecca and Ethan had reached an emotional gridlock. Neither one of them can validate and accept each other's Pursuer distancer dating sim. According to Laurie Watson, "With or without children, all couples need autonomy and closeness.
She writes, "One spouse becomes the "pursuer" favoring closeness, and the other becomes a "distancer," favoring more separateness. For instance, some couples swap roles over a particular issue - such as a woman who wants to be closer emotionally to her husband may not be interested Pursuer distancer dating sim sex.
The irony of the pursuer-distancer pattern of sexual intimacy in a relationship is that when couples try to talk things out, it can actually make things worse. For instance, pursuers have a tendency to evaluate and criticize their partners - making them even more likely to distance themselves.
Likewise, distancers may feel the pressure of their partner's preoccupation with having sex - Pursuer distancer dating sim the power struggle that exists.
For example, Ethan admits to making biting comments to Rebecca when she shuts down sexually - causing her to go further into her shell. Commonly, one partner gets tired of pursuing and the other grows weary or gets angry about what they perceive as constant nagging. I've seen this pattern over and Pursuer distancer dating sim again in the couples I've interviewed for my research.
To complicate matters, it's natural for one person to see their style as preferred and to be convinced that their partner needs to change - neglecting to see their part in the tug-of-war over intimacy. Why is the pursuer- distancer pattern so common and destructive to relationships? John Gottman of the University of Washington and The Gottman Institute, a renowned observer of couple dynamics, believes that the tendency of men to withdraw emotionally and women to pursue is wired into our physiology and reflects a gender difference.
cautions us that if this pattern isn't nipped in the bud early on, it can persist for decades and lead to divorce. It makes sense that the power struggle for emotional intimacy often plays itself out in the bedroom.
Another couple from my
Pursuer distancer dating sim, Tara and Justin, have become polarized because their struggle for emotional and sexual intimacy has become highly destructive - each partner provoking and maintaining the behavior in the other.
As Justin withdraws, it raises Tara's anxiety so she responds by stepping up her pursuing behaviors.
What does it mean when your partner seems distant in bed and disinterested in sex? Pursuer distancer dating sim distance may signify a red flag, it doesn't have to mean that your relationship is on the rocks, notes Harriet Learner, Pursuer distancer dating sim. She writes, "Your partner's aloofness may simply be her way of trying to get through a difficult time.
Just because your sexual relationship is going through a dry spell, it doesn't have to mean you are headed to divorce court. Avoid criticizing each other and make peace by stopping the blame game. Understand that sexual desires ebb and flow. Disengage as a way to restore your composure not to punish your partner. Follow Terry Gaspard on TwitterFacebookand movingpastdivorce. News Politics Entertainment Communities.
Opinion HuffPost Personal Videos. Tattoo Artists Weigh In. Feeling More Gassy Pursuer distancer dating sim Usual? A weekly guide to improving all of the relationships in your life. The pursuer seeks out his beloved; just when he's about to get what he him more attractive to Jill -- and that they reverse their pursuer-distancer roles.
This old game of cat and mouse: she plays hard to get while he. If the dynamics in a pursuer-distancer relationship go unnoticed and persist for a long time, they can lead to the demise of a relationship or marriage.
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