As a very young woman, I played the talking part in my first marriage. Sex was an ultra-sensitive issue for me back then, and once I had spilled my heart, I thought I’d done enough, and I waited for something to change. I spilled my heart and my tears periodically until we divorced, without ever really being part of a solution.
We cannot merely talk about what’s wrong and then blame our partner for not doing something about it. For our relationships to change, we have to be willing to demonstrate our talk with action.
Maybe you want your boyfriend to take you out to dinner once a week; maybe you want your wife to initiate sex. Resolving an issue in a relationship dictates that both partners participate. If you don’t think you should have to participate, ask yourself if you truly want to resolve the issue. Sometimes we just want to spout off and have somebody to blame for our dilemma or our lousy relationship.
If you want your boyfriend to take you to dinner, help him pay for it, pack the picnic or make the reservation. Don’t just tell him about a problem and assume he knows what to do about it! Tell him what you think the solution looks like and how the two of you can make it work.
If the solution is unclear, don’t act as though it’s obvious and leave her to scratch her head and call six friends (none of whom are mind readers). If you want her to initiate sex, try to imagine how that actually plays out and paint a picture of a couple different scenarios.
Then, be sensitive to your partner’s effort—even if it seems weak. If the solution came naturally to your partner, you wouldn’t have needed to talk about it. If he suggests a diner instead of a romantic cafe, don’t shoot him down. Be honest, but be grateful, too.
If she looks silly in a pink teddy, laugh if you have to, but get her to laugh with you. Show her that you appreciate the effort and that you can’t wait for the next one. Help her to make it spontaneous…and initiate sex yourself before she takes another turn.
Don’t talk the ball into your sweetheart’s court just to score a point or let it peter out.
If you are in a relationship, keep the ball alive. Be there, talk, practice, win — together.