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Make Your Relationship Credit Crunch Resistant

By Karen Deeming MA Counselling & Psychotherapy UKCP Reg
With ever increasing pressures at work, home and in personal relationships, there are bound to be occasions when it seems difficult to balance the demands of everyday life. As our economy goes from boom to bust, what is becoming increasingly evident in today’s therapy consultation rooms is that so too do many relationships. Even a stable economy does not guarantee a stable relationship. But now, as we worry about an unpredictable future our connection to our partners becomes progressively fraught. So what is preventing most of us from going home tonight and engaging in some good old-fashioned sex? Research (see bibliography) indicates that there are a range of reasons for this but those most common are:
  • Lack of libido due to exhaustion and working excessive hours
  • Lack of work life balance
  • Feeling ashamed of your body image because of over indulgence in diversionary activities such as excessive food and alcohol intake to cope with work-related stress
  • Shame following loss of financial status such as men struggling to deal with the loss of their "breadwinner" role and women becoming increasingly frustrated if they are the only income earner in the household
  • dependency fears
  • unpleasant performance-related memories emerging from negative programming from family and parents
  • worries about an uncertain future
Sound familiar?
Some of us were already stuck in a sex rut before the credit crunch/recession, and thousands more are now vulnerable as a result of it. Stress, depression and anxiety are key inhibitors of libido. Furthermore when you’re stuck in a rut, or feeling sexually disconnected from your partner, it leaves you more prone to cheating, porn abuse, or just a general sense of detachment.
Sex is less expensive than the TV, more stress-relieving than most activities and better for your well-being than antidepressants. Having said this, sex doesn't offer miracle solutions, reshape the world or make your problems vanish. Nonetheless it often leaves you feeling revitalized, rejuvenated and more solid and united as a team to face the future. Sex helps people to develop and maintain a good foundation of love, intimacy and connection.

Want to recession-proof your relationship? Then consider these simple tips:

  • Honest "face to face" communication of your feelings with your partner can often prevent a breakdown in the relationship. If a crisis such a decrease in earnings, redundancy or harassment at work occurs choose an appropriate moment to discuss this. Ideally in a quiet environment and avoiding where possible occasions when one of you is tired, hungry or has drank an excessive amount of alcohol.
  • Avoid the use of email, Skype and mobile text messaging as they can often lead to misinterpretations and misunderstandings 
  • Spend quality time together at weekends or at the end of the evening by turning off the television and your computer. Don’t obsess about the future and your next work achievement - connect in the present!!!
  • If you feel too exhausted and are suffering form a loss of libido, engage in unplanned acts of intimacy such as holding hands, kissing, giving your partner a long hug or massage or taking a candle lit shower or bath together
  • Demonstrating higher rates of appreciation for each other is also absolutely key adopting simple gestures such as saying thank you following meals and for your support.
  • Accept that you cannot change what happens in the world but can change what happens in your home life
If you want to explore credit crunch conflicts or relationship difficulties in more detail then please contact me via the 'Contact Me' link above. Please note that this is a strictly confidential service tailored to individual need.
Bowlby, J. (1988) A Secure Base; Clinical Applications of Attachment Theory.London: Routledge.
Carnes, P. (1997) Sexual Anorexia: Overcoming Sexual Self-hatred, Hazelden Information & Educational Service.
Denman, C. (2003) Sexuality: A Biopsychosocial Approach, Palgrave Macmillan.
Diamond, N & Marrone, M. (2003) Attachment and Intersubjectivity. London: Whurr.
Firestone, R. W. (1985) The Fantasy Bond Structure of Psychological Defenses New York: Human Sciences Press/Insight Books.
Gerhardt, S. (2004) Why Love Matters – how affection shapes a baby’s brain, Brunner Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

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