Ron and Betsy were struggling. Now in their sixties, sex was a central issue in their relationship. Betsy wanted to restore their sex life. She would plead, cry, and when really frustrated, demand to have sex. Ron would just leave the room. When overwhelmed, he would threaten to leave the relationship.
Typically I encourage couples to first work on their emotional intimacy, but Ron wanted to talk about sex. Betsy’s demands were pushing him away and he was afraid of their future.
We decided to suspend sex for now but not affection. Ron was having performance issues and this needed to be dealt with delicately. Ron said, “I know sex is precious, but I love you more than sex.” HIs love was still there but they needed a different approach. Their conversations became more intimate as they talked about restoring affection and physical intimacy into their relationship.