Renegotiating the Relationship Rules

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Renegotiating the Relationship Rules

Every relationship has rules. Most of these rules are unwritten and unspoken. When something happens to shake the foundations of the relationship -- infidelity, deception, major life crisis -- it may be time to talk about these assumptions and whether or not they still work for both of you.
Like many couples, Stephanie and Paul have an unspoken rule that they will have sex only with one another. When Stephanie stops wanting sex, Paul is understandably upset and considers having an affair. Instead, he asks her to go to couples therapy.
Over the course of several sessions, they discover that Stephanie has been affected by her father's death, which has triggered old memories of sexual abuse. She needs some time away from sex to process those old issues and reconnect with her adult sexual side. That's fine, says Paul, but what about me? They may agree to see a sex therapist, or to buy some erotic movies that Paul can watch in private.



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