Later this month (August 14), it’s National...
Turning Up the Heat on a Relationship
As the weather outside intensifies, I turn to my friend and colleague, Dr. John Beiter, for insight on how heat and humidity affect a relationship. John is a licensed psychologist and certified sex therapist who has practiced for 15 years. Consider his perspective on turning up the heat as we settle into summer – and how to preserve your relationship despite the intensity of heated moments.
When most people hear the words – turning up the heat in a marriage – they automatically go to the sexual dimension of the relationship. However, turning up the heat all by itself without considering the health or strength of the emotional connection between the two people can have negative effects.
Using the metaphor of a stove and cooking – if you turn the heat up to high on certain foods you can burn them – likewise, in a relationship that has been struggling or where there is very little communication, and the only talk is about sex, can sometimes burn or singe the relationship.
When both partners feel loved and satisfied in the relationship – then turning up the heat between the sheets can be super fun and exciting.
In warmer months, some folks can be highly sensitive to the heat and become more irritable and unpleasant to be with. Some reasons deal with body image – especially after a tough winter where you may not have been able to exercise as much and are now carrying a few extra pounds. This is a great time to take up exercise, walking together in the evening as the sun sets and temperatures are a little cooler. The summer months provide the relationship with incredible opportunities to do things you both enjoy and to be together.
The single biggest problem in my work is the dreaded ‘C’ word – communication! My solution – taken from Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Seek first to understand then be understood. Take the time to listen – really listen – to your partner. Instead of always trying to think about your response, really listen to what he or she has to say and understand.
Heat can be problematic in a relationship when the “heat” is felt like pressure or you feel you are being manipulated. While some claim their intentions are good – it can backfire and cause unnecessary stress and anxiety in the relationship.
For example, “I am going to turn the heat up on her/him to get her/him to do something they have been putting off.”
Again, I would repeat “seek first to understand – then be understood.” There may be a very good and valid reason as to why someone is procrastinating and it is better to start out by learning what the obstacles may be.
One key secret to a successful relationship is by putting the other person first. Try doing doing random acts of kindness that really take into account your partner’s needs or wants.
Another key is to keep her/his love tank full by speaking their Love Language – you can learn more about them on www.5lovelanguages.com
My last secret would be to treat your partner with dignity and respect always!!!
Dr. John Beiter is a licensed psychologist and certified as a sex therapist, practicing for more than 15 years. He works with couples and individuals who want a healthier and happier life and who want to be in loving and deeply connected relationships. He has a strong business background and work executives as a leadership coach. Beiter has two businesses: SexHealthDoc.com and CrossTheFinishLineCoaching.com.