I’ll let you in on a little secret of mine: I used to be terrible at communicating with my partner. Introverted by nature and a little shy, I didn’t know how to ask for what I wanted. I barely knew what it was I even wanted, and I hesitated to admit it for fear that it would make me seem inadequate somehow. I wanted to be perfect for him. I wanted to be perfect, period. It didn’t take long for me to realize something wasn’t right, though it took me a bit longer to pinpoint exactly what that something was. The problem wasn’t really my lack of expertise—it was that I wasn’t allowing myself to trust in my partner or our relationship enough to open up...
When couples attempt to resume sex postpartum, the problems that may arise usually aren’t due to a loss of physical or emotional attraction. In fact, couples may be more in love than ever after the birth of a baby. However, between caring for the new baby and trying to deal with changes in your body and your relationship, it can be hard to know exactly when or how to get your sex life back on track. It’s not that women don’t want to engage in sex postpartum—it’s that couples need to work together to rekindle their connection.
Sometimes, if you are suffering from chronic or acute joint or muscular pain, sex can be unpleasant, difficult, or even impossible. The pain of getting into the right position, thrusting, and moving in a natural rhythm with your partner increases existing discomfort. For people suffering from these conditions, sex might not seem worth it. To us, that’s unacceptable.
Sex and arthritis aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, sex can help with the pain and stiffness that arthritis causes. According to sex therapist Marty Klein, “Sex strengthens the muscles around the joints, which helps support them. And it's mood-elevating, which likewise helps alleviate pain." Studies and experience tell us sex can be beneficial for helping to alleviate the pain from arthritis—if you’re doing it right.
Getting out of the military is hard. By the time you’ve reached your end of active duty you’ll have spent years around people who dress the same, went to the same basic training, worked the same or a similar job, and understood even the most obscure jokes you made about military life. Coming home can make you feel like you’ve become a stranger. And when you’ve been wounded in combat, vulnerability can be even harder to embrace. However, there are steps you can take to accept and embrace your situation, to thrive in this ‘new normal.’ There are ways to reconnect with your partner (and yourself) and accept intimacy.