The Problem With Makeup Sex

The Problem With Makeup Sex

The Problem With Makeup Sex

 

Hey everyone! I’m Jenny Hale and you’re watching my truth bomb series – a series of short videos about relationships advice that’s problematic, why it’s problematic and where the truth really lies.

Today I’d like to talk about “makeup sex”.

There’s a school of thought which has this picture of an ideal relationship being a really passionate relationship. The kind of relationship where something happens, everyone gets angry, and they yell and they carry on, and then at some point the passion of the anger just turns into sexual passion.

Then they have this ravishing amazing passionate sex, and then everything’s OK. Now it works in the movies … doesn’t work so much in real life.

Even if you have the flaming row and the argument, and then you go away and calm down, and you come back together, and then you have the passionate makeup sex (which is a bit more common in the real world), it’s still a problem.

The problem is that makeup sex doesn’t actually restore what was broken.

In the moment it might feel like it does. Early on in a relationship when you’re still in love with each other, and then something happens, one of you gets angry and you get over it and have sex and it’s like “ah everything’s back to normal now”. It feels like the makeup sex fixed everything.

My partner and I have a little saying “sex fixes everything”, because often it doesn’t matter what emotional state you’re in, if you have sex you get endorphins. It’s a bit like heroin – everything’s FINE …

However, whatever it was you were arguing about, if that wasn’t actually sorted out, if it wasn’t resolved, it’s going to happen again. You’re going to have an argument again, and maybe you could have makeup sex again, but ultimately, if you’re having the same argument every week, eventually makeup sex is not going to cut it.

At some point, you need to reach a resolution on whatever it is that you’re arguing about.

Send Me "Lasting Passion" Right Now!

Real Relationship Issues

Now there’s a couple of things that could be going on. One is that one or both of you might actually be doing something that’s inconsiderate or hurtful or unethical, crossing boundaries.

For example, your partner’s going into your phone and reading the messages you were sending to other people. That’s a violation of your privacy. It’s a violation of your boundary. It’s something that you would legitimately be angry about and want to change.

Now, if every time you discover your partner doing that you get really angry, they get really angry, and then you have makeup sex, your partner’s just going to do it again.

And then you get really angry, they get really angry, you have makeup sex …

At some point you’ve got to ask yourself the question – how important is my privacy? What am I going do to make sure that this actually gets dealt with?

Or maybe this person is just incapable of actually having an adult relationship. Maybe they need to sneak in and invade my privacy because of their childhood wounds, which they’re not dealing with. At that point you need to decide whether to walk away or not.

No amount of makeup sex is going to keep you in a relationship where your fundamental human rights are being violated.

Individual Issues That Cause Arguments

Likewise, if what’s happening is someone’s childhood stuff is being triggered – maybe you had a bad childhood, maybe your mother was really unavailable, maybe she was an alcoholic, maybe she was just never there for you, and you were looking after the younger ones all the time.

You feel inside a sense of insecurity and abandonment because no one ever really took care of you, so whenever your lover does something where it looks like they’re being inconsiderate, looks like they might be abandoning you, maybe they want to go on a weekend hunting trip with their mates or maybe they come home late later than you expected, whatever it is, it sets off your childhood fear, your childhood loneliness, your childhood abandonment.

Then you get really angry, and then they get really angry because it’s really unfair, then you have make up sex. It doesn’t fix your childhood trauma, doesn’t make you a more secure person.

The makeup sex doesn’t actually do anything except give you a shot of feel-good endorphins in the moment. It might calm you down on that day but the next day when your partner doesn’t come home at the time they said you’ll be off again and another argument and another round of makeup sex.

The only way this is going to end is when you actually do your work. When you go and do therapy, you go and do some release work, you go and work with your body, do some somatic work, whatever it is for you that’s going to move that childhood trauma.

That’s going to give you a much better sense of safety in yourself. When you do that then you won’t get angry anymore.

After you do that, instead of having makeup sex you can have just crazy passionate sex because you don’t need to have an angry argument in order to have passionate sex. You’re going to have passionate sex every day of your life for the whole the rest of your relationship if you take care of resolving conflicts as they occur.

Your Partner Is Not Your Therapist

Your Partner Is Not Your Therapist

Your Partner Is Not Your Therapist

love-couple-young-teens-outside-moment-emotionsNobody emerges from childhood completely unscathed. Intimate relationships can be a wonderful container in which childhood wounds and sorrows come to light, are met and held with love, and release their power to cause us pain.

However, when childhood wounds are deep and serious, or when there is a trauma response, it is not reasonable to expect a partner to have the skills and emotional resilience to give us everything we need to heal. Serious wounds require serious treatment and rehabilitation.

Warning Signs of Serious Childhood Injury

How can we know whether our emotional baggage is too much for a partner to carry?

The problem for most people is that we grow up thinking that whatever we experienced as a child is normal. It can take outside input to open our eyes to the possibility that our childhood had some problems, and that we may have some unhealthy coping strategies as a result.

Here are some clues to look for, in ourselves and our close friends, family, and partners.

Relationship Anxiety

Needing constant reassurance, finding separations unbearable, anxiously watching for return text messages, intense fear of abandonment, possessiveness and jealousy, trying to control partners, especially in how close they are to other people emotionally.

aloneAvoidance or Extreme Detachment

Feeling uncomfortable, even “invaded”, when relationships become emotionally intimate, avoiding sex and intimacy, keeping emotions out of sexual relationships, pushing friends and partners away when upset, reacting to uncomfortable situations in relationships by withdrawing, or even leaving the relationship.

Unbalanced Focus on Self

While it is healthy to have a good awareness of our own wants and needs, it is important to give equal weight to the wants and needs of others, especially those who are close to us, either physically or emotionally.

If people are regularly letting you know that you are appearing selfish, or not listening to them, or not taking them into consideration enough, it is worth checking whether you have the right balance of self vs others.

This may manifest as people every now and again unfairly abandoning you for reasons you don’t understand, or getting very angry at you when you don’t think you have done anything wrong.

other focus-1600x900Unbalanced Focus on Others

Focusing on others can be a delightful gift, but not if you lose contact with yourself in the process.

Are you aware of your own needs and wants? Do you regularly express them to the people who are close to you, both physically and emotionally?

Or do people seem to take you for granted, and exhaust you with their constant needs and demands?

Are you afraid that if you don’t take care of everyone properly, their reactions will be even more unbearable than the constant low level frustration and exhaustion that you usually feel?

love addictionAddictions

We may not have an addiction to a substance like alcohol, opiates, or illegal substances, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have an addiction at all.

Any activity which causes us to get a hit of dopamine can become addictive.

Many people are addicted to more subtle “drugs”, like gambling (which includes high risk activities like day trading, commission-only sales work, and some forms of entrepreneurial activity), or sex (which can also include addiction to the dopamine highs of infatuation), computer games, or food.

Even socially-valued activities can be addictive – there are many workaholics out there! Working out at the gym, going to church, gossiping with friends, fixing up old cars, building dollhouses or computer programs, doing crosswords, and just about any other hobby can become an addiction when we are using it to escape unpleasant emotions or avoid difficult conversations.

These more socially acceptable addictions can combine with other items on this list, such as avoidance, zoning out, and mood swings, so watch out for combinations!

Zoning Out

Losing time, or not noticing what is happening here and now, can be a sign of trauma. This is a particular red flag if it happens during emotionally difficult conversations, but it can also be a habitual way to get through life. If our life as a child is emotionally difficult, one coping strategy is try as much as possible to “not be there” while life is happening.

It often goes together with not remembering much about childhood before the age of 6-8 years old.

2018-07-06 depressionMood Swings

Some days are great – you’re on top of the world, you get a lot done (or start a lot of things), and you feel ten feet tall and bulletproof. Other days, you don’t even want to get out of bed. You curse yourself for the promises you made when you were feeling great. There is no clear cause for the great days or the terrible days.

And some days start out great, but then something happens – someone rejects you, or something doesn’t go to plan – and for the rest of the day you feel awful.

If the swings happen slowly – over weeks and months – you may have bipolar disorder. But if you are having wildly different moods within a single week, you don’t have bipolar disorder – you have emotional dysregulation, which is usually a result of childhood emotional neglect.

SearchingExtreme Sensitivity or Empathy

Can’t walk by a group of people without getting a “hit” of someone else’s emotions?

Find crowds and public spaces draining and exhausting?

Can’t feel happy when your partner or housemate is feeling down?

You are likely to have some childhood wounds or trauma to explore.

Generally, children focus on their own world, and tune out the adults around them until they need something. But if life was difficult, upsetting, or painful, and the adults around were the cause, some children learn to be hyperaware of the emotional state of others. It is a coping strategy, a way of at least having a few seconds of warning before the bad thing happens.

discontent

Yes, That’s Me (or My Partner) – Now What?

Untreated childhood wounds tend to resurface over and over until they are healed. The most common way they emerge is by having us subconsciously recreate the situation where we were wounded.

We are most likely to do this in our intimate relationships, which is what makes intimate relationships so uniquely painful.

 

The number one reason that I have seen relationships end is because one or both people can no longer tolerate the pain of their childhood wounds resurfacing over and over.

This is often a tragic result, because the people concerned love one another very much, and have the potential to support one another in healing – that’s usually what attracts us, at a subconscious level.

But navigating the interlocking childhood wounds of two people in an intimate relationship is like picking your way through a minefield – you just never know when things are going to blow up and cause a whole new type of trauma.

CoachingIt is really important that you have outside support through this process. In severe cases, one or both partners may benefit from individual psychotherapy. Often, though what people really need is a neutral third party who can let them know when they are stuck in a childhood coping strategy, rather than being present and responding to the current situation.

This is where a relationship coach can be invaluable. Not only can they provide useful strategies to improve communication, and mediate difficult conversations, they can also keep you on track with your individual healing, and your support of your partner’s healing.

Book Coaching

Remember – we are here to help. If you’d like personalised coaching at any time, just fill in an application form, and we will schedule a short real-time call to see whether we are right for each other.

Why “Speak Your Truth” Is A Bad Idea

Why “Speak Your Truth” Is A Bad Idea

Why “Speak Your Truth” Is A Bad Idea

 

Hey everybody! I’m Jenny Hale and this is my truth bomb series of short videos about relationship advice that isn’t great, why it isn’t great, and where the truth actually lies.

Today I’d like to talk about the advice that you hear around the place,  especially in the new-age personal development realm – “speak your truth”.

Now intuitively, it sounds like a good idea right?

Obviously, if you’re faking things in relationship, you’re not actually being authentic, it’s not going to work.

But “speak your truth” is not necessarily leading to authenticity. I see this a lot.  I work with individuals and couples working on their relationships. I’ve worked with hundreds of people and I’ve seen this quite regularly. I’ve seen one partner giving the other partner “advice” – constructive criticism that’s not very constructive.

They’re telling their partner everything they think is wrong with them, what they’re doing wrong, how they can improve, and they justify this by saying “I’m just speaking my truth. This is just how I see it.”

Sometimes it’s wrapped in the language of non-violence, which is really interesting to see – nonviolent communication used in quite a violent way.

“When you do that I feel angry and hurt because my need for security is not being met”, and the subtext is therefore you shouldn’t do that.

So now that I’ve “spoken my truth”, now that I’ve told you how I feel, you have to change.

Or, it’s just a license to not be responsible in the way that people speak. I’ve seen people just allow themselves to go into a triggered rage state and say “I can’t stand this, this is unbearable, I’m out of this relationship, it’s over, that’s it …”

They don’t actually mean that. They don’t actually want to end the relationship, but in that moment there’s that’s how they feel. At that moment, that’s the words that spontaneously arise and pop out of their mouths. That’s the truth at that moment.

Send Me "Lasting Passion" Right Now!

Now you can imagine, as the partner trying to process what’s happening that’s really confusing.

“Speak your truth” works only when you’re speaking in a responsible way. When you’re speaking constructively, when you’ve thought it through, you’re very clear on what your truth actually is, when you know it’s not your childhood wounds speaking. When you know it’s not some mental construct speaking. When you’ve actually taken the time, you’ve done the meditation, you’ve gone internally, you’ve found the source of your own truth.

A lot of people who say “I’m just speaking my truth” have no idea what their truth is. They’ve never met their truth. They’ve never gone in there. They have no idea who they are, and they have no idea what’s true for them, so they say … stuff. Let’s call them mind farts. If they’re not childhood trauma, they’re mind farts.

They start “speaking their truth”, and what comes out of their mouth may be completely a hundred eighty degrees opposite to what’s actually in their heart as their truth, in their authentic self.

But until you’ve met your authentic self, connected with your authentic self, you can’t speak your truth, because you’ve got no idea what it is.

So the advice works for people who are connected with their authentic self, and who know what their deepest truth is, and can speak that.

For everybody else, whatever they speak when they’re “speaking their truth” is going to be on some level inauthentic. It’s going to be on some level a lie. It might be true in the moment because of that emotion, but it’s not really what they want for their life. It’s not really how they want to be with their partner, and so on.

A lot of relationship advice works like this. If you’ve actually done the work, and you’re connected with your authentic self, and you’re really present and together, and you have good communication skills then the advice is useful. Now, what percentage of the population is in that boat?

So you have to be very careful not to take these advices and use them as justifications for behaviour. It’s actually not constructive, and not useful.

At the end of the day what we all want to do, we’re all working on, is really coming home. Coming back to the authentic self, and being able to speak our truth for real. To be able to speak our authentic truth, to know who we are, and to know what we have to say.

Intense Emotions

Intense Emotions

Intense Emotions: How To Cope

worry-133021We are emotional beings – like it or not, our actions, decisions, and the quality of our lives are determined by how we deal with emotional information.

Unfortunately, most of us were not taught any skills for working with emotions, and for many of us, our parents didn’t provide much useful guidance as role models.

For many of us, intense emotion is a distressing and overwhelming experience.

Other people say things like “you’re too sensitive”, “you’re taking this too personally”, and “just calm down, it’s not such a big deal …”

None of this advice helps at all!

Sudden Impact

We often don’t get much warning that an emotional storm is on the way.

Something happens, and before we can even take a full breath, the emotion hits like a tidal wave.

It’s hard to think.

It’s hard to breathe.

And it’s not something that will respond to an instruction like “just calm down”!

Immediate Action

When we are in the grips of a strong emotion, whether it is anger, fear, or shame, our nervous system is in overdrive. We are flooded with adrenaline, and “non-essential functions” – like thinking, self-awareness, and decision-making – are simply shut down.

In this state, we can’t use all the helpful tools for long-term development of emotional intelligence.

At this point, we are having the emotional equivalent of a heart attack, and we need the emotional equivalent of first aid.

Fortunately, in recent years science has devoted serious attention to the workings of our nervous system, and has discovered that there are a number of actions you can take to instantly interrupt an emotional storm and “reset” your nervous system to a more comfortable and healthy level of activity.

To learn more about these techniques, get our online course Emotional First Aid – it’s FREE if you use this link.

The Permanent Solution

Of course, first aid can only address the symptom, not the cause of your intense emotions.

In our Members Area, we have a wide variety of resources to support you in learning new ways to balance your nervous system and process emotions, as an individual, and in relationships.

Access the Members Area here – it’s FREE!

There are a number of reasons why you may feel emotions more intensely than others:

grief-897817Neurobiology

Having a non-neurotypical brain can make you more sensitive to strong emotions. People on the autism spectrum can to be highly sensitive to all sensory input, including the sensations associated with emotions. People with ADD and bipolar disorder can have Rejection-Sensitive Dysphoria, which makes the emotions associated with rejection much more intense and painful than they are for a neurotypical person.

About 20% of the population can be categorised as “highly sensitive”, which means that they are much more aware of emotions, both their own emotions, and the emotions of the people around them.

In some cases, medication can reduce the impact of neurobological causes of intense emotions. Before resorting to medication, however, it is important to rule out other possible causes of intense emotion.

man-angry-painSuppressed Emotions

When we are prevented from expressing certain emotions, we “stuff” them down somewhere and carry on. But the emotion doesn’t go away, even if we are no longer consciously aware of its presence. The emotion will lie dormant until a situation happens which given it an opportunity to be expressed.

This is the most common cause of the emotional explosions that other people refer to as “over-reacting”. The emotional response is much stronger than would be normal in that situation, because you are bringing emotion from past situations into the present situation.

This often happens with anger, where a relatively small event can trigger a huge amount of anger. This is sometimes referred to by English-speakers as “the straw that broke the camel’s back”. One straw is small and easy to carry, but if you are already carrying a full load, one more straw can break your self-control and spill the whole load on the ground at once.

attachmentAttachment Style

Only a minority of the population in the West have a “secure” attachment style. Securely attached people are happy to be with their loved ones, and also happy to spend time alone. They have no problem connecting deeply with others, and no problem disconnecting when it is time to separate.

Some people have an “anxious” attachment style. This provokes extreme fear at the thought or the reality of being separated from a loved one, and an intensely painful loneliness.

Others have an “avoidant” attachment style. They keep themselves emotionally separate from their loved ones, and find it difficult to let down their guard. If they are pressed by an anxious and emotional partner, they may explode in rage as a way to protect themselves from “invasion”.

A small group have “disorganised” attachment, which means that they don’t have one consistent style of attachment. They alternate between anxious and avoidant strategies, and suffer the negative consequences of both.

At first, it was believed that attachment style was set in early childhood and would never change, but recent research into neuroplasticity has shown that we can write a new ending to our attachment story at any point in our lives.

Resources and support for dealing with attachment styles and trauma can be found in our Premium Members Area.

Traumatic Events

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can produce intense emotions without warning. Healing from PTSD requires rewiring the brain and nervous system – it is very unlikely to happen spontaneously.

Resources and support for dealing with trauma can be found in our Premium Members Area.

girl sad angryChildhood Developmental Trauma

When parents are unable to meet the needs of a child, particularly their emotional needs, the normal development of emotional maturity is disturbed. People whose parents were kindly but emotionally neglectful can find themselves stuck at earlier emotional developmental stages, even into adulthood.

When parents were mentally ill, alcoholics or addicts, or suffering from PTSD themselves, the developmental disturbance can reach the level of trauma. In this case, it is called Complex PTSD, because there is not one specific traumatic incident to resolve. Instead, there is a lifetime of loneliness, emotional abandonment, shaming, and microaggressions, many of which you may never remember. 

Symptoms of childhood development trauma may be misdiagnosed as bipolar disorder, ADD, borderline personality disorder, social anxiety, generalised anxiety disorder, and clinical depression. Treating trauma with medication may suppress some or all of the symptoms, but it will not provide relief, healing, and a return to normal functioning.

Some people may need medication to support them while doing the deeper work to relieve their underlying trauma. If your health professional is only familiar with a medication approach, it is wise to also seek a second opinion from a health professional with experience dealing with complex PTSD.

Burnout and Physical Depletion

The energy we have available for keeping ourselves balanced varies with time and circumstances. We may be completely fine in the mornings, and fall apart easily in the evening. We may be cheerful and upbeat in summer, and gloomy and pessimistic all winter.

Our physical wellbeing plays an important role in our emotional wellbeing. Lack of sleep, poor nutrition, stress, lack of exercise, and lack of “downtime” – opportunities to do very little, or to do something we enjoy – can all reduce our emotional resilience, and make overwhelming emotional storms more likely.

For those who are managing PTSD, bipolar, and other disorders affecting mood, taking care of basic physical and psychological needs is a vital piece of the puzzle.

Book Coaching

Remember – we are here to help. If you’d like personalised coaching at any time, just fill in an application form, and we will schedule a short real-time call to see whether we are right for each other.