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.

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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.

Yes, You Should Go To Bed Angry

Yes, You Should Go To Bed Angry

Hey everyone! This is Jenny Hale, and this is my truth bomb series, a series of short videos about advice that’s given in relationships which is sadly misplaced, and where the truth really lies.

Today I’d like to address the old chestnut of “never go to bed angry”.

There is a good intention to this. If you get in the habit of not resolving arguments and just going to sleep, and then waking up the next morning and both of you have to rush off and do things, and you feel better anyway because you’ve had some sleep, you won’t ever really actually resolve an argument.

So there is some some truth in the idea that you need to work conflicts through and to actually resolve them.

However, I have worked with a number of clients over the years of working as a as a coach and relationship counsellor who have an incredibly unhealthy pattern of “never go to bed angry”.

Something happens, one of them gets triggered, they’re really upset. The other one’s trying to manage that. At some point, they get upset themselves. Both people are upset, they’re saying things to each other, nobody’s listening, and this goes on until 3 or 4 a.m.

And then they’re exhausted. They get a couple of hours sleep, they rush off to work, they can’t function, they come home that night, they still haven’t resolved anything, but they can’t go to bed angry, so they do the whole thing over again.

This is not good.

In order to be able to resolve conflicts you need to be rested. You need to be sleeping. Some arguments, some conflicts are quite complex. They have many layers to them, and it takes some time to pick them apart.

It may be the case that one or both of you has some childhood issue triggered. Something’s happening that’s reminding you of something that was very upsetting from your childhood and you don’t even realize. You think that it’s your partner wiping their hands on the dish towel that’s making you so upset. You don’t realize that you had 15 years of your little brother destroying all your belongings and that that frustration and rage is the thing that’s really driving you.

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So you might have your own individual stuff. Or, your partner might legitimately be doing things which are actually inconsiderate and you might be going “Oh, this is me, I just need to soothe myself. I just need to work on myself. I need to be more patient and more tolerant”, when in fact what needs to happen is you need to set some boundaries and you need to actually make some agreements about how things are happening in the real world.

So there are always these two pieces in any kind of conflict. There’s what’s actually happening in the world right now, and then there’s both people’s past and how that might be being triggered, how that might be coming through.

Until you separate those you’ve got no hope of resolving the conflict. You need to be clear on what is actually happening here and now and needs to be changed, and what is being triggered and needs to be taking care of internally.

So it’s a good principle in general that you always work your way through to the very end of a conflict and actually resolve it, but that might not be something that you can do in one evening. And it might not be something that the two of you can do alone, because if you’re both triggered into your childhood stuff it’s very difficult to see what is the present.

You might need to get a third person to mediate the conversation to really understand what’s happening.

There aren’t many third people available at 1:00 or 2:00 a.m. to come and do that, so in that case it’s better to actually just go to sleep, wake up the next day having had some rest, and then see if you can find somebody to help the two of you to work through and figure out what’s going on.

This has been the truth bomb series. This was the “never go to bed angry” episode and I hope to see you around in future episodes!

Walk Away From That Argument!

Walk Away From That Argument!

Hey everyone! I’m Jenny Hale and this is my truth bomb series. Today I’d like to have a look at the piece of advice “don’t walk away from an argument”.

Now, I’ve worked with a lot of people over a lot of years and a number one complaint that people come with is “they just walk off … they just … we’re in the middle of something, it’s important, and then … off they go, and that’s it!”

Now obviously if that happens, if you have a genuine conflict going on with your partner and you just walk off and never discuss the topic again, yes, that’s a problem. It’s probably not the way to do things.

However, if you make it a rule that whenever there’s any kind of conflict between you and your partner, neither of you can leave the conversation until it’s resolved that is also a problem.

We need to understand how human beings function and especially when we’re in a situation of conflict. There are different types of people, based on the personality and childhood experiences.

Fear and Trauma

If you’ve had a difficult childhood, if you’ve had one or both parents who couldn’t meet your emotional needs or just wasn’t there, then there could be situations in conflict, in difficult arguments and discussions, where you feel a lot of fear.

The fear can be so strong that it actually causes people to shut down. It causes their brain to stop working. They can’t even think. Now if you’re one of these people, if this is happening to you in a discussion with your partner, it’s very important that you take some space from the discussion.

You can’t have a meaningful discussion when you just shut down like a deer in headlights and your brain is not working. Whatever comes out of your mouth is not going to be very kind or productive (if you manage to get anything out of your mouth at all). And if you don’t, that’ll probably upset your partner even more.

So when people are very, very much in fear and shutting down they need to leave the conversation. They need to walk away from the conversation.

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Anger and Abuse

Also, if someone’s extremely angry and they can’t restrain themselves from saying and doing violent things, they can’t restrain themselves from accusing, blaming, name-calling, swearing, breaking things, at that point you are a danger to your partner. At that point, when you’ve reached that level, you need to walk away.

The number one thing that you need to do is prevent any abuse from happening in your relationship. Like it or not, if you get so angry you can’t control yourself and you’re swearing and breaking things and calling your partner names that is abuse. I know you don’t mean to do it, you feel like you can’t control it, but what you can control is whether or not you’re in the room with them.

So before you get to that point, or the moment you realize you’re heading for that point, you have to leave the room.

So there’s several circumstances where it’s imperative that one or both people leave the room.

Coming Back Together

Now I’m not saying that you then never come back to that discussion or you never resolve it – obviously that’s also very harmful. You do need to come back together and you do need to finish the conversation but you both need to be capable of finishing the conversation.

You need to take a break for however long you need to calm down to calm down from the fear, or to calm down from the anger. Maybe you need to go and do something with your muscles to burn off some of the adrenaline or maybe you need to play some music, or listen to some music, or do something to change your state.

Figure out what it is that you need to do, do it for as long as you need to do it, and then come back together again when you’re both calm, and continue the conversation in a productive and constructive way.

Why “Spice Up Your Sex Life” is Terrible Advice

There is a widespread belief that sexual boredom is to be expected in a long term relationship, and that the solution is to add more excitement, or “spice”. Here’s why that doesn’t work.

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Why “Speak Your Truth” Is A Bad Idea

“The truth shall set you free”, which is probably not what you want, if it sets you free … from your relationship.

The Problem With Makeup Sex

The pitfalls of using sex to end a conflict, and how to avoid them.

Walk Away From That Argument!

“Never walk away from an argument” is very problematic advice.

Yes, You Should Go To Bed Angry

“Never go to bed angry” can be disastrously bad advice!

“Say It Sweetly” Is Bad Advice

We are always told to soften our tone, to wrap any criticism in compliments, and to speak calmly and clearly, without too much emotion. Here’s why that can be a really bad idea …

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“Say It Sweetly” Is Bad Advice

“Say It Sweetly” Is Bad Advice

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

Today I’d like to talk to you about the piece of advice – in English culture we actually have an expression which is “you’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”- and the idea is that if you say something sweetly and nicely you’ll get what you want more often than if you say it in a sour or harsh way.

I don’t really know why we’re supposed to want flies in the first place … but leaving the expression aside, the idea that whenever you want to express something when you’re in conflict with your partner, when you’re trying to resolve an issue, that you’ll get a better result if you express it sweetly and kindly and nicely.

Oddly enough, in our culture you find this advice being offered to women more often than to men. There’s something in our culture which says that women should be sweet and polite and nice when they’re expressing their concerns and their needs and their boundaries. With men, if they’re a little bit more forthright, a little bit more angry, a little bit more aggressive that’s just to be expected.

But as time goes on, and we’re looking at the masculine/feminine stereotypes, this advice is morphing into a generic advice which is being given to everybody, men as well.

It seems completely obvious. If I think about it, if someone’s coming to me to tell me something that I might not want to hear, I would prefer they said it nicely.

Intuitively, you think if you’re polite and sweet and nice, people will take it in. If you’re hostile, aggressive, of course people push back.

It seems intuitively obvious, and we all have these experiences.

However, when it comes to our intimate relationships, when it comes to people who are close to us, there is one thing which is even more important than politeness and palatability and sweetness and acceptability. That thing is authenticity.

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If you speak to your partner in a sweet way that’s not really true for you if you’re putting it on, if you’re wrapping your message of anger and resentment in a sweet wrapper, it probably isn’t going to get you the result that you want.

Depending on your partner and their level of sensitivity and self-awareness, for some people it will scare them. The mismatch between the wrapper of sweetness and the underlying emotion of anger, which they can feel, is actually scary for some people. That will put them into a shutdown and they won’t be able to engage with you at all.

For some people if it’s in a sweet wrapper it just doesn’t penetrate. If your tone of voice is gentle and sweet it’s just kind of background noise. It’s not until you actually display some strong emotion that these people go “oh wait a minute, I need to pay attention to this”.

Particularly if you’ve got somebody who’s very task-focused as a partner, somebody who whatever they’re doing, they’ve got their full attention on it, and you want to get their full attention to go from whatever it is they’re currently doing now to some issue in the relationship then it really helps to allow the genuine emotion of frustration or anger or whatever it is, allow it to become on the surface and be visible.

If you do this in a responsible way, you don’t shower them with accusations and blame, but you do allow the emotion to be heard and seen and felt then you’ll reach these people. You’ll get through to these very task-focused people in a much better way than if you use soft gentle language which to them just sounds like more of the same of everyday stuff that they don’t really need to change focus for.

So there it is. Yes, in general, when we’re dealing with people it is good to be sweet, to be kind, to be polite. That’s reasonably common sense. However, when it comes to communicating very deep emotional things in intimate relationship, it can actually become unproductive to wrap that in a sweet wrapper that’s not authentic.

Authenticity is one of the most important features of an intimate relationship. If you aren’t authentic with each other about your emotions, particularly your unacceptable, unpleasant emotions, then in the end it’s going to undermine the basis of the passion in the relationship.

You’ll end up just playing a role for each other and that gets boring and stale and ultimately it will kill the relationship.

So although in general it’s good to be kind and sweet and polite, don’t do it at the expense of your authenticity. Figure out a way to bring your authentic emotions forth in a responsible way. Not an argumentative, attacking way but also for them to be seen and to be felt by your partner. That is what will keep passion alive in the relationship.