John didn’t believe he was someone who bargained for sex.
Meaning: he didn’t see his sex life as transactional.
But when he talked about his wife’s lack of desire it was often in this context:
“Look, I give her everything she wants. She has a nanny, we have a housekeeper, I take care of the kids when she goes to the spa, but when it comes to what I want? She doesn’t care about that at all.“
“Isn’t that transactional?” I asked him. “You do for her and she then returns the favor with sex?”
“I don’t see it as transactional,” he said. “I scratch her back, she scratches mine. What’s so wrong with that? Do I like working all the time to provide for my family? No. But I do it because they depend on me. But when I ask for the one thing I really want from her, she can’t give me the time of day.”
What John said made logical sense. He went out of his way for her, and felt she should do the same for him. At least if the game was fair…
The problem is that this is based on a relationship model that is faulty.
If the relationship model is one of bargaining for love, or with love, as in: I do for you when you do for me, and I cut you off when you don’t, the cost will always be the diminishment of love.
Nobody wants to owe their partner anything for the love and support they receive — even if it seems and looks to be fair.
So what’s a better model?
A better model is based on being on the same page about the things that really matter — especially sex, and having clear, supportive agreements that ensure that those things that you care about, mutually, are at the center of your relationship — getting the attention they need.
The only reason to bargain for sex, is that your partner is not on board with you. She has NOT agreed to have a great sex life, or to do what it would take for that to happen.
You might be trying to push her, or manipulate her into doing something she may not even value.
It would be like someone trying to convince you to be honest by giving you money. You might play along cause the money was kind of nice, but it wouldn’t make you an honest man.
You can’t make a woman an interested sexual partner by guilting her into sex, or by buying her love with your hard work. She might go along with the deal for awhile, but her resistance will continue to grow over time.
So, what do you do?
I helped my client, John, look at where he was coming from — so that he could see how he was dishonoring himself and his sexual gift.
Then… we worked on rebuilding his sexual presence, from the inside out — so that he was expressing a dignified, confident sexuality, worthy of his partner’s respect and attention…
We then worked to repair the damage the bargaining dynamic caused to the trust between them, and reopened meaningful lines of communication…
And the biggie was… we changed the sexual agreement (of bargaining for sex) to a sexual agreement based on mutual love and respect.
This is NOT a quick process, nor an easy one, but it is essential — if you want a relationship based on agreements that work, rather than deal-making.
If you are tired of the bargaining dynamic and clearly see that it can’t work, and want to change it, reach out to me by filling out a contact form here.
What is your situation? How committed are you to changing it?