Emotional Distance from Time Apart
There are no fast solutions to the problem of emotional distance in a relationship. You may need to start slow at first, but talking to each other is essential to making you feel bonded again and like you’re working together instead of fighting each other. Seeing a psychologist (or talking with a trusted clergy member) together may offer time to work on your relationship away from the stress and distraction of daily routines.
Other Feelings “Take Over”
You can learn skills to take more control of feelings that feel like they control you. Talking to a psychologist is an important part of working on these issues as they can offer concrete guidance on where to start.
Sex “Feels” Different
If sex feels different you may want to start by finding out about the physical versus psychological causes. If you haven’t talked to doctors before about sex you can ask your primary care provider about getting a referral to an appropriate specialist. At the same time, talking with a psychologist about what sex does feel like can help you come up with a plan to create a sex life that feels like what you want it to.
If you feel like you aren’t living up to expectations of a partner talking with them about how you feel is a key first step. If you’re not ready to do this you can start by talking with a psychologist, a trusted friend, or clergy member. The goal may not be to get things back the way they used to be, but it might be to make things even better than they were before. As with most issues related to feelings, this one involves a lot of communication.
Sexual Assault/Military Sexual Trauma
Sexual assault is a traumatic experience that no one should deal with alone. If you never address it, it will usually create problems that interfere with your sex life and overall happiness and health. Remember that this is something that can happen to anyone and it happens too frequently. When you’re ready, talking with a mental health professional and/or your partner is a good first step to take. If you have a friend you trust or clergy member they can also be a good place to start talking. There are strategies that you can take to regain your power of this traumatic situation and subsequently have the ability to direct and improve your future sexual relationships.
Changed Feelings about your Body
If you’re in a relationship your partner may have been with you through some or all of your rehabilitation. But their perception of it can be very different than yours. Talking about what your recovery was like for you can go a long way in helping them understand why you’re feeling the way you do and why sex may be hard for you to enjoy. You may also want to talk to a psychologist about ideas on working on your body image.
Learn how combat experience can affect:
- Sexual Function and Response
- The Mechanics of Sex
- Access to Sex
- Sexual Thoughts
- Your Spouse or Partner