It takes a couple an average of seven years to get help with a relationship problem, according to experts.
It's even longer before couples visit a sex therapist.
Why don't we seek help from a professional, like we do other problems in our life?
The prime reason cited is fear of what might happen. I've compiled a taster of the type of things you might be told if you did see a sex therapist in the hope you'll see how non-threatening and helpful the process could be.
At the very least, it might help you 'think like a shrink' for some effective DIY therapy!
How healthy are your intimate relationships generally?
Are you well liked at work? Do you have close friends and get on well with your family? In other words, how do you relate to people? It's useful to know whether your problems are specific to your relationship or something one or both of you struggle with generally.
Take a close look at your parents
Like it or not, how you relate to other people - most particularly your partner - is nearly always based on how you related to your family while growing up. We tend to take on the role of our childhood selves when in a romantic relationship - or turn into one of our parents. Look at yourselves and in on each other for astute observations.
Compromise isn't always the solution
Sometimes, meeting in the middle leaves everyone unsatisfied. If it's the way you have sex which is causing problems, rather than the frequency, having sex 'his way' one time, and 'hers' the next can just lead to frustration on both parts, with neither of you enjoying the other's 'turn'. Compromise is good but there are other solutions.
It's what you do sexually which is important, not what you think
Don't get all hung-up or guilty about any 'naughty' thoughts you're having or have had. Fleeting thoughts about what it might be like to sleep with your best friend/partner's worst enemy/the dog don't mean a thing. We are defined by our sexual behaviour not our sexual impulses.
Don't be threatened by your partner, they're the same as you
They might seem more together/more glamorous/sexier/confident than you but we're all the same underneath. We all want to be loved and to feel secure and we all want sexual satisfaction, whatever that means to us.
People often act exactly the opposite of the way they feel
Shy people often come across as arrogant. A partner who is desperately worried about losing you is frightened, so lashes out rather than holds you close.
Pick your time to talk and use the right language
Discussions have most impact when you're both in a positive mood and are really keen to fix things - or you're at rock bottom and know you'll split unless you do.
Listening is more important than talking
Ttalk about how you feel rather than how they make you feel ('I feel upset' rather than 'You make me upset'), ask for what you want more of rather than focus on what you're not getting and throw in compliments whatever you're talking about. People like people who make them feel good.
Make your point three times, three ways
This ensures your partner really has understood it. Some people are auditory and like hearing things, others are visual and want to be shown, kinesthetic people are best reached by appealing to their feelings. Use different language or a different means of communication (writing something down, drawing a picture, giving a demonstration) each time you repeat your point and you've got more chance of them understanding.
Be the first to reach out and touch
It doesn't really matter what you do or even if it's sexual or not, so long as one of you reaches out to break the drought, you're on the way to being 'fixed'. Increase the amount of physical contact you have and you'll nearly always benefit as a couple.
Sex is critical no matter what anyone says
When it's good, it only accounts for around a quarter of your enjoyment of the whole relationship. When it's bad, it can poison the other three-quarters. Don't believe couples who tell you sex is over-rated: it's under-rated, not over-rated. Sex is one of life's greatest pleasures and the most profound way to show how much we love someone.
By TRACEY COX: Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/