Marriage Sex Therapy: Is Your Attitude Getting In The Way Of Your Sex Life?

Have you heard the quote “Attitude is Everything?” It’s typically offered as advice to advance your career or to excel in sports.  Well, we’d like to suggest that an attitude adjustment about your bedroom life could get you both happily climbing into bed together a lot more often.

In this article, we explore common attitudes men and women have around sex and how that can get in the way. Your perspective and thoughts about your sex life can have a huge impact on how satisfying your bedroom life is and how frequently you connect physically.

Common Women’s Attitudes About Sex

Part of the reason we women often misunderstand sex is due to the negative statements about sex that are often swimming around in our heads.  We’ve heard them our whole lives, we say them to each other and society supports these messages.  I mean think about it.  A woman loses her virginity, but a guy gets lucky.  Sitcoms make jokes about the women having to “give it up.”  And any female pop star that sings about wanting and actually liking sex is sending the “wrong message” to our little girls.  And finally, many institutions, including some organized religions, give the message that sex is evil or bad – mostly for women.  So all of this is circling in our heads – then a woman becomes sexually active, and she’s supposed to think sex is this amazing experience and a wonderful gift from God?   This is often very confusing for most women.

So why are negative thoughts about sex and specifically one’s own sexuality a problem?  Well the problem is, as you may have heard, 80% of the sexual process for a woman happens in her head. So if many of our thoughts about sex are negative, we’re going into it with an 80% handicap.  A woman needs to get the right thoughts and attitudes about sex in her head.  And here’s the part that many of us don’t want to hear.  That’s our responsibility, ladies.  Only we can change our thoughts and attitudes.  

So how do we do this? By being around men and women who have a good attitude about sex.  What’s the old joke? “A woman doesn’t even have an orgasm until she tells her best friend about it.”  Being around women who have a good attitude about sex is great for your sex life!  Being around women who complain about sex and their husbands is not good for your sex life — or for your marriage for that matter.

Reducing Anxiety Can Improve Your Sex Life

On a deeper note, thinking positively about sex and having a good attitude about sex may be more complicated than we think as many women have developed an actual anxiety disorder around sex.  They actually feel panicked when faced with the subject.  Sometimes this stems from an early sexual trauma in one form or another and sometimes it is just caused by years of bad feelings surrounding sex.  Some women create scenarios, go to bed early, start a fight or even fall asleep with the kids in order to avoid facing this issue.  What you need to know, however, is this – anxiety is a condition that either lessens or increases every time we face it (or fail to face it).  In other words, if one is afraid of heights, every time they step away from the cliff, that fear of heights grows, every time they step toward the cliff, that fear diminishes.  Therefore, every time a woman’s anxiety leads her to avoid having sex with her husband, it makes it even more difficult to get over the fear and have sex the next time.  If this applies to you, I encourage you to do whatever it takes to reduce these fears; apply the Marriage Success Skills found on this website, write in a journal, talk to your girlfriends, even go to individual therapy, if necessary.  Do whatever you need to do to face your fears and move beyond them and closer to your husband.

Common Men’s Attitudes About Sex

And men, how many times have we heard the comments about marriage “tying a man down” or how a wife is “the old ball and chain.” It is these kinds of remarks and others like them that demean women and marriage.  It is also comments like these that make a woman feel unloved and unsafe, and men, as I’m sure you now know, feeling safe is one of the primary requirements a woman has to have in order to open herself up to a rich and passionate sex life.

So to both spouses, I would advise, the way to avoid making these mistakes is to quite simply, not spend too much time with other people that make them.   Ladies, don’t spend time with women, who want to do nothing else but bash the men in their lives. Men, don’t play golf with a bunch of guys who bitch about their wives the entire time. Try to avoid socializing with other couples that make passive-aggressive and negative public comments about their marriage and sex lives.  And above all else, do not listen to or commiserate with people who demean men, women, sex and marriage.  

Instead, look for people who value marriage, who have something valuable to teach.  People like Dr. Dana are a valuable resource and have much to offer.  Find those people and spend time with them. The fact is, don’t let someone who gave up on their dreams of a wonderful marriage and exciting sex life talk you out of going after yours!
Marriage sex therapy: Are you surrounded by negative people?  How can we help? Please comment below.


Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders,

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Mateusz 11 years ago

I would highly rmcomeend that you talk openly with your partner about your fears. Reassure your partner that this is something you want to work through. I always rmcomeend speaking with a knowledgable therapist if you can afford it. If she is on meds (which she may not be if she was recently diagnosed) and her viral load is undetectable, the risks as mentioned above) are quite low assuming you are also using protection.If you are not using protection, then there is nothing guaranteeing your safety, regardless of viral load (as it is not a perfect indicator of infectiousness through genital fluids semen, vaginal fluids)You could try looking on line for HIV AND serodivergent couples or serodiscordant couples or magnetic couples all of which refer to couples in which one person is HIV+ and the other HIV-. There are MANY of these types of couples who have been together for years and are very happy. It is possible with love, compassion, and safer sexThere may be some good resources online.Hope this helps