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How Your Relationship Dynamics Affect Your Sex Life, Or 'Dirty Dishes...'

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There's a sink full of them. They pile high, they scream for attention from you, from the kids, the dog, your husband, just anyone, anyone at all... 'Wash Me!,' they scream, 'Scrape from me this terrifying brownish gunk!' Willingly, though exhausted, you heed the plea of the dishes and dive in, sleeves rolled to the elbows, concentrating on a job well done. By the fifth time in a row you've done them you're thinking the balance of power is really off, somehow. Shouldn't someone, anyone else be doing these dishes sometimes?

The dishes, the grocery shopping, the bills, the childcare, the house maintenance and repair -- all of these tasks of daily living, necessary for life to proceed in an orderly and functional manner, can contribute to the dynamics of your relationship and, ultimately, to what happens between you in the bedroom.

The imbalances which can occur can lead not only to coldness but actual dry spells and even intense resentment if not handled in a timely and appropriate manner. Who does what? Is it comfortable the way it is or do we need to negotiate/re-negotiate? Are you/he willing to talk things over or is it too much of an effort, too frightening, too confrontational? Some couples have perfectly worked out, rote routines. She shops and cooks, he cleans and does the laundry. Or he shops, she cooks, they clean up together and no one does the laundry. Okay, that's probably not altogether true, but you get my point.

What do we take on in contributing to the household and why, and, if our abilities, our schedules or our comfort levels change, can we discuss how to change our patterns of performance in the house so that we still feel things are fair.

If not, we may not want much in the way of romantic evenings out or snuggly mornings in, for that matter.

Here's a scenario: Your man has just spent the entire day Christmas shopping for you, the kids, your parents, his family and the dog. He comes home and wraps all of the presents and cleans the house. He then changes out the leaking toilet, carrying the old one by himself to the garbage pick up spot and bringing the new one in, on his own and installing it.

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