What one thing can you start doing today to immediately improve your relationship and your connection to your partner? In this short video, shot from the beaches of Tijuana, I share a quick relationship tip!Read More
Blog - Essays, Articles, Videos, and Tips
What do you think about farting in bed? Whether this happens during sex, or while getting ready to sleep, this is a taboo topic that my colleague Jeanson Benoit and I let rip (see what I did there?)! Check out this 2nd video in my new In the Bed with Dr. Jenn video series...Read More
Although self-care matters all year long, the start of a new year can be a consistent time for us to check in and see how well we're taking care of ourselves. If you're a woman, you may have been specifically trained to put everyone else's needs first. And if you're constantly on the run...Read More
You’ve probably experienced this before—you’re having a regular, nice, normal conversation with your partner, and suddenly they are pissed off at you. Or, your partner is already unhappy about something unrelated to you, so you’re talking to them and offering support. But without warning, you now see anger on their face that is directed at you. What happened?!
In any relationship, and especially early in a relationship, you can’t necessarily predict what is going to trigger your partner’s insecurities or patterns, and how they are going to interpret something that otherwise seems benign to you. And when they react with hurt or anger, it may leave you flustered, confused, and defensive. But instead of being reactive, try nicely asking these two questions:
1. What could I have done or said differently?
2. Why is this important to you (or what does this mean to you)?
Asking questions like this is helpful because it’s a total pattern-interrupt for both of you. You have the opportunity do something different, stay present in the moment, and both bring some structure and rationale to an emotionally triggered situation. Then, by asking what you could have done differently, you get the opportunity to get into the head of your partner, and find out what he/she needed in that moment or was expecting. This also makes your partner take responsibility for coming up with a potential solution, instead of just being pissed off. The second question gets to the heart of why your partner was triggered. Did they think you were talking down to them? Trying to “fix” the situation? Implying they were stupid? Or that you didn’t care about them? Listen carefully when they share their interpretation and meaning of that interaction, and don’t rush to defend your actions. And then apologize.
Hopefully, by allowing your partner to speak their truth in that moment and listening with genuine interest instead of defensiveness, they feel heard and understood. And you can now gently share about your thoughts and intentions, and come to a better understanding as a couple overall. I suggest sharing these questions with your partner so that you can both use these as a tool to work through conflict and stay powerful as a team.
Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego Sexologist | Sociologist | Sexuality Speaker
If intimacy or quality time are not happening on their own in your relationship, then you need to make them happen!
Two cool therapists in Phoenix interviewed me for this new podcast show, Mission: Date Night. We were so in alignment with our perspectives on intimacy, gender, relationships, and sex - it was a lovely conversation. I shared my perspectives on what I think are ingredients for an amazing relationship (can you guess?), how and why to create the opportunity for intimacy through date nights, and I even shared what I consider my perfect date (can you guess this one too??). You can listen to the podcast interview and discussion below:
Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego Sexologist, Sociologist, National Public Speaker
Does lack of experience in relationships prior to marriage make you more blissful in your marriage? How about having more people in attendance at your wedding? Research shows that these might make for a happier marriage. I discuss some recent research by the National Marriage Project with Marc Bailey on San Diego Living, Channel 6.
~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego Sexologist, Sociologist, Sexuality Speaker