On Sweating the Small Stuff


On Sweating the Small Stuff
It's okay to say No, to set limits and to expect cooperation from our partner.

I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we feel guilty. We want to be liked. We’ve heard words like anal-retentive and nit-picking and we think we should just accept our partner for who they are, no holds barred, and accept this as a sign of compatibility, of whether or not we are compatible. We want to be the bigger person. We’ve forgotten how to ask for what we need and we’ve forgotten how to say no. We become so consumed with concepts like “letting go” and “non-attachment,” which are very zen-like ideas but they don’t address cooperation in a relationship. It is okay to expect our partner to meet us half way.

And, the way we communicate is key.  Many of us have never been taught to say, No, or we don't feel comfortable saying no. We think this somehow makes us mean, rigid, or bad. We have yet to learn to verbalize our feelings in an honest and sincere manner. It is important to establish boundaries and limits, and to be okay with saying no. It is also important to recognize that our feelings, wants, needs and desires are okay. Somewhere along the way, someone taught us they weren't. We need to undo this and remember that our needs matter.

And most of all, it is important to recognize the power we convey, and the respect we glean when speak clearly and positively. If we come from a place of not complaining, anger and accusation, but instead with genuine tenderness about our own feelings, ourselves and the things we need that would make us feel a little bit better, that would make our life a little easier, that would let us know that our partner cares and wants to meet us half way, we might be surprised at how much our partner might actually hear us and respond in jest. Be careful of punishing, blaming or trying to incite guilt, pointing the finger, and all around acting from a place of anger. 

Basically, wait until you are not angry, upset or frustrated. Acting from a place of emotion is the worst and often ineffective. Once you are calm, this may even be a day later, you can talk to your partner about what happened. For example, “I got in the shower today and there were no clean towels. This was very disappointing for me. It felt like you were not thinking about me.” Own your feelings and express them calmly. “It would be great if we can come up with a plan so this doesn’t happen again.” You get the picture, don’t blame, own your feelings and address it with cooperative language. You and your partner are a team.



Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Moushumi Ghose

Sex Therapist

Moushumi Ghose, MFT specializes in sex and relationships and is based in New York City and Los Angeles.

She is the host of The Sex Talk, a web-series dedicated to raising awarenes about sex, and sexuality, and has made several TV and media appearances including Hollywood Today The Girl Spot, Durex Condoms and Investigation Discoveries as a sex expert. 

Visit her website at www.LASexTherapist.com

Subscribe to The Sex Talk Series at www.TheSexTalkSeries.com

Listen to podcasts at Sex, Love and Rock 'N' Roll Radio.

Mou is the author of Marriage, Money and Porn, available on Amazon, and is currently writing her second book, about non-monogamous sex. 

Follow Moushumi on Twitter @MoushumiAmour and Facebook

Location: New York, NY
Credentials: LMFT, MA, MFT
Other Articles/News by Moushumi Ghose:

Considering Non-Monogamy? 4 Rules To Make Sure No One Gets Hurt


Are you single and intrigued by the idea of hook up culture? Maybe you want to be in an open relationship and like the idea of non-committal sex, but things often get complicated in the process. Because of oxytocin and a whole slew of other factors, maybe sex with no strings attached is sometimes more of an ideal than a realistic endeavor for you, and you ... Read more

Ditch The Clothes And Love Your Birthday Suit!


We are such a clothed society. As a soceity we definitely like to show a lot of skin, we like fashion that exposes the midriff, the shoulders, short skirts that show off legs, low cut blowses that show some cleavage, but when it comes down to it, at the end of the day, nudity as a whole is something that is not highly accepted, nor is it publically legal in ... Read more

Yes! 6 Steps to Having Healthy Hook Ups


I read a lot of articles bashing "hook up culture" — its a term du jour, kind of like "menage a trois" was in the 80's — but this term unlike the latter, is not associated with being sex positive and it's usually not written about in a positive light. We live in a society where it often seems like we ... Read more

See More

Latest Expert Videos
Most Popular