No matter who you are or how happy you are in your relationship you’re going to experience conflict. Experiencing conflict in your relationship is not sign of weakness, nor a lack of wisdom. It’s simply a polarized dialogue between two people holding opposing positions. How we navigate this dialogue is determined by how skillful we are at moving through conflict as a couple.
Play is a reset button for our over-stressed, news-saturated, time-pressured adult minds. Most couples I work with will readily admit that play is not something they experience on a regular basis. Life has gotten too busy. There’s barely enough time to be alone to talk, much less play.
One of my couples came to me feeling the fallout of a non-consensual incident that resulted in one of them feeling angry and the other confused. The man made the mistake of not asking his partner’s consent to try out something new in the bedroom. Rather than talking about it with his partner beforehand, he showed up in the bedroom with handcuffs, and proceeded to lock his partners arms behind her back. There was no conversation about using restraints and no mutual exploration on the subject of bondage beforehand. In effect, consent was not given, and because of that it didn’t go well, at all.