Remember Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson and Keanu Reeves in, "Something's Gotta Give?" She was the older woman dancing between the interests and delusions of an evolved younger man (Keanu Reeves) and an emotionally stunted older man (Nicholson). How did she see herself? How do you see yourself? In and out of bedtime, our bodies through the ages can have a profound effect on our sexual interactions.. Relationship expert Nyiri Grigorian examines life's changes and phases.
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Your changing body affects your relationship no matter what age or gender you are.
In the teen years self-esteem issues grip girls and boys, especially in this aesthetic focused society with it’s cultural expectations.
In the child bearing years women face the literal transformation of their bodies and a reconfiguration of their identities.
Again in peri-menopause and menopause women’s bodies are front and center.
Men often stave off facing the changing body until middle age.
The emotional response that one has to the ‘changing body’ is highly variable and is connected to one’s long term self-perception as well as the quality of your relationships.
This dynamic is two fold.
For example a woman can feel self-conscious after childbirth with weight gain and feel undesirable, whereas her partner feels she is still beautiful and desirable.
In menopause one of the most common responses to the changing body in women is to cover up and disappear.
Their partners often wonder where they went.
Disappearing because of suffering with a changing body takes people out of their lives.
This is true of men who give up on enjoying bodily pleasures because their bodies fail them with age.
Ignoring this or hiding from your feelings can stress your relationship with all of the unspoken feelings and upsets created by these changes.
The dance that takes place around feelings related to the changing body can be subtle and permeate all aspects of your relationship.
Suddenly one doesn’t feel comfortable walking across the room.
This silent acknowledgment of change brings self-consciousness to a relationship that is below the surface.
This can happen at any life stage.
Staying connected to yourself and your partner and reality will shed light on the weight this issue has on your relationship.
The most important reality is to be clear that exaggeration is often at the heart of this matter.
What we see is not what others see.
This is never truer than in a relationship.
For better and, for worse.