What Causes Friction in a Relationship?
Can the Relationship Be Saved?
The most true and basic answer to the question of what causes friction in a relationship, that is; the root cause of friction and change in a male/female relationship, is the lack of understanding each party has about the other, regarding what makes each one “tick.” Gaining that understanding can save a failing relationship.
What makes men “tick:” A man’s desire or lack thereof, to be good to a woman, is driven by his sexual needs and love for that particular woman. While there are always exceptions to the rule, until he finds “the one,” the average male will have sex with just about any woman. The more attractive he finds her, the more he would prefer her, for his sexual “release” but just about any woman will do in a pinch. Sex means nothing but a physical release of the sperm that naturally builds within him and absolutely must get released for his comfort; a major piece of information that most women either don’t know, or often overlook. This is why when he says, “It was just sex!” more often than not, it truly was.
To have feelings of love, the male must have the right mix of testosterone and oxytocin (the love hormone) to “hit” him at the moment he sees “the one” for him. If he does not feel that right mix, then any relationship he enters into is doomed for frustration and possible disaster; that is, it is not likely to last. There is no amount of sex, or good cooking, etc. that will make him love her any more than he did the moment he laid eyes on her. Even if the relationship lasts for years, it is likely to end eventually; usually after his mate has had a couple of children and has aged 10-
What makes women “tick:” Unlike men, women have the ability to fall deeply in love with just about any male (that she is not totally repulsed by), if she just gives herself the chance to do so. This is because women naturally have an abundance of the “love hormone” oxytocin and plenty of estrogen to mix with it. Men have only a fraction of the estrogen that women have. A woman who convinces her mate to marry her; in other words, she fell in love with him at first sight, for example, and was so good to him that over time, he finally decides that she’s attractive enough, and he likes having sex with her enough, and he probably won’t find anyone better so he may as well marry her; has set herself up for the scenario mentioned above.
Oxytocin is released when a woman talks, touches, laughs, etc. When a man makes her happy, or makes her feel good, she produces oxytocin which mixes with her abundance of estrogen; and then associates those good feelings with him; causing her to become attracted to him or even fall in love. All he needs to do is discover what makes her happy, and give her plenty of that. She produces the most oxytocin during sexual climax and childbirth. However, it should be noted that in order for a woman to want sex other than when she is ovulating, he must first induce the production of plenty of oxytocin. Sex alone, is not enough. That’s right; happy wife, happy life!
It is also important to note that while the effects of oxytocin lasts longer in women than in men; the effects do wear off. Let me qualify that statement: When the “right mix” of oxytocin and testosterone hit a man, making him fall helplessly in love; that does not wear off. The effects that wear off are what the average person, who has not been hit with the right mix, feels after sex. Men produce a lot of oxytocin when they ejaculate. They release the hormone from within; making them feel euphoric or even in love for approximately 15 minutes after sex. However, there is also oxytocin in the sperm that they release into the woman, which could help explain why the euphoria can last as long as several weeks for her.
Additionally, it should be noted that stress causes a woman to release cortisol, a natural suppressant of the love hormone, oxytocin. Therefore, if for example, a woman has the responsibilities of contributing to the household finances to cover basic bills, doing laundry, helping with homework, making dinner, other household chores, is up half the night with a newborn or sick child, getting the kids to soccer practice, etc., whatever strides her mate has made in inducing her production of oxytocin is constantly being outdone by the production of the stress hormone, cortisol.
Again, the effects of oxytocin from outside or even inside stimuli (as in the case of cortisol) do wear off. Therefore, the production of oxytocin must be triggered regularly, and the production of cortisol should be minimized as much as possible, in order to maintain the same levels of feelings she had when she fell in love. The less attracted a woman was to a man naturally in the beginning of the relationship; the more difficult it would have been to get her to be attracted to him or fall in love with him. Whatever he did to “get” her, is what he will need to continue doing in order to keep her. If he stops inducing the production of oxytocin after he “gets” her, her feelings will begin to revert. She will begin to feel less attracted to him (as she was in the beginning), and be much less inclined to have sex with him outside of her ovulation cycle; and maybe even during that cycle. That is, during ovulation, she may be inclined to seek sex from another source. Similarly, a woman who “convinced” her mate to marry her through good cooking and great sex, should not be surprised if after childbirth, for example, when she is tired and has little to no desire to cook or have sex, his interest in the relationship begins to wane. Whatever she did to “get” him, she will need to continue doing to keep him; regardless of the changes life has introduced.
The average woman today only has sex with a man that she is attracted to, and on some level; instinctively, would like to have “more” from. The more she has sex with the same man, the stronger her conscious desire for commitment will become. The average woman cannot control this; it is the natural effects of oxytocin. Once she gets that commitment, she will have sex as often as she feels necessary, in order to keep it. In other words, she will have sex more often than she naturally desires because of his sexual needs; not hers. Although, if he is really good at inducing the release of oxytocin, she too will desire to have sex much more often than during ovulation. However, each time she has a sexual relationship with a male that does not lead to marriage, she becomes emotionally damaged; she becomes more and more “hardened,” and in extreme cases, is more likely to “use” men for whatever she thinks she can get from him before he decides to move on; often choosing to be the first to move on. Over time, she has learned that her natural feelings and inclinations result in her being hurt. Having sex with him does not lead to marriage or commitment; so she concludes that she won’t or can’t allow herself to “feel good” with any man.
Although typically not as “easily,” men too, can be emotionally damaged, and when this happens, it takes them a lot longer to recover from it than it takes the average woman. This is most likely due to the fact that males have only a fraction of the estrogen that women have. Instead, they have a great deal more testosterone, which has been show to weaken the effects of oxytocin. Oxytocin causes people to form bonds. It makes them loyal, and trusting. Although men can easily “just have sex,” they can also become as vulnerable as the average woman when they find “the one.” If “the one” has already been damaged as in the example above, she can fail to recognize his sincerity, and hurt him in the way that the average woman often gets hurt, and in the way that she herself, has been hurt. However, unlike women who can recover within weeks or months, depending on the length and impact of the relationship, men can take 10 years or more to recover; often “damaging” more women as they go through the process of recovery.
Sexual Desire, Men vs. Women:
Men have a constant buildup of sperm that needs to be released a few times a week or a few times a day. The frequency depends on the individual male. His “frequency” is the primary motivation for his sexual desire. He has a need to release sperm; therefore, he has a desire for sex. A woman releases an egg once a month, which sits in place for 3-
Because the natural, primary reason a woman has sex is to reproduce, it is also natural that once she does reproduce, her desire for sex will diminish, until her body has recovered and is ready to reproduce again. What does this mean? It means that a male who understands this and loves his mate, will give her the time she needs to recover from childbirth without pressure or threats of infidelity. Although it may be medically safe for a woman to have sex six weeks after childbirth, it is natural for her to have no desire to do so. Therefore, he will need to go “above and beyond the call of duty” to induce the release of enough oxytocin to invoke that desire; something which, after childbirth, could take weeks or months to accomplish. With this in mind, he should be prepared to “take care of himself” for quite some time, with the understanding that her lack of sexual desire during this period of time, does not translate to a lack of love, appreciation, or need for him.
Each party should remember that men have a natural desire to feel needed and women have a natural desire to feel wanted. If each understands the other as described above, and can remember to satisfy the other’s basic needs, the relationship can be saved.
What Every Girl Should Know
Love, Sex, & Men:
By Donna R. Turner, MPH, CHES