Even the best relationships have their rough patches, but when those scattered times become a pattern of conflict, you may feel yourself starting to crack under the pressure. While it's easy to place blame on external forces such as work, finances and life in general, your emotional history may be the real culprit. Once you understand that, addressing your personal issues can set your relationship, and your sex life, back on track.

Effects of past emotional trauma

No matter how sure you are that you've moved on from the hurt of past relationships, it's likely you have triggers that pop up at the worst times. My husband and I have been together for 14 years and have an amazing partnership, but every so often, trauma from a past abusive relationship can throw me into an emotional tailspin and send me back to some of my darkest moments.

While I've worked past the worst of it, the feelings of worthlessness, guilt and self-hatred sometimes just won't leave me alone. Three years of counseling taught me that my brain was still in survivor mode, and even the slightest hint of conflict would flip the switch to my fight-or-flight