Being a Couple 102
One way Joe is trying to invite Jan into collaborating to improve their relationship is to frame his request for intimacy into a challenge for the couple to resolve together rather than a problem for which one or the other is to be judged or blamed.
What makes this hard is that Joe gets afraid the moment Jan begins getting upset. Either he snaps at her or shuts down. The more he does either, the more upset she gets. This is their "the more the more" dance.
So Joe tried saying, "Look, we both want intimacy that can be initiated slowly and sensitively. I'll work on tuning into your needs and you practice being clearer about your desires or concerns. How about it?"
When Joe gave a clear indication that he wants to share the control, he noticed Jan became open to considering if there's anything she can do to contribute to the solution. He said, "Suppose I just stroke your back for a bit rather than try to jump your bones." She was shocked for a moment but quickly recovered to say, "Oh, now that sounds nice."
Again, I emphasize that this is not easy; but it's doable, even by you!!
So, every time conflict or distancing threatens your wellbeing, make a choice:
Either invite your mate to join you in focusing on an outcome that will
strengthen the couple as a relational unit, or persist in "being heard" or
"getting what you want".
You'll soon see which route is preferable.