Do (or did) you and your spouse have significantly different levels of desire for sex? If so, you are not alone. Did you know that 1 in 3 couples has a sexual desire gap? But just because you aren’t alone, it doesn’t mean you should be complacent about a ho-hum sexual relationship. You shouldn’t. It can lead to a miserably angry spouse, infidelity and divorce. If you don’t believe me, watch this TEDx talk on The Sex-Starved Marriage
And although solutions to this sexual divide abound in magazines, self-help books and other pop psychology outlets, there is a little talked about fact underlying the problems associated with this sexual void.
The No’s have veto power.
Here’s the scoop. The spouse with lower sexual drive controls the frequency of sex — if she or he doesn’t want it, it generally doesn’t happen. This is not due to maliciousness or a desire for power and control, it’s just seems unimaginable to be sexual if one is not in the mood.
Furthermore, there is an unspoken and often unconscious expectation that the higher desire spouse must accept the no-sex verdict, not complain about it and remain monogamous. After decades of working with couples, I can attest that this is an unfair and unworkable arrangement.
This is not to say that infidelity is a viable solution to disparate sexual interests. It isn’t. As with all relationship conflicts, being willing to find middle ground is the best way to insure love’s longevity.
But what’s a so-called “low desire spouse” to do?
Believe it or not, although sometimes the causes of low sexual desire are complex and deeply rooted, this is not always true. One of the most common causes for a sexual desire gap is also the simplest to solve. I recommend that the person with low desire adopt the Nike philosophy, and “Just Do It!” Why?
I wish I had a dollar for each time someone in my practice said, “I wasn’t in the mood when I started making love but once we got into it, I really enjoyed myself. It felt great.”
After seeing lots of this in my practice, I started to look around at the literature about sexual desire and discovered that for millions of people, sexual desire doesn’t just happen, you have to make it happen. (Basson, R.) But what does this actually mean?
The human sexual response cycle is thought to have four stages:
Stage 1: Desire, which is defined as having a sexy thought or sexual fantasy that often occurs out of the blue or in response to a trigger such as seeing an attractive person, smelling a aromatic perfume, or watching a hot movie. Desire then prompts us to become sexually active.
Stage 2: Arousal is the excitement we feel, the physiological changes in our bodies once we’re physically stimulated
Stage 3: Orgasm
Stage 4: Resolution, when our bodies return to the resting state.
But for almost half the population, stages one and two are actually reversed. They don’t feel sexual desire until they’ve been physically aroused, until they’ve been touched. But once they’ve been stimulated, they feel plenty of desire. They’re hot to trot. For these folks, arousal leads to desire, not the other way around.
If this sounds like you, it behooves you to do a little experimenting. Stop waiting for the fireworks to happen before you become sexual. Be receptive to your partner’s advances even if you’re not totally in the mood. Why? Two reasons.
You might just find that once you’re into it, you’re really into it. Plus, notice the changes in your spouse. She or he will be much nicer to be around. But don’t take my word for it. Try it. At least watch this new TEDx Talk on The Sex-Starved Marriage.
Michele Weiner-Davis is the Author of the best selling Divorce Busting, Divorce Remedy, and the Sex-Starved Marriage, and creator of the Divorce Busting Center. She is the Founder of DivorceBusting “Like” her on Facebook, and get her latest videos on YouTube.
ORIGINAL POST @ Huffingtonpost
How did I get myself into this one…
My confessions: I’m a hardcore romance junkie, like heroin and crack. And I can’t seem to confront myself directly without going through a man to do it.
What is it in here that is so disturbing to me that I can’t face it?
Perhaps the squirming snake of my own immense hunger, endless and ready to swallow the nutrient it craves whole. The moral-less flavor of it, the disregard it has for human life, for values, for ideals, for feelings, for “where people are at,” for slowing down and for “holding space.”
It’s this coiling boa constrictor of appetite that is simply meant to eat. The hunting predator in the woods doesn’t think at all except to calculate distance, how to make sure the wind doesn’t carry her scent to her prey, and how to have it be that her final powerful leap lands her right on top of her target.
This is the one in me who craves the romance. I don’t know why romance is the thing. I don’t know if it is because my dad used to drink and he used to leak emotion all over me when he was in his cups deep, emotion that had this thick sweet cloying romantic quality to it. Well yeah that’s probably it. All I know for sure is that it’s still something that has dominion over me, for better or worse. And now I find myself winding my way through another romance.
The stage is set. We have been seeing each other for a few weeks and while it’s new, there is a deep spot of involuntary that got touched in us both.
So there’s me: unconventional relationship practices for the last decade, anything close to monogamous not among them. And there’s him: if you love someone and they love you, and you have sex, you are now monogamous. And if that changes or goes off-course it equates total psychic devastation.
Some might see this as an impasse, but my mind is in heavy play-mode these days, so… I came up with a game. Thirty days of research – I am monogomish (I still practice Orgasmic Meditationwith others) and he has to sleep with other people.
This is a huge edge for both of us on each side. For him, having me and having other women totally cracks open his concepts of conventional relating. What woman would afford her man these luxuries? Does it mean I don’t want him enough? Does it mean he might become some kind of “lesser” man who just likes to fuck loads of women?
And for me, well… I’ve prided myself in being a free woman for a number of years now. Free in her thinking and in her sex, a rare breed we call “turned-on women” who won’t allow themselves to lock down into too much conventionality lest they lose their ability to move freely in the world and liberate others. This looks different for all of us but for me a huge component of it was non-monogomy.
My sex is my furnace, my generator, my power; to hand the satisfaction of it all over to one person feels terrifying. Does it mean I’m not free anymore? Does it mean I’m going to sleep inside of my addiction to romance? Does it mean I won’t be able to produce enough fuel for my fire and my power will dwindle?
It’s day three. All I know so far is that there is a vigilant hunter that usually sweeps through the area as I walk through London, as I chat with people in a room, as I surf the internet. And this hunter is suddenly quieting in the arena of searching for prey.
Some part of me is softening into allowing myself to be pet and taken care of. This was so not the stroke for me in the past but now here I am and it is.
I can feel my insides relax into it unexpectedly and sink into a deeper sense of femininity and reception.
ORIGINAL POSTING @ Orgasm Daily
Here is a list of 15 things which, if you give up on them, will make your married life a lot easier and a lot happier. We hold on to so many things that cause a great deal of stress and frustration in our relationships – and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing our relationships to flourish and blossom – we cling on to them. Not anymore. Starting today you will give up on all those things that no longer serve you, and you will embrace change. Starting today you will make your marriage work. Ready? Here we go:
1. Give up your unrealistic expectations
Give up all your unrealistic expectation about marriage being this beautiful box full of all the things you have always longed for and see marriage for what it truly is – an empty box where you and your partner MUST put all the things you want to take out. Accept that if you want to have love in your marriage, you have to put it there. If you want to have happiness, passion, intimacy, companionship, trust in your marriage, you have to put it there. Relationships take work, a lot of work and if you want to live a happy, beautiful and loving life next to your partner, you will both commit to making your marriage work. Always remember, relationships don’t work unless you do.
2. Give up control
People are made to be loved, not controlled. The more you try to control your partner, the more you will push him or her away from you and the less love there will be left between you two. Give up control and allow the ONE you love to just be. Allow the person you love to be who they are and not who you want them to be.
3. Give up possessiveness
No matter how long you two have been together and no matter if you are married and have 10 children together or not, you do not posses your partner. He/her is not your propriety. You both are two separate entities and just as you are separate from him, so is she separate from you. Give up possessiveness and allow your partner to breathe. Give him/ her the space and freedom they truly deserve and watch how much more beautiful your relationship becomes.
4. Give up criticism
Give up the need to criticize every little thing your partner does or doesn’t do and instead start appreciating those many things that made you fall in love with this person in the first place. Seek to praise not to criticize. Keep in mind that you attract more bees with honey than you do with vinegar.
“Compliments and criticism are all ultimately based on some form of projection.” ~ Billy Corgan
5. Give up the need to fix your partner
Relationships aren’t about fixing one another, relationships are about loving, caring and supporting one another. You might think it’s your responsibility to “save” and “fix” your partner but trust me, that’s not really the case. Give up the need to fix your partner and work on growing, improving and evolving together instead.
“Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are both disappointed.” ~ Albert Einstein
6. Give up your jealous behavior
”A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
The root cause of jealousy is insecurity. Work on letting go of your insecurities and you will immediately understand the futility of a jealous behavior. You will immediately give jealousy up.
7. Give up on your fears
Give up the fear of cheating on one another, the fear of falling out of love, the fear of having your present relationship become as toxic as the previous ones and so on. Get out of your fearful head and into your loving heart. Give up on all your fears and love with all your heart.
“Perfect love casts out fear. If fear exists, then there is not perfect love.” ~ A Course In Miracles
8. Give up the chase for perfection
What screws us up the most is this idea we have in our heads about how relationships should be like and how our partners should behave. Instead of savoring, loving and praising one another, nurturing the relationships we have, we waste our precious time and energy seeking perfection, in ourselves, in our partner There’s no such thing as perfect relationships simply because there’s no such thing as perfect people. Your marriage is and always will be a reflection of who and your partner are – two perfectly imperfect people.
“When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.” ~ Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
9. Give up on blame
Believe it or not, it’s not the other person’s job to make you feel all the things that you yourself can’t feel on your own. It’s not the other person’s job to make you feel loved, happy and whole when you yourself feel unworthy, unhappy and incomplete. That’s not their job, that’s your job. Give up the need to blame your partner for everything that goes wrong in your world, for why you aren’t feeling as loved and as happy as you would like to feel and start taking ownership for your own thoughts and feelings.
“Tell everyone you know: “My happiness depends on me, so you’re off the hook.” And then demonstrate it. Be happy, no matter what they’re doing. Practice feeling good, no matter what. And before you know it, you will not give anyone else responsibility for the way you feel-and then, you’ll love them all. Because the only reason you don’t love them, is because you’re using them as your excuse to not feel good.” ~ Esther Hicks
10. Give up the need to always be right
Remember when you and your partner first started dating? Remember how beautiful and how lovingly you spoke to one another? Back then you didn’t care whether you were right all the time or not. All that you cared about was to make the other person feel loved, appreciated and happy. So why change now? Give up the need to always be right and choose to be kind, loving and supportive instead.
“Common courtesy plays a big role in happy marriages. People who are permanently married are polite to one another. They don’t want to hurt one another’s feelings, and they don’t try to make the other one feel humiliated. People who are married for life are extremely kind to one another.” ~ Frank Pittman
11. Give up living your life according to the other person’s expectations
It’s true that relationships require compromise but when you compromise too often, living your life according to the other person’s expectations, you risk losing yourself and that’s how you start feeling bitter, depleted, frustrated and very unhappy. Don’t lose the “I” in playing the “We” game. Compromise when needed but not so much that you lose your sense of self. Balance is key.
“The hardest-learned lesson: that people have only their kind of love to give, not our kind.” ~ Mignon McLauglin
12. Give up your clingy behavior
There’s nothing less attractive than a person who clings onto his/her partner expecting the other person to provide all their emotional, physical, and spiritual needs. Take the “pressure” off of your partner’s shoulders and put it on your shoulders instead. Seek to become the provider of your own their emotional, physical, and spiritual needs. Be the source of your own happiness.
“You have so little faith in yourself because you are unwilling to accept the fact that perfect love is in you, and so you seek without for what you cannot find within.” ~ A Course In Miracles
13. Give up asking for more than you give
“Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that most people enter a relationship in order to get something. They’re trying to find someone who’s going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take.” ~ Anthony Robbins
If you enter a relationship expecting to get a lot more than you give, chances are that you will have many marriage regrets. The only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take. Give more, ask less.
14. Give up your emotional baggage
Make peace with your past. Make peace with your “stuff”. Don’t carry the heavy weights of your past with you into the present. If you want to build a happy, loving and healthy relationship, you have to start fresh, you have to leave your emotional baggage behind.
“The past has no power to stop you from being present now. Only your grievance about the past can do that. What is grievance? The baggage of old thought and emotion.” ~ Lao Tzu
15. Give up attachment
There is a huge difference between love and attachment and what most people call “love” is nothing more than attachment. Attachment comes from a place of fear, while love is pure, kind, and selfless. Love is ready to detach and let go if the relationship between two people becomes toxic and detrimental to the healthy growth and evolution of both parties. Attachment on the other hand loves to hold onto toxicity, feeding itself with the pain and suffering of people.
Deepak Chopra says it best with these words: “Love allows your beloved the freedom to be unlike you. Attachment asks for conformity to your needs and desires. Love imposes no demands. Attachment expresses an overwhelming demand – “Make me feel whole.” Love expands beyond the limits of two people. Attachment tries to exclude everything but two people.”
And these are the 15 things you should give up to make not only marriage work but also any romantic relationship.
P.S. It’s very important to understand that some people, no matter how much they love one another and no matter how much they want to make their marriage work, might not be able to do so simply because they both learned the lessons they had to learn and now life calls them in different directions. To paraphrase Elizabeth Gilbert, soul mates, they might come into your life to reveal another layer of yourself to you, to help you see a part of you that you did not know was there, but when the work is done, they will leave, making room for something new, for something better to come your way.
This is why it’s so important to listen to your heart and intuition and make sure that you don’t stay in a relationship that makes you feel dead on the inside simply because that’s what society and everyone around you expects you to do. Your peace of mind, health, happiness and wellbeing are more important than anything else. So stay happy!
“The real act of marriage takes place in the heart, not in the ballroom or church or synagogue. It’s a choice you make – not just on your wedding day, but over and over again – and that choice is reflected in the way you treat your husband or wife.” ~ Barbara De Angelis
If it’s true that marriages are meant to last for life, why is it that so many people divorce? What do you think is the key ingredient to make a marriage work? I really want to know what are your thoughts on this. You can share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below
With all my love,
ORIGINAL POSTING at Purpose Fairy