Over the many years that I have been working with couples, certain issues have emerged over and over. One of the most common issues for women is: "I am not turned on to my partner. I love him, but I just can't bring myself to make love with him. The thought of it is repelling to me."
Michelle and Michael have been married for 8 years. After the first few months of their marriage, sex has been rare, and non-existent for the last two years. Neither Michelle nor Michael is happy with this situation, yet Michelle cannot bring herself to have sex with Michael.
Susan and Douglas have been married for three years, a second marriage for both. While sex was wonderful when they first met, Susan has become completely sexually unavailable for the last six months.
Heather and David have been married for 6 years and have two children. They fell madly in love 7 years ago and sex at that time was terrific. But now Heather can barely touch David or be touched by him.
What has happened with these couples? The women all say that they love their husbands very much. Yet they do not want sex with them.
There is a common denominator between all these men: Michael, Douglas, and David all live in their heads, not in their hearts. They operate out of their minds rather than their feelings. In fact, all of them are completely out of touch with their feelings. Their focus is external—on getting what they want —rather than internal, focused on taking care of themselves. All these men make their wives responsible for their feelings of adequacy, worth and lovability, while abandoning themselves.
All of these men are "nice guys." All of them are very attentive to their wives—fixing things around the house, catering to their needs, buying them things. Yet none of these men come to their wives in their power. They come empty, needy, hoping for approval and sex to make them feel filled and whole. As a result, all of the things they do for their wives feel manipulative to the women. The women experience a pull as their men attend to them. The hidden agenda is, "If I am nice and I do things for you and listen to you and buy you things, you will love me and have sex with me."
These women love their husbands, but they can't FEEL them. And when they can't feel them they can't connect with them. These women are kind and caring with their husbands, but they can't feel sexually attracted to them as long as the men abandon themselves.