Get the answers from me and other top experts in the highlights of my radio conversation for A Lasting Love with neurosurgeon, Dr. Charles E. Rawling, who wrote It Really Is That Complicated, and R. Milton Quibner, author of the sexual satire, How High Should I Jump?
Hadley: Let's talk about how marriage kills romance. Charles wrote that couples hit plateaus, which are followed by real mood killers: boredom, inhibition, lack of satisfaction, and poor communication. I'd like you each to comment. Do you believe marriage kills romance, or can couples rekindle sexual fire and sustain it?
Milton: Every marriage is different. Every relationship is. Look at my own relationship of 25 years with the same woman. We keep reaching new levels of satisfaction with each other, new plateaus. We may be different types of people because we came together a little more mature after some real issues in our lives. I think Charles is over-generalizing. I've grown to love my wife more each year.
Hadley: What's your secret? What love tools could we use to keep things fresh, exciting, and deepen emotional bonds?
Milton: One of the best love tools I've found is called timing. When you come home from a hard day and you've got a problem, do not just dump it on your husband or wife and expect immediate response and immediate full energy on that problem.
So many relationships get screwed up because the man or woman races to the spouse for support. But there's a timing thing for it to work. People want instant solutions, but that doesn't work in relationships. You have to pick the right moment to ask for your partner's support, input.
What happens when you don't? You get instant polarization. You get fights, and that's not the way to build a harmonious relationship.
Charles: I think Milt just made my point from my book. When problems get dumped, it quelches communication and desirability, and it all goes downhill from there. I salute Milt for having a great marriage. I'm not against marriage, especially if you like institutions.
I agree that my statements are very broad and sweeping. But he made my point that so many relationships end up on the rocks for reasons, like dumping problems on the other person, timing. That's not going into financial hardships, problems with kids, problems disrespecting folks, and we haven't started discussing issues with sex.
The real truth of the matter is women have trouble having orgasms with most males. That's a big problem in marriage. Sex goes away or it becomes stale.
Hadley: It can if you let it.
Milton: There are positives and negatives to internet revolution. One positive is people are leaning about our bodies, without stigma of sneaking around to get it on sidestreets. People are finding out how to please each other, especially that foreign being known as a woman's body. Men are discovering for the first time in history that women can have an orgasm. It's just not a product of putting your penis in her. There are other ways to do this. So the internet is opening the door to a healthier, more egalitarian sexuality.
Hadley: Since we're on this topic, the first blurb in Milt's book guides a man to deal with his wife's sexuality to keep her happy and get over his issues. That concept goes through the whole book. How did you come up with this notion?
Milton: The feminist revolution has allowed social equality to take place everywhere in society, so women are stepping out of being second class citizens and into positions of power and authority. With that comes an understanding that I, as a woman, can now enjoy sex. For the last 30-40 years, women actually enjoy sex, which they didn't before. This has created a period where women actively pursue sex. The cougar, the hot wife phenomena are the result of women going out, enjoying sex and wanting more.
The flip side of this is in the last 30 years, we have increasing unemployement for men, who are being placed on the sidelines in society. Men are finding themselves unable to compete today. They are staying home, getting off the work track, letting their wives or girlfriends go to work, while they stay at home.
Hadley: That is a trend. There are more women than men in med school today.
Charles: That's been a trend over the last 15 years.
Milton: So coupled on top of this feminist revolution, internet revolution and easy access to porn, many men are getting on the sidelines, saying, "Enough." And his wife, Janet, wants to go out, so she goes out to work and comes home saying she wants to have an affair. My book is directed at these men, who are unable to please their women. The core of the issue is men are finding they can't keep pace with the demands of their dynamic, ambitious, beautiful woman. This is not the case in every situation.
Hadley: So your book is not for the alpha male. It's for the man who can't fit into the manly role in the world?
Milton: I don’t buy the term alpha male. I see a small group men who are the winners: the bad boys, the businessmen, celebrities, the guys at the top of every field. These guys have no issue attracting, keeping, sustaining relationships with women.
My book is for the rest of us, the regular guys who are not the champions, the winners in every field. They are not the beautiful super men. I'm telling these guys that we've got to deflate our egos, and learn to listen, and be devoted to women. Because women have taken off. They are way in front. Women demand that men identify their feelings. They demand that men step out of shells they built around themselves based on your careers. They demand men catch up to where women are. Some men are successful at this, like Wayne Dyer, and the actor Vin Diesel. He's balancing his male and female really well. Most of us guys are not. They're watching their wives go to work, have their hot life experience, and they stay home to watch the kids or internet porn.
Hadley: Don't we need something to hold onto, some hope, something believe in, like love? It's important that men and women understand the answer to this Love Test: Is love real or a delusion?
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