When I was 24 years old I fell madly in love. I was madly in love for three weeks, and then spent the next 30 years struggling to regain and maintain that wonderful feeling. In the course of my long marriage and in the many years I've been counseling individuals and couples, I've learned what it takes to keep love alive, and what diminishes the feelings and experience of love.
More and more I am surrounded by women over 35 years of age who want to get married, but cannot find a suitable partner. They have heard the best places to go for singles over 35, have been set up on numerous blind dates, have joined online dating, and still don’t have a ring on their finger. These women are educated, have a great job, great homes, gorgeous, and would make the perfect wife. What’s wrong? When I talk with these women, many think the problem may rest with the guys.
So, my husband borrowed my body wash, and I am still waiting to get it back. He forgot to buy some during our prior trip to the store and he was yelling from the shower, “I need some soap!!!” I went into the shower carrying my body wash and with a smirk said, “This is all I got, but it smells girly”. He rolled his eyes, yanked it from my hands and closed the curtain.
“It takes a really big man to love a really big scar.” –Carly Simon I worked for nine years in Lubbock, Texas as an intimacy and sex counselor for cancer patients. They taught me more than any textbook or class. I celebrated their success with them, prayed for their healing with them, and sat by their bedside with their loved one when they took their last breaths. Many people would call that a depressing job, but I never lived as fully as when I worked with this population.
COMMUNICATION USING IMAGO By Tammy Nelson, PhD The Imago Dialogue process is a type of communication developed by Harville Hendrix, the bestselling author of Getting the Love You Want, a book about communication and couple’s therapy. The dialogue is a structured technique that you can use to talk to communicate when you are frustrated or just want to feel closer. This dialogue is a wayto talk about conflict in your relationship that lets you each feel heard. To practice the technique, first ask your partner,
My wife and I tried swinging several years ago. It was exciting and fun to plan dates and it brought up surprising aspects of our sexuality. It also brought up some powerful emotions, which we were able to work through, although after some of the couples we were dating dropped us, the experience hit my wife really hard and we stopped not only swinging, but having sex altogether.
Just when I thought we could no longer be surprised by sex research, a new study by the Kinsey Institute for Sex Gender and Reproduction yielded a set of unusual findings. Contrary to popular opinion, this new study found that men, who kiss and cuddle, are three times more happy than those who don’t. Imagine that. In other words, men who were more in touch with their kinder, gentler, “coochier” side were more likely to experience satisfaction in their long term relationships.
For a Healthy Relationship, Never Say No to Cuddling When couples come to see me with their first complaint being that they haven’t had sex in several months, there is palpable tension. They panic, and search for reasons why. When sex is going well, it is 5% of the relationship. However, when sex isn’t going well, it may become 95% of the relationship. A recent study reported in the Daily Mail suggested that more important than sex for a couple’s happiness and health is cuddling. Cuddling provides many benefits besides a sense of security and closeness.
Research indicates that over 55% of married women are not interested in having sex with their husbands. I've worked with many men who also are not interested in sex with their wives. The problem is generally not a lack of sexual desire - it's that they are not interested in sex with their partner. Why?
We all give every day—to our partners, friends, family, neighbors, jobs and community. While it's healthy and vital to help the ones we love, many of us struggle to balance these needs with our own. This can lead to trouble: either we become too self-absorbed, or we find it hard to say "No" to others in order to have a little "me" time. As part of our Love Starts Within spotlight, we asked some of our Experts to share their advice on how to grapple with these demands from multiple angles:
“Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.” -Jonathon Kozol Most of the arguments that couples have about their sex lives are not about sex. Sex is the container, where we are most acutely aware of the spaces in our relationship that fail to connect, that make us feel small, unloved, invisible, and that reflect our deepest conflicts.
“There is a secret about human love that is commonly overlooked: Receiving it is much more scary and threatening than giving it. How many times in your life have you been unable to let in someone’s love or even pushed it away? Much as we proclaim the wish to be truly loved, we are often afraid of that, and so find it difficult to open to love or let it all the way in.” –John Welwood
During my many years of counseling couples, I have frequently worked with the sexual problems that often occur in committed relationships. The most common complaint from men regarding sex is frequency, and the most common complaint from woman is lack of emotional intimacy. There is a very good reason why these are the most common complaints - men and women are very different when it comes to sex!
There was a lot of talk several years ago that a single woman over 40 years of age had a better chance of being blown up in a terrorist attack than finding a healthy marriage partner. Times have changed, and 40 year-old women no longer look 40 and terrorist attacks are more frequent. The saying has lost its “punch” and you seldom hear this phrase anymore. I have gone to more weddings where the bride and groom are both over 40 years of age, and/or one of them is over 40 and the other is 39 and holding.
Good relationships don’t just happen. I’ve heard many of my clients state that, “If I have to work at it, then it’s not the right relationship.” This is not a true statement, any more than it’s true that you don’t have to work at good physical health through exercise, eating well, and stress reduction.