S1 EP16 – Relationships: Keeping Love Alive

Episode Summary

Being in love is a wonderful experience, yet all too soon these in-love feelings fade away. Discover the ONE thing that diminishes love and how to keep it alive, no matter how long you’ve been together.


Hi everyone. Dr. Margaret Paul here with the inner bonding podcast. And today I would like to talk about sex life, lack of sex, or a lack of passion in your relationship and why that might be. II’ve been working with couples for over 52 years in this is an extremely common problem in relationships, and there’s very, very good reasons for it.

Aside from problems such as premature ejaculation or impotence or lack of orgasm, which can often be handled through sexual therapy and education, there’s two common sexual problems in committed relationships that, that I’ve had extensive experience in dealing with. And one of them is one partner using sex as an addiction and the other partner, perhaps having a lack of sexual desire or a lack of desire for the partner.

So let’s talk about using sex addictively. So this is like any other addiction it’s using something or someone to fill you up or take away your pain. And there’s of course, lots of addictions that we use and sex can be one of them. And the most common form of sexual addiction in a committed relationship is one partner using sex to get filled up or to feel validated or to feel loved or to take away tension.

So that partner tends to become needy and demanding. They may get angry, or they may withdraw when the other person doesn’t want sex. And this needing this needy and demanding energy can actually make the problem worse or cause a lack of sexual desire in the other person. So a woman at the other end of a man’s neediness or a man at the other end of a woman’s neediness is generally not turned on by that neediness.

It feels like a pull and they’re turned off by the pull. So, you know, if you think about it, demanding and needing energy is not very attractive, it’s not loving, it’s not erotic. So let’s take a common scenario:;

Alan says, come on honey, it’s been over a week and I’m really horny. And Tonya says, you know, I just don’t feel like it it’s late and I’m tired. And Alan says, Oh, you’re always tired. Come on, you’ll get into it. You know, you will, I’ve got a big day tomorrow and I need a good night’s sleep. Come on.

So Alan, obviously is not caring about what Tonya wants, how Tonya feels. He’s just concerned with what he wants. And that’s one of the symptoms of sexual addiction is a lack of caring about your partner. So let’s talk about the other side of it, which is a general lack of sexual desire or a lack of desire of sexual desire for your partner.

There may be many causes for a general lack of sexual desire. Some of them are physical, such as shifting hormones during the menstrual cycle and during menopause for women or exhaustion due to overwork or childbearing. If you’re a man or a woman experiencing a general lack of sexual desire, you might want to check with your doctor. So after physical causes are ruled out, there are four common emotional causes of a lack of sexual desire for your partner in a committed relationship.

So one is that you might not feel sexual due to a lack of emotional intimacy. Many people need to feel loved and connected with their partner before feeling like making love. If you and your partner don’t spend intimate time together outside of the bedroom, your sexual relationship may lack the spark that it needs in order to really want to make love on the emotional level. So another reason is is that you might not feel sexual when you don’t feel safe to bring up problems between you and your partner.

If you and your partner are not creating a safe arena by both of you being open to learning, when conflict comes up, then the flow of love, which is very, very important for, for connection and therefore the flow of energy of sexual energy also diminishes.

When you bring up an issue, your partner responds to you with anger or blame or resistance or withdrawal or inattentiveness. You’re not going to feel safe to clear things up with your partner. And this lack of safety may translate into a lack of sexual desire. So a third reason is you might not feel sexual if you’re a caretaker and you’re giving yourself up in many areas of the relationship, you know, maybe you, you’ve never recognized that your sexual desire may be deadened by your caretaking.

But I found that the more a person gives himself up or herself up in any other area of the relationship, the less sexual desire he or she will feel. If you allow your partner to control you, even in minor areas of your relationship, it possibly may be affecting your sex life. And then a fourth reason is, is you might not feel sexual with your partner. If your partner is using sex as an addiction, you’re going to end up feeling used rather than loved during sex.

So like I said, it may be hard for you to feel attracted to your partner when he or she is using sex as an addiction. When you’re being pulled on by a person who’s sexually addicted, you might feel like an object rather than feeling loved. Your partner wants to use you rather than love you. And that is certainly not a turn on. Not very erotic to most people. When a person is coming from needing a sexually, it can feel as if he or she is coming to you as a needy little kid and each child rather than as an adult in their personal power.

Personal power is attractive. Neediness is not. If you have a history of sexual abuse, you might feel very conflicted with a partner who’s operating from a sexual addiction. You might find yourself responding physically to your partner because of having been sexualized by someone who was sexually addicted yet, emotionally, you feel repulsed. You feel very turned off.

So many of these issues can be resolved when both people are open to learning about themselves and each other. So one of the things I’d like you to think about is what does having sex mean to you? Sex means different things to different people and what it means to you might be having a big effect on your relationship. So, as I said, I’ve been counseling individuals and couples for many years and more than half the time when couples are having problems or the relationship is dissolving, sex is one of the major issues.

So there’s, there’s a number of common scenarios. After a long marriage with regular sex, he comes home to discover that his wife has left. He’s devastated and has no idea why once he explores it, it turns out that he has expected sex at least three times a week. His wife complied. And he, even though she complied, he knew that she felt emotionally disconnected from him and needed to grit her teeth to have sex with him.

But he, he just, he just ignored that. So looking back, he realizes that she tried to express this to him and he just didn’t listen. And now she was suddenly gone. Another one, REO is the partners are still together, but sex is essentially gone from the relationship. This frequently occurs in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. It’s just a common thing. Like what I talked about and one partner may be more upset about it than the other.

These are the kinds of things that people come to me for. These are the kinds of issues that I see when people come to me. So another one is one partner has clearly stated that he or she is no longer available for sex. The partner States that he or she feels used is no longer willing to tolerate this. The other partner is angry and hurt by this. And this is often when I end up seeing them. So another scenario is sex has been a big part of the relationship, but one partner States that he or she is constantly giving themselves up to have sex is very unhappy about the situation, but the complying partner fears, the anger and withdrawal that generally occurs when he or she says no.

And this is also a very, very common issue that I see with couples that seek my help. So another one is one partner. Usually the woman in a heterosexual relationship says that she doesn’t feel anything during sex. So she’s obviously motivated to have sex. Orgasm is nonexistent or very rare for her. So of course, you know, there’s not much motivation for her. And another scenario is that sex has become boring and routine with very little passion.

So one or both partners are unmotivated and this doesn’t have to happen. Even in longterm relationships, sex can stay alive and juicy when people are really open to each other and creating emotional, intimate intimacy. So usually when I’ve explored with one or both partners, I’ve discovered that the underlying cause of many of these scenarios has to do with why one of the partners wants to have sex.

So there’s two basic reasons that people want to have sex. One is to get something and the other is to share love, warmth, and connection. So let’s talk about getting something, which is a really common reason that people want sex. They want to get something. So if you’re in a relationship where you want sex and your partner, doesn’t think about why you want or need to have sex and see if any of these relate to what’s going on for you, you need to have sex in order to feel happy in order to feel that you’re adequate, not a loser in order to feel and lovable in order to feel connected with your partner, to releasing anxiety and stress, to be able to go to sleep, to feel powerful and in control, to feel safe, to feel validated, to feel whole, to release sexual attention and to get filled up inside.

So when you approach your partner from a place of wanting to get something you’re coming from a needy state, and as I’ve said, your neediness is likely not a turn on for your partner.

So with neediness, you’re like you’re a child coming to get all filled up. And that might, and that just is generally not at all attractive to your partner.

Let’s talk about sex to share love and warmth and connection. Wanting sex to share love comes from a completely different place inside than sex to get something. In order to have love and connection to share you have to already be connected with yourself and already feel filled up with love. You can’t share something that you don’t already have. So if you’re not feeling full of love inside, there’s no love for you to share. You can’t share love and connection when you’re feeling unhappy or empty or inadequate or unlovable or disconnected from your partner or stressed or agitated or angry or needing to feel in control of your partner.

You and your partner, having sexual problems, you each may want to examine the system between you. Every relationship has a system and some of the systems are healthy where there’s a sharing of love and there’s, there’s not codependency, but, but let’s talk about a codependent system such as a control resist system. This is a system where one person is overtly trying to control with like anger and the other is just resisting, being controlled, shutting down, withdrawing, going away.

They’re not going to be controlled. So another is a control compliance system where one person is overtly controlling with anger, demands, blame, and the other person is covertly controlling by giving themselves up and complying with what the other person wants to avoid their anger and blame. Then there might be a compliance compliance system where both people are giving themselves up. And usually in this system, there’s a, there’s this boredom, there’s very, very little juice in this system.

Both people have kind of shut down, giving themselves up. They do, they’re just avoiding conflict. And so there’s very, very little learning and a liveliness in the system. So all of these systems are bypassing the true sharing of love and joy that sexuality loving, caring partners can offer My client. My clients often say to me, how come my partner won’t have sex with me?

So over and over with the people that I work with, I discovered that there’s often one major reason he or she doesn’t want to have sex. So let’s take an example and I’m going to take, this is not his real name. I’m going to take Lawrence’s example. Lawrence learned as an adolescent to use sex addictively he would find porn magazines that his father thought were hidden away and use them to satisfy himself. So then as he grew older, he learned to use the internet for the same purpose, turning to his sexual addiction to fill the inner emptiness that came from his self abandonment.

Lawrence was abandoning himself in many ways. He judged himself unmercifully. And then he ignored the feelings, the, the, the painful feelings he had as a result of his self judgment. He made his wife and others responsible for his feelings blaming and, and, and demanding that they fill him up. And he turned to many addictions to numb out his painful feelings and try and fill up his emptiness.

And because Lawrence had never learned to take responsibility for his own feelings and define his own worth. He had learned not only to use sex, but wine and anger to fill up his emptiness and take away his feelings of aloneness. When he got married, he never saw his wife, Annie, as an equal, because he had developed the belief that women were objects to be used by men. One of that through his pornography.

And he was just someone to be used to satisfy his neediness Before has worked with me, both Annie and Lawrence believed that there was really something wrong with Annie sexually, and he didn’t understand why she didn’t want to make love with Lawrence. She didn’t know why her body just seemed to shut down sexually. When he came onto her, she loved Lawrence, but she just couldn’t stand to have sex with him. Sometimes she forced herself rather than endure his anger, but lately she was no longer willing to force herself.

It just felt too awful. So it was obvious to me in my first phone session with Lawrence, that the problem was that Lawrence was coming to Annie as a needy boy, rather than as a loving man. And that there was no way she was going to be turned on. And he was convinced that either he wasn’t attractive enough, or there was something wrong with Annie. And it was neither of his, as I worked with Lawrence with inner bonding, he gradually learned to take responsibility for his own feelings.

He gradually learned how to be loving to himself, how to connect with his higher sources, spiritual love, how to fill himself with love. So he had loved to share with Annie gradually he stopped pulling on Annie for sex and stopped getting angry when she didn’t want to have sex with him. Then one day in one of our phone sessions, Lauren said, Annie made love to me the other night, all on her own.

Wow. I had been assuring Lawrence that when he stopped seeing Annie as an object, that you know, an object to be used to validate him and fill him up when he stopped being needy and instead shared his love with her, she would rediscover her own sexuality. And of course she did. So as long as Lawrence was abandoning himself, which is the major cause of most relationship problems and making any responsible for a sense of worth, he was focused on having control over Annie to have sex with him.

There was no way that Annie would be turned onto him when he was trying to control her end user. But when Lawrence took on the responsibility of defining his own worth and giving himself the love, he was trying so hard to get from Annie. He was able to let go of the control and be present with Annie with love over and over. I’ve seen relationships move back into passion.

When a needy partner learns how to be loving to themselves and come from love rather than neediness. Now, very often men think about sex a lot more than women. And there’s a good reason for this. Men are biologically motivated and women are emotionally motivated. Women’s women don’t have testosterone. And so they’re not physically motivated, especially after having kids or later on in, in years, men have testosterone for most of their life.

And so they’re biologically motivated. This is an important issue for both men and women. To understand if women understand that men are coming from their biology, then they won’t be judging men for wanting sex more often than they do. They’re going to understand, they’re going to find ways. If there’s, if there’s an intimate, emotional connection, they’re going to find ways to be with their partner in loving ways, even if they’re not feeling turned on.

And for men, it’s really important to not think that women are like you, that, that we have testosterone in the way you do. We don’t. And so we’re not biologically motivated, especially once we have children. So you have to understand that as women, we get motivated to have sex through, through romance, through emotional connection, through feeling safe. And so it’s really important. If you understand this, to do all, you can to create that loving and safe connection with your partner.

There’s so much to be learning about relationships and about sexuality, and you can learn more and more about it on our website@innerbonding.com. There’s so many articles there about relationships and about sexuality and especially about learning to love yourself. That’s what inner bonding is all about. It’s about learning to love yourself rather than keep on abandoning yourself. And this is what makes all the difference in the world in relationships.

I have a fantastic course called love yourself that I hope all of you take a look at on the inner bonding website. This will really, really help you learn to stop abandoning yourself and start learning to love yourself. This is so vital for all of us now, especially to learn to love ourselves in all, always love each other, not be abandoning ourselves, and then projecting that out onto others to try and get others, to give us what we’re not giving to ourselves.

So I hope you take the time to truly learn, to truly learn inner bonding and learn to love yourself, blessings to all of you.


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