10 Ways to Rekindle the Passion in Your Marriage

10 WAYS TO REKINDLE THE PASSION IN YOUR MARRIAGE

Terry Gaspard

Jason and Kendra have been married for 12 years and have three children. Most of their conversations are about work, chores, their kids’ activities, and mundane aspects of their stale marriage.

Kendra puts it like this: “I love Jason, but the passion just isn’t there anymore.”

When Kendra drops this bombshell, Jason responds, “I thought we were doing okay, I really did. Even though we don’t have sex much anymore, it just seems like a phase we’re going through. I don’t have any energy left by the time I hit the bed at night.”

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3 Tips for Handling Conflicts About Money

3 TIPS FOR HANDLING CONFLICTS ABOUT MONEY

Rich Nicastro

Richard Nicastro Georgetown TX Psychologist

If you’ve struggled with these issues, it may or may not be comforting to know that the most common causes of conflict within marriages and intimate relationships are sex and money. For many people, they’re understandably immediately concerned with how their own lives are playing out. For many others, they still have that immediate concern, but they also can take solace from the fact that they’re not alone and that their struggles are not unusual.

Regardless of where you stand on the comfort-little comfort spectrum, it is true that when couples have lasting or recurring fights, power struggles about money frequently tops the list.

No couple is impervious to arguing over finances

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Sexual anorexia and the cuddle hormone

SEXUAL ANOREXIA AND THE CUDDLE HORMONE

Tom Olschner

Ralph calls me up and schedules an appointment. He is in crisis because his girlfriend, Sarah, discovered his sex chat with another woman and has threatened to end the relationship. Ralph recounts his history of looking at porn, masturbation, a long history of one-night stands in the dating scene, and, more-recently, forays into the intrigue of online sex chat and sexual hookups. He describes the relationship he’s had with Sarah as the best relationship he’s ever had. Their sexual relationship was great for the first few months of their relationship, but then his interest waned. She has often complained about the lack of sex and now is devastated by his infidelity.

How can Ralph have been so obsessed with sex most of his life and yet have so little interest in being sexual with the woman next to him in bed? A brief answer is that Ralph hasn’t learned how to use his oxytocin to have good sex. Oxytocin is the hormone that signals child birth and milk let-down in women. But it is also the hormone that generates a warm, secure feeling by being close to your partner. It is often called the cuddle hormone. Ralph learned to use sex to get a high (from dopamine) along with a fantasy of connection with a partner (e.g., pornography or online sex chat). He learned to get the same high from one-night stands or early dating relationships. But he hadn’t built the foundation of deep attachment with these women as a foundation for a sexual connection. Sex ought to scare us a bit. But when we’ve learned how to connect with a partner in a loving, connecting way, we generate oxytocin that calms our anxiety.

A study* in 2006 by Donatella Marazziti, et. al., found that “oxytocin evokes feelings of contentment, reductions in anxiety, and feelings of calmness and security around the mate.” This science supports the traditional view of sex that sex should be added to secure, committed relationships. To generate enough oxytocin with a sexual partner one needs to learn how to cuddle and create a close emotional connection in sex. Ralph’s old pattern in sex supplied him plenty of dopamine, but little oxytocin. When the sex quit delivering the dopamine (as is normal), there was insufficient oxytocin to make the sexual connection feel both rewarding and safe. When couples learn to have sex that gets the oxytocin flowing, they create a sexual bond that draws them back together over the long haul.

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3 Must Do’s For Amazing Sex

3 MUST DO’S FOR AMAZING SEX

Kyle Benson

Amazing sex lies at the intersection of romance and passion.

Romance – an emotional state that happens when two people nurture and encourage acts and thoughts that cherish each other.

Passion – an emotional state that arises when a strong interest of desire, curiosity, and attraction.

Put these two emotions together and you have the opposite of impersonal sex: you have intimate trust.

Sex is rather simple: put the penis in the vagina, and move your hips.

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Sex Therapy

SEX THERAPY

Sex-Therapy-Denver-coloradoWe believe that our sexuality has the potential for great brokenness and also for great love and fulfillment.  We believe that our sexuality goes down to the core of who we are as men and women.In Italy, all roads lead to Rome.  It seems that in marital relationships, all roads eventually lead to the sexual relationship.  In most marriages, difficulties in the emotional relationship will then show up in the sexual relationship as well.  The sexual relationship in a marriage is often a good barometer for how the relationship is functioning in the other areas of intimacy.We often get calls for therapy for specific sexual problems that people are having.  For men there are often specific difficulties such as erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation.  For women, there may be problems with achieving orgasms or painful intercourse.  But the most common picture is that a couple is at odds around the problem of low sexual desire for one (more commonly for the wife) and sexual frustrations for the other.  Typically the low sexual desire is a symptom of the lack of emotional safety in the relationship.  It often is also combined with a lack of development of the sexual relationship as a safe arena in which each person feels total acceptance for their feelings, sexual desires, and bodily responses.

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Healing from Sexual Betrayal

HEALING FROM SEXUAL BETRAYAL

Sexual betrayal threatens the most sacred aspect of a couple’s relationship.Sexual-Betrayal-Counseling-Denver All other aspects of the partnership may overlap with other relationships: recreation, exercise, work, intellectual pursuits, and even spiritual growth. But the sexual relationship is the safe harbor that is supposed to be “our exclusive place… just for us.”Sexual betrayal is felt as deep rejection and even abandonment. The feeling is, “By that behavior you demonstrate that you can’t possibly love me.” But couples show up in therapy because there is still a shred of hope that a life together is possible. Often, the betrayed partner enters therapy emotionally devastated by sexual betrayal but believing they must do whatever possible to keep the family together for the sake of the children.

An initial couple’s session gives the therapist an opportunity to see how the couple is processing the pain in the marriage. Does the betraying partner take responsibility for the behavior or get defensive or blaming? Can the betraying person demonstrate empathy for the partner’s pain and anger? Can the betrayed partner express the pain of the betrayal or simply attack the partner or, still worse, melt into self-recrimination? Can the betrayed person begin to express what he/she needs from the partner?

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5 Easy Ways to Make Sex More Intimate and Romantic

intimate sex

5 EASY WAYS TO MAKE SEX MORE INTIMATE AND ROMANTIC

Kyle Benson

Sex can be an uncomfortable topic for couples. Many of us feel embarrassed about our bodies or have been sexually rejected at some point. Not to mention our culture and life experiences which have created feelings of sexual shame, making romantic and intimate sex a scary endeavor to even talk about.

In an online study of 70,000 people in 24 countries, researchers found couples who have a great sex life make sex a priority rather than the last item of a long to-do list. They create space for intimacy and connection. These couples talk about sex and put the relationship first, despite the demands of work and kids. They discover sexual pleasure through a variety of methods, not just intercourse.

Sexually satisfied couples are emotionally attuned to each other inside and outside of the bedroom. The key to long-term happiness then, sexually and otherwise, is for both partners to support and value their friendship. Below are five steps to make sex more romantic in your relationship.

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Erotic Touching: 13 Sexually Enhancing Conversations for Couples

EROTIC TOUCHING: 13 SEXUALLY ENHANCING CONVERSATIONS FOR COUPLES

Kyle Benson

Every sexual act is a journey into yourself and your partner. It’s a continual exploration of sensations, eroticism, and love. Each relationship is a vessel that embodies both security and adventure in a commitment that offers life’s greatest luxuries: time.

Marriage is not the end of romance. It’s the beginning! You get years to deepen your connection, experiment, and even to fail and start over. The chapters of eroticism in a relationship is a story with many chapters that both partners are writing together, continuously unfolding. There’s always a road we haven’t traveled, always something about our partners that still needs to be discovered.

Modern relationships are the melting pot of opposing feelings: safety and transcendence. The security of love and the fire of passion. Controlling both the tame and the erotic parts of a relationship is a delicate balancing act that most couples achieve on occasion at best.

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Erotic Touching: 13 Sexually Enhancing Conversations for Couples

EROTIC TOUCHING: 13 SEXUALLY ENHANCING CONVERSATIONS FOR COUPLES

Kyle Benson

Every sexual act is a journey into yourself and your partner. It’s a continual exploration of sensations, eroticism, and love. Each relationship is a vessel that embodies both security and adventure in a commitment that offers life’s greatest luxuries: time.

Marriage is not the end of romance. It’s the beginning! You get years to deepen your connection, experiment, and even to fail and start over. The chapters of eroticism in a relationship is a story with many chapters that both partners are writing together, continuously unfolding. There’s always a road we haven’t traveled, always something about our partners that still needs to be discovered.

Modern relationships are the melting pot of opposing feelings: safety and transcendence. The security of love and the fire of passion. Controlling both the tame and the erotic parts of a relationship is a delicate balancing act that most couples achieve on occasion at best.

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4 Marriage Myths That Ruin Marriages Without Partners Realizing It

marriage myths

4 MARRIAGE MYTHS THAT RUIN MARRIAGES WITHOUT PARTNERS REALIZING IT

Kyle Benson

As soon as the engagement ring is slipped on, we are inundated with messages about how our relationship should be. Our friends and family tell us what we should tolerate and what we shouldn’t. It’s “common knowledge” that marriage kills sex, right?

Wrong.

What you believe about your relationship determines the relationship you end up with, and some of these common beliefs can be toxic. They lead couples down the wrong path, or worse, convince them that their marriage is hopelessly going to go up in flames.

These myths ruin countless healthy relationships just because a couple believes there is something fundamentally wrong about it.

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