The Conversation I Have 100 Times a Year
Steve: So what’s been going on?
Client: It’s more like what’s NOT going on. She says she not feeling sexy anymore and doesn’t really need affection, romance or sex. It kind of turns her off.
She’s happy – thrilled even – relating with the kids, friends, the dog and her yoga…just not me. She says this is normal for people our age. She joked that maybe I should get a girlfriend. Was it a joke?
She says she doesn’t have sexual feelings for me or anyone anymore. She thinks what we have is just fine and that sex isn’t that big of a deal.
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She’s really smart, logical, practical and productive – but not interested in intimacy of any kind. If we DO have sex it’s unresponsive and unenthusiastic – but she says it’s “fine” for her.
She told me the other day she can’t wait until I can’t get it up anymore so we can have a “normal” relationship.
Is this normal for a 49 year old woman?
Steve: Wow. You’re not alone, you know?
Is a Marriage Without Intimacy Normal?
I believe what is normal is whatever two people agree is normal. They get to define the values, habits, traditions and behaviors which are normal for their marriage.
There’s no prescription for normal intimacy and sex in a relationship. I even know some men who would love a friendly, consistent, practical, productive woman who didn’t need sex.
I don’t know a lot of them – but they do exist. And that’s normal for them.
What’s normal for you? Independent of her – separate from what she thinks or wants – how do you define normal? It’s okay. You’re allowed to declare what YOU think is normal – to state what you most want inside your one exclusive, committed, monogamous relationship.
Most men I work with define a normal marriage something like this.
- It feels relaxing, comfortable and safe to be who I am
- It’s affectionate, playful and easy
- It’s sexual and sensual – mutually attractive and satisfying
- It’s romantic and passionate
- It’s supportive and respectful
- It’s honest, trusting and loyal
- It’s intimate – even if we’re not in the same room
- This is what conscious, sensitive, caring, emotionally intelligent men tell me they want.
Not all of them – but most of them.
Is That Too Idealistic?
Let’s get real.
Very few marriages feel like that all the time. Using the above criteria as the measure of “normal” is challenging even for the best relationships.
But is it too idealistic?
It’s only idealistic if you expect to have it as your reality 24/7.
It’s only idealistic if you are constantly measuring your relationship by how well it’s meeting your ideal expectations.
It’s only idealistic if you are standing by with your arms crossed and drumming your fingers expecting your partner to make all your dreams come true.
The problem with lofty ideals is that people see them as a place to get to. They are in pursuit of an idea – a specific reality they want to experience at this moment.
But lofty ideals are NOT a place to get to – they are place both partners must come from.
The ideal state in your marriage is where both partners have an underlying mindset and intention to create what you both want. You must share values for what “normal” is to you.
This means you both should be thinking, speaking and acting in ways – consciously – which create trust, respect, support, loyalty, affection, playfulness, flirtation, sensuality and passion. (If those are your shared values)
Those are not places to get to. Those are places you must come from every day if you want to create what you want.
So…What if She Isn’t Playing?
This is an obvious and important question.
What if you’re the only one trying?
In most cases I can comfortably tell you you’re full of shit. We’re all mostly full of shit.
We haven’t been coming from those places. We’ve been full of anger and resentment for not being treated right.
We’ve been so tied up over not getting what we want that we’ve stopped being what we want.
And when we stop being what we want, it is impossible to create what we want. Nobody in your life – including your wife – can possibly be inspired to join you in your ideal state if you are not already living it.
Under our very own power we can feel relaxed, comfortable and safe.
We’re in charge of how affectionate, playful and easy we are.
We have total control over our sexuality, passion and romantic energy.
You get the picture.
Those are places to come from – a way to BE – not something to coax, manipulate or pursue.
Only when we learn to live from our idealized state can it possibly become a reality.
The Cold, Hard Bottom Line
I know many men who have followed my coaching on this.
They decide to own their energy and start living their life from the ideals and values they choose. They become unapologetic in their desire to be comfortable, playful, affectionate and sexual.
These men become wildly confident and clear in where they are going. They relate better with their kids than ever before. And their jobs or businesses start taking off because they are inviting others to join them in an energy and way of being they are already living.
Sometimes their wives begin to get caught up in the energy. They join them in their enthusiasm and start making better choices in how they are showing up each day. Healing begins. Honesty becomes rampant. And then trust is rebuilt – slowly, but surely.
And sometimes wives will say something like, “You know, I see what you want and where you want this to go. But, you have to understand that I don’t think I can ever live like you want to live or love you the way you want to be loved.”
Yes, those words can crush a man.
But clarity is king. At least now you know what the cards are. The next step is yours.
You will never know where your marriage (and life) might go until you decide to be the man you want to be without fear about whether others go with you or not.
My new book Straight Talk Tools for the Desperate Husband will help you to lead yourself and your relationship back to good health. Understand why your partner acts the way she does toward you and learn how to lead your life in the direction you want it to go. You CAN have the relationship you want, fulfilling all your desires while maintaining love and respect.
I wrote a free e-book to help men learn how to lose their fear and be more bold in their marriage to create the love and connection they want. Get The Hard to Swallow Truth About Saving Your Marriage HERE
If you want to learn more about how to take a bigger step toward being a clear-headed, confident man of action, then find out more here. I would be thrilled to help you get there – our first discovery call is always free and always gives you a BIG boost of confidence.
You WILL become a clearer, stronger, more confident man only through other men. Your woman cannot take you there – and she doesn’t WANT to…trust me on that.
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Photo D. Sinclair Terrasidius / Flickr