VIDEO BLOG: The L.O.V.E. formula for revitalizing your sex life

Ron said, “I don’t want to be in a marriage where we never have sex!” Amy responded, “Well, I don’t want to be in a marriage where sex is all I am valued for!”

They were stuck and beginning to lose hope that things could change. This video shows how they used a four step formula (L.O.V.E) to get unstuck and revitalize their sex life.

Are you in a relationship that is lacking the passion it once had? I believe this formula can help you as well. Let me invite you and your partner to watch the video together, and then use the exercises below to begin revitalizing your sex life.

Exercises

1. Use the 3 steps of the Couple’s Dialogue (Mirror, Validate, Empathize) to gain a deeper understanding of what sex means to each other. 

Sit in two chairs facing each other, eye to eye, knee to knee. Take turns as “sender” and “receiver”.

As “sender” ask for the appointment. Start by sharing an appreciation for your partner. Then use the sentence stems under “MIRROR” to share what sex means to you and to go deeper into your feelings.

As “receiver” follow the directions under each of the three steps to MIRROR, VALIDATE, and EMPATHIZE with your partner.

MIRROR

SENDER:

“What sex means to me is…”

RECEIVER:

Mirror: “Let me see if I got what you’re saying. You’re saying…”

Then ask “Did I get it?”, checking for accuracy. Mirror any additions or corrections.

Then ask, “Is there more about that?”

SENDER:

When asked “Is there more about that?” go deeper into your feelings using these stems:

“When I think about this I feel…”

Receiver mirrors, asks “Did I get it?” “Is there more about that?” then…

“What this reminds me of when I was little is…”

Receiver mirrors, asks “Did I get it?” “Is there more about that?” then…

“What I’m really afraid of is…”

Receiver continues mirroring asking “Did I get it?” “Is there more about that?” until there is no more.

Receiver then briefly SUMMARIZES what was heard.

VALIDATE

RECEIVER:

“You make sense. And what makes sense is…”

“Is that the validation you need?”

EMPATHIZE

RECEIVER:

“I can imagine this makes you feel…” (sad, mad, glad, scared, or…)

“Do you feel like I really understand how you’re feeling?”

SENDER:

“Thanks for listening.”

Then reverse your roles and go through it again.

End with a one-minute full-body hug.

2. Use the Caring Behaviors exercise to learn what makes your partner feel loved and cared about. Then offer three of these behaviors as gifts every day for the next two months.

Click on the link above, print out two copies and follow the directions.

Suggestion: Use the Couple’s Dialogue to share the items on your list with each other. Begin with “One thing that makes me feel loved and cared about is…”

Although you do want to talk about things that make you feel loved sexually, focus mainly on the non-sexual desires. Making your partner feel loved and cared about in a non-sexual way is what rekindles sexual desire.

Utilize the power of these caring behaviors to help reignite your feelings of love for each other.

3. Use the Four Powerful Appreciations tool to share appreciations with your partner along with one-minute full-body hugs four times every day for the next two months.

Click on the link above, print out two copies and follow the directions.

Utilize the power of touch along with the power of appreciation to help reignite feelings of love for each other.

Use three exercises to apply the L.O.V.E. formula to your relationship.

L – Learn what makes your partner feel loved.
O – Offer these behaviors as gifts every day.
V – Voice your sexual desires and needs.
E – Express appreciation for your partner every day.

If you do these exercises, I’m confident you can rekindle your passion for each other and revitalize your sex life!

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My goal is to provide free relationship tools and resources delivered to your inbox every week! 

Four steps to revitalizing your sex life

Ron and Amy were in a sexless marriage. Their sex life was almost non-existent.

A marriage is considered “sexless” if a couple is only having sex on average once a month or less. (USA Today)

Ron said, “I don’t want to be in a marriage where we never have sex!”

Amy responded, “Well, I don’t want to be in a marriage where sex is all I am valued for!”

Amy saw Ron’s desire for sex as a physical need that made her feel “used”. 

Ron saw Amy’s disinterest in sex as a personal rejection that made him feel “undesirable”. 

They were stuck and beginning to lose hope that things could change.

We used the Couple’s Dialogue with the goal of helping them get a deeper understanding of what sex really means to each other. 

Underneath Ron’s need for sex was a deeper need – the need to be desired physically by Amy. 

When Ron feels that Amy desires him sexually, it gives him a sense of well-being in all the other areas of his life.  

But if Amy is just going along with his need for sex with a sigh, and an “OK let’s get this over with” attitude, that’s a clear message to him that she doesn’t desire him. 

As a result, he doesn’t feel like he’s the one who can make her feel amazing. This triggered in Ron deep feelings of inadequacy rooted in his childhood.

Underneath Amy’s lack of desire for sex was a deeper need – the need to be desired emotionally by Ron.

Amy also needed to be desired by Ron, but not just sexually. She needed to feel like Ron desires her emotionally – that he loves her for more than just her body. 

She wanted Ron to connect with her emotionally before expressing his love physically.

They discovered they both needed a deeper connection emotionally and physically. Amy was more acutely aware of the emotional need, and Ron the physical need.

The answer? 

In order to revitialize your sex life, you have to revitialize your “L.O.V.E.” life. 

I created an acronym for Ron and Amy and want to share it with you.

L.O.V.E.

L – LEARN what makes your partner feel loved.

Use the Caring Behaviors exercise to learn specific behaviors that make your partner feel loved. 

Examples: make me coffee in the morning, call me from work just to check in, tell me I’m doing a good job, help me with my chores around the house, spend quality time talking with me, take a shower with me, compliment me on how I look, give me a back rub, want to have sex with me, bring me an unexpected gift, cuddle without having to have sex, etc.

After you’ve made your lists and gone through the instructions on the Caring Behaviors page, study your partner’s list and LEARN whkat makes your partner feel loved. Memorize it and review it every day.

Click here to download this tool.

O – OFFER these behaviors as gifts every day.

Do at least one of the things on your partner’s list every day. Offer it as a gift.

When you do these acts of love for your partner, a powerful shift takes place in both your brains.

Feelings of love and romance are rekindled in your partner because you’re hitting the bullseye, doing what makes your partner feel loved. 

Feelings of love and romance are rekindled in you when you do these caring behaviors, because your unconscious brain actually thinks you’re doing these behaviors for yourself.

It feels good and it rekindles your own loving and romantic feelings for your partner.

Even if you don’t feel love for your partner right now, just offer these behaviors as a gift everyday. And soon your loving and romantic feelings will rekindle, becoming as strong or even stronger than before.

Learning what specific behaviors make your partner feel loved, and offering them every day is a great start toward revitalizing your sex life.

V – VOICE your sexual desires and needs.

For Amy this meant to communicate why she had lost her desire for sex, and what would help her recover that desire.

As they went forward she talked about how the caring behaviors that Ron was doing were making her feel loved and were starting to rekindle her sexual desire for him.

For Ron this meant to communicate what he wanted sexually. At first he had to go slowly, and not insist that Amy do something she wasn’t ready to do, but eventually they both could express things they wanted sexually that they had never shared before.

E – EXPRESS appreciation for your partner every day.

Appreciation dissolves criticism and negativity. It also helps you begin to see your partner as a source of pleasure rather than pain. The more you share appreciations with your partner the more your feelings will follow and the more love you’ll feel for your partner.

This will help fuel a growing sexual desire for each other.

Share what you appreciate in three areas: how you look, something you did, or some character trait you appreciate.

Do this every day during the four critical moments of each day. Click on that link to read about this powerful approach. Click here to download the tool.

Follow this four step formula for L.O.V.E. and I’m confident you can be on your way to revitalizing your sex life!

Subscribe below to receive my weekly post that will come to your email inbox every Saturday morning! 

My goal is to provide free relationship tools and resources delivered to your inbox every week! 

Feel trapped in a sexless marriage? Here’s how to change that!

What if you could transform your sexless marriage into one where you “make love” all the time?

“Not possible, Chuck!”

But it IS possible, when you understand what it means to truly make love.

Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt wrote a book entitled…

I love this title!

It’s brimming with hope, isn’t it?

(Click on the link below to get this ebook free.)

The title implies what we all know intuitively. That there’s more to making love than having sex.

Sex is the “icing on the cake” (the cake being emotional connection).  

I can hear you saying, “What’s a cake without the icing?

Right! But then again, what’s the icing without the cake? 

Unfortunately, in a sexless marriage you’re probably not getting the cake or the icing. 🙁

Are you in a sexless marriage?

Experts define a sexless marriage as having sex no more than 10 times in any given year, or less than once per month.

That includes 20% of couples married today.

However, 40% of couples report being unsatisfied with their sex life.

I don’t see how they can define it that way because everyone is different. Some experts stretch the definition a bit. 
Take a look and see if you fit.

For example, if you want sex daily and you get it less than once a week, some experts say you fit the “sexless marriage” category. I guess it’s all relative.

What’s so bad about a sexless marriage?

1. A sexless marriage is a painful disappointment.

“This certainly was NOT what I was expecting in my marriage. And it hurts to think about all I’m missing.”

Sometimes the disappointment is so painful the marriage doesn’t survive. 

In one study 50% of men surveyed said that they would not have married their partner had they known their marriage would have been sexless.

My bet is, if you asked the wives of those men, you’d get the same answer.

2. A sexless marriage misses out on many wonderful health benefits.

Medical studies show that frequent sex helps us maintain youth, because it triggers more human growth hormone.

It also reduces the risk of prostate cancer, burns calories, boosts immune and cardiovascular systems, and relieves stress.

“That’s great. But if I’m not getting it, this just adds to the pain of all I’m missing.”

3. A sexless marriage misses out on the closeness that makes us feel fully alive.

Sex promotes the flow of oxytocin, the chemical that promotes the feeling of bonding.

And that bonding is what helps us feel fully alive.

When sex is regularly experienced as a special activity shared only with each other, this bonding enhances the relationship, keeping it monogamous, loving and strong.

4. A sexless marriage may make your marriage vulnerable.

When you’re not experiencing intimacy, you may become vulnerable to substitutes that aren’t so healthy.

There are plenty of “illusions of intimacy” we can fall prey to. Anger and disappointment over a sexless marriage can drive us into cheating, pornography, and other unhealthy exits we use to try and fill that huge vacuum that exists.

One husband said that after years of being rejected on a regular basis, and after begging his wife to change with no result, he started signing up on dating sites online. 

He said, “I no longer feel anything for her, and I don’t even care if she finds out.”

It can be really painful living in a sexless marriage.

What can I do to change my sexless marriage?

Here are three steps that can help you learn to “make love all time” in a way that can reignite your sexual passion for each other.

1. Create safety in your relationship.

The biggest reason for a sexless marriage is probably not your plumbing or some kind of sexual dysfunction.

Sexless marriages happen because you don’t feel safe in your relationship.

I’m talking not just physical safety but emotional safety.

Talking is the most dangerous thing we do. We jeopardize safety when we criticize each other with words like…

“Why are you so cold and resistant to sex?”
“Why is it that every time we cuddle you have to have sex?”
“I feel like you only need me when you want sex. It makes me feel used.”
“I’m tired of you rejecting me.”

These kinds of put downs create walls of fear between you.

With walls of fear you can’t be vulnerable emotionally. It follows that you won’t want to give your body to a partner you’re walking on eggshells with.

When I don’t trust you with my emotions, how can I give my heart to you. If I can’t give my heart to you, how can I give my body to you?

The Couples Dialogue is a powerful tool that can help you create safety and rekindle sexual desire.

Use the Couples Dialogue to MIRROR – VALIDATE – and EMPATHIZE with your partner’s feelings about where you are in your sex life.

Empathy dissolves criticism and enables you to connect emotionally. You can’t be empathetic and scary at the same time. So use the Couples Dialogue to create safety in your relationship.

2. Flood your partner with tangible acts of non-sexual love.

Use the Caring Behaviors exercise to identify things that make your partner feel loved and cared about.

Then start with those non-sexual items (like “I feel loved and cared about when you make me coffee in the morning.” or “I feel loved and cared about when you watch the kids and give me a break to go shopping.”).

Flood your partner with 3 or 4 of these caring behaviors every day for a month with out expecting anything sexual in return.

When you consistently do things that make your partner feel loved and connected with you, your partner’s sexual desires can be awakened. The key is patience. Do these tangible acts of love unconditionally until the ice melts and sexual desires rekindle.

3. Ask for what you want sexually.

Often one partner has needs and expectations that the other partner knows nothing about.

Sometimes we’re angry because we’re not getting what we want, and yet we’ve never even asked for it.

We’re all different.

Some partners need to feel an emotional connection before they can be open to sex.

For some partners sex is the way they get to that emotional connection.

For some sex is an event. For others sex is an experience that includes an event.

A breakthrough comes when you stop expecting your partner to be like you. It’s time to give up those romantic projections and expectations that have nothing to do with who your partner really is, and start asking for what you want.

Use the Caring Behaviors exercise to list even your most private sexual fantasies. Allow your partner to put an X by those he or she is not ready to give. Be patient and focus on the first two steps (1) building safety and (2) flooding your partner with non-sexual acts of love.

Then, as things change, and sexual desires in your partner start to be rekindled, use your dialogue skills to share those private fantasies, going deeper into why those things make you feel loved and cared about.

This kind of emotional connection and communication prepares the way for the best sex possible.

I hope you can imagine what effect that could have in your bedroom!

Here’s to making love all the time – and enjoying sex too!

Click here for Harville and Helen’s book offer: How To Make Love All The Time and Enjoy Sex Too (and two other great books as well).

Subscribe below to receive my weekly post that will come to your email inbox every Saturday morning! 

My goal is to provide free relationship tools and resources delivered to your inbox every week!