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.
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 – 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 Rekindling Exercise page, study your partner’s list and LEARN what 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
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.
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!