Archive for May, 2013

Men like having sex much more than they like responsibility. And women don’t mind and even like sex, but they can’t stand empty promises by men to get it from them.

I don’t know how often this occurs, but there is a not infrequent situation where a man is sure about wanting sex and may wax and wane eloquently about a wondrous future filled with romantic vacations to a woman he is pursuing in order to land her in bed. Once he has her, those promises can often fade and if the woman asks about his fulfilling what he promised, he accuses her of pressuring him and tells her to stop nagging. To compound the problem there are few things that take away a man’s desire to spend his life with a woman than her pressuring him to make good on what he promised.

However even as he resists and can become petulant about it, he may nevertheless be building an emotional dependency on her underneath. If she reaches the point, especially after her friends and family insist that he is toying with her, of delivering an ultimatum of either get engaged/married or break up and if it is not a bluff, the fear of losing her can cause that man to accede to her insistence for all the wrong reasons — not wanting to lose her vs. wanting to be with her.

Also not infrequently if the man under pressure agrees to the marriage, but feels he didn’t choose it, he can respond by withholding love and attention. And if the woman is oblivious as she becomes consumed with planning the wedding with her friends and family while the man feels like a unengaged Ken doll onlooker, he can further react by becoming even less loving.

Sadly I have seen such a switching off of desire last for decades in the man as a reaction to feeling he didn’t choose the marriage but was forced even as the couple produces children, buys a homes, etc.

Here is the real rub.  One of the worst feelings a woman can have is to feel coldness, contempt or nothing in the part of her where she is supposed to feel warmth.  Women have confided in me that a woman without warmth is not a woman (alternatively men have confided in me that a man without courage is not a man).  When men withdraw or withhold caring towards a woman or worse act sullen, petulant or complaining (since they have lost that loving feeling), it can cause a woman to lose her warm feelings towards that man.  And underneath the anger a woman may feel toward a non-loving or unloving man is an unconscious fear that she has lost her warmth, is no longer a woman and is trapped.

What’s a woman to do to prevent this very sad fate?

At any given moment when the man’s desire is waning you can tell him he is “free to leave” and that you don’t want to be with him unless he wants to be with you. Ironically, if you do that, the men worth keeping may then rediscover their desire. In fact a woman who is wise enough to never let the man feel so sure of her may have a man always desiring her. We call this being coy and it is not game playing, but rather knowing that a man feels better when he is pursuing a prize than when he is being told to do something.

What’s a man to do if he has lost that loving feeling because she “pressured” him to get married?

Realize that she didn’t put a gun to your head.  You’re the one who made the promises that you didn’t intend on keeping or did until you realized that it meant living up to a lot of responsibilities, which may have intimidated you.  Instead of pulling away and emotionally disengaging for  years or even the entirety of your marriage, tell your girl friend/fiance that the fear of not living up to those responsibilities mixed with her excitement about getting married and planning the wedding is very upsetting.  That will hopefully give her the opportunity to say to you, “I understand that and I think we can figure out and meet those responsibilities together. If you don’t want to get married or if you can’t decide until that fear goes away, I don’t think it will.  However I think every couple and every husband to be goes through this, but at least we’re talking about it.”  Just that understanding can cause you to realize why you love and want to marry to her.

I remember years ago a very touching scene when a woman was by the bed of her dying husband after being married for sixty years. In an unforgettable moment she whispered to him, “I’ve been lying to you for over sixty years.”

Half conscious he looked confused and said, “What?” whereupon she said, “Yes, for our entire life together, I’ve been mad about you and sexually crazy about you, but I never told you, because I knew you liked the chase.”

At that point he reached over to her and smiled weakly and said, “That’s one of the things I loved you for.”

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Mark Goulston, M.D. is a business advisor, consultant, trainer and coach trained as a clinical psychiatrist who honed his skills as an FBI/police hostage negotiation trainer who increases people’s ability to get through to anyone. Learn more about his expertise at www.markgoulston.com.


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Listen to Rosalind Sedacca discuss many different topics related to divorce, parenting and dating after divorce.  Learn how to avoid mistakes that unwittingly do damage to your children and the best approaches to getting back into dating after divorce.  Click the link below


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Sadly, celebrity divorces make all the headlines for all the wrong reasons. They showcase the most unconscious behavior, especially when it comes to relationships.

Far too often we find the more shallow celebrities, and those who follow them with star-lit eyes, spend more time working out their wedding details than on determining whether this was a good match from the start. Too many couples think no further than the honeymoon plans when contemplating marriage. They have no idea about the complexity behind real relationship issues and the maturity it takes to create a successful long-term outcome. Kim Kardashian is just one example.

Divorced couples learn through hindsight about the challenges two people face when living together week after week, month after month in today’s stress-filled world. It takes awareness, flexibility, great communication skills and the ability to understand your partner’s perspective to make a relationship work – and that’s just for routine life experiences. Throw in accidents, sickness, job loss and other major stressors, not to mention the complexities that come with having children, and it’s easy to understand why so many marriages fail and too often end in divorce.

If you’re divorced and looking to find a healthier, happier relationship ahead, or marrying for the first time and want to avoid relationship disasters, here are some tips that are worth serious consideration:

  • Know your partner well — during the good times and the bad. It’s after you face disagreements, nursing your partner through an illness and other life challenges that you find out who you are really contemplating spending the rest of your life with. If what you discover makes you uncomfortable, have some serious conversations – or move on before making any further commitments.
  • Don’t expect to be “completed,” “saved,” or “fixed.” No one can fill the void in your inner self. You’re setting your partner up for failure if you expect them to fix your problems and love you through your unresolved issues. Do the inner work on yourself first, perhaps with the support of a therapist or coach. Heal your wounds and neediness. Then seek out another soul who has done the same to partner with you.
  • Be hooked on more than just romance. Happily married couples will tell you that you have to be more than great bed-mates to make a real relationship work. Look for common values, goals, beliefs and interests. Opposites may attract in the short-term, but you want a marriage based on respect and sharing a future together. If your core values and interests are not in alignment, you’re facing a tougher road ahead.
  • Be your authentic self – and don’t change for a partner’s approval. You can’t fake your way through a marriage. If you hate sports, the internet or pets, state it up front and find a mate who loves you knowing this reality. It’s unfair to hide your true self from your partner and it’s a disservice to yourself pretending to be who you are not. It’s wise to honor who you are. Then look for a partner with high self-esteem who loves themselves as they are. That’s a formula for lasting relationship success!

As Kim Kardashian discovered, money won’t buy you a happy marriage. You can’t use sensuality as a substitute for good sense. Relationships don’t have storybook endings. They require constant attention, the ability to sacrifice and compromise at times, and a heavy dose of respect for the person you brought into your life.

Before setting out in the relationship world, work on your inner demons, let go of the baggage from previous relationships, and take your time in getting to know the special partner you are choosing. There’s no magic wand that will make your relationship succeed, but these guidelines will set you on a course that will circumvent a lot of pot holes along the road to happily ever after.

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Rosalind Sedacca, CCT is a Divorce and Relationship Coach. She is founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network for parents and author of the internationally acclaimed ebook: How Do I Tell the Kids About the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children – with Love! She is also co-author of 99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Dating After 40, 50 & Yes, 60! Her free ebook on Post-Divorce Parenting: Success Strategies for Getting It Right is available at http://www.childcentereddivorce.com. Rosalind’s free dating ebook can be found at http://www.womendatingafter40.com.

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