The sexless relationship is so much louder than all the other visitors because it brings with it a huge crew. Shame, apathy, communication, intimacy, the whole crew comes along with it. But if your relationship is worth saving, this needs to be done. You can do this, Diamonds, it’s time to face them all.
Tune in this week as I’m sharing the next steps in the dealing and healing of a sexless relationship, and showing you the importance of inviting it in for a chat. If you think that a sexless relationship is just what happens in life and aging, I’m offering you a way to think differently so you can get the sexual intimacy you deserve.
You are listening to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast episode 81.
Welcome to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast, the only show that combines a fun personality, medical knowledge, sexual counseling, and life coaching together. To create unique sex coaching that helps busy women awaken their libidos, address intimacy issues, and learn how to express their sexuality for the rest of their days. Here is your host, certified life coach and sexual counselor, Dr. Sonia Wright.
OMG we are at episode 81. Wow, when I started this podcast over a year and a half ago I never envisioned that I would get to episode 81. This kind of seems monumental to me. I want to thank all my Diamonds for making all this possible. I don’t know what I would do without you. And I’m hoping to get to know more of you in my upcoming May cohort of Own Your Sexuality Now intimate edition. Enrolment is going to be starting in April so I’ll let you know about that.
In the group right now, we just finished module eight which I love, it’s one of my favorite modules. Module eight is all about the sexual smorgasbord. It’s a fabulous list of over six pages of sexual intimacy acts that we review together as a group. And we decide if we’re interested in incorporating that in our lives. The list is definitely eye opening and the discussion is so much fun. We talk about everything from holding hands, to anal sex, to BDSM, to non-monogamy.
And then after that it’s module nine which is all about the toys. So much fun. Another one of my favorite modules. And we talk about the latest toys for men, women, non-binary people, couples. It’s just so much fun. So, get ready for OYSN the intimate edition. It’s going to open up for enrolment in April and I’ll see you then. More to come.
But today we are continuing our discussion about the sexless marriage and what would happen if it came for a visit? In episode 79 we talked all about the sexless marriage, what it is. And as I mentioned before, there’s many definitions ranging from zero acts of sexual intimacy within a 12 month period of time up to about 10 episodes of sexual intimacy.
Now, if you and your partner are fine with this amount of sexual intimacy or no intimacy, sexual intimacy at all then there’s not a problem. And I am not trying to make it a problem. But if you are concerned then it’s time to address this issue. In our visitor series we’ve been letting in the feelings, the situations, the thoughts, letting it all in the front door and acknowledging them instead of leaving them out in the garage to mold and to fester.
It’s the same thing with the sexless marriage. It’s been banging on the door, really yelling. It’s telling you there is a problem. And we’re in the kitchen eating donuts and binging and watching Netflix. So, it’s time to get comfortable with discomfort and ask the sexless marriage to come inside. The banging is really loud. Are you ready to let it in? Wow, it’s so much louder than all the other visitors. So you go to the front door, maybe you’ve even asked your partner to go to the front door with you.
You go to the front door and you open it but all you see is a big hairy belly. Wow, this sexless marriage visitor is really, really big, you know why? Because it’s been growing and growing for years. It’s so big that you can’t even get it inside the door. You can’t even see the top of its head, oh my goodness. It actually has to stoop way down to get in the door. It goes into the living room and it sits on one end of the couch. And it’s so big that it tips up the other end of the couch. And you’re wondering, why is it sitting on the end the couch like that, that’s really strange. Wow.
So, you go and sit down and the doorbell rings again. And you’re like, “Look, I can’t really handle anything else.” But you go to the door, you get back up, you go to the door, you open the door and now you find some of your friends and a lot of new ones in the doorway. And they say that they’re here with the sexless marriage, and that they travel as a pack, as a crew. So, you let them in too. And they have labels on their chest as they walk in, oh, your old friend, shame. Apathy is here, resentment, anger, deep pain, avoidance, despair and hopelessness, intimacy and communication.
You look at this group and you start to panic and you try to push them all back out the door. You’re like, “A sexless marriage was enough but this group I really don’t want to talk to.” But you know what? You’re too late, they’re all in the house and on the couch. And they are sitting on the opposite end of the couch and balancing it out. What a big ugly smelly crew. Okay, so you pull up a chair for yourself and you get one for your partner. And you guys sit down across from the crew and then you wait to hear what they have to say.
And they say in unison, “We need to talk, please listen.” Sexless marriage says, “Thank you so much for letting us all in. We really care about you. We care about this relationship. And we know that you’ve both gone through a lot and we just want to be heard. Ignoring us will not get the situation to improve. It’s really time to acknowledge everything that’s happened to get you to this point. I know this discussion is going to be uncomfortable but it’s time to decide if your relationship is worth saving. It’s time to figure out what you want in this relationship.”
Intimacy asks, “Do you want me to return to the marriage?” Communication says, “If you do then you’re going to have to start with me. I’m the moderator of this panel so let’s talk to all the panelists.”
First up is confusion and embarrassment. “Hi, we were the first ones that came to visit you so many years ago and you started having the sexual intimacy difficulties at that time. Remember, you weren’t certain what was going on, but you were hoping that it would all sort itself out. You were confused, and embarrassed, and just didn’t know how to bring up the topic with your partner so you just let it go. Weeks turned into months, that turned eventually into years. You know you had a problem but there was so much embarrassment and you didn’t exactly know what to do about it.
Maybe you tried to initiate sex a couple of times and rejected.” And that’s when the next friend comes in, “Hey, I’m resentment and frustration, remember me, when the sexual intimacy probably didn’t improve and it ended up with you feeling rejected a couple of times after you tried to initiate sex? Eventually you just got so frustrated that you stopped trying then I started to grow, yeah, me resentment. Little snide comments here, huffiness there, eventually less and less touching overall. That’s when touching moved out.
Less and less date nights, or if there were date nights then no real communication in those date nights, just kind of surface discussions. But underneath it all, me, yeah, resentment, I kept growing, and frustration was growing with me. And all that frustration and resentment kept growing, it was real and eventually we turned into anger.”
Hey, “I’m anger, hey, how’s it going? Since nothing was done about resentment and frustration, well, they kind of morphed into me. This is the part where you could no longer hide the emotion, the yelling started but nothing seemed to get better. This anger thing, it got worse and worse, so did the yelling, and so did the blaming, and the pointing fingers. There were words exchanged but not true communication. So, the anger was there but underneath that anger something else was hiding.”
“Yeah, that was me, me, yo, over here. It was hiding me. I’m deep pain. Underneath all the resentment, and frustration, and anger, there’s so much deep pain. It just didn’t feel safe to be vulnerable, to talk about this pain. If this deep pain could have gotten out maybe we could have talked about it and named it. And we might have had a chance but instead this deep pain, it was pushed down and there was nowhere to go with it. There is this pain of rejection. There is fear, there is anger, all kind of balled up into one. And this deep pain eventually turned into despair and hopelessness.”
“Hey, it’s me, despair and hopelessness. Yeah, I’m not even sure why I’m even here to tell you the truth. This is when you decide nothing is ever going to get better. It’s not going to change. You made the decision to just live with it, to start trying to figure out, start trying to address the issue. You start believing that it’s useless. You’re just getting older and this is how it’s going to be. You start buying into society’s ideas about older individuals not having sex. And this is just what happens. Yeah, this is just what happens in long term relationships.
You start believing that you’re broken and nothing can ever fix it, this is it, gone, dead, finished.”
Okay, this is where I come in. “I’m your old friend shame, remember me? We talked a couple of weeks ago. Yeah, so I took up permanent residence in the garage at that point. Yeah, shame is really a problem, you don’t want to deal with the situation, it feels overwhelming, it’s just easier to just push it back into the corner of the garage and kind of leave it there.”
And that’s where avoidance comes in. “Hey, I’m avoidance. We like to avoid the issue. We like to avoid communication. We like to avoid discussion. We like to avoid the white elephants in the room. We like to avoid it all. We like to avoid our partner. We like to avoid the uncomfortable emotions by buffering with food and Netflix. Hey, maybe we could do some online shopping. Hey, have you scrolled through Facebook recently? Avoidance is a wonderful place to be unless you want to go and say hi to apathy.”
Apathy, yeah, eventually we get to this numbing apathy place. Apathy looks like everything’s okay on the outside. Apathy feels like the safe place to be but I think apathy is actually the worst place to be. It’s like a numbness, it’s a place of no return. It’s a place of deadened emotions. There’s complete loss of communication in the world of apathy. Apathy is the worst place for your relationship to be, at least when you’re in the place of anger, you’re yelling and screaming and there were some acknowledgement of emotions.
But in the place of apathy there’s no emotions, there’s no caring, there’s just a numbness. Yeah, apathy is like the graveyard for relationships. Wow, that was a crew wasn’t it? Yeah, it’s me, I’m back to being Dr. Sonia. And you’re sitting there on the couch and you’re staring and you’re wondering what’s next. What could possibly be done? You look over at your partner who you haven’t really looked at in years and you’re both nodding your heads because this story really rings true. It sounds familiar to you.
What each member of the crew has said has resonated with you. But what is the next step? Well, remember in episode 79 when we said it was time to deal and health? This crew came for a visit in order to help you deal and heal, it’s time to get to the point. Let’s review those steps again.
In step one we said it’s time to deal with reality, with the situation, without blaming anyone. It’s time to acknowledge that there is a problem, acknowledge that the sex and likely the intimacy has left the relationship. Look at all the different emotions sitting on the couch and spend some time seeing if you identify with these emotions. Write down the list and for each emotion look at the thoughts that might have led to that emotion, confusion, embarrassment, resentment, frustration, anger, deep pain, despair, hopelessness, shame, avoidant, apathy.
Now it’s time to do a real evaluation, evaluate the marriage and decide if it’s worth staying in this relationship. Check and see if that’s the only problem. It usually isn’t. Sex leaves the house and then intimacy and communication usually leave. There’s probably more than just sexual intimacy that needs to be resolved. Ask yourself, do you want to do the work, be honest.
Besides the sexual intimacy how is the overall relationship? If you’re great friends, that’s one things. But if you can’t stand even being in the same room with each other, that’s another issue. You two get to decide what’s best for you and what’s best for the relationship.
Step three, decide what you want. If you decide that you want to stay in this relationship, what do you want your sexual intimacy to look like? What is the goal for this relationship? What would make you both happy?
Step four, work on the communication, come together as a team, leave the blame behind. Figure out how to communicate with each other and how to feel vulnerable while you’re communicating. Agree to mutual respect throughout this process, figure out how you need to show up. Possibly look into non-violent communication methods and see if they might help for you.
Step five, reintroduce the touch and examine the thoughts while reintroducing the touch. Go slow, hold hands, caress, kiss, there’s no rush, touch is built on trust and communication. Look into sensate focus, it was a method that was first introduced by Master’s and Johnson, and is still used today and it’s pretty good, it does help.
Step six of course is get the help if you need it. Talk to a sexual therapist, a sexual counsellor, a sex coach.
Okay, Diamonds, there you have it. The sexless marriage came for a visit and brought a big crew with them and we survived it all. You can do this, Diamonds, I believe in you. I have helped so many couples reintroduce sexual intimacy back into the relationship and it didn’t matter what age they were or how many years they had been together, it didn’t matter if they’re in their 30s, or 40s, or up in their 70s or 70s, they were able to reintroduce the sexual intimacy into their life.
But I have only seen it work when the relationship is solid to begin with or they have worked on the relationship and they’ve worked really hard on the communication, that is the key. It can be done. And if I can help in any way, please just reach out. Okay, Diamonds, lots of love. Dr. Sonia is out for this week. Have a great week, bye bye.
Hey Diamonds, do you want to reignite the passion that’s gone missing from your life? Do you want to want to want it again? You know I’m on a mission to end the emotional pain and isolation that women experience associated with sexual difficulties. And many of you also know that I was once in that place where I was experiencing little to no sexual intimacy in my life. And I kept thinking that there was something that was wrong with me, that I wasn’t enough, I wasn’t attractive enough, I wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t smart enough to fix this problem.
And I was worried all the time that my relationship was too far gone because of this lack of intimacy. Well, you know what? I was right about one thing, the relationship didn’t last. But even though the relationship didn’t last I committed to doing the work that I needed to do to own my sexuality. And now I have this amazing sex life and it’s everything that I wanted it to be. And I’m also committed to helping my Diamonds by teaching them the same strategies that I figured out in order to revitalize the intimacy in their life.
So, if you want to stop feeling broken, if you want to stop feeling shame and guilt about sexuality, if you want to feel more comfortable with your sexuality and tap into that pleasure then I’m here for you, Diamonds. First of all, know that there’s nothing that’s gone wrong with you. You’re not broken. And you know what? You can solve your intimacy issues. You can let go of that shame and guilt, and you can tap into that passionate person that’s just waiting to come out. Let’s get on a strategy call together and let’s discuss how we can work together and how I can help you.
And know that a strategy call, it’s 100% a safe place, there is no judgment. We’ll talk about your intimacy situation, which is what’s going on right now. We’re also going to talk about your intimacy goals, what you would like your intimacy to look like in the future. And then we’ll talk about how we could possibly work together to come up with a personalized strategy plan for you so you can get the results that you need. So, Diamonds, I’m here for you, don’t wait another minute. Book that consultation call with me today and I can’t wait to talk to you.
You can get that consultation call by going to soniawrightmd.as.me. And the link is also in the show notes. Okay, have a great day. I can’t wait to talk to you. Take care.