Sex-Loving Guy Marries Sex-Avoiding Gal
Mark and Stacey are married. Mark wants sex every day. But Stacey isn’t on the same page — at all. Says Mark,
I have a strong sex drive, so if it were up to me, we’d do it every day, the way we used to when we were dating. Now, not only do I not get my sexual needs met, but I feel rejected because most of the time I get shot down when I initiate.
When Mark approaches, Stacey feels repulsed:
I know we don’t have sex as much as Mark likes, but for me to want to make love, I have to feel emotionally connected to him and, to be honest, most of the time, I just don’t… I constantly feel pressure to satisfy him. It’s like raw sex is the only thing he wants from me. It’s gotten to the point where any time he touches me I freeze up — I’m afraid to respond even affectionately because if I do, he thinks it’s an invitation to sex.
Richard Schwartz is a therapist who has worked with Mark and Stacey. The way he helped them could help others. You can see the whole story on the Alternet. But here are some highlights:
Dr. Schwartz asked Mark and Stacey to get in touch with their inner worlds of emotion, desire and vulnerability so they could better understand what was broken, lovingly share what they’d learned with each other, and heal.
He asked Stacey to focus on the voice of repulsion in her head.
She said she sensed it in the back of her head. As she focused there, I suggested she ask it why it felt such revulsion for Mark and for sex? Putting her hands up as if to push the entire subject away, she said the voice was really disgusted by the whole thing — sweaty, naked bodies, ugly, hairy genitals, revolting fluids, and ridiculous animal noises. Stacey’s face was scrunched up in a look of loathing as she spoke, when suddenly she stopped cold and put her hands over her eyes. “Oh my God, it’s my mother!” she cried out. “It’s my mother’s voice in me!”
Dr. Schwartz says these voices are often trying to protect us from something. He told Stacey to “Sit quietly, breathe evenly, and go inside. Ask the mother part what it’s afraid will happen if it doesn’t keep you so repulsed by sex.”
After a moment, Stacey had a vivid image of herself as a 6-year-old girl in the bathroom. Her father was helping her undress to take a bath, and as she watched the scene play out, she could see something wrong about it. Her father was looking at her in a funny way, once she was naked, his voice sounded different, and he trembled slightly. She sensed again the fear and confusion she’d felt then–the feeling that something bad was happening, and that it had something to do with her being naked.
Stacey began to understand that Mark’s sexual desire scared Stacey’s little girl, so “mom” smothered her sexual feelings.
Dr. Schwartz went through the same process with Mark:
He closed his eyes and said he noticed a voice saying that he needed and deserved lots of sex. That voice called itself “The Stud,” and it looked like a very buff, very macho, very tan version of himself. Mark said The Stud bombarded him with images of himself having sex in numerous hot and ingenious ways with his wife and other women, who panted and moaned.
“Ask The Stud,” I said, “what it’s afraid would happen if you don’t get to have sex all the time.”
As a 13-year-old in the boys’ locker room he’d had small protuberances at his nipples. The other boys had ridiculed him mercilessly, calling him “Tits,” asking him when he was going to buy a bra, and telling him he was really a girl. At such a vulnerable age, this kind of abuse was deeply traumatic to a young boy’s developing sense of his own manhood. It was then that The Stud stepped into its role and the devastated 13-year-old was exiled. Never again, vowed The Stud, would he let anybody doubt Mark’s masculinity, and it pushed him to seduce as many girls as he could.
Mark had actually resisted the urge to have affairs because he wanted to make his marriage work. But the voices were there.
Dr. Schwartz suggested that sex and “studly” sex fantasies helped him feel he had value, strength, and personal agency.
But the obsession with those “strong” or “hard” traits left him oblivious to the person he was having sex with. And that left Stacey even more disinterested, because she didn’t enjoy sex with someone who wasn’t really “with her,” and who didn’t seem to care who was there.
Dr. Swartz asked Mark to go into that locker room and be with his thirteen-year-old self, reflecting, “I’m still awed by the way people unerringly know just what to do to heal these wounded inner parts.”
Mark said the 13-year-old,
Looked up with fear and embarrassment, thinking that this strong, athletic man would also make fun of him… (But Mark) gently told the boy that there was nothing wrong with him or his body, that the appearance of his breasts was due to hormonal changes and they’d soon look perfectly normal. Other boys were also insecure about their bodies, Mark pointed out. “And anyway, I love you,” he said to the boy. At this, the boy dropped his guard and burst into tears. Mark put his arm around the boy and took him out of the locker room, to a safe and pleasant place.
After Dr. Schwartz went through a similar process with his wife, he brought Mark and Stacy back together to share their stories in a loving and compassionate way that brought empathy and understanding.
As Dr. Schwartz described it:
As the polarization between parts diminishes within a person, so it diminishes between partners. Stacey was no longer afraid of Mark’s stud. In fact, she was surprised to discover a formerly hidden “hot babe” part of herself that could sometimes meet or even exceed the energy of Mark’s stud. Mark said that whereas all his previous sexual experience had been dominated by his stud’s frenzied aggressiveness, now he’d come to also enjoy the softer, slower kind of sex that Stacey preferred. His stud was less agitated and more sensual. It no longer hijacked him and took him away into fantasy worlds, so he was more responsive to Stacey’s moods.
Maybe we could all take a look at ourselves and get in touch with where we need healing for ourselves and our relationships in order to live happier, healthier lives.
You can read the entire article here.
Posted on October 28, 2013, in men, psychology, relationships, sex and sexuality, women and tagged men, psychology, relationships, sex and sexuality, sexual dysfunction, women. Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.