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"Expectation is the root of all heartache." 
        - William Shakespeare  

We all enter marriage with "sex-pectations" - our ideas of what our sex life will be like.  When "we can't get enough of each other" gradually deteriorates to "not tonight," we find ourselves feeling disappointed, hurt, even un-loved. doesn't have to stay that way. 

Ken:  I expected that sex would be spontaneous,  exciting, and frequent.  I had the idea that if we talked about sex, it would de-mystify and ruin our sexual experience.  Our love life as newlyweds was fantastic. But as the frequency and intensity of our lovemaking gradually lessened, I felt disappointed and hurt.

Janine:  The message I got about sex as I was growing up was that sex (or even small gestures of affection) is initiated by the husband.  A woman was expected to keep any physical desires under control. Since Ken was the one who usually initiated, I just left it up to him.  When I wasn't in the mood, I wondered why Ken reacted so negatively.  I just didn't understand why it was such a big deal.  The frequency/infrequency of our lovemaking became a source of tension between us for years.  We knew it wasn't going get better unless we did something to fix it.  

Ken:  Us men often want a quick, easy answer..."Just tell me what button to push to heat things up."  If it was that simple, you wouldn't be reading this.  Before most women can be in the mood, they need "relationship" - to know they're loved and cared about... that you want them, not just their body.  Go for a walk together, hold hands, listen, be romantic again.  We as men also need to know that lovemaking (as opposed to sex) involves focusing on her, taking your time, being alert to cues.  Focusing on your spouse and your relationship rather than on sex is precisely what can produce great married sex. 

Janine:  When we took the time to talk and really listen to each other regarding our love making, it made a huge difference for us.  Ken was relieved to find out that I also felt disappointed about the infrequency of our lovemaking.  We dove deeper into the topic by reading some good books.  We each took a good look at our pasts and tried to uncover those 'sex-pectations' we unintentionally brought to our marriage.  I learned about the profoundly complex connection there is between a man's ego and his ability to make love to his wife.  I finally understood how genuinely wounded and rejected Ken felt when I turned down his invitations to make love.  I went from thinking that a man views sex purely as a physical act, to understanding how deeply Ken needs my physical affection.  

    Starting the conversation about our love life wasn't easy, but sure was worth it.  Click here to find a list of questions to help you start the conversation with your spouse.


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