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hosted by Dr. Corey Allan

Even Vacation Sex Has Decreased #565

Join us at the Sexy Marriage Radio Getaway in Indianapolis, June 23-25, 2022 – https://smrnation.com/getaway

On the Regular version of today’s show …

A husband is frustrated because while he usually could rely on vacation sex being adventurous and frequent with his wife, something’s changed with her and them lately.

A voicemail asking some questions about Erich Fromm’s book The Art Of Loving. Class is in session.

On the Xtended version …

A wife with the trauma of sexual assault in her past is now struggling with how her husband is sometimes trying to guilt her into more sex. What’s her best response?

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Speaker 1: You are listening to the regular version of Sexy Marriage Radio. Smrnation.com.

Corey Allan: Welcome back to another episode of Sexy Marriage Radio.

Pam Allan: We're here.

Corey Allan: Once again, we are here.

Pam Allan: We are here. Hopefully you're here too listening being present.

Corey Allan: It kind of would assume if they hit play. I would love that. Are there podcasts out there that just do self play? There's auto play and they just run and then that's not really impacting people though, or helping people that got issues going on in their marriage possibly, or their sex lives, which what we're trying to do each and every week, spend some time that just go where the nation wants to go and speak to what's going on with them. And so what they can do is let us know 214-702-9565. Feedback at sexymarriageradio.com. It's where you can ask your questions, add your voice to the conversations, or just say, hey, we love what you got going on.

Pam Allan: Love that.

Corey Allan: Because we do love hearing that as well.

Pam Allan: Who doesn't like that?

Corey Allan: And we can also ask for the nation to help us spread the word. Jump on iTunes rate and review, leave comments. I've spent a lot of time on audible. We're on audible. We can leave reviews there. It's kind of weird if I left a review for my own show.

Pam Allan: That would be weird.

Corey Allan: But you can, if you like the show, just help spread the word because we're in a peer reviewed world, right? It's a social construct right now

Pam Allan: Of a validation.

Corey Allan: Well.

Pam Allan: There you go.

Corey Allan: You were paying attention over the weekend.

Pam Allan: I was.

Corey Allan: With your little mini conference. Of course you're always paying attention, baby.

Pam Allan: I try to be present. I'm just saying.

Corey Allan: Well, and we also want you to be present and I'm speaking to you, Pam. I want you to be present in Indy.

Pam Allan: I'll be there.

Corey Allan: June 23rd to the 25th.

Pam Allan: Deal.

Corey Allan: Because the getaway registration's going on now. Come join us. The early bird rate goes away, April 15th. And so come see us. So coming up on today's regular free version of Sexy marriage Radio. We've got a queue of questions that is going to be fun to go through, because we're kind of bouncing around today.

Pam Allan: Okay. I'm looking forward to it.

Corey Allan: With some of the different topics.

Pam Allan: Is a cue kind of like a rapid fire or not that fast?

Corey Allan: Yes, it's not a rapid fire. A lot of them are things that are really, they'll take a little bit unpack.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: But we're going to get through as many as we can. And then on the extended versions today, which is deeper, longer and there are no ads, you can subscribe @smrnation.com/SMRacademy. We're going to go into a deeper email of a wife that's emailed in about, she's got a history of trauma and never could let herself relax or be engaging in sex very well until she met her husband, but now there're some semblances of past showing up in the present.

Pam Allan: Sure.

Corey Allan: In this relationship where she's feeling guilted in some of the different aspects of the way we handle pressure.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: And so she's curious, what do I do?

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: And so we're going to spend quite a bit of time on that.

Pam Allan: Sounds good.

Corey Allan: So all that's coming up on today's show. So this is an email from a husband that says, my wife and I just celebrated our 20 years of marriage. My wife is a lower desire and the only time there's an exception to this is when we do our regular trips, which is vacations. On these trips we would leave the kids behind, she and I would go down to the Caribbean, just be ourselves for about a week. That sounds fabulous.

Pam Allan: It does.

Corey Allan: During these times she would open up, let go and it was heaven for me. Of course, a few factors contribute to this; atmosphere, dancing, laying out, relaxing, no kids, no pressure, mojito's and everything else you'd expect while on vacation. Needless to say this was our routine two to three times a year. We always look forward to it and I could even lower my desires during the year in the expectation of the trip.

Corey Allan: Now, the Lord's been teaching me about expectations and the dangers of it and you talk about it a lot. Well, for the last six months and in the last two trip, I feel her desire for me has drastically decreased. She's always available, but feeling wanted isn't there anymore. She denies it however, and I can tell from the way she kisses me, the way she touches me, the way she pursues me. Actually, she doesn't pursue me at all. In all our trips, I couldn't get that woman off me. She would want it so bad several times a day that she would even start getting naked even before hitting the room, but in the last two trips, we went a few days without sex, intimacy, hugs, et cetera. I tried to pursue her, make her day perfect, love on her, care for her, let her sleep in, sat by her while she tans, but nothing I tried worked.

Corey Allan: We talked about it and she denies it. I even mentioned how she kisses me and that's different. It's odd. Before, one mojito got her clothes off. Now, she can be crawling back to the room with no desire whatsoever. Now, I'm not saying that I felt that the alcohol had to do with us having sex, because it didn't, but I can tell you that not even that helps nowadays. I love this woman with everything. I give her everything, treat her like a queen, but it feels the more I pursue her, the worse it's getting. Not sure what's up. She's gotten fit in the last couple of months and dedicated to look amazing and I'm not sure if that has anything to do with it.

Corey Allan: She follows an awesome program and is dedicated to the program and those in the community. Maybe she is very focused on that and can't focus on multiple things. Either way would love your thoughts about that. Thanks. This is an interesting one because one of the things that often is glamorized or idealized, and we will talk about this sometimes on the show, is the idea of vacation sex is that ultimate exception.

Pam Allan: Right.

Corey Allan: But yet in this instance, even that's changed because it's one where they do it regularly enough that they have enough data to see it as, okay, wait.

Pam Allan: Something's changing here.

Corey Allan: Something's going on that's different. And so there's a couple things that come to my mind and I'm curious how you hear this too.

Pam Allan: Well, it sounds like something else has changed within the relationship. You don't get any clues to it within here. It's well within the relationship or within her or him individually.

Corey Allan: So one of the things I think we have to add into the fact assuming this is written and this experience has happened within the current last six months, because this is an email that's relatively new in the queue. The world has changed in the last two years about the level of stress we all carry.

Pam Allan: True.

Corey Allan: That's an impact absolutely on people that a lot of times we don't even recognize it because escapes aren't the same anymore. If you're hopping on a plane, it's a different environment than I'm relaxing soon as I get to the airport. Because now all of a sudden the whole framework is different.

Pam Allan: Right.

Corey Allan: On the structure of what it takes to move from point A to point B in our world. So that's an impact possibly, if not likely.

Pam Allan: Well, not just the travel piece and how weird that is, but there's just this undertone that is in the world. And changes that we've all seen that have just been so immediate that can affect everyone and you're right, sometimes we don't open our eyes and see it and realize that it's happening to us.

Corey Allan: We think we're immune to it or it hasn't really impacted me but no, it does on the day-to-day because there's a different feeling of it's not the norm that we had prior to.

Pam Allan: Right.

Corey Allan: So that's a definite factor to at least be aware of, but the other thing is including the whole pandemic issue, there are aspects of life where some stressors we can get away from and some we can't when we're talking about a vacation. I've got family dynamic that's happening or I've got work issues that's happening that I know. I've gotten away and it's a break, but I know when I'm coming back and I can't quite just disconnect enough from it or your kids are at the different ages now. That brings about a different stressor because you're worried about well, college or they're going to leave or what if they're going to make that choice or they're dating that person.

Pam Allan: Right.

Corey Allan: Those are different weights. We've experienced this in the sense of the struggle of dealing with a teenage on the emotion component for us, I'll own it, for me, is different than dealing with toddlers and elementary age kids on the emotional burden of that.

Pam Allan: I agree. I agree. It's been a different scenario.

Corey Allan: So it's just recognizing, that's part of the dynamic in the transition plus you're aging and that changes some things too. When we're younger, we escape from things differently than we are when we are older.

Pam Allan: I was curious about one thing you said, and you might want to go back and read it because I didn't write down the whole thing, but he is feeling wanted his waned. The more I pursue, where is that in there? The more I pursue the less...

Corey Allan: The less she pursues.

Pam Allan: She pursues. And so my only, that's just a nugget. I'm asking a question. I don't know what the reality is, but what is that pursuing look like? Does the pursuing look like it's needy or I'm just coming after begging for it?

Corey Allan: She's doing that or he's doing that?

Pam Allan: No. Is he doing that?

Corey Allan: Okay.

Pam Allan: Because that can be undesirable trait if it's kind of that clingy I'm on your heels all the time. I'm wanting something from you all the time. I don't know if that's actually happening, but when there's that expectation and it's not coming at you during that vacation sex.

Corey Allan: No, I get you.

Pam Allan: Maybe there's a ramp up with that. I don't know.

Corey Allan: I wrote down, I pulled out several quotes that stood out and this is kind of, I think what you're catching on too, Pam, is this idea of he made a quote of she's always available, but the feeling wanted isn't there anymore because I'm thinking he thinks of it in terms of she's not pursuing it. She's not pursuing him in the sexual encounter like she used to, but she's still available. What's that mean? Right, because there's a difference here. Because sometimes we can get caught in this dynamic of, okay, he's actually still been the one pursuing. She's just the guard is so much further down for her. It doesn't take that much to pursue. That could be a dynamic to recognize. Or can there also be an element of responding can be a sort of pursuit? That's a bigger question, I think, that's worth asking. At least get into understanding yourself, because I hear this a lot of the idea of well, my partner's available, but it's still not enough. And it's like, okay, well what are you really wanting to at least get into the nuances of it?

Pam Allan: He's bringing up some legit observations though.

Corey Allan: Yep.

Pam Allan: You can tell when a kiss is different.

Corey Allan: Yep.

Pam Allan: Right? Here's how it was and here's how it is. You got to trust your gut on if something's not firing like it was, we got to address something.

Corey Allan: Right.

Pam Allan: And it didn't feel like we got enough data for you to be able to...

Corey Allan: Okay. No, you're right.

Pam Allan: Guide too much in this scenario.

Corey Allan: Well, we can talk about the idea of, he says I've brought it up to her, but she denies it. Right? Because he does say that. And so there's this element of realizing, okay, I could bring it up to somebody, they deny it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Pam Allan: Right. If I'm noticing it, then it's there.

Corey Allan: Yep.

Pam Allan: And for her, tell me if I'm wrong. It seems like it would be in one of two boats. I'm either denying it, to use his word, because I don't recognize that it's there. I don't recognize how I'm disconnected or I'm doing it on purpose because I'm afraid to address whatever issue is at hand.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Pam Allan: And either one, you want to bring it to life.

Corey Allan: Or I think you can add a third caveat in there.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: Of I'm denying it because I don't even see it and I don't want to acknowledge the fact that there could be something going on and I don't see it because I interpret that as I'm defensive about that because it's an inadequacy, it's an insecurity. It's those things where I get tested on something that I don't see in myself and my reaction often isn't good because I feel like it's a negative rather than wait, I just don't even see it.

Pam Allan: Right.

Corey Allan: So how do I recalibrate with that?

Pam Allan: Well, and so maybe that's the scenario. How do you? How does he as the husband who's recognizing something address that when there potentially is just a lack of acknowledgements?

Corey Allan: So here's the great segue because this is where we landed. I think there's this element of he recognizes in the way he's framed this, maybe he doesn't see it this way. They've both put a tremendous amount of pressure for vacation sex to fulfill all the stuff he was hoping he would have in the normal aspect of his life to a degree too. So now that that's changed, we got this ticking time bomb of well vacation sex doesn't cover it anymore, because he even said the comment of I could lower my desires knowing vacation's coming, which...

Pam Allan: Wow. She's got to feel that pressure.

Corey Allan: Exactly. Exactly. Then you start looking at it. Okay, so what does pursuit actually mean? Because the way he framed it is I've tried to pursue her and then he goes on and lists all these different things. Make her day perfect, allow her to sleep in, be with her while she's... All of those are more, well, I don't want to put a judgment on which way it is, but ask the questions of whenever somebody's pursuing another human being in marriage, are you pursuing them or are you pursuing them or are you trying to create an environment? Those two are different.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: Right? And they both matter. I'm not saying one supersedes another.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: But they're different in the manner in which you do each one. Because one is, I'm trying to create a likelihood or a possibility or of availability by creating a situation. The other is I'm coming after the uniqueness of the person. And if I create an environment with my pursuit, there's less risk if the rejection happens. It doesn't hurt as much maybe than if I say to somebody straight out, this is what I really long for with you. This who you are that I love to touch and be a part of and experience, and well, I'm not into that. Well, that hurts differently than I spent the day just kind of cultivating an opportunity. It still hurts, but it's recognizing there's a difference between the two, because I think as we get older, tell me if I'm wrong, we're come up on 29 years as of the time of this recording. Is there a difference between the times where I would try to set a scene versus come after you now?

Pam Allan: Well, I'm not sure that I know the line between the two.

Corey Allan: Fair.

Pam Allan: I would say that I've known in the past when you were just trying to do something that was to get a result.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Pam Allan: And I can tell that I may not have been able to pinpoint it, but I can tell it because it wasn't coming after me. It was coming after a result for you.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Pam Allan: And then in those scenarios, I would be more defensive with the access to my body, the access to even my laughter or joy because it's like, well, this is mine to give when I want to give it.

Corey Allan: Right.

Pam Allan: Not because I'm going to be manipulated in a way.

Corey Allan: Right. So it would be different in some regards when there's a more clean, wait, I'm directing this towards you. Not towards just trying to set a stage. And so if nothing else is just recognizing, because this is the two things that jump out to me are that aspect of pursuing her versus pursuing the environment, which can be one and the same. One's more circuit.

Pam Allan: Easy for you to say.

Corey Allan: One's not a direct route.

Pam Allan: There you go. Thank you.

Corey Allan: Let's call it that way. The other is this idea of you're pursuing her so she'll pursue you, because maybe we're not defining what does that actually look like? Because is there a difference between if I'm pursuing her and she responds to me versus I'm pursuing her and then she pursues me. Sometimes we get caught up in our own mind because I'm looking for it in the manner I want it or do it and I don't see what they are doing.

Pam Allan: True or what we've done in the past is what I want to keep recreating and that may not happen.

Corey Allan: And so a lot of times it's about okay, reestablish where you are now, but don't be afraid to bring up, hey, something's changed, but I want to keep addressing going forward in light of and incorporating what's changed, so that way we can redefine what is and what can be. The art of man is really the art of keeping up to date with your partner of staying on track with your own and each other's life goals as they emerge, exist and change. It's about supporting each other and staying connected emotionally, intellectually, physically, and spiritually. Marsha Burger LMFT.

Corey Allan: A great marriage doesn't happen by accident. Deeper connection with your spouse doesn't happen by accident either. Have you reached the point in your marriage where there's a slow creep of discontent or disconnect? When was the last time you talked with your spouse about anything other than the schedule, work or kids? What if there was a way to be reminded on a weekly basis to touch base with your spouse? The state of our union helps you remember and discover what brought you together in the first place. It's a tool designed to help couples keep the important from being replaced by the immediate. Plus, this works from your own phone. 52 reminders, deepen your conversation, dream and plan together. Go to SMRnation.com/union. Connect on a deeper level today.

Speaker 4: Well, my question for you is I've been reading the art of loving from [inaudible 00:19:22] and have some questions on the book. The book responds to the definition of love as the need to overcome separateness by care, respect, and responsibility and knowledge. My questions are, you describe self love is where we in our own life we're only happy and grow and have freedom when we love starting with ourselves and that our capacity to love others is never greater than the ability we have to love ourselves and care for ourselves. Is this how you lean on the defining of solidness as a person? And second question is he talks about erotic love being of individual attraction and the act of will and that both of those need to be true to have erotic love. And my question with that is it seems to place a heavy load, or at least a heavier load, on the partner with the lower desire for the failing of the erotic in a relationship. Is that correct or is that on based off of if the higher desire is being solid, then that would be true?

Corey Allan: Oh, to have this on video to watch my wife listening to the question regarding Erich Fromm's book Art of Loving, published in 1956, if that tells you anything.

Pam Allan: You weren't supposed to put that on the air.

Corey Allan: No, but it's you would not...

Pam Allan: This guy's a thinker. I'm a numbers person. This guy's a thinker. And I was looking at Corey going, I got nothing on this one.

Corey Allan: Yes.

Pam Allan: I'm looking at him going, please don't...

Corey Allan: You won't be the only one.

Pam Allan: Please don't look at me and ask me to even comment on this one.

Corey Allan: Right. Because Erich Fromm...

Pam Allan: Shew doctor.

Corey Allan: The Art of Loving from Erich Fromm is a seminal work in the field. He is a disciple of Freud that took it. He talked about the idea that the main needs of our personalities are based on freedom and belonging, which is separateness and togetherness.

Pam Allan: Gotcha.

Corey Allan: Okay. So I love this book. This was one I was introduced to in grad school. It was a textbook. It's a short read, but it is one of those you're describing I'm watching your reactions. It's hard. It's a different framework. It makes you think. It makes you struggle and so the questions of self-love, if I don't love myself, I can't really love others. Yes. That's the same premise we talk about all the way through that these are existing concurrently. That if I put too much stock on another person, as I deem it as love, I've disempowered myself. I gave everything to them. I gave them the keys to my existence. So I've got to start with me and then it turns into the framework of realizing when you're talking about erotic, he said, it's the idea of a will and choice as well as self and expansion of self. Yes. And does that put more pressure on the lower desire? It's a dynamic on both.

Pam Allan: Sure. You can't have a one sided.

Corey Allan: Right, because again, for erotic love the way Erich Fromm is framing this, this is where it gets interesting because he believes love is an art form that you can learn and develop. It's not something that magically happens to you. So you got to get that as a foundation first.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: It's something I learn. It's a skill. So if you continue that thought process through you start to realize that, that's the pressure inherent in relationships on both sides of the equation of higher desire, lower desire. And does it put more pressure on the lower desire? I don't know if it puts more, it's a different kind of pressure because that's something that's maybe a way they have it framed it and they feel like what the higher desires bringing towards them when it comes to erotic love is smothering of their self.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: Because they don't see themselves in that way or whatever, but for erotic love to exist, I don't have to have another person. I can still have it in myself that I exuded out.

Pam Allan: Gotcha.

Corey Allan: And that was his second question of, or is that really contingent on the solidness of the person? Yes, it is. Because if I'm exuding erotic or just passionate love or brotherly love, or godly love, because From uses a couple different examples of parental love, godly love. I'm not remembering all four or five, but if I'm exuding that I don't have to have an object of it for it to exist.

Pam Allan: Gotcha. That's makes sense.

Corey Allan: And so erotic love's in the same boat. I can exude that and live that and that's when, according to From, and then other people that came along after him, which is where the thread, if you think about it, listening to this conversation, this is where SMR is based in a lot of ways, because this is where my theory I love is based in with Sard and Bowen too. If that exists coming from myself, I have a greater likelihood of it being responded to better than if it exists contingent on a person responding to it well.

Pam Allan: Gotcha.

Corey Allan: Right?

Pam Allan: I have to think for a second.

Corey Allan: You don't have to close the loop for it to it exists if it's something coming predominantly from me. I have a better likelihood of you enjoying me in it rather than feeling totally like the cog of, well, if I don't then it doesn't exist at all.

Pam Allan: It's not going to happen.

Corey Allan: Class over. So is your head... We're done with class.

Pam Allan: Spinning.

Corey Allan: After watching.

Pam Allan: It's always good to have a day where you learn. I love learning things.

Corey Allan: Yep. And it's so funny because Erich Fromm's book, The Art of Loving, I got that first when I was in grad school. That was master's programs when I first was introduced to it and recommend by our professor and that was when I was working at a high school as a crisis counselor. And it was a young girl that was a junior, so our daughter's age at this point.

Pam Allan: Right.

Corey Allan: And I recommended that she read that book and I look back at that now going what was I thinking? She was a philosophy kind of English. She got into that.

Pam Allan: Sure.

Corey Allan: She was talking about a lot of relational dynamic things and I'm like, hey, this has been really good. Read this. And now I'm sitting there thinking I bet she probably made it through like five pages and put that thing away.

Pam Allan: What is this guy thinking?

Corey Allan: Because this is old English. Old stuff from 1956.

Pam Allan: That's awesome.

Corey Allan: But I do love the fact seminal works like that are still at play and those aspects are still seen throughout the way we live life and they still hold water and to the dynamics that are going on, regardless of what the world has evolved and changed to, there are still some truths in there that can be so meaningful and impactful. Well that's what we hope Sexy Marriage Radio is, is just aspects in ways to look at dynamics better and find your ways forward. So this has been Sexy Marriage Radio. If we left something undone 214-702-9565 or feedback at sexymarriageradio.com. We'll see you next time.