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On the Regular version of today’s show …
A wife suffered from insomnia for a while in her marriage, and it wrecked their sex life. How do they get it back now that the insomnia is no longer the issue? Plus, when she feels desire to initiate, she often doesn’t – because he would like that. What’s that about?
An email and voicemail adding more to last week’s conversation about the couple where vacation sex has decreased. A few additional points to consider.
On the Xtended version …
A wife repeatedly hears the message from her husband that she doesn’t show him any respect. What exactly does that mean?
And are we even owed something like that in our marriage?
Enjoy the show!
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Announcer: You are listening to the regular version of sexy marriage radio, SMRnation.com.
Corey Allan: Welcome back to another episode of sexy marriage radio, where we've got a lot of ground to cover again. Kind of like life, it seems.
Pam Allan: That's good.
Corey Allan: Each and every day you wake up, and I just got a lot of ground cover.
Pam Allan: That's good. We're accomplishing something.
Corey Allan: That's the hope. We want to know what we can try to accomplish for you. The way you can do that as part of the SMR nation is call us at (214) 702-9565, with any of your questions or your comments. I'm going to put out a personal plea. We get emails of people wanting to round out conversations from episodes we've had. Like, "Hey, what about this? This has been my experience." A lot of them are people offering hope, because it's been their journey, and that's one of the truisms we've found across the years, is that we're not alone in the struggles we've got.
Corey Allan: Other people have gone down it before, are in it now, and sometimes a slightly different perspective, or knowing I'm not alone, carries a lot of weight. If that resonates with you in the sense of some topic we cover, or a guest we have, call us in and leave your voice of encouragement, and of words to other people, that can help them, and we'll add that to the shows, because that allows the community to help support the community far more than us reading your words, but we'll take your emails too. I'm not going to deny on that either, at email@example.com. That's how you can let us know what's on your mind, or questions that you've got. We also ask you to go out and spread the word. Jump on iTunes, write and review, leave a comment. Please help us climb the charts, because we want married sex to be shouted from the rooftops, that it's the hot bed-
Pam Allan: That's right.
Corey Allan: For married sex. Coming up on today's regular free version of sexy marriage radio, we've got several different questions we're going to try to get through, and wrapping up one from last week.
Pam Allan: Okay.
Corey Allan: Where we covered-
Pam Allan: Follow through on last week, okay.
Corey Allan: We covered the idea of, even vacation sex has decreased. We've had some emails come in, and a voicemail come in, to help round out that conversation.
Pam Allan: Okay.
Corey Allan: On the extended version, which is deeper, longer, and there are no ads, you can subscribe at smrnation.com/SMRacademy. We're going to dive into the world of, what does respect mean? We have a wife that's emailed in, and the struggle that she has is, her husband says he feels no respect.
Pam Allan: Okay. That's a big deal.
Corey Allan: What does that exactly mean? It may not be what we think it means sometimes-
Pam Allan: Okay.
Corey Allan: And how we come about it, and are we owed it or not?
Pam Allan: Good question.
Corey Allan: All that's coming up on today's show. This is an email from a wife that's saying, "I'd like to figure out how to get out of the rut I'm in with my husband. Historically, I've had a really high libido, and sex with my husband was amazing. Then, I went through a long stretch of time where I was suffering from insomnia and tired all the time. It took me a few years to finally find a medication that worked to help me. Insomnia is absolutely horrible and often misunderstood, and it really ruined me for a while. During that time, my husband and I fell into a bad habit of my husband wanting sex, and me not being interested; or doing so, but not really being into it because I was so tired.
Corey Allan: It really hurt our relationship, and while the insomnia is now solved, we can't seem to get back on the same page sexually. There are times where we're both into it, and it's amazing. Other times, he's already ready to go, and I'm not even close. When that happens, I start to feel the pressure about how can I turned on and catch up to him quickly. When this happens, I get very turned off, and even grossed out, and it ruins the whole night. He doesn't seem to know what buttons to push on me, and I've ha had a hard time explaining it. While I try, it doesn't seem to come across like I'd hoped when he tries new moves. Sometimes I need foreplay for the foreplay. I really thought we were incompatible, or maybe I wasn't attracted to him anymore, because it feels that way at times, until I found your show.
Corey Allan: Now I have hope, but I still haven't nailed down how to fix the situation. Also, there are times when I want to put the moves on him. It's not as often, but it does happen, but I can't seem to make a move. I end up feeling frozen and afraid, and I have no idea why. I think it's because I know how much he would love it, and it would be a big deal if I initiated, so that adds some kind of crazy pressure, and it paralyzes me. Help."
Corey Allan: There's two different things in this one.
Pam Allan: Yeah, okay.
Corey Allan: That I'm hearing, I'd love to know if you hear more.
Pam Allan: You go first.
Corey Allan: Or confirm what I'm hearing. One, obviously the insomnia wrecked a pattern they had.
Pam Allan: That's where I was going. I'm having a hard time, is it just that the insomnia did that? It seems like now, the insomnia is not the issue.
Corey Allan: Correct.
Pam Allan: It's just that it wrecked a pattern, so it's not like it used to be.
Corey Allan: That's one of the bigger ones we get caught in, and the easiest way to answer that is, we don't go backwards. We don't go recapture something we've already had in the same relationship. We can't have the same chemical concoction that was there early. It won't repeat itself in the same, most likely. There are exceptions, but those are extreme.
Pam Allan: Right. What's your new-
Corey Allan: The other one was, this idea of, we need to expand on that a little bit, because I've got a couple of different thoughts.
Pam Allan: Okay.
Corey Allan: The other one was this idea of, when a partner who, she says she has a higher desire. They're not a huge difference, is what it was describing before insomnia hit.
Pam Allan: Okay.
Corey Allan: If I remember that right, on the way I read it. She has times where she'll want to initiate, but she doesn't, because she knows he would like it. That's an interesting phenomenon that I see a lot, actually.
Pam Allan: Yeah. That's our sadistic side that we talk about.
Corey Allan: That could be, that it's a power move of withholding. It's an element-
Pam Allan: And you don't even realize that's what you're doing, sometimes.
Corey Allan: Sometimes, but it also is this idea of, what is it that we have difficulty sometimes sharing pleasure, or sharing good things? There's some family of origin and patterns that some of us will have, that it's like, "I don't want to just expand that out. I want to keep it all for myself," as weird as that sounds.
Pam Allan: Couldn't also be that there are some things outside of the bedroom, outside of the sexual arena, that, "I'm not real happy with the way the relationship's going in other arenas."
Corey Allan: Right.
Pam Allan: Why do I want to provide you pleasure here?
Corey Allan: The story that we could be telling ourselves in this, Pam, would be this idea of, it hasn't been earned. There's this record keeping, if you will.
Pam Allan: At least from my perspective.
Corey Allan: Right. And I think that's a reality of the way we can operate. I will jokingly bring up with clients, when this kind of theme comes through, because there are aspects of, it is so easy for the worse in us to score keep.
Pam Allan: Sure.
Corey Allan: To scoreboard this thing. When I start to get a theme of that, I usually will try to disrupt it with some sort of a question along the lines of, "Do you guys actually have a jumbotron in your house, or is it just a small scoreboard, to keep track of all of this?"
Pam Allan: Right.
Corey Allan: Because if you're going to do it, let's do it right.
Pam Allan: Yeah.
Corey Allan: Let's get you the full on display, you can get advertisers, just to prove the point of, we so easily do this. Some of it is human nature, because we will have in our own mind, "Yeah, I did that last time, and the time before, and the time before." I think you have to keep coming back to this idea of, who do I want to be in the context of the relationship? Not, is it reciprocated ind kind, or not? Who do I want to be?
Pam Allan: Yeah. That's hard to live out way too often. I want to be this, but-
Corey Allan: That's how we act actually create the more solid, flexible self, as Shnarsh would frame it. This idea of, I am led more by who I want to be rather than how it's responded to, because the other validation makes it easy, or easier. If I'm playing some role, fulfilling some aspect, and it's constantly confirmed, it's easy. When I do it, and it seems unnoticed, or it doesn't help, it's harder, because I have to look at my attachments. I have to look at what I've added to it, and I have to look at my own value, and how I deem what I'm offering, and what I'm doing. That's why we've used the phrase of, how do I earn my own self respect with the moves I make?
Pam Allan: Okay. Back to her with, it's different now. The routine is broken because of insomnia, now they're in a different season.
Corey Allan: Right.
Pam Allan: Life looks different.
Corey Allan: Right.
Pam Allan: Coming at it from this new role, coming at it from, sometimes I don't do something because I know he would like it. How do I start looking at myself then? How does she start looking at herself, to bring this aspect of the relationship back into the picture?
Corey Allan: I love the framework of asking yourself the questions of, what story am I telling myself in this context? As I look back at it, and I'm at the middle of it maybe, what stories do I tell myself?
Pam Allan: Are they accurate?
Corey Allan: Exactly.
Pam Allan: Are they a real picture of what's going on, or who I want to be?
Corey Allan: Typically, they are accurate as I see it.
Pam Allan: Perception is reality.
Corey Allan: Right. Because this is not discounting it, and making it to where it will create a new fairy tale. That's not what we're talking about here. I am talking about, how do you take the data of what's being presented, and the interaction that's going on, and your role in it. What story is that? Is there pressure? What does the pressure say? Is there frustration because of all the time that we missed? Because of the insomnia, and how that wrecked it? What story do I tell myself about that?
Pam Allan: Yeah. Do you have in the back of your mind that, that's going to come back into play again?
Corey Allan: Right.
Pam Allan: A fear?
Corey Allan: We can get caught about this whole water under the bridge, spilled milk, the regret of, "I just wish." Yeah, everyone faces that to some degree. But you're still here, now. What do you do with that? We've heard this before from different members of the academy, from people that we've walked alongside for a while. When you come across some message, and it really does re resonate. One of the things we'll often hear about sexy marriage radio is, "I wish I would've found you guys 18 years ago." We weren't on the air then. My immediate thought in that sometimes is, "Would it have meant the same as it does now?"
Pam Allan: Right.
Corey Allan: Because a lot of times, when something really resonates, we have to realize it's the pain and the struggles we've gone through that makes some of the things that bring us hope really resonate all the more.
Pam Allan: Sure.
Corey Allan: Sometimes I'm not in a position to understand it yet. I haven't found the struggle real enough to deal with it yet.
Pam Allan: To do something about it.
Corey Allan: It is just looking at it as, yes, the insomnia did disrupt you. The pattern needs to be created now, not recreated. What do you do with who you are now, on how you both approach what's gone on, and what goes on, so that you're facing things to create something new? It's a new chapter in a book. This is chapter whatever, post insomnia. Now what do you do?
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Corey Allan: This is a follow-up to the conversation we have last week, Pam, on the husband that wrote in about vacation sex has even decreased, that he used to always look forward to it-
Pam Allan: Yeah.
Corey Allan: With his wife, because she was somewhat of a different woman.
Pam Allan: Right. On vacation, she's kind of oblivious, not even interested.
Corey Allan: Right. This is not the only message we got on this thread.
Pam Allan: Yeah, we got a few.
Corey Allan: Here's one side of the conversation to add. "I just listened to today's podcast, and I'm very interested in the listener who related his wife's declining interest in him sexually, including their previous red hot vacation sex. However, I saw what I thought was a huge red flag, and surprised it was not discussed at all. The listener described a recent drastic decline in his wife's attention to him. Clearly something shifted in the relationship. Though it seemed added almost as an afterthought, the mention of his wife's recent renewed interest in physical fitness seems now worth talking about. There's nothing wrong with getting fit, I've known many adults with sudden and physical fitness coincided with a divorce or an affair. Sometimes people get fit and attract a new love interest, or perhaps they get fit in preparation for becoming single. I've also known those who increase their own fitness level, and then resent it when they're partner not exert the same effort. Is any of this at play with the listener." It's hard to know, but it's certainly worth considering, because it does change the dynamic.
Pam Allan: It can.
Corey Allan: On how we are feeling about ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally. And also, is there something else going on? You and I both talked about that last week, after the episode. "Yeah, there could be a nefarious thing happening here."
Corey Allan: That's a possibility, absolutely. But it is interesting, I think of this in the dynamic of how, when one person's status changes, be it physically, emotionally, professionally, you think of the different couples I hear about, "I put them through med school and then they dropped me." It's a different status in the way they see themselves, in the way they conduct themselves, and carry themselves, and left behind.
Pam Allan: Or it's a journey that you are on separately.
Corey Allan: Right.
Pam Allan: Because one of you has so much time devoted to this thing, and the other is doing everything else. It's different journeys, it's a different life experience.
Corey Allan: Absolutely, it's a reality. I even heard this in grad school, a couple of professors talked about, when I was starting grad school, going through all the way with the doctorate. A couple of professors made a comment of, "To those of you that are married, mind your marriage during this process, because growing in that manner can be real struggling for a relationship, and some of them don't survive." It's interesting to think about, they're onto something there. But we also had this message.
Speaker 4: Hey Corey, I think you may have left something undone on episode 565, titled "Even Vacation Sex Has Decreased." I'm a high end fitness enthusiast, and there was a part in there that the man had said that, and I quote, "She's gotten fit in the last couple of months, and dedicated to look amazing. She follows an awesome program and is dedicated to the program, to those in the community."
Speaker 4: Several of us in the fitness community understand that when you start to get leaner, a lot of times your sex drive goes down, and it's relative to your leanness. Your body, when you have less body fat, thinks you're less primed for reproduction. That can explain the sudden change that he was mentioning over the last couple of months in her. Also, he said she was available for sex, but not pursuing it. That's a classic sign from some of us that traffic in this arena.
Speaker 4: A long-term, lean lifestyle, for those that are trying to get beach lean or six pack lean. Most of us know you're going to end up with a low sex drive, or going to end up supplementing with a hormone replacement therapy, or something like that. The opposite is, when somebody's overweight and they start to lose weight. They might be more primed for sex, they get a little confidence boost, but if they continue to lose weight, you end up with diminishing returns on that.
Speaker 4: You guys did great on the psychology side, but there's a physiological side of this too, with hormones and all that, that plays in, that I think could have been touched on. But you guys, you're doing a great job, and we appreciate you. Thanks.
Pam Allan: Thanks for that call. It's always interesting to hear other perspectives, and good to get a rounded out on that journey.
Corey Allan: Yeah. I think what's what is interesting to me is, this idea of the biology of the human body, and how there are so many things at play, that happen with us as we change, as we grow, as we evolve. As we change, and grow, and evolve, the mere fact of, "Yes, the body is designed and catches the cues that's largely surrounding reproductive capabilities." Because it's for the species, the benefit of the species. What's the ideal look? It's different several decades, years, centuries ago, than it is today. It's different, as far as you think of, what's a human supposed to look like? We've changed on weight, style, and diet, and all of these things are at play, and factors.
Pam Allan: There's nothing new under the sun. I look at, yes, lifestyle has changed. I don't know. I go back to, you get multiple responses here, with the varying degrees of what could have gone on with this-
Corey Allan: What else is happening?
Pam Allan: Caller, and there are so many variables at play in every relationship. I think it's worth giving all those they're due, and their air. Hey, maybe something along these responses helps the gentleman who had emailed in. Hopefully so.
Corey Allan: Yeah. It's also seeing it as, to tie the two segments today together, what is it that makes us to where...because going back to last week, he made the comment of, "She's not the pursuer like she once was, but she's still available." In the email in the first segment, she was talking about, "He would be interested, and she'd have a hard time getting involved, and catching up." What is it that makes us take so personally when my partner participates, but isn't completely enthusiastic? What is the story I tell myself with that?
Pam Allan: It makes you feel not wanted, not desired, is my gut.
Corey Allan: That's the initial story?
Pam Allan: Yeah. My partner's not excited about it. Does that mean that they don't want me? I want to be wanted.
Corey Allan: Fair, but I think it's also digging deeper into it, to ask yourself, "What is the whole story still?" Not that you're letting people off the hook, or you're trying to shade or change the message. Are there nuances in the way I can look at it that would actually be beneficial for the both of us?
Pam Allan: Sure, and that's easier to look at when you're 10 steps away from it the next morning.
Corey Allan: Right.
Pam Allan: When people talk about, "When you're arguing, use "I" statements." When I'm in the heat of the battle, I'm not doing that.
Corey Allan: There's not "I" statements going on in our house when we argue, correct.
Pam Allan: No. When you're in the middle of something, or when you're getting rejected, you're not thinking about what the other stories and messages are typically, at that point. Ideally, maybe we can all get closer and closer and closer to that, to react better. But, that's not always how it is.
Corey Allan: No, it's not. To wrap up this part of the show today, it's probably easiest to land on the phrase for both of these segments, "How am I dealing with the spouse I have, not the one I wish they were?" Because then, I'm dealing with the data that's being presented as it's being presented. Yes, things have changed. The vacation wife is different than what she used to be. The insomnia wrecked a relationship from what it used to be. How am I dealing with what it is now, with with what's present now? That's the best path forward all the time, because things will change.
Pam Allan: Yeah. What's different in me now? How am I different now? Not just the relationship, that's the repercussion of it. How am I different, and what can I do with that?
Corey Allan: You're framing it like this Pam, the way I'm hearing this, how am I dealing with my relationship to my relationship?
Pam Allan: Oh, there you go.
Corey Allan: Because that's my side of it.
Pam Allan: Yeah.
Corey Allan: When I can look at it that way, I have a better likelihood of handling my side of the equation, and taking responsibility for my role, and asking better questions, and looking at facts as they really are, to then make better decisions or better moves. Then I see how my spouse responds. This is going to tee us up perfectly, for moving into the extended content about respect.
Pam Allan: Good, okay.
Corey Allan: We'll read an email in the extended content.
Corey Allan: Okay.
Pam Allan: This is one of those topics that we get a lot of nuances within this larger topic of, "Yeah, but my spouse claims this, when, am I missing that? Is it skewed to their favor?" We get a lot of different things. "You don't respect me. You don't love me. You don't cherish me. You don't pursue me. You don't desire me." What's my role in that too? That's where we're heading next.
Corey Allan: Okay.
Pam Allan: This stands out to me today. There are a lot of instances in life, particularly in marriage, where there are so many ways to look at it, and they're not wrong. This could be worth exploring. It doesn't mean where it might lead to is right, but it's part of how we look at it, that there are a lot of different options and lenses.
Pam Allan: Sure. Some, not wrong, maybe. Some are better than others.
Corey Allan: Some could be more productive, absolutely.
Pam Allan: I would say some of them are wrong.
Corey Allan: Okay.
Pam Allan: Just because they may not lead to a good ending.
Corey Allan: Fair. Wrong is the wrong word, with a double word in there. But there are so many different things at play. There are so many different layers to things that go on, and how do I have the courage to look at all of them, and see what I need to do next?
Pam Allan: There you go.
Corey Allan: I think our gut will help point us in the right direction, if I'm willing to have courage to ask and look at the different lenses that there are. The only lenses that are missing from today's show are the voices of the nation continuing to add more flavor to the conversation.
Pam Allan: We love flavor.
Corey Allan: If you want to add your thought, or whatever we left undone, or your perspective, or your encouragement and hope, please call us, (214) 702-9565. Make an audio recording and email it, or just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Wherever you are, whatever you've been doing to take a little bit of time out to spend it with us, thanks again, and we'll see you next time.
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