Top iTunes Marriage Podcast

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hosted by Dr. Corey Allan

Sex For Emotional Attachment #463

On the Regular version of today’s show …

Dr Jennifer Finlayson-Fife joins me to answer an email from a wife who thinks she may be using sex as a form of emotional attachment and it possibly isn’t helpful for her, or her husband.

You can find more about Dr. Jennifer on her site http://www.finlayson-fife.com/

On the Xtended version …

Dr Jennifer and I talk about the factors that can come up when the husband is the lower desire spouse.

Enjoy the show!

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Got a question?

CALL US 214-702-9565
or email us at feedback@sexymarriageradio.com

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Corey Allan:
Welcome back to another episode of Sexy Marriage Radio alongside my wife Pam.

Pam Allan:
Here I am people.

Corey Allan:
Joining me every week announcing her presence on the air.

Pam Allan:
I had to do something new this week.

Corey Allan:
Well, you did it.

Pam Allan:
Hello nation.

Corey Allan:
Caught me.

Pam Allan:
Good to be here with you.

Corey Allan:
Where we're having straightforward, honest conversations about married life, and love, and sex, and we want to go wherever will help you the most.

Pam Allan:
Yeah.

Corey Allan:
And the way we know where we're heading is you let us know what's on your mind and what questions you've got. We want to try to be the place that if you've got a question and you're not sure where to ask it, we'll answer it. Because over the years of this show we've talked about a lot of things, but not everything has been talked about still and so we need people from the SMR nation to help us frame the conversations.

Pam Allan:
Yeah. Bring us your questions. We want to share.

Corey Allan:
And the way you could do that is give us a call at (214) 702-9565 is our voicemail line and that gets you at the front of the line, and then there's also emails at feedback@sexymarriageradio.com, because SMR wouldn't exist without the nation. And so wherever you are, and however you choose to listen, be it iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play, we ask you to help us spread the word by rating and reviewing the show, comment, spread the word that married sex has got it going on and that marriages can have it going on. And that's what we want for you. And so we're so glad that you came to hang out with us.

Corey Allan:
And just as we lead off the show, just a real quick little heads up that the special we're running with Dennis Marcus via Melt is still going on. We've got one more week before the discount goes away. So if you go to SMRnation.com/melt you can take advantage of learning how to get your hands on your spouse in a good way, and great massage techniques for your children to help with calming, soothing the anxieties, and the unknowns, and the uncertainties with what's going on in our world. So take advantage of that while you can, while the time still is available.

Corey Allan:
And so Pam, I have to ask you as we start off, we just hung up, as we're recording this, from the hangout that took place this past Monday night.

Pam Allan:
We had so much fun.

Corey Allan:
Yeah. So great to have members of the nation joining us.

Pam Allan:
Yeah. From all over, Michigan, Alabama, Utah, Texas, Maine, all over the place.

Corey Allan:
Yeah. So just joining us on camera for a little while, we spent a little over an hour just talking, just laughing, hearing joint experiences from people, how they found the shows. I'm still amazed that then people find the show and then binge and catch up to us and where we are as we record each week with new shows. But it's just so amazing how vast the impact is, and the people are that are part of the nation.

Pam Allan:
Yeah. I'm so thankful for tonight and thanks for everybody who joined. You just lifted my spirits. I mean that was just a blast. I walked away with a little bit of a fun high to get to meet new people, meet people that we've already seen, people we've know through the Academy or through getaways in the past.

Corey Allan:
Right. Because some people, couples on there that had been at getaways which is awesome.

Pam Allan:
Yeah, a bunch of joy.

Corey Allan:
And if you hadn't heard, the 2020 getaway is canceled for now just because... and postponed until 2021. So if you are registered and you haven't seen an email from me regarding that, check your spam and junk folders because it's likely in there, but there's information that you need to know about how we've postponed it. And if you want the registration back, let us know. If not, we'll move it to next year and come join us in 2021 because the get away is going to happen again, and it's going to be a great one, and we want to see you there.

Corey Allan:
So coming up on today's regular free version of Sexy Marriage Radio, I'm joined again by a friend and colleague, Dr. Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife where she's-

Pam Allan:
And that's just fun to say.

Corey Allan:
It is fun to say, but she is a fellow Schnarchian, to make up a word, that she goes to a lot of the same trainings I do with Dr. David Schnarch where we're just... So we both believe in the theory of differentiation, and the crucible, and just the framework. And so I got her to come back on the air with me because she was on several months back with a lower desire wife, was the episodes she did with me. So this week she's back and we're talking through an email that comes in on what if you use sex for emotional attachment? So it's an email coming in from a wife. Curious about that because she's the higher desire.

Pam Allan:
And it feels like she's doing that?

Corey Allan:
She sees it as what... Could this be a problem, is there something wrong? And so she and I dive into answering that question, which then leads us into the extended portion of today's show, which is deeper, longer and there's no ads, and you can subscribe at smrnation.com. Dr. Jennifer and I continue the conversation, but this time we shift it to have a little more of a deep dive on the lower desire husband and what are some of the aspects that are going on, and could be going on that make up that dynamic.

Pam Allan:
Sure.

Corey Allan:
And so it's a fun conversation that she and I have, and hopefully it's very helpful to a lot of people regardless of if you're a female higher desire or the lower desire because this is non-gender specific dynamics we're talking about.

Pam Allan:
Right.

Corey Allan:
So all that's coming up on today's show. I'm excited to have back on the air with me again on Sexy Marriage Radio, Dr. Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife who's a colleague of mine, we go to a lot of the same trainings, shared some meals together, talked shop, talked life, and you've been on before when we did an episode on the lower desire wife was the title that we did. But one of the things I love about you, Jen, is the way you frame a lot of this stuff because you have the similar Christian religious lens, I guess you could say.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
Sure.

Corey Allan:
Trying to apply it to Schnarch's work and-

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
Yeah.

Corey Allan:
And you do an exceptional job with it. And so I wanted to get you back on the air with me again just because I've got a couple of emails that have been sitting in the inbox that I think I would love your take alongside mine.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
Sure.

Corey Allan:
Let's unpack these and see where it goes. Does that work for you?

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
Very much so. Yeah.

Corey Allan:
Perfect. So this first one's from a wife and the title of it, Jennifer, is using sex for emotional attachment is her question. So she goes on to say, "I first have to say I'm thankful for the podcast," wish that she could give a big hug and express how much and thankful and helpful it's been, "but I want to hear feedback and suggestions on possibly using sex for emotional attachment. While in the process of trying to better myself, I came across this idea of solace sex and so much rang true," and I've not... Have you heard of solace sex before? Like S-O-L-A-C-E, not soul as in your soul. Like solace, I guess. Solace is probably the way I should have said that.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
Oh, solace sex. Yeah, right. Got it. Got it.

Corey Allan:
Totally misspoke on that one.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I was thinking like without a soul. Yeah. Okay. Got it.

Corey Allan:
Yeah. Not that way at all. So solace sex where you take solace in sex. Okay. And I still haven't heard that before. It makes sense.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
No, I haven't.

Corey Allan:
Okay. So she keeps going. "So growing up, I'd always been looking forward to sex, excited when my husband and I got married and I would finally be able to, but I was thrown off by how much difference there is in our desires. I am the higher desire and will never decline a sex opportunity, open to almost anything, I'm quick to initiate and feel pretty confident in the bedroom. While this may sound great, it's almost a curse," and I think she's ringing true of a lot of higher desires out there.

Corey Allan:
"I think about sex all the time, initiate often, but get rejected a bit too. When I get rejected, I get so upset and it's hard to brush it off. I'll notice myself examining other relationships and how the men are so reactive to their wives wondering why mine isn't. I work out, keep my body in good shape. Sometimes will notice the attention I get from other men looking at me, and while I like it, I hate that I do that. I hate it so much. Even when we do have sex, I will almost not be satisfied, and I feel like we need to continue later, or tomorrow, or every day if we could. It almost seems like it's never enough. I've noticed that sometimes I won't even feel super horny but still be craving sex. I understand there's nothing new under the sun, but it makes me feel like something's wrong with me.

Corey Allan:
The problem is I can't pinpoint why I would feel this emotional disconnect. My husband's not a man of many words, but he's always there. He's never failed me and he always knows what to say. He's just not super affectionate, and he's a type five if you're into the Enneagrams. I often have to remind him that I need the vocal validation to feel better. I need to hear he thinks I look good, or I'm sexy, and that he finds me attractive, to feel that way. My husband and I have come a long way in our communication thanks to your show. And I know no marriage is perfect, and I'm thankful for the satisfaction. Jesus can fill the voids, but I would like your advice on how to stop and retrain my brain on this unhealthy habit because it would save me a lot of pain. Thanks again for all that you do." So she's capturing a lot of what higher desires' route has been.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
Yeah, she is.

Corey Allan:
Yep.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
Yeah. Exactly. And do you know anything about the Enneagram? Like what a type five is just so I can kind of picture her husband?

Corey Allan:
Yeah, I can't off the top of my head. I know it, at least familiarity, and I've had some guests on in the past on it, but that is not the realm I've done a lot of study in. No.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
Yeah, okay, good. No, I just was making sure. Yeah, no, exactly. There's so much there that's often in the typical high desire position. I mean, I can just give you a couple of my thoughts and we can kind of both contribute to it.

Corey Allan:
Please do. Please do.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
I mean, one of the thoughts I have is that she is, I think, in a position and using sex, or relating to sex, in a way that often drives the lower desire person into even lower desire-

Corey Allan:
How so?

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
... and herself into higher desire.

Corey Allan:
Because that's what jumps out to me, but you're framing it really cleanly. So how so?

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
Yeah. So I think that because, to use Schnarch's way of languaging this, I think her desire for sex, and I think she's putting it in this idea of have an emotional attachment, I can't remember how she said it, but she's using sex as a way to sustain her sense of self. She's trying to get this IV drip of validation through sexual validation, through the idea that you desire me, you want me, you're close to me sexually. And a lot of higher desire people do this, and it's not an act of intimacy. It's an act of validation. I'm sorry what's the word?

Corey Allan:
Well, yeah, let's clarify the distinction between those two because a lot of people, I think, at face value would hear that as, "But hold on. I'm seeking sex. That's intimacy, right?" I mean that's exactly what that whole thing is because we interchange those two words way too much when they're not the same thing.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
That's right. Intimacy, and I agree with you, a lot of people are like, "What are you talking about? I do want intimacy." Intimacy, in my view, is that you are willing to know and be known.

Corey Allan:
Right.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
Right. Like that scriptural reference. And I think that is not for the faint in heart. Most of us want validation much more than we want to be known. Okay? That is I want you to show up and know the good parts of me, or tell me, like she says, "Tell me I'm attractive. Tell me I'm valuable." And she says, "I need that." And what she's saying is I need you to reinforce my sense of self because I can't sustain it on my own, and so it makes being with her burdensome.

Corey Allan:
Right. Because you have to constantly be propping that up is what you're describing.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
Yes, and she's giving, and this is very normal so I'm not pathologizing hers as normal in human development, but at this point in her development she is looking to get someone else to manage her sense of herself, and that precludes her capacity for intimacy. Meaning sex for her isn't about just being with her husband, knowing him, knowing who she is, and letting herself be more known. She's looking for a particular experience and version of herself in sex. And so for him it gets pushed towards the realm of work. And a lot of women know this too, when their spouse is the higher desire, that sex is about propping up his ego and his penis and it's a lot of work.

Corey Allan:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So you're picking up on a lot of the stuff she has created as part of her development, if you will, is it's predicated that because... She sounds like she's got a similar journey both you and I have had in the religious context of being raised under that umbrella of it's so enlightening, and enduring, and such this great, magical thing that we come into it with this kind of, "Oh, it's going to solve all my ails. It's going to solve everything." And then when you realize it, it's the struggle of, whoa, it's hollow, or it's fleeting, or it's much different than I ever thought it was going in, but there's also this element, because what I'm picking up from her is the manner in which she carries herself and that's noticed. She's caught in that double edged sword of I love it and I hate it because she can recognize it, right? I'm recognizing that other men notice me because I care about me, and then it starts to just come down to how does she drill into the deeper parts of what's the motivation of why she cares about her, is my thought process.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
Exactly. I'm just making sure I'm following what you're saying. She's saying she's looking for that validation. She's trying to get it through sex from her husband, but she also feels, what I think you're saying, is she feels something is awry and wrong about the fact that she knows how to get it at the gym. She knows how to get men to notice her, but she feels conflicted about how her seeking of that sort of betrays something inside of her around the kind of woman she wants to be.

Corey Allan:
Sure. I was thinking of it in the context of this is the double edged sword of if the motivations of us as human beings, as creatures, even as people trying to be solid sense of selves, that that carries in it some results that maybe we weren't intending but we will like. And you carry yourself well, you do get noticed. Some people carry themselves well to get noticed though, and there's the difference in the way I think of it. I think what you're picking up on from her is this context of she has carried herself, and maybe it's even unbeknownst to the deeper parts of her, for a motivation of an attachment, for a motivation of a validation, which is what you're describing in her marriage. But she's also seeing it as, if I look good in my marriage, I'm going to look good to other people, too. And there's the struggle because that's got the icky feeling to it of I don't want to be attractive to anybody else, even though how can you not be?

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
Yeah, exactly. And she probably has a bit of an icky feeling in her marriage as well. So it's kind of why the sex is never fully satisfying, because she's trying to extract something. She's maybe getting a husband who accommodates her, but she doesn't yet feel desired and chosen because she's always trying to extract it based on how she's talking about it.

Corey Allan:
Okay. So then what's the next step to help her? How does she shift that? Because that's a good pivot point, if you will, for our conversation of what's the best thing to start looking for next? We'll be back with more of our conversation right after this.

Corey Allan:
Let's face it Pam. We live in some trying times.

Pam Allan:
True.

Corey Allan:
But even without what's going on in our world, life has its definite pitfalls, shortcoming, struggles, failures where sometimes it's just nice to know that I can have someone that will help me get through the dilemmas and the crises that I face, and it's also really nice to know sometimes when that person is a professional.

Pam Allan:
Right.

Corey Allan:
One of our sponsors for today's show is Better Help, that's H-E-L-P, where they will assess your needs and match you with your own licensed professional therapist.

Pam Allan:
Interesting. Okay, so we're advertising for other counselors even though that's what you are. Help me see that. Help me understand.

Corey Allan:
I know with what I do for living as a therapist, my specialty, and my view and take on life isn't going to click with everybody. And so Better Help exists to help match up the broad range of expertise available to all the different subjects or specialties that a person might need that will help them the most effectively.

Pam Allan:
Right. Because there's a lot of specialties out there, right?

Corey Allan:
Absolutely. And so at betterhelp.com they will help you start live a better and happier life today because they are 100% online. They match you up with the specialist or the counselor that will help you the most. And then one of the nice things about it is, because it's an all in one location online, if it's not clicking with that therapist that they got you lined up with, they can match you with another one for free.

Pam Allan:
Oh sweet.

Corey Allan:
And a lot of times what I have found with the clients that I work with, and with the people that will send me emails and ask me questions, they're not taking it serious enough to say, "Hey, you know what? We're not really clicking. I'd like it with somebody else." And this is a great way that helps make great therapeutic matches that can create lasting change for the clients. So Better Help wants you to start living a happier life today. If you visit betterhelp.com, and that's H-E-L-P, /SMR, you can join the over 800,000 people that are taking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. This is a special offer for Sexy Marriage Radio listeners. You can get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/SMR today.

Corey Allan:
We appreciate a new sponsor to today's episode Beachbody. Pam, you remember all those years ago when we did Insanity?

Pam Allan:
Yes, I remember it. I love it. I love it. Shante.

Corey Allan:
It was aptly titled though with how much work and the results that came from that, because that was back in the day when we dedicated a lot of time with the videos that we had. But now, Beachbody is completely on demand, which is such a great avenue for when we're stuck at home, and this is the way with the gym's closed and the current state of our nation and the world, this is a way that Beachbody on demand can come right into your home.

Pam Allan:
I've loved it because the convenience, right? Because I let my yoga membership lapse because I can never get there at the time their classes were, so I'm stoked. I love having them as a sponsor because we've loved their product for so many years, and I've loved having yoga and stuff like that that I can just do whenever it's convenient for me and I don't have to wait for my class at the gym.

Corey Allan:
Yeah. Beachbody on demand, if you're not familiar with it, it's a streaming service that gives you instant access to over 1,300 super workouts that's suited for anybody, at any time, and they walk you through it. The thing I love the most currently, because I'm working through LIIFT4 with Joel Freeman, is the one kind of walking me through this whole thing four days a week for six weeks. But the thing that's so awesome is you get a chance to pick the workout you want to do with the trainer you like and then try them all, over time, because it's an incredibly effective... The workouts can be in as short as 10 minutes. They don't require extra equipment, although you can get some that are even more involved so you can tailor it to what fits you the best. So I think Beachbody is actually one of the best deals in fitness.

Corey Allan:
And the coolest thing is Pam, listeners to the Sexy Marriage Radio can try it out for absolutely free.

Pam Allan:
Seriously?

Corey Allan:
Absolutely. So we really want you to try out Beachbody, because right now you get a special free trial membership when you text the letters S-M-R to 303030 on your phone. That's all you got to do to get full access to the entire platform for free. That's workouts, nutrition information, support, totally free because they have more than just the workouts. They also have all kinds of meal plans and access to coaches that will help you out. So just text S-M-R, the letters that start with Sexy Marriage Radio, to 303030. Listeners to Sexy Marriage Radio can try it out for absolutely free.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
Well, I think the first thing is to see it, because so much of what we do, we do unwittingly. I mean we do it instinctively, and we may feel off, but we can't see it clearly enough to change it. And, for example, I worked with a couple where she grew up in a family where she felt unnoticed. She felt like the lost child. She got married and they co-created a caretaking marriage where he would caretake her sense of self. And she's an attractive woman, but she was always getting him to regulate her anxiety about herself. And so sex was about managing her sense of self, reassuring her was about managing her sense of self, trying to help her with her anxieties, and he had very low desire for sex.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
Now, eventually he went and had an affair. Okay? Which is not that he really had an intrinsic low desire for sex. It's that sex in this meaning frame was just undesirable because there was a resentment of, "I'm always having to prop you up. Sex is always about you. You don't really want to know me because you need so much for me to be your reassurer." Right? So what, in her case, was starting to wake up to... And the affair was short-lived and he very much wanted to make the marriage work, as did she. So, she really had to face how much she was made... Basically the marriage was revolving around her anxiety about herself, and so she had to see how she was doing it, and the myriad ways she would take in sex, in their interactions.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
And so once she could see it, and face it, and could recognize this pattern also in her family of origin, then it was about not diffusing her anxiety in the normal way of trying to extract it from him either through sex, or through the emotional interactions, or extracting reassurance from him. And so it was just an act of self-control, really, at first, which is, "I can't do this to him." I think she started to see it rather than, "I'm weak. He's strong. He really should reassure me," because that made it tolerable for her, even though she always felt anxious even when he reassured her, it didn't make it go away. She had to start seeing it as, "I'm actually taking from this person, and it makes sense he's trying to keep it arms length from me, because I'm sucking the life out of him." So once she could see it, she was working hard on managing her own behavior and not doing this, and seeing all the ways in which she would push for him to reassure, buoy her up, not just be with her sexually, but reassure her sexually.

Corey Allan:
Right. Because that's what starts to set up the scenario that she's describing in the email, of attachment's just not enough. Once I get it, it still... it doesn't feel it. It doesn't... It's not satisfying.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
It feels good in the moment. If feels like it takes your anxiety down in the moment, but then ultimately you still don't feel wanted and you're not clear that this person desires you, and actually you can tell they don't.

Corey Allan:
Okay. Yeah. Here's the thing, also, that jumps out to me, kind of building off of what you're describing, is I like the framework of, it may be it starts with just an element of self-control, of seeing it as, and this is not an apples to apples comparison, but this is what comes to my mind because this is... In a similar vein in the history of my life in my marriage with Pam, I had times where, early on when we lived in Dallas, when lots of times we've kind of come into a habit, and I don't know if this is a universal thing of married couples or not, but when one of us is driving, we call the other. It's just one of the things we do. It's just a touchpoint, right?

Corey Allan:
Well, I used to do it and most of those calls always came out of emptiness. It was, I wasn't feeling good about myself, or I was bored and I wanted Pam to help me feel better about me, but I had no clue that was the motivation, but that's what it was. And so when I would call her and I would be interrupting her, who's a tax accountant, in a zone, and no tax accountant in a zone, or anybody in a zone likes to be interrupted, especially from somebody coming from emptiness. Would respond with a, "What do you need?" And I'm crushed immediately with the way she answers the phone.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
Yeah. You don't want to be with me. You're annoyed I'm calling.

Corey Allan:
Right. I hear it.... Because what I'm hoping for with that phone call is, "I was just thinking about you and so excited."

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
You're the best.

Corey Allan:
Yeah. "I can't wait until I can get home tonight and see you again." Yada, yada, on and on and on. Okay. So now to this day, the element of self-control, when I pick up the phone to make a phone call to her, to this day, I have a momentary pause of what am I doing this for?

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
Where am I coming from?

Corey Allan:
What is this about? Right? Is it truly I need something like, "Hey, we got the schedule issue coming up, what about this? What about that?" And then I'll, "Okay, I'll take the risk of the interruption."

Corey Allan:
But then the other side of it is, if it's a, "I need you to help me feel better about me," I can still bring that to the forefront and say, "I was just feeling kind of down and I wanted to hear your voice." That's a different connotation in the way I'm approaching it.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
It's more responsibility in it for one.

Corey Allan:
Hopefully. That's the hope. And so I almost hear it for her, the email, that the self-control mode is not... Because this is the threat I hear so much, and I'm sure you've kind of confirmed it when we were talking right before we started recording, in the work you do, too, that you see a lot of higher desires get caught up in this dilemma of, "Am I wrong? Something's wrong. Something's broke," whatever. And then the other is, "The easiest way through this thing would be just for me to limit my desire. If I could just lessen my desire," Which I don't really want to go down that route. I don't think that's a good thing. I think instead-

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
No, I agree with you completely.

Corey Allan:
I think instead it's better, and this is non-gender specific in my mind because even though this is a wife emailing in this is the same counsel I would give a husband, how have you sexualized some of these desires that aren't sexual?

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
Right.

Corey Allan:
That maybe you're looking for the prop up and you've sexualized it to get it, when it's really not a sexual thing. It's a insecurity thing. It's a confidence thing, which could easily fine-line be both, non-sexual or sexual. But maybe we have found, "Oh, I get a whole lot more of that wind in my sail, even though it's temporary, when I go sexual with it." And so how do you decipher the difference?

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
So basically, what's the meaning of my sexual desire? What's it coming from? Is it coming from emptiness? Is it coming from strength? And is it desirable? Right? Because this is what I was thinking of before, is sometimes we apologize for our higher desire. Okay. And there's social and cultural reasons why we do that because of the shaming of sexuality. But a lot of times what I ask higher desire people, of what do you have to be ashamed of in your desire? And it's a real question. Right? Because sometimes there... If you're using sex to get this person to manage your sense of self, well maybe you do have something to apologize for.

Corey Allan:
There is some shame to that, that goes with that. Yes.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
Right, exactly. And if it's about really choosing your partner, really wanting them, then you have nothing to apologize for and you shouldn't act as though you do. So helping people to figure out what's driving my desire? And discerning between what strong and good in it versus what's weak and not good in it, allows them to self-confront and build more confidence in their desire.

Corey Allan:
Right. I love that. And the other framework and phraseology I love of your work, is the idea that almost encapsulates what you're just describing there, is if it's coming from goodness within you, however you deem that, right, because that allows some variance in the value structure that matters to each person's uniqueness and situation, but if it's coming from goodness, that's the best place you can start.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
That's right. And one way I think about goodness, and it's a Christian idea, which is that Christ was really clear about the fact that is it about loving self, other, and God? Is it about making others stronger? Is it about buoying one another up in the true sense. Not propping up, but actually facilitating strength? That's the definition of true religion.

Corey Allan:
Right. Because it's pulling both people up, not just one at the expense of the other.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
Exactly right. And so sacrifice makes the one sacrificing, and the one sacrificed for, stronger, for example. It's not a psychological martyr position. And so I think that's just really important for us to think about because we often can mask or tell ourselves something's good that's in fact compromising us and propping up someone else. Or it's we are getting something but it's at the expense of another. And so is there some way I can be in relationship to my sexuality where we both thrive, where we both are stronger? And what do I need to look at in myself? And sometimes it's the simple question of the higher desire person is to really inquire of the lower desire. "What's it like to be with me sexually?"

Corey Allan:
Great question.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
"What's not fun about it?" And it's such an obvious question, but it's [crosstalk 00:32:54] one we don't want-

Corey Allan:
Yeah, but it's not something we think... I don't know if I want to know the answer to that.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
Right. Because if we want validation, we have no interest in that question. We don't want to know the answer. Right? And so it's like, "My love language is where you tell me everything about me that's good."

Corey Allan:
Yeah, "And that's all you can ever tell me is only the things that are good."

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
And, "It's my love language so you have to." So anyway, as opposed to, "Tell me what I don't want to hear," and that's intimacy.

Corey Allan:
And then, "Let me do the hard work with that," because I think that's the way we end it with this wife, is talking about how does she, and I love the terminology of, how does she muster the courage to ask these questions? First, of herself and then her relationship, specifically her husband. But how do you lean in to that to see then, "Okay, that's going to give me tremendous data to know where are my blind spots? Where are my holes? Where are the things that I've been oblivious to in my own life? Because either it just hasn't been developed in the sense that I've been able to recognize it and have the wherewithal to do anything about it, or it's I don't want to know and I don't want... but now I do. Now I'm seeing, "No, no, this is worth it. I want that information because it's going to benefit both of us." And [crosstalk 00:34:17] when you can do that you get great results.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
[crosstalk 00:34:18] I think that's the best understanding of... I mean that courage is driven by love. It's like, "Look, I care about you. I can see I'm taking too much. And so I dare to know because I love you." And I think that's what the best understanding of faith is, is I'm reaching towards something that I know is there. I'm afraid. I feel anxious, but I have enough love to reach towards it and to push myself into growth even though I don't want to, in the sense of it doesn't feel good, but I choose to.

Corey Allan:
Right.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
Yeah.

Corey Allan:
That's good. Jennifer, thank you-

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
I was just going to say... You're welcome. Oh, and we can do this in the next segment if you want. I think there's maybe more to say about the lower desire guy, too. I mean I think there's something we could think about in that and maybe we can do that in the next segment. But I think there's a lot of people that ask this question, on my side too, for the higher desire woman, and I feel like it's a question that doesn't get asked enough, or answered enough, because I think there is sometimes differences in the lower desire wife as opposed to a lower desire husband, because of the cultural expectations of sex. But you decide if you want to-

Corey Allan:
Sure. Hey, thanks for teeing that up, that if you want to hear our conversation about the impacts and the differences with the lower desire husband, join us in the extended content.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
Great.

Corey Allan:
So Jennifer, how can people find you because you're worth being found. So tell everybody how they find you.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
Sure. Just my website is my name, which is Finlasyson-Fife.com, and yeah, so on my website I have podcasts that I've done. I have podcast archive and some online courses that I do. I have it framed for LDS couples because that's my faith background, but they're really about... They're just a Christian framing of these same ideas, much like this conversation, around developing a better emotional relationship, a better sexual relationship. One course is the relationship course. The second one is a couple sexuality course. And I have a women's desire course, a self and sexual development course, how to talk to your kids about sexuality, and I'm also developing a men's sexuality course that I'll be doing this fall.

Corey Allan:
Very good.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
Yeah.

Corey Allan:
Well Jennifer, thank you so much again for the work, and for the time that you're spending with me today.

Jennifer Finlasyson-Fife:
Thank you.

Corey Allan:
What is so much fun to me, Pam, to have someone that speaks the same language as I do.

Pam Allan:
Yes. I'm glad you get to have that once in a while because I can't be that for you. So a colleague to share those mindset, the...

Corey Allan:
The framework.

Pam Allan:
The framework. I'm so glad that you have that.

Corey Allan:
I am, too. And the thing that I love so much, and this is part of what's made Sexy Marriage Radio what it is, is because the whole idea of personal responsibility, validating yourself to grow yourself up, to have the courage. And even in this one where Jennifer makes the great question of asking, I mean, if you have the courage to ask your spouse, "What is it like having sex with me," to get the good and the bad of that.

Pam Allan:
That is bold.

Corey Allan:
That's a bold question, but that's a framework that is so incredibly powerful, and that's what I love about the whole model of differentiation that Schnarch talks about and teaches so much, because it's applicable in all kinds of situations. And so we can have all kinds of information and shows indefinitely because the topics don't run out, because you can constantly, "Oh, well look at it this way." "Let's change it that way."

Corey Allan:
And this is the thing that came up on the hangout we did with the members of the SMR nation tonight, on recognizing lots of people find our show thinking, "Well, I need to get my spouse. They're the ones that needs to be fixed." And realizing, "No, it's me. I got to handle me."

Pam Allan:
Yeah. "I got to fix me."

Corey Allan:
"I got to deal with me." And so we're so glad that you take time out to spend it with us and ask those questions of, how do I fix me? How do I be better? And if you want to know and you're not quite sure, let us know. Feedback@sexymarriageradio.com or (214) 702-9565 is how you can ask your questions, and we are here to help.

Corey Allan:
So thank you so much for each and every week taking some time out of your day to spend it with us.

Pam Allan:
Yeah. Absolutely.

Corey Allan:
We'll see you next time.

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