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On the Regular version of today’s show …
How do you find a therapist or marriage coach in the age of telehealth? You can work with Dr Allan – for more info click here.
A lower desire wife emails wanting help getting her husband to understand her interest in her experiencing an orgasm during sex as well, not just him.
A wife in a sexless marriage wants to know how to get her husband interested in sex.
On the Xtended version …
The benefits of boredom and routine and the small steps you can take create a better path forward.
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Speaker 1: You are listening to the regular version of Sexy Marriage Radio. SMRnation.com
You've turned on Sexy Marriage Radio where the best sex happens in the marriage bed. Here's your host Dr. Corey Allan.
Corey Allan: Welcome back to another episode of Sexy Marriage Radio where it's storm season here in the Midwest and in Texas.
Pam Allan: Yeah, you may hear some thunder in the background.
Corey Allan: So we've added some ambience to this episode as we're recording. Wherever you are in this fair land or fair world that you tune in regularly to listen to us, summer's fast approaching where we live. Hopefully spring has sprung where you guys are and things are in bloom.
Pam Allan: Or fall if you're in the Southern Hemisphere.
Corey Allan: There's new life happening and restoration of things. It's all just a great season to see... I love the correlation to think of it in the sense that that's what we do as people, that's what we do as relationships too, that there's seasons to things. That sometimes things are really vibrant and alive, and sometimes things are a little more dormant and slow. That's all part of the process. So wherever you are in this process, thanks for hanging out with us.
We want to hear from you and let us know what's going on with your questions or comments. Call us at 214-702-9565 or email@example.com. Jump on Instagram, TikTok, our platform my.SMRnation.com.
Pam Allan: Can find us all over those world wide webs.
Corey Allan: There's been quite some great conversations going on on Instagram in the stories that we're running throughout the week. We're just having some real fun engagement with people. So if you haven't found us there, Sexy Marriage Radio is where you'll find us on any of those kinds of platforms.
Pam Allan: Perfect.
Corey Allan: So coming up on today's regular free version of Sexy Marriage Radio is your questions and our answers. One in particular I'm kind of excited to do a little bit of a followup to a blog post I wrote a long time ago on how to find a good therapist, how to find a good coach to work with. But we're going to pivot it and do it in the age of telehealth.
Pam Allan: Yeah, because it's totally different now than when you started some of this stuff.
Corey Allan: The landscape is vastly different. Plus, a couple other of your questions if we've got time. And then on the extended version of today's Sexy Marriage Radio episode, which is deeper, longer, and there are no ads, you can subscribe at SMRnation.com/smracademy. We're going to have a conversation about the art or the importance of boredom.
Pam Allan: Boredom. Well, I'm at a stage where I just wish I could be bored right now. How many of you out there, show of hands, who just wishes they could be bored right now?
Corey Allan: That's fair. That's completely fair. All that's coming up on today's show.
So this is from an email, and I'm not going to go through and read the whole email. But this is what's setting up this idea of how do you find good professional help in the age of telehealth? Because I had a listener email us in that talked about they began couples counseling at the beginning of the year. They talked about seeking somebody that could work all in one, which is a common approach to couples therapy.
Pam Allan: All in one meaning with us and with the spouse.
Corey Allan: With the couple and they'll work with individuals.
Pam Allan: Okay.
Corey Allan: And training matters in this. That's one of those things that's very important. That if you're seeking somebody for your relationship dynamic issues, find somebody that's trained in that, which usually correlates most closely to a marriage and family therapist because that's a system's process. There are others out there, psychologists and licensed professional counselors and then even social works, secondarily, that that's not their specialty. They can do offsets in it to get that and be trained in it, but that's not their specialty of that field.
Pam Allan: So that makes sense. If you're going to a medical doctor, you're not going to a urologist if you got a foot problem.
Corey Allan: Correct.
Pam Allan: So same thing in training that you have.
Corey Allan: Right. So one of the things right off the bat is if you're looking for somebody that works to work with your marriage, you want to ask them, "What's your training?" Not just, "I went to this credentialing thing." What's your training in it, in systems, and in relationships? It's a good distinguishing question.
So he goes on to talk about they started the sessions and started to get into it, then he reached out to try to have an individual session, and it kept getting unanswered. Meanwhile, the therapist, the female therapist was working with his wife on a regular basis, and he finally got a chance to get in with her one-on-one. And the just felt like he was blown off, that she knew someone that he should be referred to. I don't know what was going on because sometimes we don't always click with our therapists or our coaches, and that's something that's a process of therapy then. If you're not connecting, bring up that conversation with them, see if they've got somebody that would connect better with them because if they are so hard and fast about, "I don't want to lose a client," then they've got other agendas going on than just helping people.
Pam Allan: Right, right. Realize they're in business to be in business, but you also got to make sure that they're watching out for your best interest when you're talking about are they the best person for you.
Corey Allan: Absolutely. So what matters then when you're starting to talk about how do I do this, what's the best way to go about finding a therapist. And I'll put a link in today's show notes at SMRnation.com. If you find today's episode, in the notes will be a guide I wrote on how to choose a shrink and then part one and part two. Because in there, I go in and distinguish what's the different credentialing, what's the different schooling that's available. But the best thing to do when you're trying to find a therapist, even in the days of like today with telehealth is ask around.
Pam Allan: Get referrals.
Corey Allan: Get personal referrals. And I realize some of this breaks the taboo.
Pam Allan: Right because you're having to tell somebody, "I'm interested in..."
Corey Allan: Basically saying we have trouble. We have problems. But let me let you in on a little secret, everybody has trouble. Everybody has problems. It's the courageous ones are the ones that reach out for help. So you ask around, you ask a friend, a family member, but there's also another thing you can do that goes beyond what I wrote in this article over a decade ago I think is how long ago it was written is because of the day and age we're in with Google and social reviews that happen, you can really investigate people better. So if you get a bead on somebody that you're like, "I think they could be pretty good," because you read their website, you liked the write-up, you liked what their credentials. They all look good. Seek around to see if they're on any podcasts. Seek around to see what else they've written. It'll give an idea of who they are. But ultimately if you can find something from them via audio, like a podcast as a guest or a host, or video, you get a better idea of do they know what they're talking about or not.
Pam Allan: Right.
Corey Allan: Right. Because anybody can write really good things, but sometimes it doesn't come across because they don't have a personality when you're in person with them or connecting with them in a different way.
Pam Allan: Right, right.
Corey Allan: So then the other thing you would do is just a phone interview. You call and interview them.
Pam Allan: Right. Does that have to be super intensive or-
Corey Allan: No.
Pam Allan: ... over a really long period of time. It can be real quick. So I guess you probably get that when people are calling to kind of check out working with you, right?
Corey Allan: I do.
Pam Allan: What kind of things did they ask you when they call and ask?
Corey Allan: So some of the best questions to ask in my opinion are: what's your view of the process? What's your view of people? What's your view of relationships? How do you operate? That's where I want to hear and that's where I steer if somebody's really kind of checking things out. I've been fortunate enough doing this long enough and now thanks to the Sexy Marriage Radio Nation, a lot of the people that reach out to me already know us because they listen. They've hung around, and they're like, "I'm working with you."
Pam Allan: Right. I already know you. So part of that barrier's already gone.
Corey Allan: Which jumpstarts the process and it makes it a whole lot faster. Shameless plug. I'll totally admit this. But working with somebody remotely nowadays is completely different because a lot of the states have done away with the border restriction for their licensures. So now a lot of times my marriage and family therapist license and my license of professional counseling license goes across all the state lines right now when it used to not. It was only in the state of Texas. So now you can work with anybody, and then it just comes down to personal preference. Would you rather be in person in somebody's office or are you comfortable enough to do it remotely via web cam? Because in the days of telehealth like we've got, you're talking about some abilities to see people regularly via video. So all you have to do for that is just have a decent internet, a quiet place to meet, and if you're meeting as a couple, be on the same camera together.
Pam Allan: Don't be one of you in a car and one of you-
Corey Allan: Yeah, sometimes that will happen. You're in different locations when you have to schedule your sessions, but the best is be in the same location because that gives, as a therapist and a coach, that gives me tremendous data to watch the way couple interrelates to each other in the middle of the sessions because it feels different than being in my office when I used to have an office. Now my office is anywhere in the world because everything I'm doing is virtual. But the perks of that are it's a lot easier to schedule. It's a lot easier to connect because there's less travel time. You can get creative on your timings. And then you also want to ask I think personally do they have some homework, some things that you do outside of the session that help because it is a little bit of a different feel? And then the other thing is do they offer any email and text support? If something comes up, can you email them knowing it's not therapy but it's a chance to connect on something to give a little bit of a steer or a reframe.
Pam Allan: So what would be the expectation on turnaround there? Because I'm thinking of if my clients are texting me and emailing me, I want to be there for them and provide support. But am I on-call? So what's the expectation there when someone's asking that question?
Corey Allan: Yeah, some people, they're not going to give out a number of texts. They're not going to give out a number. You'll hear emails. You can find that all over the web typically. So typically you would think that the turnaround would be a day, 24 hours. I have, shameless plug warning, shifted as of 2021 to a different package setup with what I'm offering couples and individuals. One of them is a get me almost unlimited for a year package that has 28 sessions that we have over a course of a year. It's unlimited email access and between the hours of nine and nine, you can call.
Pam Allan: Nice.
Corey Allan: Anytime. If there's a crisis and the clients I've been working with have taken advantage of this some where it's like, "I've got this project that I'm working on and I'm stuck. Can I get on with you?" Yes. Give me 15 minutes and I'm on. And we do a quick little, "What about this? What about that?" You're off and running. So we can get creative with the blend of coaching and therapy that you can get creative on how what your approach is. So a lot of times you just want to do some investigating, ask some questions, and then the biggest hint or tip to add as we wrap this up is if it's going along and you feel like I'm not being heard, I'm not being challenged, whatever it might be, bring that up to whoever it is you're working with because if they can't handle being confronted about how the whole process is going, you don't want to work with them when it comes to marriage because marriage is high conflict, high anxiety work because you live it. If you've been married any length of time, you know that.
So there was a commercial just recently where a guy walks in and his wife's just staring out the window, and he's, "What's wrong? You okay?" "Fine." You could see his face just go, "Uh oh, you're not fine." Because there's so many layers of communication going on there. But there's problems. So you need somebody that can dive into that with you.
And then last statement is if you're looking for marriage help, you want to find somebody that's comfortable talking about sex, in my opinion. For dramatic effect.
Pam Allan: Dramatic effect with the lightning, the thunder.
Corey Allan: Because that's a huge component of marriage, and it may not be part of the issues that you're seeking therapy for but you want someone that's comfortable because a lot of times it can spin to that.
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Corey Allan: So an email came in from a wife that says, "I'm the lower desire wife. We have sex maybe five times a month. For the last year, maybe longer, I actually dread it. Mostly because I would say 90% of the time I don't climax. My husband has been struggling with erection issues, and we've tried the KY Long Lasting Spray which does help. But however, foreplay is almost nonexistent. So I just have a hard time getting there. Once he finishes, it's all done, and I'm just left there. No mention from him of, 'Hey, let me do something to help you get release.' It's happened enough and I absolutely hate sex, and I don't want to. I obviously struggle with communication or this wouldn't be an issue. Can you help me find the worlds to help him understand, or do you have an episode related to this? I hope all this makes sense. Thanks for what you do."
I think she captures quite a few couples.
Pam Allan: Yeah.
Corey Allan: Maybe not in the particulars of erectile issues or I don't get to have release 90% of the time, but the fact that we've got a problem. One person does, the other does too but isn't recognizing it.
Pam Allan: Or they recognize it and they're just ignoring it.
Corey Allan: That's fair too. They know the problem, but they're not willing to do anything about it. That's a good point, Pam. So to her question, can you help me find the worlds to help him understand? No.
Pam Allan: Why not?
Corey Allan: Well, to help him understand. I don't have any clue. That's the whole concept of how often do we get caught up in a situation that's happening, and I fall victim to the idea that apparently my partner's just not understanding it. So I haven't put the right combination of words or actions together to help them get it.
Pam Allan: Okay. So is the first question not have you vocalized anything at all to him? Is there any-
Corey Allan: That's a different offshoot of where we would want to go with this. To where the statement isn't and the question isn't in my mind and in our minds how do you help him understand. The step is how do you make it clear where you are? How do you make it clear the dynamic that's going on with you? Because if you wanted to come at this and really try to change this whole dynamic and confront it better, then you got to be willing to take a stand. So then you got to start asking yourself the questions of what is it that makes you to where you have struggle communicating? Is it built into this idea that if I speak up for what I want, I'm being selfish, I'm being unkind? It's going to fly right in the face of the problem he has with the erectile issues. Tough. That's just part of the dynamic of a marriage and two people and separate paths and each of you trying to confront that path better maybe or for sure in this case one of you confronting that better knowing this is going to be difficult on my partner when I bring this up. But it's difficult already.
Pam Allan: Yeah. Well, he's got to know something already. There's no way he doesn't realize there's an issue here. He just may not know exactly what it is. But to say that she hates sex, that makes it super difficult already anyway.
Corey Allan: That's right because we're talking about a dynamic that both parties probably have a better view of what's going on than they're willing to admit, than they're willing to state because I saw this when I was looking through some things on TikTok the other day preparing for some of the stuff I was getting ready to create too. And somebody asked the question of how do you know that your wife has orgasmed? Because there's a pressure on there of one, don't keep asking because-
Pam Allan: Don't ask if you orgasmed.
Corey Allan: Right. Because then it changes the focus and it adds a pressure. But the other is just, because the immediate thing that comes to my mind is we are sophisticated enough beings, we don't admit this because it gets us in trouble. But we are sophisticated enough beings as people, we have an idea of what's going on. Just pay more attention. Be a better student. That starts with being a better student of yourself. So if you have trouble communicating, be a student. Ask yourself why. What is it that makes it a struggle? What's the issues that I don't like to speak up? I don't like to ask for what I want. I don't like to disappoint somebody. I don't like to put pressure on somebody. Because the reality of life on life terms is all of that's going to happen when you live in close proximity to somebody else, especially if you want to have a vibrant sex life with somebody else. Because the best sex is actually when both people are seeking what they want and what their partner wants. It's not just one sided.
Pam Allan: Right. When you lay it all out on the table, at least then it's out on the table. It's not hidden. Well, maybe he knows that I got an issue with that. Maybe he doesn't, or I assume he does and then I get mad because he doesn't. The assumptions and all the things behind it are-
Corey Allan: So to get practical, the next time you have sex and it goes too fast from the foreplay to the intercourse, speak up. I'm not ready for that yet. I would like to keep doing this. I want to slow this down. I would like you to focus on me, and if you're not willing to, maybe I'll just focus on me. You can just hang out for a bit. Whatever you're comfortable with, whatever you want to start steering towards that aspect of your marriage and your life being more engaged and inviting, make those moves and see what happens because to me, that's the cleaner move because it helps put whatever the pressure and the dynamic really is more front and center rather than this thing that we usually kind of dance around. And we're not even really sure what the problem is.
So make the move that says, "This is something I really want to experience and be involved in. I want more equality in. So are you going to help me out and are you on board and in favor of this or not, honey? Because if you're not, that's good information for me to know."
Pam Allan: Yeah, I can take my next step on whatever that is.
Corey Allan: Because then that might be I just need to be more proactive in my own self and in the way I bring about my vitality and vibrancy to this aspect of our marriage too.
So we're going to continue the similar kind of a thread of a dynamic, different topic though.
Pam Allan: Okay.
Corey Allan: Email from a wife that she says, "My husband's been active duty military since we met and we married. When we were dating, he seemed very interested in sex. But once we married, it became obvious that I was the higher desire spouse. After several years of marriage and two kids, I felt like I was third or fourth place in his life. I ended up having an emotional affair with a man I met online. After several years of this affair, my husband found the texts and was very upset. After going to counseling, I decided to end the affair. My husband and I have reconciled but our sex life is still almost nonexistent. I'm struggling because I want to be wanted sexually, but sex doesn't seem to happen unless I initiate it. Can I do anything to help my husband initiate sex?"
Again, the same kind of spirit as the last email, no on trying to get someone else to do something. We have totally given up our power. So this is, again, one of those dilemmas, and this is a little bit more of trends are only 25-30% of relationships where it's the wife that's the higher desire.
Pam Allan: But that's still plenty of people.
Corey Allan: That's plenty of people but most of the women that this encapsulates, they feel like unicorns.
Pam Allan: Sure.
Corey Allan: That it's like, "I got to be the only one," because you hear conversation from your girlfriends, and it's like, "I'm the only one."
Pam Allan: Sure, sure.
Corey Allan: So instead it comes down to how do I examine my plight as the higher desire spouse? Because you and I have talked a lot about there's a higher desire and a lower desire. Be better at whatever role you play on that continuum. So if you're the higher desire, how do you just come to grips with a majority of the initiations going to be on my shoulders? A majority of maybe even leading the times is going to be on my shoulders because I want it more than what my partner wants it.
Pam Allan: So you say majority, and if I'm high desire pretty much all the time, is it not all the time? So I ask that question because if you have the expectation of a majority meaning some of the time they're going to still initiate, do they?
Corey Allan: Okay. So some of-
Pam Allan: Are they? Am I setting myself for disappointment even thinking that sometimes they'll initiate?
Corey Allan: Fair question. So sometimes then this comes down to how are you framing it? Because some of it can be they are initiating it but it's not a blatant, overt initiation of sex. It's actually just more of an initiation or a prompt towards the idea of it.
Pam Allan: Yeah, like I'm open to having sex.
Corey Allan: Right. Some of it can be their responsiveness.
Pam Allan: And that's the expectation of what is initiation.
Corey Allan: Good point.
Pam Allan: Both of you may have a different definition of what initiation is.
Corey Allan: True, but I also want to build it off of the statement she writes in there, and this is the one thing everybody's trying to find the key for, including us, is I want to feel wanted.
Pam Allan: Yeah.
Corey Allan: That's beyond just do you initiate sex with me. That's a do you want me. And when we get caught in that framework, all of the information that's out there that's been proposed for how do you increase the sex life with scheduling or it's your turn, then it's my turn, or sexy texts or date nights or vacations, whatever it might be. Those are good band-aids and can serve a purpose and a role, but those don't still meet the idea of do I end up feeling wanted because that's one of those things that when we're talking about a free choice relationship, that's a risk and a struggle of all I can do is present something that I believe is worth wanting. And I see if they like it, choose it, respond in kind to it.
We made it through with only a couple claps of thunder.
Pam Allan: Not too bad.
Corey Allan: It helps when you can pause when the big stuff comes through.
Pam Allan: Well, it does. Yeah. I'm sure everybody heard the door slam when the wind picked up and the door wasn't latched.
Corey Allan: Texas thunderstorms. I was thinking of that the other day too where we had people that came to the getaway, and they were like, "I just really hope there's a good Texas thunderstorm," because they were from California. Different storms there than rumble through the Midwest.
Well, this has been Sexy Marriage Radio, and I hope that only the storms that come through your marriage are really good storms that are rumbling. Does that even make sense?
Pam Allan: Yeah, I don't know.
Corey Allan: Do you have a good storm?
Pam Allan: I'm a little confused on that one.
Corey Allan: I guess storm has a bad connotation, doesn't it? Well, how about good claps of thunder going on in your marriage?
Pam Allan: There you go. There you go.
Corey Allan: Well, if we left something undone, we want to know from you. 214-702-9565 or if you've got a question for followup or just a completely different topic, let us know firstname.lastname@example.org. Wherever you are, whatever you've been doing, we thank you again for taking a little bit of time out of your week to spend it with us. See you next time.
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