The Sex Starved Marriage: Full Review
Copyright 2003. The Sex-Starved Marriage tackles a sensitive and all to common problem known as the desire gap. Michele Weiner-Davis is a long time practitioner of solution focused therapy. In The Sex-Starved Marriage she takes a solution focused approach to closing the desire gap. The powerful thing about this approach is it’s practicality. “A marriage void of sexuality and intimacy is a marriage doomed to fail.” She talks to both partners in such a way that they become a team working to enhance the love in their marriage. Some of the work is for the low desire partner and other work is for the high desire partner. Sex is the least talked about and one of the most common problems within marriage. At the very least this book will invite you to talk with your spouse about sex.
Having problems in your sex life is common. 50% of men and 20% of women say their sex drive isn’t what it used to be. 33% of couples struggle with problems associated with low desire. 20% of couples have sex less than 10 times per year. If you think this is about sex you are missing the point. It is about feeling wanted and desired by your committed partner.
Another clear point that couples need to understand is that their failed attempts to understand the problem may be part of the problem. “Knowing why you’re not so interested in sex won’t boost your desire one bit.” Couples can argue and debate why there is a difference in their desire and at the end of the debate feel less accepted, understood, or connected than before. Couples need to accept and affirm one another so that they feel connected, this in and of itself is a proven way to boost your marriage libido.
Causes of Low Desire
- Toxic substances
- Body image
- Grief and loss
- Midlife crisis
- Tyranny of expectations
- Relationship issues: disrespect, contempt, resentment, fear, anger, hurt, betrayal, conflict
- Low sexual IQ
- Sex talk insecurity
- Intimacy dilemma
- Emotional association of shame to various causes, behavioral anomalies, etc.
“You can’t make marriage work if all you care about is what makes you happy…Real giving is when you give to your spouse not what you want or need; but that which your spouse wants and needs.” Think about this. Marriage is about soothing your spouses after a day in the jungle.
What Leaders Need to Know
If you can’t talk about it you can’t do it. Learn to have an intimate discussion.
- Talk about difficult things only when its a good time
- Start off on a positive note
- Be specific
- Talk about what you want, don’t criticize
- If things get heated take a time out
- Leave the past in the past
- Feelings aren’t right or wrong they just are
- If he isn’t deaf, then he heard you
- No name calling
- No exaggeration
- Don’t mind read
- Agree to disagree
Lots of couples can’t talk about sex. This is more taboo than religion, money, and politics. Can you talk about sex with your spouse? Here are 12 things your spouse needs to know and if you don’t talk about it they are likely to draw the wrong conclusion.
Can you talk about sex with your spouse to:
- let them know what feels good
- discuss areas they would like to improve
- negotiate differences in sexual interests and preferences
- talk about aspects of their sexual relationship that aren’t comfortable or pleasurable
- share fantasies
- correct faulty perceptions
- share vulnerabilities
- request sexual gifts
- express interest and attraction
- heighten sexual pleasure
- be playful
This book is on the Top 10 Marriage Books Reviewed for a reason. I don’t know if newlyweds should have it but I know from experience that once you have kids you better make a healthy sex life a priority. If you don’t take ownership of your marriage libido it will hurt your marriage.