Intimacy & Desire: Awaken the Passion in Your Marriage

Overview

Many couples begin marital counseling with Dr. David Schnarch with their sex lives in shambles, wondering what's wrong with them, considering divorce. One partner will complain that the other doesn't desire him, the other complains that she's married to a sex maniac. During his 30 years in practice as a marriage and family therapist, Dr. Schnarch has discovered that sexual desire problems are normal and even healthy, in committed relationships.In Intimacy and Desire: Awaken the Passion in Your Relationship, Dr. ...
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Overview

Many couples begin marital counseling with Dr. David Schnarch with their sex lives in shambles, wondering what's wrong with them, considering divorce. One partner will complain that the other doesn't desire him, the other complains that she's married to a sex maniac. During his 30 years in practice as a marriage and family therapist, Dr. Schnarch has discovered that sexual desire problems are normal and even healthy, in committed relationships.In Intimacy and Desire: Awaken the Passion in Your Relationship, Dr. Schnarch explains why couples in long term relationships have sexual desire problems, regardless of how much they love each other or how well they communicate. Through case studies of couples he worked with, Dr. Schnarch shows why normal marital conflict can be the cause of desire problems and creates a roadmap for how couples can transform marital conflict into a stronger relationship and a font of new and powerful desire for each other. He takes it a step further, giving readers simple but effective exercises that will help them reconnect with each other.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780825305672
  • Publisher: Beaufort Books, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/2011
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 5.86 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

David Schnarch is a licensed clinical psychologist and author of numerous books and articles on intimacy, sexuality and relationships. His clinical abilities attract clients and students from across the globe. Dr. Schnarch lives and works with his wife, Dr. Ruth Morehouse, in Colorado.

David Schnarch is a licensed clinical psychologist and author of numerous books and articles on intimacy, sexuality and relationships, most famously, Passionate Marriage: Sex, Love, and Intimacy in Emotionally Committed Relationships. His clinical abilities attract clients and students from across the globe. Dr. Schnarch lives and works with his wife, Dr. Ruth Morehouse, in Colorado.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xv

Part 1 Why Normal People have Sexual Desire Problems 1

1 There is Always a Low Desire Partner and the Low Desire Partner Always Controls Sex 3

Sex Is Not a "Natural Function" 4

There Is Always a "Low Desire Partner" and a "High Desire Partner" 9

The Low Desire Partner Always Controls Sex 11

How the Low Desire Partner Controls Sex 16

Where We're Headed 19

2 Since Your "Self" Showed Up, Sexual Desire Hasn't Been the Same 21

Three Drives of Sexual Desire and Love 23

A Fourth Sexual Drive: Developing and Maintaining a Self 25

Biology, Environment, Culture, and Mind in the Evolution of Desire and Love 30

Co-Evolution: Mind, Brain, Body, and Relationship Are One Whole 32

The Crucible® Approach to Co-Evolution Through Love Relationships 34

3 The Low Desire Partner Usually Controls the High Desire Partner's Adequacy 40

It Starts at the Beginning: Being Normal 42

Borrowed Functioning 44

Developing a Solid Flexible Self 46

Mapping Your Partner's Mind 50

People Who Can't Control Themselves Control the People Around Them 58

The Answer to the Age-Old Question: Does Marriage Kill Sex? 63

Part 2 How We Co-Evolve Through Sexual desire Problems 67

4 Holding On to Your Self 69

The Four Points of Balance™ 72

Emotional Gridlock 80

Differentiation 85

Four Points of Balance: Balancing Attachment and Autonomy 89

The Cure for Emotional Gridlock 94

5 Intimacy Shapes Your Sexual Desire 101

Other-Validated Intimacy and Self-Validated Intimacy 104

Intimacy Is a System, Just Like Sexual Desire 110

Dependence on Other-Validated Intimacy Creates Emotional Gridlock 113

Gridlock over Intimacy Creates Low Desire 115

Shifting to Self-Confrontation and Self-Validated Intimacy 118

Creating Intersubjective Experiences 123

Adult Intimacy Harnesses the Best in You 128

6 Changing Monogamy from Martyrdom to Freedom 131

Monogamy, Adultery, and Human Nature 133

Monogamy Is Not a Promise, It's a System! 139

Monogamy Creates Low Desire in Poorly Differentiated Couples 144

Things Reach Critical Mass 148

Going Through the Crucible 149

Stronger Four Points of Balance Makes Monogamy Operate Differently 151

7 Desire Fades When You Stop Growing 157

Sexual Boredom Is Normal 161

When Your Partner Becomes Too Important to You, Desire Problems Surface 166

Anxiety-Regulation Through Accommodation 171

(Lack of) Desire, Intimacy, Freedom, and Sexual Novelty Prompt You to Grow 173

Part 3 Sexual Desire Problems: How Your Personal Life Fits in 179

8 Wanting, Not Wanting to Want, and Two-Choice Dilemmas 181

Desire: A Capacity You Can Develop 182

Choosing Your Partner 186

Consciously Chosen, Freely Undertaken Desire 192

Desire Problems Involve Two-Choice Dilemmas 197

Do You Treat Your Partner Like a Friend? 199

Hold On to Your Self: Self-Confrontation and Self-Soothing 202

9 Normal Marital Sadism, the Devil's Pact, and Other Dark Stuff 208

Normal Marital Sadism 211

The Problem Isn't Your Lack of Relationship, It's the Relationship You Have 215

The Devil's Pact: Initiation Deals 221

The Crucible of Marriage 228

10 What Does It Take to Really Change Things? Safely, Growth, and Critical Mass 232

Safety and Security in Marriage 237

Balancing Comfort, Safety, and Growth 241

Critical Mass: The Point of Fundamental Change 247

Marriage's Grand Design 251

Part 4 Using Your Body, Rewiring Your Brain, and Co-Evolving in Bed 261

11 A Collaborative Alliance Is More Important Than Perfect Technique 263

Collaborative Alliances 267

Some Families Never Have Collaborative Alliances 271

Maintain a Resilient Collaborative Alliance 275

Methods for Building a Physical Collaborative Alliance 277

Put Your Collaborative Alliance to Good Use 290

12 Curing Ticklishness and Noxious Touch 292

What Is Ticklishness? 293

Curing Ticklishness 295

Other Ways of Understanding Ticklishness 299

Collaborative Alliance: The Key to Resolving Ticklishness in the Moment 303

Resolving Ticklishness for the Long Term 309

Impacts of Ticklishness on Sexual Desire 313

Doing the Seemingly Impossible 316

13 Tender Loving Sex 319

New Application of Familiar Tools 322

Desire, Sex, Brain, and Self 327

Benefits of Tender Loving Sex 333

Exploring Your Sexual Potential 335

14 Blow Your Mind! 344

People Don't Fuck with Their Support System 351

Oral Sex: Fabulous for Changing Your Brain with Your Body and Mind 355

Receiving Can Be a Special Form of Giving 362

How to Use Your Mind and Body When Giving or Receiving Head 368

Ignite Desire in Your Bedroom 372

Appendix A Referral Information 376

Appendix B Overcoming Discomfort with Oral Sex 380

References 384

End Notes 397

Index 419

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2010

    Touchy subject, but unanticipated rewards from getting to grips with it

    Ok, here we go. Sexually, things between my wife and I had tailed off. She's is stunningly sexy, I'd always thought of myself as Prince Charming meets Tarzan, but here I was thinking I was more interested in cocoa and a good book than in wrecking the bedroom with her. What was going on?

    Well, I've learned that these days, there's a book about it. And when it comes to having sexual stalemate in a long term relationship or marriage, this is the book.

    Has it improved out sex life? Yah duh!

    In discovering that the way us humans are built, we're designed to find marriage difficult, and that's the point - in working out how to handle the difficulty, we grow. In our quick fix world, we are trained to think that either if it's difficult, it shouldn't be, so it must be broken and we're outta there, or to think that if it's difficult it's because we're inadequate and not wanting to face that, we're outta there!

    But if we're willing to do some work, and be guided through that work, then we can grow immeasurably as people, and as partners. Dr Schnarch is a funny, compassionate, tough author, who is not having a bar of his readers being any thing less that the great people they could only be if they are willing to do the work.

    Now sex is a natural expression of two deeply committed, deeply involved people, who have become that way from doing the work to find out why sex had stopped being fun. That is a whole other order of fun!

    I'd recommend buying two copies of this book, on for you and one for your partner, so you can scribble notes and not have your partner think they're secret messages! But buy it, read it, act on it, and have an awesome life.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted October 8, 2010

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    Posted January 16, 2010

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