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Make A Toast To Love in 2010

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It's the holiday season. Love is in the air and sex is in the news.

During the last several weeks, I've talked about studies showing that:
--40 percent of teenagers have sex before their parents talk to them about the birds and the bees.
--Sexually active young adults believe in planned pregnancy, but half of them don't use contraception consistently, and
--One in four between ages 14-19 have at least one sexually transmitted disease.

And, yes, I even used the Tiger Woods story as an opportunity to segue into a segment on sex addiction.

During the online chat, I expected to hear complaints from viewers who were offended by my use of the words "pornography" and "phone sex" in a morning news program when kids are watching. I also expected to get emails from parents asking questions about when and how to talk to their children about sex.

Instead, I got questions from women struggling with and asking for personal advice about their relationships.

Chatter: "I think my boyfriend has a sexual addiction. Here's the kicker - he's bi, and keeps wanting and having sex with guys on the side. Our biggest issue is whether this is cheating or not - something we can't agree on. He would never think of sleeping with another woman, only a man. What do you think?"

My Response: "You shouldn't feel that you have to negotiate on how you feel about fidelity. This is a core value. And, if it is as misaligned as it sounds, you may be in the wrong relationship."

The chatter abruptly dropped off. Another chatter who called herself Searching4Answers asked:

"My husband acted out a couple of years ago and I'm still trying to deal with it. He had sexual contact with anonymous males who pursued him online. He met with them and they performed acts on him but there was no intercourse. We are in couple’s therapy, but my husband wants everything to go away and not deal with the conflicts and problems. How do we repair our relationship?"

Her despair was palpable.

While the circumstances in these online conversations are somewhat extreme, the underlying theme is common: women (and sometimes, men) will make the relationship work at all costs.

Add a Comment2 Comments

What a great article and wonderful pebbles of wisdom to consider.

It is so true we put too much emphasis on the physical aspect of sexual love, and not enough on the emotional or spiritual side of love. I know several women who have a similar struggle with their partners. It seems to more commonly than not fall to the female of the relationship to nurture those things. I know in my own experience I have to remind my husband and urge him to remember the little things that matter so much--phone calls, messages--knowing that you are thought of and appreciated during the day when you're not together. Those things help you to have more passion and more love when you are together. It comes more easily.

Thank you for your excellent read, and wishing you many happy years with your husband.
P.S. I've been to Miraval. What a soulful place to have a retreat. :)

December 30, 2009 - 8:29am
Blogger (reply to Christine Jeffries)

Christine, thanks so much for your thoughtful response. MIraval did teach us that we have each of us have different strengths in how we maintain the relationship. What is so sad is when one partner does not engage at all....I see it all around me. This post was a bit personal, but it seems to have triggered a few dinner table and bedroom discussions. That makes it worth it.

December 30, 2009 - 10:26am
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