12 Steps for Cementing Relationship Commitment

by Denise J Charles

shutterstock_116979841We’re always talking about commitment in marriage but do we even know what it should look like? Follow these 12 steps to strengthen your level of relationship commitment. 

  1. Accept human imperfection in both yourself and your spouse and see it as a gateway for personal development and change
  2. Choose loving confrontation when unhappy or dissatisfied with some aspect of your relationship; this means that talking about how you feel is always critical; decide from the outset that you will not choose easy escape routes like emotional detachment or affairs
  3. Protect your relationship from negative external influences (friends, family, cohorts) who encourage you to bail out at the first sign of marital stress
  4. Set realistic goals for your marriage and work together at making them happen
  5. See love as a choice, not a feeling that is based purely on sexual chemistry or attractiveness
  6. Choose significant moments like birthdays, anniversaries or any day for that matter, to relive the memories of how you met, got engaged or got married; keeping alive the magic of your early relationship is still significant to the health of your marriage but understand that while this may be a tool to enhance your commitment, it should not be the basis for it
  7. Develop relationship loyalty by actively demonstrating that you and your spouse are on the same team; practice “having each others back” instead of competing
  8. Never neglect your sexual relationship; keep this “one-flesh” reality of your relationship going to demonstrate how exclusive and set apart your relationship really is from all others; this means actively working to make your sex better which will in turn strengthen your levels of intimacy
  9. Strive to demonstrate a “higher-order” love that is unconditional and loves “in spite of”and which also includes the practice of forgiveness
  10. Deal with relationship issues in a timely manner, before they have the chance to fester into deep-rooted anger or bitterness
  11. Never share your  marital challenges with someone you feel sexually attracted to; this represents the antithesis of commitment and loyalty
  12. If you sense your relationship  is becoming unglued and you both seem unable to handle it on your own, choose a reputable counselor, coach, pastor or therapist to help you get your marriage back on track

FREE WEBINAR EVENT! GET NAKED: EXPLORING MARITAL INTIMACY

The question of intimacy, will always be one which will determine the health and state of our significant relationships. But what is intimacy? What does it really look like in marriage and why is it so important? What hinders intimacy in marriage? Why do we run from it and how can we build and strengthen the capacity for intimacy in marriage?

Join me on Saturday April 25th, 10:00 am – 10:45 am AST for a  FREE WEBINAR EVENT : GET NAKED! Exploring Marital Intimacy

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Do You Fall In And Out Of Love?

romantic_couple_sunset-wallpaper-2048x1152The idea of “falling in love” as an all-consuming passion over which we seem to have little control is standard romantic fare. We meet someone with whom there is a strong physical and even emotional attraction. We may even get to the stage where we become mildly obsessed. We can’t seem to get this love interest out of our minds. We not only think about this lucky one constantly but when we see him/her we often get all warm and fuzzy inside and our body might do things which we didn’t exactly plan for. But each of us knows that these feelings do not last. Why then do we claim to have “fallen out of love?” Do we honestly expect to maintain these heady feelings for a lifetime and what are our relationship options when this intensity begins to fade?

Scientists explain that the chemical dopamine plays a big role in those initial intense feelings of attraction. It provides an intense pleasure-rush not dissimilar from what is experienced in other addictions. The danger comes when we literally get hooked on the butterflies or on the rush and high of initial sexual attraction. If these feelings also inform our expectations of what a relationship should be, then we can experience intense disappointment when the feelings wane or absolute confusion if we experience them with someone else.   How many times have we heard a friend claim to have “fallen out of love” with one individual and “in love” with a next? How then should we navigate our relationships when faced with the reality that these feelings have not lasted?

1. Change our relationship expectations: If we understand from the outset that the fall from the high of love is inevitable, then hopefully we won’t fall apart when it occurs. We often unrealistically expect that “true love” means sustaining our original emotion. Coming to terms with the reality, that change can be a vital sign of our maturing love, should enable us to redefine the fuel which drives our relationship.

2. Desire more than feelings: It’s regrettable that so much of the literature and even music which exists about love, is based on feeling. It is important to reframe love as more of a decision to commit which is of course buttressed by attraction. Essentially, this commitment is a choice to deprive ourselves of other choices. While those mushy feelings which drive attraction may be great, they’re obviously not enough to base a lifetime of commitment on. Attraction should, however, be viewed as an ongoing dynamic which must be worked at by both partners. At the same time, our love should come from a deeper place. Knowing what makes us attractive to our spouse and working on that constantly is, therefore, also critical.

3. Understand that love is an action: Verbalizing love is great. Many of us women particularly, love to be told “I love you”. Love should however be evidenced through active demonstrations of thoughtfulness. It should also be communicated in the love-style which our partner desires and not necessarily what we prefer. Our love-style simply means how our experiences, personality and gender converge to influence how we like to give or receive love. This will mean stepping outside our comfort zone to learn and do the things which our partner may appreciate but which may not necessarily be second nature to us. So if a woman needs to be romanced or a husband needs sex to feel wanted, then we should respectively oblige.

4. Add personal value to our relationship: Very often in relationship-land we tend to focus on ourselves; on our needs and on what is important to us. Seeing our relationship, however, as a place where we can give and add value means that we focus less on us and more on the greater good of the relationship. This will require us asking ourselves “How can I improve my relationship?” or “What can I change about myself to make this relationship better?” Moving out of self-preservation mode to focus on the value which we can add, also forces us to take responsibility for our own happiness.

5. Create memorable moments: Our daily experiences form the basis for our sense of life-fulfillment. When those experiences are positive and pleasurable, we feel a sense of peace and contentment. Creating positive memories means living each day of our relationship intentionally. This will encourage us to put more thought into our actions, to think before we speak and to evaluate our core motivations for doing things. This will also encourage us not to take those daily moments for granted. While living in the moment is good, planning for future moments means taking our relationship off automatic-pilot to work towards the lifetime of love we want.

When Sex Clouds The Issue

sex gets cloudyThere’s a belief going around in some circles about women and broken relationships. It’s commonly said that the only way for a woman to get over one man is to get underneath another one. There are some women who swear by this standard and will move quickly into another intimate relationship after their marriage or relationship fails. Whether or not you believe in using sex as a means of ridding yourself of a new man and cementing yourself with a new, there can be no question that sex can be relationship-defining.

While some proponents of casual sex will say that using sex to grease one’s ego, to make oneself feel good, or for recreational and relaxation purposes is no big deal, the research confirms otherwise. Sex has an inherent component which glues individuals together; regardless. In other words, we don’t just have sex and get away scot free; there are consequences to sexual joining, no matter our motivation.

The hormone Oxytocin plays a significant part in our sexual encounters. It fosters feelings of connection and belongingness when we hug, kiss, touch and orgasm with our partner. While this binding is an aspect of the built-in spirituality of sex, it does not need ideal relationship conditions to occur. There is nothing written in the fine-print of sex to suggest that sexual oneness or binding or connection, only occurs with marriage vows or when there is love in the relationship. It in fact occurs with all types of sexual encounters. This means that when we misuse sex to prove a point about our worth, value or desirability; when we seek out new sexual opportunities just for the fun of it, we may actually be doing more harm than good. We may be contributing to our own emotional confusion by connecting ourselves indiscriminately to someone else, while still being tied to a previous spouse or partner.

Premature sex can encourage a false sense of intimacy. Even when we think we’re simply being casual, the passion of sex can mess with our heads. It can mimic love through its intensity and this can cause us to gloss over the glaring flaws in the new individual we may be having sex with. The headiness of sex can also prevent us from facing our own neediness or low self-esteem. Sex alone can never be an adequate therapy for feelings of worthlessness. In fact, the individual who falls too quickly into sex after a break-up proves that she is unable to stand on her own two feet.

Because sex is what it is, it should never be used to test-drive a new man, particularly after a woman has been hurt. Sex too soon will cloud the issue of the pain and rejection a woman must deal with in her own heart; particularly if her previous relationship has been marred by infidelity or abuse. This type of replacement sex, especially if it’s ‘good’ will get the hormones going and will foster feelings of attachment. Such attachment, however, is premature and shallow and is hardly the foundation for a better relationship with someone new.

So what should we do in the face of a relationship’s demise?

Evaluate: Understanding why a relationship ended is a critical aspect of moving forward into emotional health. This involves knowing our relationship style in terms of whether we were too clingy, insecure, demanding or even the model partner who just got a raw deal. This is also a time for taking responsibility, if in any way we contributed to the breakdown of the relationship. This should allow us the capacity to change those aspects of ourselves which we may need to and is also critical for our personal growth.

Reconnect: Using the time when a marriage or relationship ends to reconnect with ourselves, to clarify our relationship values and to determine what is really important to us, should be far more important than indiscriminately jumping into another man’s bed.

 Treasure Transition: In the event that we are entirely the victim of a cheating or abusive partner, then our relationship transition period is a time to take fresh stock in determining what we will no longer tolerate from any man. It should also be a period of self-affirmation and even forgiveness. Taking bitterness and resentment forward will be harmful to any prospective relationship. This is why we need time to grieve what we had so that we can be healed of the effects of a painful relationship before moving on. Sex can cloud this issue and leave us exposed and vulnerable to further abuse.

While the desire for human connection and intimacy is understood, using sex as a short-cut to such is counterproductive. If at the time of a break-up, we forego this essential period of reflection, healing and growth, we could easily find ourselves smack dab in the middle of another bad relationship.

Denise J Charles is Director & Relationship Coach at Better Blends Relationship Institute e mail betterblends@gmail.com

When Your Partner Holds a Bedroom Grudge

What happens to your sex life when your partner holds a bedroom grudge? Well, chances are you may not be getting the type of sex you desire or think you deserve. And what’s a ftr-stk60811cor.jpgbedroom grudge anyway? As its name suggests, a BG is played out when one partner either plays hard to get in the sack, fails to cooperate with new sexual requests or with experimentation, is emotionally absent during sex or point blank refuses to have sex with his/her partner.

In the context of our intimate relationships, grudges are perhaps pretty common. They represent expressed unforgiveness as a result of unresolved anger or failure to communicate on some critical issue. BG’s are of course no different. They can originate outside the bedroom, where some insensitivity shown is passed over to the sexual relationship or they can originate right in the sack, where a consistent failure to meet specific sexual needs coupled with poor communication on the issue, leads to this response. When we find our sex lives crippled by a BG what should our response be?

Well of course if there is little to no satisfactory sex happening, both you and your spouse are likely to be highly strung. Be that as it may, biting the bullet to confront the issue at stake, is your only recourse and hope for bringing healing.  Since meeting anger with anger is never a good idea, try defusing the situation by meeting your partner away from the volatile point of contact, (the bedroom or home). A neutral location like a coffee house, restaurant or park may be a good place to start the dialogue. Expose your vulnerability by honestly communicating your hurt and pain at the situation and communicate your willingness to see things changed. Use your eyes to communicate and assure your partner of how much you miss him/her. Use disarming “I statements” to own your own pain without projecting blame on your partner and further alienating him/her. Having penetrated this critical stage begin to ask some pointed questions and encourage your partner’s honesty, even if the answers are painful.

For example, you may ask:

1. What have I done to offend you?

2. What can I do to make our love-life better?

3. In what way am I a bad lover?

4. Can you forgive me for angering/ hurting/ offending you?

5. How can we improve our communication?

6. How can I better meet your sexual needs?

Of course these are suggested themes to your questions and should be tailored to suit your individual situation. The point is to create a context for loving confrontation and clear dialogue. When the BG is a direct consequence of the quality of the bedroom action, then mere words without active follow through will not do the trick. So what should you do in this instance?

Demonstrate a willingness to expand your sexual repertoire where necessary, hone your lovemaking skills, buy a good book about sexual technique, consult a detailed manual or watch an educational video which may help, and remember that practice makes perfect. Let your partner see that you are actively trying to improve. If it’s a medical issue like erectile dysfunction, painful intercourse or premature ejaculation, see your doctor. If your challenges are psychological; a counselor or terapist might help. If your partner really loves you, then perfecting your love dance should not be a harsh chore which you do alone. Rather, it should be a liveable, laughable experience in which you both share and learn.

 

 

Is Jealousy Destroying Your Relationship?

Let’s patop-10-ways-to-deal-with-jealousyint a familiar scenario. You’re out at a restaurant with your partner when you notice his eyes wandering to the beautiful lady across the room or perhaps his eyes rested a bit too long on the backside of the attractive waitress. Immediately, you become incensed at the audacity of the man and this spoils your date night for the rest of the evening. Is this spate of intense jealousy a reasonable response to the common practice of the wandering male eye? Is jealousy ever permitted or is it always an out-of-place emotion which can do more harm than good?

One rule of thumb which must define any committed relationship is a sense of integrity. When mutual integrity forms the basis of a relationship, then partners will not readily act in ways to jeopardize or compromise that union. Having said that, with human nature being as fickle as it is, the road towards relationship integrity can be a rocky one. It is definitely a journey and not a destination. In other words, no relationship is immediately perfect. The preferred quality of your relationship will not be ideal  from the get-go but will require hard work and constant dialogue throughout the course of your lives together. So how then should we deal with that green-eyed monster if it rears its ugly head?

Setting realistic parameters for all opposite sex interaction which will occur in the course of your relationship, is advised. This simply means deciding together what is or is not appropriate. Realistically, we will find other people attractive from time to time. Being in love does not make us blind. Acknowledging attractiveness with a cursory glance should be fine. Dwelling on someone else’s attributes in a prolonged way, out rightly flirting with them or even being physical or playful whether or not our partner is there, is, however, disrespectful to our primary relationship. This behavior should be confronted, discussed and hopefully discontinued. Discussing relationship expectations in this regard is therefore critical and partners must be clear and consistent about what they will not tolerate.

On the other hand, jealousy can also be an unreasonable response which stems from insecurity and or immaturity. Sometimes an individual’s idea of commitment means total ownership and control. Of course this is a flawed idea but it exists in several relationships nonetheless. Controlling who your partner speaks to or glances at, even when such behavior is not disrespectful in any way, can mean that there are deeper issues at stake. Fear of abandonment, or fear of rejection in one partner, can contribute to such behavior. Infidelity in a previous relationship can also influence the lens through which we see daily interaction between our partner and others. This must also be confronted and exposed if a relationship is to assume a sense of normalcy.

These extreme examples aside, we may experience a fleeting sense of jealousy occasionally in the course of our relationship; this is human, normal and to be expected. We are in a relationship because we desire exclusivity and at heart we do want to be the only girl or guy in the world, in our partner’s life. Having said that, being open about deep, recurring feelings of insecurity or confronting our partner if his/her actions make us feel disrespected in any way, is also vital to the life and health of our relationships.

How to Grow Your Relationship

holding_new_plant_o4i8I have to admit that I am no green thumb. Plants under my care tend not to thrive. The truth is that whenever I have had a young plant, I usually begin with loads of enthusiasm which tends to peter off as time goes by. If we think about it, many of us treat our significant relationships or marriages like this; we begin with enthusiasm only to allow them to languish in neglect.

And a relationship is like plant. It’s a living, breathing thing which requires loads of attention if it is to grow and thrive. If, however, we pursue our relationships on automatic pilot instead of with thought or intention, then we run the risk of missing valuable “growth-moments”. When that plant becomes dry and withered because of a lack of water, sunlight or nourishing soil, then it will take some pruning, watering and overall care to get it back to a healthy state.

If our relationship is suffering with neglect and needs an injection of life and renewal, then the following  pointers should help us maximize growth.

  • Utilize confrontation wisely: If we are constantly unhappy with the up-turned toilet seat, or with our partner’s propensity to be a workaholic; if we are bored stiff with sex or hate the fact that we have virtually no romantic couple time; then now is the time to open our mouths wide and speak. Suffering in silence or being a relationship martyr is dis-empowering and self-destructive. Practicing the fine art of loving confrontation with disarming ‘I feel’ statements, as opposed to harsh accusations, can go a long way towards improving relational quality.
  • Take responsibility for your own happiness:  Ensuring relationship growth is a two-sided deal because both partners share equal responsibility. While one may be responsible for outright change, the other is equally responsible for facilitating that change. Admittedly, it is very easy to blame someone else for our own misery. It is, however, equally important to look within to see where we have let ourselves down. Very often we can internalize our life-disappointments and project this unhappiness unto our spouse. Taking responsibility for our own peace of mind may mean deliberately letting go of past hurts in our relationship or previous ones.
  • Practice self-love: As women we want to be loved and told that we are beautiful, sexy and desirable. Amazingly, some of us can’t stand the best bone in our own bodies. We are filled with self-loathing and self-rejection every time we stare at ourselves in the mirror. If we are unable to say to ourselves “girl you look fine”, then why on earth would we expect our man to tell us this. Low self-esteem and self-recrimination are tangible states of being which affect the way we carry ourselves. This negativity can be reversed through daily declarations which affirm that we are indeed beautiful.  If there is anything we do need to change, then we can actively pursue this while understanding that our worth is not tied to our looks.
  • Pursue dreams: Some of us have been taught that it is vain or even self-serving, to focus too much on ourselves. As a consequence, we usually place the needs of others before our own; ALL THE TIME. Of course I wholeheartedly believe that there is a juncture in our lives when this is entirely necessary. When we have babies and small children we learn about this all too well and this is perhaps as it should be. But there is nothing wrong with also pursuing what makes us happy or fulfilled; as long as it’s legal and no one is being hurt. Women, who constantly sacrifice their dreams and goals and never share such with their partners or children, run the risk of becoming angry and resentful. On the other hand, when we feel happy and fulfilled, we bring a positive energy to the relationship which is infectious.
  • Shed unrealistic expectations: Falling in love does not mean finding a perfect soul-mate who will meet our every emotional and sexual need; this is a myth. There can be a sense of purpose or even destiny in partnering with someone who does share our vision and values. No one, however, is perfect. We should therefore shed unrealistic expectations. These can include beliefs that our partner should anticipate our every need, read our minds even before we speak, know exactly what we mean when we do speak, be the perfect lover, kisser, gourmet chef, provider, leader, handyman, disciplinarian, planner and the list can go on. While there may be such men somewhere out there on Mars, I haven’t met many of them. Accept that neither one of you is perfect and determine to improve together.

Actions Speak Louder: How to Do and Not Just Talk Love

aa-couple-laughing-hugging-475As a previous connoisseur of the romance novel, I had their formula so much down pat, that I could have easily written my own. Back in those good old days when the Mills & Boon novel reigned supreme, what struck me about my favorite stories was that no matter how badly the main character of the novel treated his leading lady, all would change on his profession of love.

This popular formula saw men almost incapable of expressing their true feelings to the women they were so enamored by. So blissfully ignoring the heroine, being cruel to her or even flirting with other women, were the order of the day. Of course this all changed usually towards the last two or three pages of the story when said man mustered up the courage to declare his undying love and proposed marriage all in one fell swoop.

There springs a common anomaly of relationships; professing words of love while actually not quite living up to those words. In our romance-laden culture, talking love has become almost second nature for both men and women. We hear it so often in love-songs, that it sometimes seems like a master tactic for a guy to quickly get his way. For those of us in settled relationships where we already know that we’re in love, demonstrating love can almost be taken for granted. We may have grown so accustomed to saying it over the years, that the idea of doing something special to show it may seem a stretch. Even the busy nature of our everyday lives can overwhelm us to the extent that we fail to give our relationships the attention they deserve. But no matter how long we have been married, it’s important that we recognize that love is first an action word, which requires demonstration.

Whether male or female, each of us in a relationship needs to know how much we’re loved. The following 25 tips should give some great ideas for showing and not just telling that special someone just how we feel about them.

1. Cook your partner’s favorite meal and do a special decorative layout of such; this can be especially meaningful on a regular day when it’s totally unexpected

2. Do an at-home massage or spa treatment complete with scented candles and oils to create that setting which says that your loved one is truly special.

3. Send your partner to a classy spa for a full day of expert handling and relaxation.

4. Volunteer to babysit the kids so your wife can go shopping or simply hang out with the girls.

5. Pre-purchase tickets for your guys favorite game.

6. Buy your partner that special toy or gadget which you know they’ve had their eyes on for the past couple of months.

7. Arrange a special date at your spouse’s favorite restaurant.

8. Send flowers when there’s no special occasion.

9. Give your spouse the time to work on a special project or to pursue their passion by holding down the fort at home.

10. Take over a regular at-home chore for which your partner is primarily responsible.

11. Wash your partner’s car.

12. Surprise your spouse with a new book from their favorite author.

13. Write your lover a letter or e mail which itemizes why and how much they are loved.

14. Send a special love-song request via the local radio station.

15. Buy your lover a bottle of their favorite wine and make some time to share it with them.

16. Massage your partner’s neck, shoulders and or feet after a tired day at the office; especially without being asked.

17. Make a cup of coffee, hot chocolate or blend a favorite cocktail or health-drink for your spouse.

18. Plan a surprise romantic getaway weekend or trip for you and your partner.

19. Buy that sexy lingerie or those crotchless panties you long go see your woman in and do all kinds of hot things to her to let her know just how much of an effect she’s having on you.

20. Arrange babysitting if necessary or get away from home and plan to get it on with your partner with a night of steamy, uninhibited lovemaking.

21. Put on some sexy music and do an exciting dance and striptease for your man.

22. Initiate some novelty in the bedroom which you think your husband or wife would like to experience.

23. Plan a lovemaking session where all the focus is on giving to your lover all the best that you’ve got.

24. Write your own love song or poem and romance your partner with its words or music.

25. When you’ve messed up in the relationship or offended your spouse, don’t hesitate to say and to show how sorry you really are, especially when you believe that you are right.

 

 

 

 

 

Can A Man Be Satisfied With One Woman?

While the propensity for men to roam the virtual hills of life in search of a sexual utopia has been well-documented, it is important that we dissect this practice, if we hope to get close to understanding this mysterious thing called male sexuality. That sex is of primary importance to a man goes without refute. While we may accurately blame socialization and culture for much of what most males practice today in terms of sexual behaviour, I honestly believe that the sexual DNA of the male pits sex right up there with breathing oxygen. In other words, it is an indelible part of who he is. Through sex, a man is defined and affirmed. Through his sexuality, his identity is made concrete. Is this merely a western socio-cultural phenomenon or is this part and parcel of the spiritual or essential make-up of a man? And what does this have to do with his ability to stay faithful to one woman?

While space and time does not allow me to delve into all of the pathologies that may contribute to male promiscuity or failure to be satisfied by one sexual partner, it is perhaps necessary that we re-examine a few ideas being bandied around out there. There is a popular school of thought, I’m sure invented and promoted by men, that when it comes to their sex-drive and sexual needs, basically they can’t help themselves. And many men hold this driven-by-my-primal-sexual-instinct dogma as gospel; particularly handy when attempting to justify their cheating  ways. Whether or not  we swallow the idea, it is pretty clear to many of us women that the male sex-drive is a distinct animal with a life of its own.

No matter how great the sexual encounter, it’s amazing that a few hours later a man still wants more! Yes; men love sex and we women generally speaking don’t have a problem with this notion. We just want that our man only loves it with us! In putting their super-charged sexuality into operation, I believe that quite a few men have simply learned dysfunctional ways of handling their overpowering need to connect. Men don’t have an innate inability to commit to one woman; it just sometimes serves their social purposes not to.

When we examine the human sex-drive in both men and women, we can’t help but notice how it reflects our God-designed need for intimacy. This is literally spelt out in the physical, emotional and spiritual connection which is experienced during intercourse. I believe, however, that since sex is a disrobing, naked moment (literally and otherwise) inherent in the act is the ability to expose both strengths and weaknesses.

Because the inherent nature of sex strips us, exposing our limitations and vulnerabilities, many men recoil from this by erecting what I call psychological guards; a major one being “the other woman”. One of man’s best-kept secrets is therefore the guard or mask of the “player-personality” who refuses to commit or settle down. This has become a useful social construct designed to give men the appearance of being in super control of their sexuality and their emotions. Regretfully, many of us women have erroneously schooled them from boyhood days to behave in this way, by discouraging them from displaying emotion for fear that this would feminize them or make them appear “soft”.

Many men will therefore seek to retain one-upmanship or what they perceive to be sexual power or superiority by not surrendering their vulnerability to any one woman. A man’s natural drive for human connection (which he may or may not be aware of) propels him to connect through his sexuality or to search for intimacy; his super-sexual drive does have a purpose. His dysfunctional way of acting this out, however, encourages him to hold out on the woman with whom he is involved and to hold on to flawed concepts of power and self-preservation. This results in a string of unsatisfactory sexual encounters which leads to a cycle of shallow, connectionless sex. Ironically, this “multi-partner-mode” while at the surface can bring a high, fails to bring any lasting sexual fulfillment and so the cycle continues.

Men, through personal coaching and counseling, can be taught to relinquish these limiting notions of their sexuality. They can unlearn the concept of sex as a display only of dominance and power. Even the language of sex as we focus on “penile-penetration” provides a sense of imbalance to the act of sex which as one friend of mine puts it, should also be thought of in terms of “vaginal-envelopment”. Only when men become comfortable with the concept of surrendering their sexual power, will the idea of commitment to one woman take on new meaning and significance.

Can a man learn to surrender emotionally without first deciding to commit in a loving, exclusive relationship? I believe that a relationship can be that place where a man is forced to finally “grow up” sexually and emotionally. While I will not excuse men for their philandering ways, many times we women enable this behavior by settling for it in our relationships. We literally think that it comes with the territory and even when unhappy, our silence communicates our acceptance of such. As women we must remain resolute in communicating our emotional expectations in our relationships. This includes our expectations for sexual fidelity. We must not settle for less by allowing our men to think that we will just be their dispensable “sex objects”. Even  though some males may go  as far as to make a marital commitment, they are unable to come to grips with what this really should mean at the highest level; keeping all their sexual eggs in one basket.  At the same time, how we as mothers socialize our male children, also has a significant part to play in their comfort with concepts of emotional exposure and surrender to another person in the context of love.

Many men who hop from bed to bed do not recognize the disconnect which exists between what their bodies want and what they really do need to be emotionally satisfied. It is, therefore, not inherently unnatural for a man to be satisfied with one woman. He was made for this. He does have the emotional capacity for this but it is his mind and body which must now be trained to play “catch-up”.

Excerpt adapted  from “How to Have  Mind Blowing Sex Without Losing Your Brain!” by Denise J Charles  © 2011,  available here.