“We don’t make love much anymore. I’m rarely in the mood. My partner doesn’t want sex as often as I do.”
If you work with couples, you will hear this a lot.
What I call “Marriage, Inc.” has taken over the love life of many modern families. Careers. Kids. Rushing around with a to-do list. Fatigue. When your couples fall into bed at the end of the day, they are just too tired for sex.
We all know that feeling love and emotional harmony with your partner is wonderful; feeling angry is not! But anger is a natural part of life and is therefore inevitable, especially when two people share life closely. One of the biggest challenges a couple faces is how to deal with anger—both their anger toward their partner and their partner’s anger toward them.
Finding someone who matches up with your values is necessary for a healthy and lasting relationship. Helping your client identify their values is key to helping them avoid yet another failed relationship with a narcissist.
Many clients who repeat unhealthy relationships with narcissistic partners recognize that they are the common denominator in all these failed relationships, but feel helpless and unsure how to pick a healthy partner. Understanding their own values is key to break the cycle.
Inclusion in tribes was a condition of survival in earlier eras of human history. As a result, our ancestors grew extremely sensitive to the threat of rejection from the group, and we retain sensitivity to social exclusion to this day. But most of us no longer have strong group bonds akin to those that exist in tribes, and we are also potentially able to be in contact with cast numbers of other humans. Thus each and every individual we encounter can represent either a source of great comfort and safety or a looming threat of social exclusion.
TN: Why did you choose to write a book about your personal experiences with opening your marriage?
GX: As a society, we need more conversation about sex and relationships. My book is an intimate, funny ride about making choices outside of the acceptable “marriage box.” I think many of us don’t fit perfectly in the “box,” and we need more possibility and flexibility in our marriages.