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How can I get my sexual desire back? Is this part of my life over?
How can I get my sexual desire back? Is this part of my life over?

Just wave the magic wand and the sexual yearnings for your partner will return.

If only it were that easy. 

But, the good news is, your desires most likely are not gone forever; they just need a little rediscovery.

When I work with couples who want to rekindle what they used to have in the bedroom, I first determine if any medical issues are at play. When I rule these out, I take a deeper look into their life: I learn about communication patterns and how the couple interact in their every day life. Do they have the emotional ability to talk about what is going on in their life outside the bedroom? I observe how they relate to each other, how they describe their partner, and if they understand each other's needs. Often, I find a disconnect. 

In most cases, couples do not have the kind of relationship they want with their partner because they don't know what their partner wants in a loving relationship. They are not communicating.

Do they feel safe in the relationship?Do they have the quality relationship they had hoped for?Do they have emotional intimacy? Without it, their sex life suffers and their sexual desires almost disappear.

I often encourage couples to read the book, The Five Languages of Love. It is a great tool to begin the process of finding love and intimacy again, which ultimately will lead to the healthy sex life they have been missing. In The Five Languages of Love, the author reports that couples need to give love the way they expect to receive love.

Here are the five languages: 
Words of affirmation
Quality time

Receiving gifts

Acts of service

Physical touch 

What do couples complain about most often? Listen to those cues. For example, if you tell your partner that you feel he would never touch you if you did not initiate it, you just told him that physical touch is your love language.

If your spouse goes on a business trip, and you ask why he didn't bring you anything, that indicates receiving gifts is your love language.
"Do you think you could mow the lawn this weekend?" Your partner is telling you acts of service is her love language.Or, how often do you hear, "We don't spend any time together." That clearly is the love language of quality time.

Your complaints and requests reveal your inner feelings and needs. What you ask most often of your partner is your love language.

I work with couples to help them discover and learn their love language. For example, if physical touch is your spouse's love language and you by nature are not a "toucher," start small.  Place your hand on her shoulder, give her a little love pat, hold her hand. These small  touches begin breaking down the barriers in your relationship, and finding a return to the sex life you lost. Couples begin to discover why they lost the romance in their life and how to get it back.

Once they begin demonstrating the language of love, they are pleasantly surprised how their life together changes. They can begin to resolve their conflicts positively, not harshly, and find workable solutions together. All of this translates into a healthy sex life again. It wasn't lost; it just got buried for awhile, and I provide them the tools to uncover what they once had. Once they begin, it is pretty amazing to see the impact.

________

Elana Gottfried is a licensed clinical social worker whose extensive training and experience has helped many individuals and couples improve their lives.  She specializes in a number of areas with an additional focused expertise in women’s sexual health. She completed her training at Yeshiva University in New York and has worked in both Israel and the United States with women who are survivors of sexual abuse. Elana completed her post-graduate training in sex therapy and sexuality education at the University of Michigan. She also has extensive experience working with cultural, spiritual and religious issues. Elana is a member of the American Academy of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and is an AASECT certified sex therapist. She practices with The Center for Relationship and Sexual and Health in Royal Oak. To reach Elana, call 248-399-7447 or request an appointment online.

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