I returned home from the orange grove in late afternoon just in time to jump back in the car and head over to the Brentwood Country Club where an adult student of mine was co-hosting a new speaker series called, “Ah-ha Moments.” This particular talk with from Dr. David Schnarch, a psychologist and sex therapist, who has written two books, Passionate Marriage and Intimacy & Desire.
The gist of Dr. Schnarch’s talk from my point of view was that all marriages have sex problems, which come when people grow and change. Society often labels these changes as problems, when they are, in fact, simply the natural evolution of two human beings in relationship. Dr. Schnarch said the goal for a good life and for a good sex life is differentiation – separating from other’s expectations and becoming one’s authentic self. The message between partners is, “I love you, but don’t tell me what to do.”
Four Points of Balance for Committed Relationships:
1) Develop a solid and flexible self.
2) Quiet mind, calm heart. – calm the outbursts.
3) Grounded Responding – don’t overreact.
4) Meaningful endurance – develop resilience
He said that being a truly capable human being means having the ability to tolerate differences in others. If the “other” is your sex partner, then it’s important to learn how to be flexible and open to that person so that you can both grow emotionally and sexually. “Grow as a woman (or man) by walking into your anxiety (the unknown).”
The bottom line with Dr. Schnarch seems to be that sex with a committed partner is a chance to take chances, grow, step into your real self and make a real connection with another human being.
This was clearly more of a philosophical approach versus a “how-to.” He said the message to one’s partner (and oneself) is, “Here’s me, warts and all.”
On that note, I’m off to bed where I am certain my husband is now sound asleep.