"We Haven't Had Sex in Years"
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"We Haven't Had Sex in Years"

Jim and Melissa were your typical young married couple. They had been married seven years, and now had two children, one just 5 months old. But, after the birth of their second child, Melissa couldn't stand to have sex anymore.

With more frequent and intense arguments occurring every day, they knew they couldn't continue like this for much longer. Their non-existent sex life and inability to communicate with one another has led to endless fights, and begs the million-dollar question: Will Jim ever get laid?

Melissa: I've tried to explain to Jim just how overwhelmed I feel, but he doesn't get it. About a month ago, I told him point-blank that I'm just not interested in sex while I'm under all this pressure. Is that so horrible?

Jim: I want the old Melissa back. It's not just the sex. I miss the way we used to do stuff together, like just watch Comedy Central and crack up laughing. I think about the good years and I can't believe we've ended up like this.

Melissa: He comes from work, tosses his stuff on a chair, and goes for a run. He never cleans up after himself! One time we got so mad at each other that we started throwing lamps and dishes, and Jim kicked the wall and broke his toe.

Jim: She yells at me all the time for things I do wrong. Ranting about leaving my clothes on the chair instead of hanging them up. It's ridiculous! She just wouldn't let up about it. The fight got so heated that I kicked the wall and broke my toe! She won't have sex with me, she's constantly picking fights with me, what have I done wrong?"

Melissa: "I do love my husband -- he's a great guy and a good father and until this sex issue became so huge, we got along. But I really want him to stop pressuring me."

Will this be the end for Jim and Melissa? Can Jim cool off and still keep his sanity? Will Melissa ever be able to have sex again? Can this marriage be saved?

Let's Break It Down, Folks

The Counselor: Jim and Melissa may have problems, but they are in no way in danger of ruining their relationship. They're new parents, entering a point in their relationship where even the littlest molehill can seem like the largest mountain.

For Melissa, the issue is that Jim is not understanding of her struggles as a mother, a businesswoman, and the keeper of her house. Instead of trying to be sympathetic to her, he is only thinking about himself.

The best course of action for this was to start from square one. I told them to back to the basics of a sexual relationship, starting with hand-holding and hugging, to get the spark back and to feel that warmth and a real connection again. Spend time every day kissing and hugging, but not having sex.

These steps toward reclaiming intimacy truly helped them. The breakthrough came when I gave them a book of photographs of lovers kissing and doing other romantic things. There were other photographs that were tastefully erotic as well. I asked Melissa and Jim to indicate what they liked and didn't like. When they came back for the next session, they couldn't contain their elation over the fact that they had made love, and enjoyed it.

After tackling the issue of their sex life, it was time to address the issues they have about communicating with each other. It was important that they allow each other to speak without interrupting, and make sure there are no misunderstandings. Jim said he would be more involved around the house, and help Melissa out with the kids to give her a break.

Melissa: Jim always used to say that the first years of our relationship were the good years because we had sex. But these are the good years because now we make love.