"We Haven't Had Sex in Years"
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.