#84 Title:

Marriage and Sex

Guest: Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., A.K.A. Dr. Romance, Author and Psychotherapist

Ladies, who hasn’t had a headache, yet declared that we do?  Today we're talking about ways to bring intimacy back into your marriage so you don't have to pretend anymore . . . Dr. Romance is here to share sexy tips for busy couples who want to fight boredom in the bedroom.

Duration: 49:18

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Podcast Index:

00:39 Dr. Romance on Marriage & Sex
02:29 What Keeps Relationships Going?
05:58 Making Transitions
08:56 Develop Signals
14:17 How Do You Say No?
20:29 Recreate Sex
23:34 Resources by Dr. Tina Tessina
26:14 Listener: I Feel Frumpy
30:39 Laughter and Sex
34:24 Ramp Up the Sweetness
36:09 It's in the Eyes
38:23 WD-40 and Marriage
41:06 Focus on Partnership
43:01 Make it "Simple Sex"

46:17 Closing Comments
47:24 Closing Track: Schuyler Fisk

Related Podcasts: Kids and Sex, 10 Smart Decisions After 40, Coping with Divorce, and Marriage: Good to Great

Special Guest

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rss Music: Schuyler Fisk
rss Tracks: The Good Stuff
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About Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D.

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California, with over
30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 11 books, including:

It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction
How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free
The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again
The Real 13th Step: Discovering Self-Confidence, Self-Reliance and Independence Beyond the Twelve Step Programs

And most recently:

The Commuter Marriage: Keep Your Relationship Close While You’re Far Apart
Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things that Can Ruin Your Marriage

She publishes the “Happiness Tips from Tina” e-mail newsletter and has hosted
"The Psyche Deli: Delectable Tidbits for the Subconscious" a weekly hour long radio show.

She is an online expert, answering relationship questions at Yahoo!Personals and, www.CouplesCompany.com, as well as a Redbook Love Network expert and “Psychology Smarts” columnist for First for Women. Dr. Tessina guests frequently on radio, and on such TV shows as “Oprah”, “Larry King Live” and ABC news. And she's been happily married for more than 25 years.

For more about Dr. Romance, visit:

Dr. Romance Blog
Happiness Tips from Tina

"All marriages are mixed marriages." - Chantal Saperstein

"You forgot to pay the mortgage."
"I've got a headache-again."
"Why did you let the kids stay up so late?"

Chances are your last argument with your spouse was over money, sex, or your kids-since husbands and wives battle over these three issues more than anything. But it doesn't have to be that way.

In Money, Sex, and Kids, noted relationship expert Dr. Tina B. Tessina tackles each of these hot-button issues-and offers you solutions to get your marriage back on track. Inside you'll find . . .

• Sample scripts to properly handle arguments
• Guidelines and exercises to deal with marital conflict
• Case studies of couples just like you who've beat the big three
• Expert relationship advice from Tessina-the Internet's "Dr. Romance"
• And much more

Money, Sex, and Kids offers you a fresh look at what it means to be married - and what it takes to stay that way. Get it through Amazon.

Photo: Jeff and Jen

Guidelines for Being Irresistible to Your Mate

1. Don’t resist, listen.
We often have a knee-jerk negative response to what a mate tells us, or wants to do. Instead of replying negatively “That won’t work...” “We can’t do that...” Try listening and thinking for a few seconds more. You may find out your initial response changes, and at any rate, listening and understanding is not the same as agreeing.

2. Look your mate in the eyes and smile.
Unless your partner is talking about something really sad (job loss, death, etc.) where a smile would be inappropriate, look him or her in the eyes and smile while you’re listening. Your companion will automatically feel more understood and cared about, which will change the feeling level of the discussion.

3. Touch each other.
Sit near your significant other, and gently place your hand on his or her shoulder, leg, or arm. If you’re in the car, lightly touch his or her shoulder or arm. You’ll find your conversation becomes warmer and more caring.

4. Try laughter.
If something frustrating is happening, try easing the tension with a bit of humor. After a difficult interaction in a store, on the way out, you could say “That went well.” with a touch of irony. Or, when someone drops something and makes a mess, you could say “the gremlins are here again.” Or use comedienne Gilda Radner’s line “It’s always something” Or Judy Tenuta’s “It could happen” to change stress to silliness. Don’t poke fun at your mate, but use shared humor as a way to say “I know this is tough, but we’ll get through it.” Your mate will think of you as someone soothing and helpful to have around when problems happen.

5. Use pleasant surprises.
Try a love note in your spouse’s briefcase, a post-it with a smiley face on the underside of the toilet seat, a flower, plant, card or balloon for no reason, or an unexpected gentle pat on the rear, a hug or a kiss to say “I’m thinking good thoughts about you, and I love you.”

6. Ramp up the sweetness.
Married life has its unavoidable stresses and strains. To keep things in balance, we need to put a bit of energy into increasing the sweetness between us. Thoughtfulness, “thank you’s” and gestures of politeness and affection are the WD-40 of your marriage. Keep things running smoothly by remembering to add a spritz of sweetness frequently.

7. Devote time to your marriage.
No matter how crazed you are with work, kids and bills, it’s essential to put aside regular time each week for the marriage. Have a “date night” which includes a “state of the union” discussion (include the positive things going on) or take a pleasant walk or drive. Keeping connected means things don’t build up to fighting status, and you’ll remember how good you are together. Don’t forget to celebrate and appreciate each other. Motivation comes from celebration and appreciation.

8. Focus on Partnership.
Remember that first and foremost, before anything else, you’re partners. Keep that in mind and check frequently to make sure you’re acting like partners, and not competitors or avoiders. You’re in this thing together, and partnership is what it’s all about.

9. Reminisce about Good Times.
“Remember when....” is a great start to a loving conversation. It creates so much good feeling to remember how you were when you were dating, when you got married, when you first bought your house, when you had your first child, when you got that promotion. Reminding yourselves of your solid history together is a way to increase your bond.

10. Brag to friends in your mate’s hearing.
Of course, tell your mate to his or her face how much you care, but also be sure to tell your friends, while your mate is around, what a great guy or gal you married. “Harold is so thoughtful. Today he helped me around the house.” Or “Sue is such a great mom. She really gives the kids a sense that they’re loved and she still keeps them toeing the mark.” Or, “Did you hear? Fred got a big promotion. I’m so proud of him.” Or, “I don’t know what I’d do without Judy. She’s so great with money.” Or “Doesn’t my sweetie look great today? I’m so lucky.” Don’t worry if your partner looks embarrassed. He or she will also be pleased, and remember your brag for a long time.

Photo: Vicky and Doug

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