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          When Sex Threatens a Marriage

          November 20, 2002

          After 20 years of marriage, Donald and Jeanine turn to Dr. Phil for help with their sex life.

          “Twice a month, that’s all I’m asking for,” says Donald … until Dr. Phil points out that negotiating with him isn’t going to help any!

          Jeanine grew up with a mother who tried to instill in her that sex was bad, nasty, and all men wanted. “That’s part of your internal dialogue now,” says Dr. Phil, pointing to part of the problem. “I’ve been watching you since you got here,” he adds, “and you are wound up tighter than an eight-day clock!”

          Dr. Phil suggests:

          • “Hit the eject button on the internal dialogue that’s been written on the slate of who you are by your mom. It’s not all your husband wants or he would have been long gone,” says Dr. Phil.
          • On their 12-day vacation in Jamaica, when Jeanine was more relaxed, their sex life improved. “I can’t afford to always be on vacation!” jokes Don. Instead, Dr. Phil says that Jeanine must make relaxation a priority. “Give yourself permission to relax and soothe yourself every day,” he says.
          • Don needs to help Jeanine relax — without any expectancy of sex. Work on soothing her externally, with a foot massage, for example. This will help Jeanine loosen up, and can also be intimate in itself.

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