Dr. David D Burns [ Psychologist, Lecturer in USA ] says , ” A woman from Cleveland named Laura told me what an insensitive lover her husband , Dave, she complained that she’d never once experienced an orgasm in over thirty years of marriage . I asked Laura to tell me specially about the problems she and Dave were having in the bedroom. One of Laura’s main complaints was that Dave , a strong and athletic man , pinched her nipple tightly and constantly during intercourse . She told me that her nipples were quite sensitive and she didn’t want them touched , at least not like that.
I asked Laura whether she had ever talked this over with Dave and told him what she liked and disliked sexually . She seemed shocked and protested,” I shouldn’t have to ! Don’t you think he’d get the idea after thirty years ? ” Laura saw herself as the victim of someone else ‘s insensitivity . She had never stopped to ask , ” What am I doing to contribute to this problem?”
You mught be thinking , ”Okay”, that is interesting , but it’s not really so serious . All you have to do is encourage Laura to be more open with Dave. Encourage them to have some sessions together so they can talk about their sexual problems. Once she tells Dave where and how she likes to be touched , he’ll probably respond differently . They both have a lot to gain and nothing to lose.”
If that’s what you are thinking , you took a page out of my book ! I encouraged Laura to bring Dave to the sessions for that precise reason. She agreed, with some reluctance, but warned me that she thought the situation was ”hopeless.”
After several sessions with them together , I got to know Dave. He agreed that something important was missing from their marriage. For years he had been troubled by Laur’s dissatisfaction with him. He fely he wasn’t sufficiently manly to excite her sexually , and told me with embarrassment how he’d taken up long-distance running to try to build up his stamina. He was jogging over 60 miles a week and had competed in numerous marathons.He thought that if he became athletic , that might please her and turn her on.With tears in his eyes , he admitted that no matter how hard he woprked at it, he simply couldn’t excite her. He felt like a real ” loser” at sex.
I felt we were on the verge of a real breakthought , so I asked Laura if she’d be willing to tell Dave about some of her sexual needs and feelings. I suggested she might tell him specifically what she liked and disliked about his lovemaking.
There was a longe, tense moment of silence . Then Laura turned to me and said, ” Dr. Burns, you’re just like Dave. You really don’t understand I won’t stand for this ridiculous conversation any longer ! She got up and bolted from the room .
Why did Laurs walk out instead of talking about the problem that we had agreed to discuss? One reason has to do with Laura’s feelings of fear and mistrust. She may have never felt loved or loveable. She may have never learnt that it was possible to open with the people she cared about. She may have never discovered that although these problems can be painful at first, there can be a reward after you confront your fears and resolve the problem. She may not have believed that she and Dave could feel close as a result of working things through . Laura is much like someone with a severe phobia.”
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