In this episode of Your Best Life, Karl interviews Terry Real, an internationally recognized family therapist and teacher with twenty-five years of experience. Terry has become the go-to guy for relationships that are on the brink, and is the founder of The Relational Life Institute. His ideas on men's issues and couples therapy have been celebrated on Good Morning America, The Today Show, Oprah, 20/20, and the New York Times. If you want to know what a “full throttle marriage" is, then make sure you listen to this podcast!
- Why do such a large number of men and women have a hard time living a life they were excited about when they got married?
- How do you get your traditionally raised to sync with the newly developed woman?
- What are the essential few steps that can start moving couples closer together?
- What do women need to be doing differently for richer relationships?
- Can couples skip the criticism, and just tell each other what they want?
- What twists and dynamics do children bring into the equation?
- What kinds of relationship resources are available for couples?
- What's the general trend for couples? Upswing or downswing?
Key Lessons Learned:
Traditional Marriage Has Changed
- The training experience for doctors diminishes the physician's power for compassion by exhausting them.
- We've never wanted more from our long-term relationships than we do today.
A lifelong lover is a relatively new demand that people weren't built for.
- We don't give our sons and daughters the tools they need to realize this newer, more ambitious relationship goal.
- There are skill gaps between the loving relationships that we want and how to achieve them.
- The old model of marriage no longer works for women who today want a higher level of intimacy than most men have been raised to provide.
- It's mostly women who are carrying the dissatisfaction in a failing marriage.
- The trap for women is that in longing for a deeper, closer relationship, they turn to complaints about what is going wrong, rather than instructions on what they need for it to be right.
- All women seek some vulnerability from their men.
- Many women don't speak up, and act as though they are accepting, but really are resenting the level of intimacy in their relationship.
- There is a gap between the traditional code of masculinity and what is being demanded of adult men by feminized women today.
- The traditional code of masculinity is invulnerability. The more invulnerable, the more masculine he is perceived. The more vulnerable, the more feminine.
- Men can have both. Step 1 - start a journal.
- Many men don't have much of an “interior" life, and are not used to focusing inward.
- There are a lot of things guys don't pay attention to that would thrill women if they started to articulate them.
- Men are criticism phobic.
Essential Steps to Move Couples Closer Together
- Men need to start noticing what women feel and what they want.
- Terry speaks of 'fierce intimacy,' which is to not mutter about what's going on but to actually take each other on and say, “This is what isn't working for me, and this is what I want to see better."
- Women need to stand up, find their voice, and speak in a reasonable way that a person would listen to.
- When it comes to men, the first order of business is getting their attention.
- The second order is teaching them what you want.
- The third step is rewarding them when they try to give it to you.
- One of the secrets of a happy, healthy relationship is that you move from two 'I's to a strong 'we.'
- Essential: Figure out what you need to do to act like a team.
- An unhappy couple is a fighting couple or a distant couple that's disengaged.
- If you are a fighting couple, you need to let go of your righteousness and make peace with each other.
- Then focus on what you want, not what's wrong.
- If you are a distant couple, you have to open up your heart and reach out to each other. Start communicating. It's essential.
- Ask yourself: where is the passion?
- The first thing that happens when positive aggression leaves the relationship is that passion dies. Passion is essential to a healthy, vibrant relationship.
- Each person in a 'distant' relationship is embroiled with a host of feelings they are not expressing.
- A simple question to reignite a cold marriage is “What could I say or do to warm you up?" or “What do you need from me to feel more passion?"
- Relational empowerment is not the same as individual empowerment.
- Relational empowerment asks, “What could I give you to help you give me what I want?"
- To get sexual attention, give your partner the attention you would give to a lover.
- Throw a little sexual energy into the relationship on a daily basis.
Children's Impact Intimate Relationships
- Children can rip the guts out of romance and eviscerate the couple.
- We are a child centric society so you need to get away from the kids from time to time and feed your couples relationship.
- The divorce rate is close to 50%, so don't be foolish about how to spend your time. Figure it out.
- Actively cherish your relationship like you did at the start (it won't happen by itself).
Thank you for listening!
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Links to Resources Mentioned
The New Rules of Marriage (book)
I Don't Want To Talk About It (book)
2 click to tweet links! (Thanks for helping spread the word!)
Tweet: Rev up your sex life with a FULL-THROTTLE Marriage on Your Best Life Podcast w/Terry Real @wellnessgroup http://ctt.ec/u9bPc+
Tweet: Women Want WHAT From Men in Marriage? Find out on Your Best Life Podcast w/Terry Real @wellnessgroup http://ctt.ec/rfGbg+