My Partner Doesn’t Want Sex, What Do I Do?

Low sexual desire is one of the most common problems found in marriages and long-term relationships. More than one third of women who go to their gynecologist have been reported to have shared that they would prefer to have sex infrequently and that actually, they do not enjoy sex much. Today, men are also claiming that their desire to have sex with their wives can and has dwindled. The result of not wanting sex leaves the partner that does want sexual intimacy feeling undesired and unloved, or the individual may start to question their commitment or love for their spouse, as a result of the lack of intimacy. Finding a knowledgeable therapist to deal with the issues associated with a lack of desire is difficult since there are few books that are helpful on the subject.

There are many contributing factors to love and desire. The most common blocks to intimacy include marital conflict, fatigue, stress, intimacy disorders, and avoidant attachment from unresolved, overwhelming childhood events and/or parental misattunement, a lack of knowledge about how to please one’s partner or pressures to perform, overuse of pornography, fears of intimacy, discomfort with one’s body, and self-hate and depression. Assessing the multiple contributing factors and addressing each of them require a great deal of skill, experience, and compassion.

The good news is that most of these blocks, these contributing factors to sexual intimacy, are reversible. We have come to believe that the hardest step to reversing sexual troubles is having the couple present for treatment at all, followed by the ability to maintain their commitment to solving their blocks to intimacy — work that can go deep and get difficult at times.

The success rate for those who are committed to getting to the bottom of the issue, alongside highly skilled therapy, is typically very high.

Dr. Mark Schwartz has extensive background and experience working with issue of sexual desire in couples. Having spent years as the director of the Masters and Johnson Institute, working side-by-side with renown researchers Masters and Johnson, he has spent much of his career focused on the blocks that prevent intimacy in marriages and long-term relationships.

Contact Dr. Schwartz for a free consultation at 831 747 1727 or via email.

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What Makes a Good Marriage Retreat?

What To Look For When Considering a Marriage Retreat?

During the past 25 years, Lori and I have provided relationship therapy for hundreds of couples. Our extensive experience, across a broad array of issues, has taught us what is necessary for therapy to be its most effective.

What Does It Take?

First, both partners must learn new ways of interacting. They must master skills for solving problems, listening, dealing with anger, frustration and passivity, and creating quality interactions. Second, they must practice these new ways of interacting until deep and authentic change takes place. Third, they must be guided to examine the places where they are stuck or blocked that interfere with this change.

Rarely does once-a-week therapy allow for these three criteria to be met, regardless of how long the therapy goes on. Momentum matters in therapy. The right frequency of sessions is critical to long-lasting success.

The Proven Solution

Our solution, and one that has worked well for us over the past 25 years, is this:  The retreat model calls for initial intensive therapy away from home, followed by at-home sessions as needed. We have the couple stays for seven days at accommodations near our Institute. We meet with them three hours each day and then have them use the rest of the day to practice the skills and techniques we discussed. This concentrated focus on healing the relationship is very effective when done away from work, kids and other stressors. (more…)

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Why We Marry, Why We Split…

Why Marriage Counseling Off-site Retreats Are a Relationship-saving Trend To Pay Attention To


Most individuals marry for good reasons — and for bad reasons! The good reasons include finally finding that one extraordinary person who you weren’t even sure existed. Life feels magical: colors are brighter, song lyrics have more meaning, and the sex is passionate. You feel good when you are with this person and think of them constantly when you are not. You are no longer alone; you have a partner with whom you can explore the universe, with whom you can create, learn, laugh, play and build a life.

And the bad reasons?  We often choose partners who uniquely re-create what therapists call “the pasts unfinished business.” And so begins the disenchantment, the frustration, the hurt and disappointment, the distance, and the power struggles.

It starts small. Your other half leaves the cap off the toothpaste, loads the dishwasher all wrong, if they attempted to load it at all. They don’t talk or they always want to talk. They want sex all the time. But worse, when they don’t, are they no longer attracted to you?

You can’t believe the person you thought was so amazing is now so inconsiderate! Were you wrong then or are you wrong now? Who is this person? Or is it you? Marital therapists during the last few decades were, in general, remarkably ineffective in helping couples create sustainable and adequate relational improvement — but much has changed in the last few years.  The field of marriage counseling, marital therapy has evolved and the current approaches are working much better. Often, much can be done to improve a failing relationship. Reestablishing the “good” and resolving the “bad” is a sincere possibility.

The complex challenge is that for partners to make changes, they need a climate of teamwork, respect, and positive regard for each other. But wait! The relationship is already in danger or they wouldn’t be in marriage counseling. Here’s the million dollar question: How is that you can achieve the initial relational shifts necessary to foster change? (more…)

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Why Couples Therapy?

After the courtship period, couples often wonder, “What happened to the fun, excitement and passion we used to have together?”  As the novelty wears away, couples sometimes argue, pout, become enraged and act irrational. They may move into a stressful stage of over-working, having to cope with being a parent to their own children or to stepchildren, and the pressures of a complex society. They do not have the skills to deal with conflict optimally, and so do not resolve their differences effectively. Hurt and anger will interfere with, and sometimes destroy, intimacy.  Issues of control frequently emerge and cause conflict to escalate. Men often become withdrawn, unemotional and uncommunicative, while woman feel lonely, frustrated and angry.

The good news is that skilled therapy can reverse such patterns, even when there has been a dampening of affection. Problems in relationships are inevitable. Our approach is to help partners negotiate and compromise, using conflict to identify “hot spots” and provide clues to unresolved past issues. We help each partner to become healthier, which can translate to a more open, honest and often excitingly intimate relationship. (more…)

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