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Do you know about “I statements?”

Do you know about “I statements?”

You’d be surprised how many women have a difficult time figuring out why their partner’s don’t want to be intimate with them.

Here’s one message I received from Maria who wanted to know why her lover just didn’t have the desire a previous partner once had for her.

Check out her email and my response below.

“Hi, Susan,

I’ve always been satisfied with my sex-life and just being open to new ideas.

I had a relationship with a man who would always adore me, give me pleasure and was really happy to be in bed with me for 10 years.

I wanted to live together, but he didn’t want to leave the big city of Amsterdam. And as I prefer nature and the countryside, we couldn’t find a solution and broke up.

But here I am now, 49 years old, a new boyfriend for three years, living together for 3 months, and stuck with no sex-life at all.

I just don’t get it and am desperate for wise advice. I’d be very, very thankful for your comments.

Are men only interested in women when they can chase, when there’s plenty of time apart from each other, not living together?

Or am I attracting men who are afraid of committing themselves, who are afraid of real intimacy? Should I quit and look for a man who is on the same level: someone who is longing for a steamy, intimate, long-term relationship living under the same roof? Or is this just a silly, unrealistic wish?” —Maria (not her real name)


Maria, every man is different. I think you should explain to your boyfriend about your unhappiness.

Sit down with him at home after a meal when his tummy is full, and there are no distractions. Put your hand on him. Look into his eyes. Fill your heart with compassion.

Then describe how you feel. Use “I statements,” not “You statements” such as:

I feel…
My experience…
The effect on me…
My desire is…
I wish we could have a relationship where I experienced…

Don’t expect or ask him to respond. Just request that he listen. Tell him you want him to have a lot of space to come back to you with his thoughts, experiences, and desires.

If he is a man of few words, and he’d be better writing his thoughts down, allow him to do that. Some people, men especially, have a hard time channeling their feelings into language.

When you talk to him, speak slowly. Try not to flood him with your emotions. Be completely honest. Don’t hold anything back. Don’t make excuses. Don’t invent rationalizations. Just speak with vulnerability about how you are experiencing your intimate life with him.

Describe what you wish it was like, compared to how it is now.

Thank him for listening. Give him a hug and kiss.

Then get up and go for a walk. Ask him if he’d like to go with you. Ask him to hold your hand while you walk.

This will clear your minds and allow a little space for him to digest what you’ve said.

Assume the best of him. Assume he loves you. Don’t try to figure out what he is thinking. You will most likely be incorrect.

If he hasn’t addressed your issues in one week, bring up your situation again. Ask him if he is going to respond. He could be struggling to figure out what to say or do. At that time, inquire as to whether he might be open to going to a couple’s therapist. It might take more than your own skill to draw out of him the issues. But I doubt it. I think this slow, steady plan will yield you good conversations.

Please let me know how it goes.

And as for YOU, if you’re stuck wondering why your partner isn’t as sweet, caring, attentive, present as they used to be…

One of the simplest things you can do is get a conversation started using the technique I explained above. It should get the ball nicely rolling.

That way you can open up a safe space for you to talk to each other and hopefully set things back on the right path.

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