Frances Cohen Praver Ph.D.

Love Doc

Strong Women Make Better Lovers

Strong sexy independent women who value themselves are the best

Posted Jul 31, 2011

That's so not true." Sarah protested quietly.

Waving his hands in the air, Art shouted, "Yesterday it was your neck, then your shoulder, then your stomach; it's always something."

"You don't respect or love me." Sarah whimpered.

Clenching his fists, Art said "How can I? You don't work or do anything meaningful."

"I take care of Tom and you." Sarah said.

"Tom is 24 and not living with us anymore." Art snapped at her.

In her little girl voice, Sarah said "But I cater to every whim of yours."

"I work and make good money and so yeah I expect some attention to me." Art sat up straight in his chair as though he was proud of himself.

Sarah pleaded "I give you nothing but attention."

"Yeah sure, you manage to squeeze me in between your heavy schedule of shopping, having your nails done, your hair, tanning your body." Art spat out the words.

I cut through his sarcasm by asking "How are you feeling, Art?"

"I feel like I'm carrying a heavy burden." He said.

I then asked "What else do you feel?"

"Angry." Art said.

"And how do you feel Sarah?" I asked.

Tears welling up Sarah responded, "I feel like I'm not good enough."

I asked "And what else do you feel?"

"Like I'm worthless. I've been a wife and mother for so long I don't think I can do anything else. Art doesn't want me sexually so I feel like I'm not good in bed either." Looking down at the floor, shame registered in her body and brain.

Art turned to me and said, "She was my Goddess when we met, strong, independent, and exciting. Now she whines and she's boring, not at all sexy. "

"I stopped working to have a baby and you agreed." Sarah whimpered.

Art snapped "But that baby grew up and you didn't."

This then was the problem. When Sarah stopped working to become a wife and mother she lost herself in her family and did not develop a separate life. Art wanted a stronger, more independent woman; to him that was sexy. Unfortunately, Sarah's feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness prevented her from developing her strengths. In a sense she lived vicariously through her powerful partner Art. As for Art, despite his complaints about Sarah's dependence on him, he also felt more of a powerful man because he could give her everything she wanted.

At the end of the day however, Art could not give Sarah what she wanted more than anything; to be loved, respected, valued, and desired sexually. Without a lusty sex life, the relationship lost its luster and limped along.

In order to arrive at healthier place, Sarah went on a therapeutic journey with me so that she could feel empowered and respect and value herself. Art also entered therapy to work on his considerable issues of contempt and his style of blaming his partner rather than looking at himself.

Part of what we worked on was how feelings of inadequacy and helplessness become locked into the brains of women like Sarah. Much of women's experience as the helpless, dependent fair sex, living for their families, and needing a powerful man to lean on stems from intergenerational experience, societal and historical messages, and from childhood experiences. These untoward messages have been coiled into the bodies and brains of woman.

The good news is that the brain is plastic and can be rewired with new experiences and attitudes. It takes deleting the old noxious messages from the brain, believing in yourself, savoring your strengths, respecting and valuing yourself while facing your weaknesses.

And that's exactly what you will learn when you read my new book. It is called The New Science of Love: How Understanding the Brain's Wiring Can Help Rekindle Your Relationship (Sourcebooks, Casablanca, 2011) on preorder at Amazon. In this primer on love, you will learn about the power of mirror neurons on your love life, how love comes, goes, and how you can bring it back.

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