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UNLOCKED Full Episode: "Not Enough Intimacy in Marriage" | The Oprah Winfrey Show

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[music playing] [audience applauds] Can I ask you a question? When was the last time you made love to your spouse? When was the last time you made passionate love to your spouse? Was Nixon in the White House? Were bell bottoms in? Was the hustle the number one dance craze? Well, if it's been that long for you, don't worry because you really are not alone. Our audience and panel members reflect a growing number of couples who say that they are not getting enough sex in their marriage, and a lot of them are just kind of sick of it already. By now, you have probably gotten the message that this is sex talk time on the show today. So if you don't want your kids to hear this, you should now send them to another room and get ready to compare your sex life with that of our married panelists. It's one of the number one problems facing a lot of couples today. Disinterest in sex, or not enough time for sex. First, meet Jennifer and Marc Fisher. Now, Jennifer and Marc, try and remember the good old days, as they say, when they had sex sunset to sunrise. And now, they're lucky to make love once every full moon. Next, meet Kim and Marc Krause. Kim and Marc have been married for seven years and they say they have sex about 10 times a year. Lovemaking is so rare in their household that Marc says that he can tell you exactly what night each of his three children was conceived. Welcome them to the show. We're glad to have them. [applause] 10 times a year is about it, and only about six times so far this year. Well, we had a baby in March. I've been pregnant four times in the last three years. OPRAH: So you doing something some time. Yeah. Yeah. MARC: Well, when you're pregnant, that's one form of birth control. You don't have to worry about getting pregnant again. OPRAH: Yeah. It's a little difficult all the time, Marc. But she's always complaining that she's tired because she works a lot and then takes care of the kids, and-- OPRAH: How many kids do you have now? - Three. - Three. Three kids. MARC: And I'm ready to do it any time, just fine, OK? Come nighttime, she's too tired. I mean, I'll come home from work if she calls me up tells me she's in the mood. OPRAH: Uh-huh. [laughter] No problem with me. I mean, we could drop-- OPRAH: But that hadn't happened recently? Oh, no. No, I have a four-year-old and a 21-month-old and a six-month-old. Now, you tell me. OPRAH: Yeah. I'm tired. Yeah, you tell me. [laughter] Four-month-old? A four year-- OPRAH: Four-year-old. Our little girl just turned, 21-month-old, six-month-old. There was a miscarriage in there, so I've been pregnant for a long time. OPRAH: Mm-hmm. Yes. So it looks like if you only had sex six times this year, it's like every time you do, it works. [laughter] Yeah. We were worried about that last month. Yeah. OPRAH: Really? We were sweating it out last month. OPRAH: Sweating it out again? - Yeah. Yeah. So is it that you just don't have time? There's not time to? MARC: It's time. KIM: I'm just tired at the end of the day. An infant is exhausting. I work. I get to work really early. Get home, I have to make dinner, take care of the house, do the yard work, make bottles for the next day. Yard work? Now hold it now. Come on, Marc. You know, she likes-- He cut the grass three times this year. Tops. Tops. I'm not home all the time. OPRAH: Not home all the time? MARC: I'm in the Reserves also, so I spend some time, and she does it for me when I'm not around. OPRAH: So, obviously, you are just tired. KIM: Yeah, that's the problem. MARC: Well, that's the problem now. Before there were all these kids, it was the same situation. I was in school full time. Yeah, and I was in the Navy. In the Navy. He was gone all the time. And she felt that if I was to-- I'd come home, and then we'd have good times. And then we'd get real close and everything, and then I'd have to leave and it hurt for me to leave. So she figured if she didn't go through all the good times, then it wouldn't hurt as much when I left. So that's what the reason was then, now it's starting-- OPRAH: So there's always been a reason, in your opinion, right, Marc? MARC: Always been a reason. But it wasn't that way, I mean, it used to be-- Wild. [laughter] Seven times on our wedding night, I mean. [laughter] KIM: Marc! [applause] MARC: I used to be real-- OPRAH: Was you walking the next day? [laughter] No. OPRAH: Or was you laying the next day? KIM: Yeah. Yeah? MARC: Yeah, it used to be real wild until other things start coming in. Other responsibilities and so forth. They're always on your mind. But before that, when it was just her and I and nothing else going on. OPRAH: Uh-huh. I mean, her mom would run to the store to go get a gallon of milk, we'd run downstairs. Any opportunity. Yeah. OPRAH: Now would you like to have it like it was-- used to be? First of all, with three kids now, right? Three kids? It's never going to be that way again, right? Right. OPRAH: Right. Not at least until they're 18. Yeah, when they get older. Until the baby's 18. OPRAH: Now who is it that has sex on Saturdays, when the kids are playing? JENNIFER: That's our time. MARC: That's us. - That's you guys? JENNIFER: Yeah. Well, our schedule, we've got three little ones in four years too. And Saturdays will come and the kids will go outside and play, and that figures we've had about a half an hour before they keep checking in, to come back in for juice. So put the baby down. They've been out 15 minutes, like OK, we got 15 minutes. We could do it. Let's go. Close curtains in living room. - It's kind of like them. We'll run downstairs. MARC: Nap time, go for it.

OPRAH: Nap time, go for it, you say. - Yeah. - Yeah, kids are napping. There's just no other time. I mean, during the week. We're living in Indiana, he works in Chicago, and by the time he gets home, plays with the kids, get the kids to bed, I'm getting things wound up for the end OPRAH: Nap time, go for it, you say. - Yeah. - Yeah, kids are napping. There's just no other time. I mean, during the week. We're living in Indiana, he works in Chicago, and by the time he gets home, plays with the kids, get the kids to bed, I'm getting things wound up for the end of the day and the next day. And he snores, so I mean, I've kicked him out for a period out of the bedroom. And it's not a matter of us not wanting to or one of us not getting enough sex. We both just want more. There's just no time. It's not a conflict between the two of us, as it is with the time. OPRAH: So are both of you tired? Yeah, our-- Yeah. And what she-- OPRAH: You're tired too? Yeah, but when I get tired I take cat naps at night while she's kind of awake. So I sleep for half an hour and then I'll get up and I'll stay up until like 12 o'clock, maybe one o'clock. He can rejuvenate after 15 minutes. I can't. She's out cold. Because she's been up all day and running the kids here and there, and everywhere else. I'm up at 3:30. So I just started a motor route a couple of weeks ago. So from 3:30 to 6:30, I'm delivering papers. 6:30, I come home get kids up, get her to kindergarten, nursery school. I've got the baby with me all day. I mean, I don't even get in the shower until 11:30. Then I'm back for lunch. And he gets home at seven. I'm running errands around all day. Kids napping. OPRAH: You used to have sex morning and night? JENNIFER: Oh, yeah. Every day? Oh, well, yeah. Every night we'd have sex and I'd wake him up in the morning. One day, after eight months, we were living together and he finally comes up me and he was getting to work later and later. And he says, Jenn, I can't do this every night and every morning. After eight months, I was so embarrassed. But then once you have kids-- I was. Eight months! I thought, God, it's usually the other way around. OPRAH: Morning and night for eight months. JENNIFER: Well, yeah, and he never said anything. And he kept getting up for work later and later. He's like, Jenn, I can't do this anymore. I wouldn't complain. OPRAH: You wouldn't complain? - No. I wouldn't mind it at all. OPRAH: OK. [laughter] Well. [applause] If our couples had their choice, how much sex would they really want? Husbands and wives compare notes when we come back. Back in a minute. [applause] [music playing] We're talking with couples today who are expressing what a lot of people are saying across the country-- married folks-- that they aren't getting enough sex in their marriage. And how much would be enough for you, Marc? 10 times a week would be. OPRAH: 10 times a week? Listen, I'm not in your house and I can tell you you're not going to get that. You don't go from 10 times a year to 10 times a week. What would be reasonable for you? What would really make you feel like things are improving and getting a little better around? I guess I wouldn't really have a reason to complain if I got it maybe three times a week. OPRAH: Three times. And what is reasonable for you? A couple times a week. But he fails to mention that he doesn't want to be near me during the fertile time because I keep turning up pregnant. [laughter] I mean, I used birth control and we had another baby six months ago. So. He doesn't want to be near you during the fertile time. KIM: Yes. MARC: Like the 11th to the 17th day or something like that. [laughter] Back off. [applause] Well, it seems to me like you have miscalculated those fertile days. Anyway. Yeah, well, probably. OPRAH: So twice or three times would be fine for you. But are you ever going to be able to find the time to? I don't know. I suppose when they get older. So I'll wait 15 years. An infant is really exhausting. I stayed up with him one night until 2:00. All right, it was nice. Nathan got up at 10 to 4. I got up with Nathan for an hour. Went back to bed. Nathan got back up at 20 to 7. I couldn't get up again. I had to push him out of the bed to go get the baby. I didn't hear him. Come on. OPRAH: What do you say, Mark? Once or twice a week, you know, I can go kind of extended times without it, I guess. But you know, our lives are so like this. We pass each other constantly. That for us to spend some time together, you know, that's about the only time we get together. I think what our problem is-- You miss morning and miss night for eight months straight. Yeah. I've lived that one. But once or twice, we're not in conflict with the amount of really the actual act of sex, you know. There's no passion and romance when you've got a 1 and 1/2, 3 and 1/2, and 5-year-old. I mean, we all run in the bathroom and lock the door, honest to God, just to go in there because if you go downstairs, they'll follow us. So we'll close the bathroom door. That's been a real, you know, easy spot because that way at least it's where the TV is. It's play school in the green room in there. Yeah. I mean, we can't even get away even for something like this. You know, we're in a new area, getting ready to build a house, and something's short notice, we can't find people to take watch our kids just even for a few hours. You know, everybody else has got busy schedules. Everything's spontaneous. I mean, our sex is spontaneous. So people who say nothing's spontaneous.

I say, we have that. It's just there's nothing-- we want the kind of sexual relationship where you can plan it, and go to dinner, and come home and not worry about babies waking up, I say, we have that. It's just there's nothing-- we want the kind of sexual relationship where you can plan it, and go to dinner, and come home and not worry about babies waking up, or somebody knocking on the bathroom door. Our bedroom door doesn't lock. So that's why the bathroom door's convenient. And it's right by the TV. So the kids will stay out and watch the cartoons, and we just have to worry about the baby knocking. Mommy, you know. But we can get to that. OPRAH: Turn that volume real high on the TV and you're fine. Yeah, usually, but that's why we have to stay upstairs. It's hard to be passionate when you're waiting on the baby to knock on the door too. You're trying to listen for the baby. --in the act of making love. And it's like, mommy. It's like, we're laughing at each other. You know, this is it. Well, it's better than nothing, I guess. OK. We're going to come back, talk to our audience, get some solutions. Back in a moment. [applause] Joining us now is Doris Wild Helmering. Appropriate name for this subject. She's a psychotherapist, and syndicated columnist, and author of this book, "Husbands, Wives, And Sex." We're glad to have you join us. [applause] When children come into your lives, they automatically affect your sex life. That's just a given. Is it not? That's a given. In fact, statistics show that what happens is, as soon as you have your first child, your sex life decreases almost across the board. And so they're not abnormal. But how do you fix it? Well, they're actually not abnormal. But I think different things are going on in each relationship, when I was watching these couples. And I think over here, what's happening is they really are consumed by all the things that they have to do. And so they're under a lot of stress to get everything done. And so that's why they don't have a lot of sex. But what they're doing is, they keep trying to get sex in, which I think is really important. What happens is so many couples wind up putting it on the back burner. And then all of a sudden, when they have more time, well, they're out of the habit. And I think over here, in addition to the fact that they have very, very busy lives, I think we see something else going on, which is that there is-- when she said Mark, she kind of gave herself away. And I think what's happening is she's feeling like not very taken care of by this guy. And he doesn't do as much as he might around the house. And so he wants more sex. So it may be that sex is being used here for like in a power struggle, like for control. And so once-- Why can't it be just what she said? She's tired. I think it's both. I think that clearly it's tiredness. I think it's because of the fact that they have small children. I think that's a real hassle. She's working outside the home. She's working in the home. People don't have enough time today. That's why sex is decreasing in relationships. But I think it's in addition to that, something else is going on in this relationship. And I think inadvertently, it becomes a power struggle. He wants something from her and she wants something from him. She wants more attention. She wants that grass cut more. She wants him to do more. And then on the other hand, I think what he wants is he wants more sex. And that can be a real problem if this goes on and on and on over the years. Because guess what happens? Then they don't have any sex in the relationship. Somebody in the audience suggested-- I think you did, lady in pink? Didn't you suggest they take the bathroom lock and put the-- yeah. Yeah. WOMAN: --Bathroom doorknob off. Take the bathroom doorknob off and put it on the bedroom door because they don't have a lock on the bedroom door. - Right. - Have you done-- is there a lock on your bedroom door? Well, now there is. I took it off the bathroom. I switched the knobs. [laughter] Because of the privacy issue is a very important issue. Isn't it? It is, and particularly with women. Because what happens is, is that as they're having sex-- and like she said, you know, all of a sudden one of the kids start saying, mommy, mommy. All of a sudden, you know, you lose it. You're thinking about your kid and you're not thinking about sex anymore. And I think women particularly have trouble with that because they are very focused on other people, and particularly their children. They're very emotionally involved. Men don't have quite as much trouble with that as women. There's a lot of stimuli. You know, I think that women are affected by, like you said, noise and your surroundings. Men say they just, men, they just-- Yeah. You say what? I was married and I'm divorced now because my husband kept track of the days we had sex on the calendar. And it caused some real problems. He would tell me-- He was keeping track because he was feeling like you were not having enough sex? WOMAN: Yes. OK.

And he would tell me that his friends at work that weren't married were getting it more than him. Well, a lot of men get into bragging about how much sex they're having, but I often question that. How often were you having it that wasn't enough for him? And he would tell me that his friends at work that weren't married were getting it more than him. Well, a lot of men get into bragging about how much sex they're having, but I often question that. How often were you having it that wasn't enough for him? You don't have to tell him if you don't want to. Probably eight times a month. Yeah. I was tired too. I understand tired. I have three children also and I understand the tired. And men sometimes don't realize that they go to work, and they work at work, but we work all day long. Right. I think they do have some more breaks. In addition to that, however, there's a big difference between men and women in terms of age difference. When you were married, you were younger the first time. So you were really not at your sexual peak. Women don't move to their sexual peak until they're around 35, 40 years old. I mean, this is good. Right? Good for us. [applause] However-- So good to know I haven't peaked yet. However, men on the other hand, they're in their sexual peak at 18, 19. So a man in his 20s wants a lot of sex. And a lot of times, women think, gee, he wants a lot of sex. He sees me as just a sex object. That's not true at all. It's a biological thing. Guy wants a lot of sex then. Whereas a woman gets older, in her mid 30s and 40s, she wants more sex. So we don't match in that kind of a way, which is really sad, and I think it causes conflicts in relationships. People don't understand it. Is that why you wrote the book, "Husbands, Wives, And Sex"? That's why I wrote the book, because I think there are a lot of people that are hurting, and they don't talk about this with their friends. You know, women talk about everything with their girlfriends, except they're not going to talk about their sex life. They're not going to say, he never approaches me. Because if she says that, it makes her look like, well, gee, what's wrong with her? Or there's something wrong with her husband. Or you know, as Jennifer said, when she-- finally, eight months later, Mark says to her, look, I can't take it anymore. You know, and then she gets really embarrassed. So then you're afraid to say anything, you know, ask or make demands, any kind of sexual demands. And I think women also, they get very fastly put off I think if a man says that he's not so interested. Or don't push me every day. And sometimes then a woman will stop approaching. And then that becomes a problem in the relationship, if you only have one person approaching and not the other. Yeah. Do you get tired of asking? Are you tired of being the aggressor, Mark? Well, yes, I do get tired. But I kind of try to stop being the aggressor because I don't like the rejection. So we kind of share at it. I mean, she has the eyes every once in a while. Every once in a while? See, he's already started to back off approaching her. And she doesn't approach him a lot. And then all of a sudden, sex gets less and less in their relationship. How does your mate's personality affect your sex life? We'll find out when we come back. Back in a moment. [applause] So how does your mate's personality affect your sex life? How does that affect your sex life? Just different people's personalities? Yeah. How does your mate's personality affect your sex life? Well, OK, if a woman is a caretaker in a relationship-- this is a woman whose main focus is taking care of others. You know, she can walk in the room, instantly she knows what's going on. What happens is, she keeps putting out in a relationship over and over and over again. She's the one that sees the video that needs to go back to the store, so she rushes to the store, takes the video back. Oh, by the way, she's by the cleaners, so she stops and picks up his shirt. And then what happens, she comes back in the house, and she feels like he owes her something. Or he should do some taking care of her. And when he doesn't respond-- because men are really brought up differently than women. What happens is, is that she starts to feel mad. She doesn't feel taken care of like the way she takes care of, so she pulls back sexually. Why should I take care of him in bed when he doesn't take care of me emotionally? Is that a conscious thing or just sort of happens? It happens in a relationship. It's not like you say, OK, so I'm not going to give it up. Well, women, actually, it doesn't-- it happens like that very gradually. And then at some point, a woman will say, I'm not going to take care of him sexually. I'm not going to have sex with him. Because what the heck? He doesn't take care of me. And women also-- so that's one personality type, is the caretaker. And then some women slide into what's called the corrector. And this is the woman who thinks that there's a right way to fold socks, put towels in the drawer, put forks in the dishwasher.

You know, she puts the toilet paper in the holder, and instead of putting it this way, she turns it and puts it this way. And she's always telling her husband what to do. And she's very efficient. She gets the job done. She's terrific. Great person to hire. You know, she puts the toilet paper in the holder, and instead of putting it this way, she turns it and puts it this way. And she's always telling her husband what to do. And she's very efficient. She gets the job done. She's terrific. Great person to hire. The problem is, is that she starts to get on a roll in terms of seeing the flaws in the relationship, and she's always nit picking at her husband. And so what happens is, he turns off sexually. You know, it's sort of like, gosh, when somebody thinks that badly of you-- like some man said, why would I want to have sex with her? On the other hand, what happens is, because she's so darn focused on his flaws, then she doesn't really want to have sex with him. So that's the two positions of women fall into. And then men fall into two other positions. OPRAH: Like? Well, men are either passive aggressive. And this is a guy who really focuses on himself. He just focuses on himself in a relationship. He often dawdles, he procrastinates. He could get the job done better, faster, but he doesn't. You know, he gets mad at you and you get mad at him. Why are you laughing, Jennifer? You know, I had this little test for the passive aggressive. You want to do that right now? OPRAH: Yeah, sure. OK. Four points on here. All you have to do is to count on your fingers. Every time you answer yes, give yourself a point. And take this with your husband or your boyfriend in mind. OK. Number one, he does what he wants to do when he wants to do it and how he wants to do it. OPRAH: Is that a yes? Are you supposed to do-- If you have a yes, you give yourself a point. OK. Number two, he resists your expectations by dawdling, procrastinating, and forgetting. And he hates it when you set deadlines for him. And frequently, he does not meet them. Is that another yes for you? That's two yes's. OK. OK. Number three, he gets angry when crossed. He has a nasty temper, and often uses it to try to intimidate, control, and get his way. OK. I'll just do-- That's my husband. She's describing my husband to a T. OK. I'll just do two more. Number four, he rarely thinks he has made a mistake and needs to apologize. And when he does apologize, it is usually a maneuver to get you off his case. His apology does not contain a promise to change. And number five, when you confront him, he defends his behavior by getting angry and turning the issue around to make his behavior someone else's fault. Or using such excuses as, I forgot, or I'm sorry you see it that way. WOMAN: No. - No? Four out of five, anyway. Four out of five says that you're married to this passive aggressive guy. And what happens is, these behaviors drive women crazy. OPRAH: They drive you crazy? Drives me crazy. And he does not get enough sex. We've been married for 19 years. [applause] Our kids are 16 and 10. So we don't have a problem with little kids running around. Mommy, mommy. They're in bed by 10:30. So that isn't the problem. OPRAH: The problem is? The problem is he wants to watch several TV shows before sex. We both get up at 5:30 to go to work. All right, so maybe by 12:30, 1:00, he's ready. Well, you know what I'm doing? I'm sleeping. So he complains. You're going to sleep your life away. We never have enough sex. OK? Well, I would say I'm not interested, except that if he would start earlier, all right, then I'd be happy to accommodate him. But he has this program of certain shows that he has to watch every night. OPRAH: Arsenio doesn't come on until late. Well, Arsenio is one of them. I know. Yeah. And so-- What's wrong with a VCR? Well, then that means he watches them after work. So then he doesn't help with the cooking. We share the household duties. You haven't been able to negotiate this. So you're not disinterested, you're just as interested in the time that he's is interested. Exactly. Exactly. And he would have it every night if he could. I've been waiting for him to taper off. OK? You know, like you say, he peaked at-- well, this man has not peaked. He's in shape. And he's ready all the time. Well, he says he's ready all the time, but it's interesting that his behavior suggests that he's not. Because he keeps watching television at night. So on another level, he's not so interested. Yeah. Because if he was, he'd make the change. DORIS WILD HELMERING: You got it. Yeah. But he also, she answered yes to the question, he always has to do what he wants to do, when he wants to do, at the time. So he wants to watch his show when he wants to watch it. You got it. That's classic. And what happens is, women wind up feeling just furious at that kind of behavior. OPRAH: Right. That makes you furious. And so it makes you not want to have sex. Right? - Exactly. That's it. It's not that, you know, I'm not interested, but then I don't want to. I mean, why should I be awakened out of my sleep when I've got to get up and go to work? I mean, I enjoy it as much as anybody. I mean, we have a great time. You know, 19 years, there's only so many ways you can do it. [applause] I think we have a great sex life. But he just says, you know, he says what we do is fine. I mean, he has a good time. But it's just not enough. OK. OK. What do you say to that? Well, I think what I would do if I were you is I would approach him earlier. And maybe approach him-- well, you can't really approach him on the sofa because you've teenagers. OPRAH: A 10 and a 16 year old. OK. So what I would do, though, is maybe when the kids go out is to approach him, and see if he really does want to have sex with you. What I would do is turn that TV off. WOMAN: Get rid of it. Yeah. I would just get up and turn the TV off. How do you handle an over sexed spouse? We'll talk about that when we come back. Back in a moment. [applause] Now, Candy and John, Candy and John have been married now for seven months. And when they were first dating-- stand up, John, this is great.

John would take time off of work to have sex. Is that true? And it says here that you had sex 28 times a week? John would take time off of work to have sex. Is that true? And it says here that you had sex 28 times a week? For awhile. [applause] Applauding. And now you only have sex four or five times a week. More. More. More. Average is probably five times a week. Four or five days a week. How many times a week? That's different. Oh, times-- How many times a day on our good days. But it's, but it's not enough? It's not what it used to be. That's what I get. I get guilt. I get pressure. He gets mad. He gets quiet. He won't talk to me. He won't hug me. You know, he'll just get, you know, just distant and cold. OPRAH: He'll pull back. You know, it's like how much could you want? Like the way they had. You're in bed naked. You might as well have it in the morning and at night. Just because you're in bed naked? [laughter] It don't take much. Clearly, John's young. He has a high sex drive. She hasn't peaked yet, in terms of her sex drive. OPRAH: She's doing pretty good. I want to hand it to her. [applause] She's doing pretty good, don't you think? We think she's doing pretty good, John. - I try. - Doing all right. Doing all right? Well. But what I think it would be really good for this couple is to negotiate and decide really how much sex they're going to have. Because if it continues to be like this power struggle, he's going to keep feeling like he doesn't have enough. She feels like, wait a minute, it's too much for me. They're really going to get into hassle. So it would be better now to say, look, what would really be acceptable? Let's stop John in the-- because John says it isn't what it used to be. Well, it never is what it used to be. You got to give that up after a while. I mean, we've had a baby too. And I went through so much when I was pregnant, for him. When I didn't want to, I couldn't. You know, I'd be sore. Your body can only take so much when you're pregnant. And I thought, you know, I was being really generous and really good and really thoughtful. OPRAH: All that stuff. It's like, yeah, what else could you possibly want? Expect? I know exactly what you mean. See, that's that caretaker woman again. I mean, I don't even dream about it five times a week, let alone-- So you have a child now too? So how do you all manage to have it several times a day? He'll put her in the highchair, give her some Cheerios. Look the other way, Jenny. And she's taking a nap. Let's go, run. And she went to bed, let's go. And she's not up yet. You know, just-- OPRAH: Any time? Any time. Any time, I'll say yes. Any time. Any time? Any time. And you're still not satisfied, though? Well, I try a lot. So I mean, I'm going to keep trying as much as I can. But again, I think it would be better instead of continuing to try as much as you can, is to really come to some resolution about how much sex is going to be OK during this period of time in your life. And then that's going to change. So Mark, when you hear three or four times a day. When you hear this-- [laughter] And he complains? I'm like. [laughter] OPRAH: We'll be right back. [applause] I don't see anything being resolved with these couples. Like, maybe he could take her out one night to a nice Motel 6 for a half an hour or two hours, and get together their relationship that way. Well, but I think that he also needs to take care of her by focusing on her more. Doing nice things for her, giving her hugs, kisses, but also doing some chores around the house. [applause] He does help me around the house. It's not a big power struggle. It's not, I'm not going to have sex with him if he does the dishes and puts the kids to bed. Just depends on whether or not I'm tired. OPRAH: But maybe you wouldn't be so tired-- I do a lot of stuff around the house. Do you need him to help you around the house more? Do you? Is that what would make you happy? What would make you happy? Let's ask that question. It's not a question of making me happy. OPRAH: You're just tired? - Yeah. I'm just tired. I don't mind doing things with the kids, not at all. I love to do it. But sometimes it just wears me out. But it's interesting that some couples are as busy as this couple and they have more sex, and other couples have less sex. And so I think what happens is, is that people often when you're asked why you don't have much sex in your relationship, we say time, the kids, stress, job problems. But what we really don't focus on is what else is going on in that relationship. And I think sometimes people need to sit back and look at the underlying issues that are causing you to pull back from your mate, like that hidden anger or frustration. Or the fact that you don't feel focused on. Or you're in power struggles. Well, let's talk about this. Because, well, you don't feel you get enough. Right? You don't? WOMAN: No, I don't. Are you married? I'm glad-- [laughter] 17 years. My husband told me-- we had a long discussion one night about this-- as to why he was so sexually active prior to our marriage. And he said, he just wanted to get me. OPRAH: Really? But I also wanted to make love a lot for him to prove his love to me.

Which as we got married, as the years went on, I didn't need that anymore. And I stopped trying to be so aggressive and let him take over. It made a big difference. Well, it sounds like your husband, after you got married, Which as we got married, as the years went on, I didn't need that anymore. And I stopped trying to be so aggressive and let him take over. It made a big difference. Well, it sounds like your husband, after you got married, became fairly passive in the relationship. OPRAH: Exactly. And so you no longer needed that to find out that he really loved you, sex, that he really loved you. So what happened was is that you stop approaching him. And guess what? It gets put on the back burner. And there are many couples that I see in therapy who haven't had sex for a couple of years, five years, 10 years. Yes. But they don't want to talk about it because it's too darn embarrassing. People are just now starting to share that kind of information. You know, I think what's really important is couples really need to take time to be alone and to really focus on the coupleness. My husband and I make a point at least, like once every three months-- get rid of the kids. Take them to grandma's. Take them to a friend's. Go out for the night, have a nice dinner, and have a night to ourselves. It makes all the difference in the world. And I think both of these couples could certainly use that. If not, maybe not every three months though-- We get out. --but more than that, actually. I mean, we like go to the movies. Like, we were at Six Flags. We're going to the opera and dinner next week and stuff. But I mean, you can't have sex at the opera or sex on the roller coaster. I mean, it's not-- you know, we get out. OPRAH: Well, now-- Yeah, well, you could. Mr. 28 times may be able to figure out a way to do it. You never know. I think our situation's a little different, though. What about-- Mark, you're going to say something? The sex isn't always something that we're trying to have for a physical reason. I mean, we're very, very busy. And one thing I want to get out of it is the emotional bonding between her and I. There's no other really time when that happens. I mean, we don't smooch and all this other stuff during the day. There's no time for that. So really it's the emotional bonding that her and I-- we're husband and wife. We're a team. And that's what I really miss. And that's what I'd really like to have. OPRAH: Some nurturing. Yeah. You know, you're out there by yourself. And you have your spouse. And you could tie yourself with her. And you feel enriched. And that's what I like to get out of it. And it just, there's not really that time. She's tired. I could find the energy-- Maybe it's because she thinks it's always got to be followed by the actual act of sex. You see what I'm saying? Because what you're saying is different than the actual act of sex. You're saying you want some cuddling, some nurturing, some-- But he is saying, though, that when he has sex, he feels that bonding. And I think that's real typical of a man. In the actual act of having sex, a man feels intimate, where a woman tends to want to feel intimate and close before she actually has sex. So we're very different in that kind of a way. But for us, I think it's kind of-- we do opposite roles. It's more me. I'm the more sensitive one. It's true. It's true. Because I don't want to get, I want to give. KIM: And that's true. I feel a lot when I could give, and I could see that she has gotten a lot out of that. That's, it makes me feel better. I mean, that's what I'm looking for, really. When we come back, I want to talk about people who have the time but they're just not interested. We'll be back. [applause] If you're married and you just are no longer interested in sex, it is really not uncommon. Is it? No, it's not uncommon. In fact, at least 10% of our population suffers from what we call inhibited sexual desire. And what that means is, the person just isn't interested in sex. And nothing their mate does or doesn't do seems to get them interested. And I think about 30% of our population falls into this every once in a while. And if you lose your job, or your kids are having trouble at school, maybe you have a hormonal imbalance, maybe you're depressed about something, a parent dies-- those are all reasons why people wind up not very interested in sex. And I think the important thing is to not to let it go on and on and on in the relationship. Aren't there some people, though-- let's just, maybe this is a myth-- that just have low sex drive? They just-- I think that there are people that have low sex drive. OPRAH: They're just almost asexual. I think that's right. They're just not interested in sex. It's like some people just don't like vanilla ice cream. OPRAH: Yeah. It's like that? I think it's like that. OPRAH: I thought everybody liked vanilla. He's much more or less interested than I am. My question is, you talked about types of personalities. For the female, there's the caretaker and the controller.

For the male, passive aggressive. What's the best match? Well, and there's also a passive guy in the male personality. And this is a guy who doesn't make any decisions, doesn't take any responsibility. For the male, passive aggressive. What's the best match? Well, and there's also a passive guy in the male personality. And this is a guy who doesn't make any decisions, doesn't take any responsibility. You know, he sits at the table and says, do we have any butter? And his wife jumps up. Right, caretaker, runs over, gets the butter, brings it back. You know, that's the kind of guy. OPRAH: Her question was who belongs with who? OK. Well, generally, what happens is that a correcter will marry a passive aggressive, right, and this man will give her plenty to correct about. And this relationship has a lot of fights, arguments, hassles. And frequently, a caretaker will marry somebody who's passive or somebody who's passive aggressive. OPRAH: You wanted to say what? My problems are the same as all their problems. We have kids. My wife is in the National Guard. And she's busy, work, school. She's going to school full time. It's all the same. We don't have time. She's tired. I got to get up early, go to work. It's the same thing. You could make time like they do. They lock themselves in a bathroom. Kids are outside, you hit the floor. Let's go. You know what though? It's keeping humor. You have to keep-- you have to be so serious about everything in your life. And keeping a little bit of humor I think helps. And working together. I mean, we're trying to work for the same goal. I mean, we're not fighting with each other. And I think I nag and I get on him because he's more passive and doesn't do what I want him to when I want him to do it. And you know, end result, that's nagging to him. But it's, I think if you work together and you keep a good sense of humor about it, that helps. OPRAH: You wanted to say what? Yes sir. The thing that I can't understand is it's the quality not the quantity of sex that we should be all involved in. And I think this is what I'm having now is quality. OPRAH: We're so happy for you. I retired, I retired about a year ago. [applause] Congratulations, sir. I retired about a year ago. And I found out that in all these years-- OPRAH: Is this your wife with you? OK, good. All these years that-- you have to get away. You have to get away. Like, we used to jump in our RV. And of course, she couldn't get away from me I guess in the RV. But she was more receptive because of the business climate was gone. The kids are gone. But this is what you have to do. We would like to ask you about-- how has the quality improved. Has it? I would say so, yes. It has. It has? It's another stage of your life, when you retire. The children are all gone. And you just think of each other. Sex in that RV? Well, I tell you. [applause] You had a question? Yes? You want to just stand up? Yes. I wanted to ask the author. You said the correcter personality, the woman, this fosters a very passive attitude towards sex. And you said you can get out of the habit of having sex. Where do you strike a balance? I mean, how much is habit? How much is passion? How does that-- Well, OK, I think what you have to do is to decide how much you would really like to have sex in your relationship with your husband. And then go ahead and have sex. OPRAH: Are you the correcter? With two little ones, you have a lot of responsibilities. So I do some amount of correcting, but I try and catch myself because I don't like to be like that. OK. Well, a couple things is one, decide how much sex you'd like to have. And then start having that kind of sex in your relationship. And decide that you're going to put, sometimes, some irritations away. I think people sometimes today get too angry at their mate. They're always picking on everything. And no relationship is perfect. Sometimes you just put some irritations away. And you go ahead and have sex anyway because sex is very renewing in a relationship. And I think that's what Mark said. It's very helpful to a relationship. It makes people feel closer. Mark, what were you going to say? I think that's, sometimes what we try to do is try and set that aside, when we kind of realize it's been a while and we really haven't spent time together. And it's like, OK, yeah, the kids are outside. Spend some time together. And you try to set everything else aside. But you know, sometimes it just comes back. But at least you've spent a little bit of time together. JENNIFER: You fall into a rut. To fall into a rut? It's easy to fall into a rut. It's easy to get-- when you're having sex every day of the week, and you go two weeks without it, you're hungry. I mean, and then you work down, and you're having sex twice a month. To go up to a week, we couldn't do that. I mean, you have to gradually work yourself up. And you get used to something. And it takes a lot of work to change it. We'll be right back. [applause] Well, we've been talking about, really, what the book is about, what it's called-- "Husbands, Wives, And Sex." And so you made a really great comment before, saying that-- Well, what I said is a lot of times, people focus on the problem and they don't focus on the solution. And this fellow asked, you know, my girlfriend says I'm not affectionate enough. And I said, so ask her how you can be more affectionate. And then he said, well, yes, but-- and he went on and he talked about the problem again. And the trick is to solve the problem. Not to keep looking at the problem, but to solve it, to go for a solution. Thank you, you little romantic you. Thanks. [applause] [orchestral music]

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