The Record-Review
New York

Love & Marriage Section Special
Page 7-A

February 13 2009

In treatment: Staying in love, with a little help
By Eve Marx

Nelson said, “Falling in love is easy. That’s why we call it ‘falling’ and not ‘climbing.’ Falling in love is an emotional bungee jump, an adventurous free fall into the unknown depths of imagined romance. I’ts only later that we realize, “Oh wait, what was I thinking?”

Nelson said that it takes anywhere from 3 to 27 months from the time any intimate relationship begins for the ‘fall’ to slow down, if not come to a grinding halt. “That’s when people slam into the hard reality of real relationships,” Nelson said. “Our partner doesn’t always adore us. We don’t always feel cherished. Sometimes they annoy us. And sex isn’t as spontaneous or passionate. Around this time many couples not only feel not in love, but in conflict.”

Nelson said her specialized couple’s therapy focuses on rekindling the romantic and sexual relationship.

“The essence of relationship therapy is authentic communication,” she said. “Marriage counseling can reach a new way of communicating. This immediately creates connection. Once we learn how to talk openly with our partner, our defenses decrease, and we create new paradigms of trust in the relationship.”

Long-term relationships, she said, are not necessarily a death sentence for love and desire: “These phases of partnership are normal and common to everyone. But if couples don’t talk about these feelings and this experience, there is a risk that the relationship will take a turn for the worse. Couples move apart and distance grows between them.”

That’s where sparking passion again makes a difference. “Marriage counseling can help couples to re-sexualize their relationship and maintain their erotic connection,” Nelson said. “By re-sexualizing the partnership, husband and wife become motivated to stay connected to each other. A vital and healthy interest in sex and a passionate curiosity in life is the way to keep a relationship alive for a long, long time.”

Unfortunately, without the proper training and tools, long term partnerships are simply antithetical to good sex, Nelson said. All is not lost, however. “Couples who explore reconnecting sexually and intimately have a greater likelihood of staying together and form healthier ways of working through conflict,” she said. “Through good couples therapy work, many couples can recharge their relationships and bring passion and energy to their lives. Loving feelings will then naturally increase toward our partner.”

Contact Tammy Nelson at

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