If you desire an exciting intimate relationship, you have to achieve a reasonable balance between emotional and sexual connection and work and children. A high proportion of couples who come to me to invest in their relationship are living unsatisfying unbalanced lives. This is unnecessary.

If all that matters is making more money, and work and children are all that is a priority, the primary relationship suffers. Most couples claim that they do not have choices, but this is patently untrue. We have choices about what we emphasize.

In many families with young children, the wife is assigned to do most of the childcare—even if she works—this is unfair and resentments ensue. The husband is typically seen as the main provider, and he dictates what everyone else does.

In a relationship among equals with sensitive partners, none of this occurs. Rather than fighting about who does what, there are family meetings to ask for everyone’s input to make the family run more smoothly with fewer resentments.

Couples counselors and sex therapists deal with all of this. Once again, spouses may not agree on the importance of getting help. One or both may contend that it costs too much, or takes too much effort and time to start a therapy relationship.

Therapy is an investment in your happiness and in the health of you and your marriage or other relationship. When you are stuck, you should seek help. Many of the couples who come to me are unlikely to improve their life balance without a well trained and experienced therapist.

Couples counseling and sex therapy are a one-stop shop with my practice. You do not need two therapists to deal with communication, sex and resentments when you come to me. Most of my work is short-term. I work as quickly as I can. I assign homework and home-play.

A healthy balance includes a frequent and creative sex life. Too often couples relegate sex to the bottom of the totem pole—a serious and totally irresponsible decision. It is not commonsense to view sexual intimacy as a frill or something that always occurs after everything else. In fact, it is not smart to view sex as a luxury rather than a staple in a relationship.

If sexual intimacy is not a focus, the emotional closeness and commitment to staying together suffer. Going on regular dates with adequate childcare is essential to achieve balance. This is critical once a baby is born. It is typical for the mother to focus on the child and the father to focus on work, and both to neglect their relationship.

As Woody Allen once said, a relationship is like a shark. It either moves ahead or it dies in the water. Relationships need nurturing and fun to be vibrant. Many divorces do not have to occur at all. They happen when there is no balance–when money and careers are all that matter. Materialism often gets in the way of intimacy.

The most miserable people I see have the most money. This is because materialism replaces intimacy as a major focus, resulting in an unbalanced marriage.

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