Ever since I was a little girl I’ve known that I wanted (1) to find my true love and have a great marriage, (2) to be a mother, (3) to be a dancer, and (4) and to be a counselor, especially a marriage counselor.

As a young teen, I’d listen to my parents in the other room negotiating passionately about their differences (that’s my respectful way for saying “arguing”), and I’d envision the advice I’d give them if I were their marriage counselor. Now that I’ve been married for over 35 years and gone through the huge challenges we had, I realize that marriage is a lot harder than I thought it would be when I was thirteen. But because of the tools we picked up as we worked through our problems, I also realized that the love I always longed for in marriage was possible.

Because of the hard-earned wisdom Mark and I gained from not giving up on each other when we couldn’t see the light at the end of our marriage tunnel, we feel equipped to help other couples that are struggling in their relationship. When we were going through those horrible hopeless times in our marriage, I had no idea that one day we’d land where we are now, experiencing the true love that I’ve always wanted.

If you are struggling in your relationship I want to tell you this: DON’T GIVE UP. Until you have done everything you could possibly do, don’t give up. If after you have done ALL you can do and you know WITHOUT A DOUBT that you are not supposed to stay married, then do what you know is right. But most people give up, never realizing that around the corner they could have had the relationship they’ve always wanted with the person they can’t stand right now. I know what I’m talking about, and I’m so grateful that when I wanted to give up in my marriage, instead I went the distance.

Real love only comes to people who “really love”. Reach out and get help if you’ve hit the wall in your marriage. When you think you’re at the end of your rope, take a deep breath and commit yourself to love. Don’t listen to people who tell you to give up. Listen to the truth in your heart that reminds you of what you really want.

I mentioned that from a young age I knew I wanted to be a marriage counselor. But I sure never imagined when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up that I would become a “sex therapist”. I don’t think there even was such a thing as a sex therapist when I was growing up. (Yup I really am that old). Being a sex therapist was not on my list of what I wanted to be.

The only reason I became a sex therapist, is because I found myself with “sex problems.”

Now this was shocking to me because when I finally found my husband-to-be I couldn’t keep my hands off him. I was crazy about him and my sex drive was crazy for him. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that shortly after I married him my sex drive would plummet down to nothing, but it did! There were lots of reasons for this that I won’t go into now. But the thing I want to tell you is that it was really hard on our marriage – excruciatingly hard.

My husband kept asking me “What’s wrong with me? Why aren’t you attracted to me?” All

I could say is the truth: “I am attracted to you. I just don’t feel sexual desire and I don’t know why”.

Mark and I suffered. He was starving sexually, and I had no appetite for sex. I felt guilty, defective, and responsible for the fact that he was wilting on the vine because of me.

Every week for years we had the same “passionate negotiations” over sex. I felt very humbled as I related painfully to my frustrated parents for whom I had written imaginary treatment plans in my judgmental youth.

It got really bad for us. So bad that we started throwing out the “D” word. But I knew in my heart that I couldn’t (and wasn’t supposed to) live without this man who I also couldn’t stand at the time to live with. I hit the wall, and then the other walls started moving in on me. I knew had to change.

I remember the day that my husband looked at me straight in the eyes and said, “I know that sex is not important to you, but it is important to me, and I am tired of feeling ashamed that sex is important to me. Please care about me.”

Something shifted in me that day. That day I made a commitment. I said to myself, “I don’t know how I’m going to do this, but somehow I’m going to have sexual desire.” That day I shifted all my priorities. Suddenly “figuring out how to love sex” became top on my priority list.

I didn’t really care about sex. But I cared about my husband, and my husband cared about sex. My husband for some weird reason felt loved through my wanting him sexually. So because my husband cared about sex, and I cared about my husband, now I committed myself to “caring about sex.”

I approached sex as a “talent” that I was going to develop. I put set aside my best time and energy to learning about sex and learning how to feel sexual pleasure. It felt really weird for me to put such priority into sex – especially because I had grown up in a religion and a family that taught me not to “think about sex”. Part of my journey towards finding my sexual desire, was having sincere talks with God (or my higher power –whatever you want to call it) about sex. I asked for God’s approval for me to be a sexual woman. I asked for God’s permission and blessing to love my husband through my sexuality.

Through the years I spent a lot of time reconciling all the things that were obstacles keeping me disconnected from my sexual desire. I went within myself and found the answers to tapping into my personal libido. I came to realize that “libido” is so much more than sexual desire. I discovered that my libido is my “essential life energy”. I discovered that in order to “turn on” my libido I had to turn on in all the areas of my life. I realized that it wasn’t just my sex drive that wasn’t turned on – I wasn’t fully living my life. I had to turn back on parts of my life that had been turned off, and the more I turned on to being my authentic self, the more my sexual desire also turned on. My sexual desire was a manifestation of “being truly alive in my own life”.

Now I have sexual desire – abundant sexual desire, and I LOVE it! I love being alive, and I LOVE SEX!

It became a crusade for me to find my sexual desire. Now it’s become a mission of mine to help other women (and men) who are struggling in their sexuality to find the keys to turning back sexually. I want others to discover, like I did, that when you find your sexuality, you come back home - to joy.

If you are struggling in your relationship and your sexuality, call me. Let’s talk. I care. I know what it feels like to be the one sitting on the chair across from the therapist. You can have the life you want, but you have to go the distance.