Step four of this workshop is all about affirming every step your partner takes toward giving you what you want. That means looking at what he does through the lens of ''what is he doing right,'' instead of the critical lens that focuses on what he is doing wrong or how he could do it better, faster, etc. While it sounds easy, it actually takes practice to be able to acknowledge each small change while still coaxing him toward what it is you really want. Use the skills you've learned in the previous three weeks to get that positive message across. Look as deep as you need to so that you can affirm any of his behaviors that seem to be heading in the right direction. Sometimes the only thing you can say is, ''I'm glad you're trying to help, I really appreciate it.'' That's just fine. Warning: Never add ''but'' to the end of your compliment. If you just have to add a corrective note, start a new sentence to do so, and try to start it by using words like ''and'' instead the dreaded ''but.''
Always assume three things in every retraining conversation -- your partner is your friend, his intentions are good and there is some behavior of his to affirm.
To offer a simple yet illustrative example, let's say you want your man to buy you flowers. So far, he's not into the flower-giving thing. You prime the pump by finding an occasion to give him one long-stemmed rose or a mini-bouquet. Shortly after, while you still have his attention, you find a way to say something like, ''I just love getting flowers'' (you might even mention your favorite variety). Listen and watch for any clues that he liked receiving your gift. If he's obviously enjoying the flowers, let him know how happy it makes you that he's pleased. You can even add that you were nervous about giving them to him. That way, if he, perhaps, has been nervous (or shy or embarrassed) about giving flowers to you, that will help him get over his hesitance.
Now, when he does send or give you flowers and if they're not quite what you hoped for, refrain from saying in any way that his gift is not enough. Instead, receive them with delight. At another time, you can remind him of your favorite flower or the type of bouquet you long to receive from him. If you want to get playful, you can even say something like, ''I dream one day of lying naked with you on a bed of red rose petals.'' This will surely get his mind (and other body parts) racing and you can bet you'll be the recipient of red roses in the near future! The idea is that each time he brings you flowers, you love them and him, and continue to drop hints to shape and refine his style. Translate this flower example to the bedroom and get ready for him to satisfy you sexually beyond your wildest expectations!
Next page: What to do if your guy just doesn't ''get it.''
| how to retrain your lover |
Another essential ingredient for retraining success is patience, or accepting the pace with grace. Without patience, you simply cannot have a happy life, let alone a happy relationship. Believe me, your man is fully capable of changing his romantic ways and adapting his lovemaking skills to fully satisfy you -- once he actually understands what it is you're asking of him. This part may take a while, so be patient. Your impatience will only serve to frustrate him and make the time seem to drag by for you.
The time and attention you put into retraining your lover will not only pay dividends in the bedroom but in all aspects of your life together.
That said, if one of your desired changes is a relationship ''deal breaker'' (you simply must be fulfilled to be happy in your relationship), don't be afraid to convey to him the seriousness of your request -- be it more romance, specific sexual positions, more attention, etc. Remember (from week 2), be sure to use ''I'' messages when explaining how you feel and what you need and want. If you find a deal breaker and can't seem to work it out, it may be time to speak to a professional counselor, who can help you work through it together and help you assess the strength and health of your relationship.
Practice these lessons and, over time, you will gain the confidence and ability to ask for what you want -- and get it! -- from your man. The time and attention you put into retraining your lover will not only pay dividends in the bedroom but in all aspects of your life together.
Last week, iVillager Honey shared her thoughts on fantasy lovers, saying, "I think I'll count my blessings. I have my dream man, and even when he's not with me, he's the one I fantasize about. And, oh boy, his kisses are fantastic!!!" What does your man do that pleases you the most? Share your real-life stories here -- plus grab some inspiring new ideas from other iVillagers!
Looking for more advice from the Sexual Pleasure Pro? Tune into Dr. Bouchard's weekly radio show, every Friday night at 8pm ET, and ask him your questions. Or ask him your personal questions on his message board.
| how to retrain your lover |