Episode 129: Finding Your Way Back to Your Partner
Intimacy may not feel like an important aspect of someone’s infertility journey, but ultimately, it can be critical. There are more conversations about the physical and financial struggles that people face as opposed to the mental and emotional struggle – which are equally as important. In today’s episode, Dr. Jacqueline Sherman, an Intimacy and Relationship Coach, shares how she helps coach her patients through this important but often neglected issue. Drawing inspiration from her own experiences with loss and infertility, Dr. Jac offers some tips on how to re-establish that emotional connection with your partner while going through a fertility journey.
Guest: Dr. Jacqueline Sherman, Intimacy & Relationship Coach
Host: Dan Bulger
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Here are some highlights from this episode:
Lack of Resources
02:00 – 02:59
Dr. Jac Sherman: Back in 2019, my husband and I got pregnant, and we experienced a miscarriage. Thereafter, there were challenges with navigating intimacy, physical intimacy, sex, and emotional intimacy, it was just difficult. We had never struggled in that way before, so me being the psychologist, I thought that it was going to be very easy to find resources to support us through that journey but there weren’t any. I did a lot of research. I became very intentional about cultivating our intimacy and trying to focus it on that area, because I saw that we were struggling. Once I was able to work through that successfully, I looked around and I thought to myself that there’s no one talking about this aspect of the fertility journey. I want to be able to create a business that supports women and couples through that trajectory.
What is an Emotional Connection?
03:40 – 04:38
Dr. Jac Sherman: Emotional connection is rooted in feeling safe and vulnerable in your relationship. What happens with long term relationships is if we are not working on creating that connection and creating moments off that connection, it can truly be lost. This is evident especially when you add life stressors that are happening for individuals, it can become more complicated in order for that connection to stay intact. For relationships to thrive and feel satisfied regarding their intimacy, it becomes important to have the difficult conversation around what does intimacy look like for you and are you satisfied with what our intimacy is in the now? If not, how can we make it better?
Mismatches in Libido
14:14 – 16:22
Dr. Jac Sherman: Most couples experience mismatch libido. What this means is that typically, for couples, there’s one partner that’s going to have a higher sex drive than the other partner. What we call it in the sexual health field is spontaneous desire and responsive desire. Someone with a spontaneous desire is going to be the person who is thinking about sex randomly and feeling aroused without something happening. Someone with a responsive desire is going to be the opposite, they’re going to need something to happen first for them to start to feel the desire for sex. What this means is that once individuals have that piece of information, it can be helpful for the relationship. Research shows that men often have a more spontaneous desire, while women are going to have more of a responsive desire. Majority of the time it does and that information is helpful, because once you understand that it’s not that I don’t want sex is that my body responds to sex differently, you can then have a game plan on how to create a balance. If someone is spontaneous, their partner in the moment may not want sex that may not be on their mind. Although, if you know that their body is responsive, there may be things that you can offer your partner, or engage in foreplay, that then may lead your partner to want sex more often or want sex in that moment. Taking the time to really learn strategies like that can be helpful to create a balance when there is a mismatch in sex drive or differences in libido.
Dan has been in the healthcare industry for the last six years as a multimedia content producer. Better known as ‘Video Dan’ he as interviewed numerous doctors, patients and other experts in the world of fertility. He’s also the producer for this podcast, This is Infertility. On a personal note Dan’s parents started fostering kids when he was four years old, and he considers himself a proud older brother to over 100 foster children.
Dr. Jacqueline Sherman (aka Dr. Jac) is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Intimacy and Relationship Coach who helps women discover their sexual confidence and have better intimacy and pleasure. Her specialty is working with women who have experienced pregnancy loss and/or infertility issues. She coaches and speaks from a sex-positive perspective that integrates the mind and the heart. She is passionate about helping women overcome perfectionism, body image issues, and judgmental thoughts that distract from passion and pleasure. She strongly believes that a pleasured woman is an empowered woman!
Music From This Episode:
Track: Stage 1 Level 24
Track: Family Tree
Artist: Lee Rosevere
Track: The Secret to Growing Up