Leana Greene: I am so lucky to be here with Jenn Mann today, psychotherapist, the star of VH1 Couples Therapy, and you have a great new book, The Relationship Fix.
Dr. Jenn Mann: Yes.
Leana Greene: The number one question we got when got Jenn to do this show is, how do you keep the sexual attraction and the sexual energy going after kids?
Dr. Jenn Mann: That is probably one of the biggest challenges that couples face after kids. That is a particularly rough time. People's sex drives and their sex lives typically take a nosedive. There are a number of things that couples can do that they oftentimes don't realize. The number one thing is that most couples don't realize what creates a great sex life is creating emotional connection and that when we don't feel emotionally connected, especially women but actually men in long-term relationships find this as well.
When you don't feel connect to your partner, you feel a whole less like having sex. Then when you're having sex and you're not connected, it creates this negative cycle. The number one thing is creating that connection. Once you've done that and once you have maintained it, really what couples need to do is I would say the number one thing is carve out time for intimacy, both emotional intimacy and sexual intimacy. There's a very interesting study done by M. Gary Neuman, and what he found, he looked at women who cheated versus women who didn't cheat.
Leana Greene: That's so interesting.
Dr. Jenn Mann: What he found was that the women who didn't cheat on average spent 30 minutes of face to face time with their husbands. When they were asked why did they not cheat, they said, "Yeah, I've faced temptation, but I feel I've invested so much into my relationship and my husband's invested so much into me that I wouldn't want to do that."
Leana Greene: What about men?
Dr. Jenn Mann: Well with men, across the board, the number on reason why people cheated was a lack of connection. For men, only 8% of the time did they cheat purely for sex, and for women, it was something like 6 or 7%.
Leana Greene: That's in terms of ...
Dr. Jenn Mann: Over 90% of the time, it was either a lack of connection or a combination of a lack of connection and sexual connection.
Leana Greene: What is the four core relationship needs?
Dr. Jenn Mann: We need to feel seen, heard, understood and recognized.
Leana Greene: We are going to roll some questions for you.
Dr. Jenn Mann: Okay, great.
Leana Greene: Here we go.
Speaker 3: Since you're the guru of couples therapy and relationship building, I was just wondering, what's the number one thing that men come to you for opposed to women? What's your advice for them?
Dr. Jenn Mann: What people come to me for and what's really going on is actually different because you could say, "Oh, yeah, you know, men will come to me and say, 'I'm not getting enough sex in the relationship, or I don't feel appreciated.'" Women come to me and say, "Oh, I don't feel appreciated by my husband. You know I don't feel like he's taking enough time in courting me." Whatever it is, but really the core issue for both men and women, the number one reason why both come to me is that lack of connection.
Speaker 4: My husband and I when we first met, we had an amazing sex life. We've done the craziest things and it was awesome, but since we had the kids, I just don't feel as comfortable anymore doing those things. Now my question is, how do I make him be okay with just doing the regular stuff?
Dr. Jenn Mann: Why is that I'm uncomfortable with this now? Is it that that just happens to be something that used to turn me on that no longer does and that's just part of my sexual evolution or do I have judgment about what I used to do? Do I have an idea about what kind of sex moms should have versus pre-baby? Because what I would hate to see is for her, not just her husband, but for her to lose the ability to do something and do these activities that were a lot of fun, and it sounds like they were enjoying a lot of kinky, cool stuff because she now has ideas about the shoulds. I hate the shoulds. When it comes to sex, I'm very anti-should. We really need to look at what turns us on. As long as it's consensual, both people are on board, and both people are comfortable, I'm all for it.
Leana Greene: Well, I hope that was helpful for you. I think we have one more.
Dr. Jenn Mann: Great.
Speaker 5: My husband and I, we have three children. After the third child, well, he travels a lot for work, and we haven't been having sex that much. Is it normal for him not to want to have sex? Does that mean that he could be having an affair or something? I'm just not too sure.
Dr. Jenn Mann: Really, my answer to this is first of all, have a conversation with him. Find out what's going on that he's less interested in sex. Secondly, let's rule out the physical. Have him get his testosterone checked to see if that's an issue. Then, I would want to really talk to him about what can we do to make sure that we create an environment in our home and in our life and in our marriage that is conducive to us having sex.
Leana Greene: The Relationship Fix: Dr. Jenn's 6-Step Guide to Improving Communication, Connection and Intimacy. You can also see Dr. Jenn at the VH1 reality show Couples Therapy. Thank you, thank you for coming today.
Dr. Jenn Mann: My pleasure.
Leana Greene: I learned a lot. It was so interesting.
Dr. Jenn Mann: Oh thank you, and you can also find me on social media at Dr. Jenn Mann, two n's on Jenn, two n's on Mann.
Leana Greene: Yes, you have a great website and a lot of other books actually, a lot of great books on ...
Dr. Jenn Mann: Parenting.
Leana Greene: parenting and babies.
Dr. Jenn Mann: Yes.
Leana Greene: Thanks for being with us.
Dr. Jenn Mann: Thank you so much for having me.