Anyone who has following my work over the years knows that finding real, lasting, love has not been easy for me. Though I have been a marriage and family counselor for more than fifty years, I tell people truthfully that I have been divorced twice. Like many, I married early to my college sweetheart. We had two wonderful children, but we couldn’t successfully navigate the challenges of love and life. A second, re-bound, marriage was short-lived. Before trying again, I took a break to seriously examine my life, my family wounds, and figure out what was getting in the way of having the relationship I longed to have. I found a good therapist who helped me get honest and go deeper.
I eventually did sort things out, met my present wife Carlin, and she and I have been together now for 43 wonderful years. We wrote about our journey in my book, The Enlightened Marriage: The 5 Transformative Stages of Relationships and Why The Best is Still to Come. That’s when I first met Shana James. She invited me to be a guest on her podcast.
Shana is a uniquely qualified life coach. My colleague, Ed Frauenheim, co-author of Reinventing Masculinity says, “Shana James is a blend of the Dalai Lama and Dr. Ruth.” Terry Real, bestselling author of Us: Getting Past You & Me to Build a More Loving Relationship, says, “From my thirty-five years as a therapist, I can say Shana James is the real deal.”
After reading Shana’s new book, Honest Sex: A Passionate Path to Deepen Connection and Keep Relationships Alive, my wife, Carlin said, “Shana took me by the hand, set aside my snorkeling gear, re-outfitted me with scuba gear and we explored together some less conscious levels of awareness. Diving into deeper realms like expert scuba divers, she expertly coaches, guides and mothers my willingness to open to more emotional honesty, revealing and accessing unfathomable beauty and playfulness.”
After reading the book I concluded, “As a marriage and family therapist for more than fifty years, this is the book I’ve been waiting my whole career to give to my clients.”
I caught Shana on her busy tour to do an interview. I wanted to know:
- How did you come to write the book?
- What is mature honesty and why is it the foundation for keeping connection and passion alive?
- You write in the book, “We are not who we think we are and neither is our partner.” What do you mean by this and why is it helpful?
- How can vulnerability be a doorway to deeper intimacy?
- What is sex actually and how does an expanded definition of sex help people improve their sex and love lives?
You can learn more about Shana James, her book, and her work here.
If you would like to learn more about my books and my work, please join me here.
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