I'm really excited to have Dr. Ruzandra LeMay visiting. I love to read self-help books and since I've been through my own divorce and remarriage, I want to find ways to make sure I'm the best I can in all my relationships.
Hello Dr. Ruxandra LeMay for visiting today. Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi Melissa, thank you for hosting me online. A little about me: well, I was born and raised in Romania, and moved to the US to go to college in Michigan. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but since my parents were paying for college, I ended up with a Business degree, followed by a career in the corporate world. Half way through, I realized that was not my calling and decided to go back to school and completed a doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology. I have been married to my college boyfriend for 12 years and have 3 wonderful boys.
Thanks! So I guess it's Go Blue for you. It sounds like you have an interesting life. Now on to some personal questions.
If you could go back in time to when you were seven years old, what wisdom or advice would you pass on to yourself?
Like I mentioned, I grew up in Romania, which at that time, was a communist country. My parents and grandparents were more concerned with physical and financial security and not as much with emotional growth. Our family motto was “stop whining, get over it, and pay attention to where you are going.” I am sure others can relate to this kind of upbringing. However, as a parent of three and as a psychologist, I recognize the need for validating a child’s emotions, and how much that contributes to their confidence level….so I would dedicate a whole lot of time to processing and validating a seven years old’ s experiences.
For what are you grateful?
Health and kids. I learn from my kids every day.
If a zombie virus took over the world, how many days do you think you could last before you were infected? And what would you do to postpone the inevitable?
So, this question kind of flares up my anxiety. Seriously, I have no idea, but right now I feel like I should go grocery shopping to stock up just in case.
Sorry. Let's try something more fun. What television sitcom is most like your family? Why?
Well, we have three boys so between their school, sports, birthday parties, play dates, and then my husband’s projects and my work, the best way to describe our home life is “moderately organized chaos.” So, it’s something in between “Everybody loves Raymond” and “Blackish.”
What’s your favorite thing to do to relax?
Taking long showers, painting my nails, watching movies, and sleeping…..not that I get to do too much of it.
Let’s find out a little bit about you as an author. Did you always want to be an author?
No, not at all. And I don’t really consider myself an author. I see myself as a psychologist that wrote a self-help book, truly hoping to help as many as possible.
How did you decide to write a Self-help book?
I specialized in couple’s therapy, couples at every stage of their relationship, from newlyweds to the divorce court. I noticed some patterns, researched these patterns, and developed some interventions to help along the way. But, unfortunately, I also noticed that most couples and families don’t go to therapy until it’s too late. So, I wanted to capture them before that happens. And I figured a short, direct, and no-nonsense book would capture and sustain the attention of both partners.
Tell us about your latest release: (blurb, excerpt, cover)
So, the title is “My spouse wants more sex than me: The 2-minute solution for a happier marriage.” This may give it away a little, but it is essentially a book about sex and communication in a marriage. These are usually two big issues in a relationship.
Sex challenges appear every time there is difference between the level of sex desire; and this usually always happens three to five years into any relationship, especially if there are kids, stress, money problems. But couples are not easily inclined to be truthful about how they feel about their sex drive and take either a passive or an aggressive route in communicating their needs.
I also noted that the low sex drive partner is often accused of having something medically wrong with them while the high sex drive is accused of being addicted to sex. Although sometimes, this may be the case, the majority of times, there is nothing wrong with either of them.
I also write about pregnancy and motherhood as two important areas that obviously affect sexuality. There are a lot of biological, cognitive, and emotional changes that go into these life stages. They truly change a woman’s sexuality and the relationship dynamic. Most of the changes are positive, hopefully, but that’s not always the case. A child puts a lot of strain on a relationship because it takes a lot of energy out of the parents, but especially out of the mother. When she does not have much left to give to her spouse, he often feels left out and uncared for.
No matter what the situation is, the book offers them a solution to bridge these differences and these times without the blame, without finding fault or pointing fingers. And it works, if people are open enough to try it.
Let our readers know how they can get a hold of you…
They can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, also on Facebook, Google +, and Twitter (although it’s kind of hard for me to get my point across in 140 characters)
Is there anything else that you want to share… feel free!!
I am obviously biased because it’s my book, but these interventions have been tremendously successful when applied so for those that will be reading the book, I strongly encourage them to read it with the spouse and to practice before they cast a vote!!!And then, I would love to hear from them.
And on a final note, I was looking at your books and actually I referred to this type of genre in my book. I was making a point how women can use these books as foreplay, and the spouses will just have to be around when that happens to enjoy the benefits. Win-win!
Thank you! I agree. Women need that mental foreplay so much more.
Is “not enough sex” a daily or weekly argument in your relationship?
Is sex at the bottom of your to-do list after mopping the floors, laundry, and packing the kids’ lunches?
Would you rather catch up on your favorite show than have sex?
Then this book is for you.
Nowadays, women work more than ever; they juggle a career, a household, kids, bills, pets, their own parents and in-laws. In a relationship, marriage to be precise, sex is on a continuum: from hot and sweaty to non-existent. The author has seen numerous couples in therapy, all struggling to make the transition from “I can’t breathe without you” to “I would rather sleep than have sex.” Although most couples experience these changes, many don’t know how to handle them. Women feel exhausted, guilty, and wondering whether they need medication to feel some sort of sexual desire again. Men feel unloved, misunderstood, and highly frustrated. Nobody wins. And sometimes, the table turns and the man has a lower sex drive.
This unique book offers a practical solution that is a great compromise for both genders. It’s fast and easy to implement and maintain. It’s the real deal. The goals are realistic, easily attained, and make an actual difference in the relationship.
Dr. LeMay also talks about the fact that the female and male sex drives are different but there is no reason to apologize for such a difference. There is nothing wrong with women that have a low sex drive and not all men are addicted just because they like sex.
This book offers a compilation of tips and ideas to increase assertiveness and honesty during sex. Finally, the author introduces 10 insights into what affects female sex drive such as husband’s participation in household chores, his effort in looking good for his spouse, and his willingness to accommodate his wife’s sexual needs.
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Why write The 2-Minute Solution? Well, at first, because my husband insisted on it. I can’t tell you how many times we have argued over whether this book will make a difference. In his mind, he is fighting on behalf of all the married men who are possibly misunderstood and sexually and emotionally deprived, and he strongly believes that this book will help many.
Interestingly enough, while the psychologist in me totally agrees with him, the female part of my brain continues to side with the stereotypical question: “Why does he care about sex that much?” This is kind of crazy, because I didn’t have this question when we first started dating. Honestly, I probably would have felt confused if he hadn’t cared about sex back then.
How did it all start? Well, we have been together for seventeen years and married for twelve years. We definitely think of our relationship in BC and AC terms - that is, “before and after children.” Our children are the most amazing people in our lives, and we are a hundred times happier and more content since they were born. They are also the reason for a lot of changes in our lives.
Before children, our lives consisted of work, lots of spontaneous date nights, movie marathons, and a whole lot more adrenaline between the sheets.
After children, our lives consist of getting dressed, making breakfast, packing lunches, getting dressed (did I say that already? That’s because I’ll bet one of us is not dressed yet), brushing teeth, driving kids to school, picking kids up from school, doing homework, taking kids to sports practice, getting dinner ready, feeding everyone, washing everyone, reading stories, and getting ready for the next day. Did we feed the dogs? How about the turtles? Or the fish? Are we done for today? Because I just want to get some sleep before we do it all over again tomorrow. A few years ago, there was a mom on YouTube who could sing her entire daily routine in one minute. Back then, when I was single, I thought she was weird. Today, I am that mother.
On the rare occasions when I go out to Happy Hour with my girlfriends, also mothers, we compare notes about our kids, about our spouses, and most often about how tired we are. And with that, occasionally we laugh about how our intimate lives have changed. Because I am a fairly private person, I am not quite ready to dive into specific details about how my sex life has evolved in the last eight years, but let’s just say that it has morphed into something a lot less steamy and romantic and a lot more practical.
This brings us to how the idea behind this book was born. Fortunately, while all of these changes were taking place, I was also getting a graduate degree in psychology. Both my husband and I agree that psychology kept us together, helped us grow, and allowed us to truly learn about each other.
As a child of divorced parents, I have developed an interest in how relationships start, maintain, and end, so it was a natural progression to focus on couples’ therapy during my graduate studies. Over time, I have gathered a lot of notes from the hundreds of books and articles, hours of therapy work with clients, and conversations with friends and relatives, and I have used many quotes and ideas from these sources in my writing.
Although there are a number of good books on sex, marriage, and communication, I have always found that most of the couples’ books are too long, are too complex, and try to cover too many intricate aspects of a relationship. Many readers get lost in all of the information and have a difficult time finding areas of focus or ideas that could be immediately applied to day-to-day life, so they can experience the much-needed relief in a timely manner.
Becoming a wife and a mother helped me develop a different and much better way of understanding and relating to my clients than any of the theories covered in graduate school. I realized that most of these books, although great resources, are often difficult to implement when your daily routine is as chaotic as I described earlier. Thus, I have tried to simplify the process of marital therapy to five key elements: sex, communication, financial matters, parenting, and dealing with in-laws (extended family).
This book will cover only two of these areas: sex and communication. I generally believe that if spouses are able to manage these two areas, they will have a significantly easier time working out the others.
I won’t lie. Marriage is hard. Once the blinding lust is gone, marriage is work. It is about constant compromise, scheduling, taking turns, sharing, and giving up personal likes for the benefit of the children and the integrity of the relationship. And even if you manage to get all of this right, there isn’t a guarantee that the relationship will survive. It ultimately comes down to the ability of each spouse to let go, as well as the partners’ level of optimism, sense of humor, and degree of commitment.
Obviously, when a marriage becomes work (and it will), the quantity and quality of sex change. This is not my opinion; this is just a fact of life. It simply depends on how much it changes. If it disappears or if it becomes the topic of excruciatingly painful daily conversations, you and/or your spouse have to do something about it, if you want the relationship to survive.
My straightforward approach to sex in a marriage has often been called “unromantic” or “too pragmatic.” There is some truth to this, but I prefer to describe my method as “a commonsense, easy-to-implement, and effective approach to a challenging time in a couple’s life.” And it works.
My Spouse Wants More Sex Than Me: The 2- Minute Solution for a Happier Marriage is a self-help book about sex and communication in a marriage. It is a humorous and straightforward book that talks about the reality of a marital relationship, not about the fairy tale you see in movies. With this book, I hope to:
The truth, however, is that most women nowadays work full-time jobs, still take care of the children and the household, and sometimes help care for ailing parents, relatives, or friends. Most women who are physically, mentally, and emotionally drained from juggling all of these tasks just don’t have the energy or motivation to have sex.
Nonetheless, this is not one of those books that tell you it’s your job to keep your man happy. It’s not going to tell you to buy sexy lingerie, how to find anyone’s secret G-spot, how to give mind-blowing oral sex, or how to have one-hour-long orgasms several times a night. You can find that advice in each of the last five hundred issues of Cosmopolitan or Glamour magazine. Most likely, you already know how to do most of those things. Most likely you used to do some of these things. But today, that is such a thought of the past. Today, the only thing you are looking forward to is watching a few episodes of Scandal, snuggling with a good book and a glass of wine after the kids are asleep, or getting a full nine-hour beauty sleep.
In all fairness, I also know women who struggle with the extreme opposite situation: their husbands are not interested in sex. Although the core of this book is directed toward women with lower sex drive-related issues, the ideas in this book are very much applicable to both scenarios; thus, both men and women could benefit from reading it.
As a matter of fact, for best results, I encourage you to read this book with your partner. Reading this book together is an opportunity to find out how you both feel about the topic and to understand each other’s perspective. Furthermore, it is an opportunity to learn that you are not alone. The experience of whatever is happening (or not happening) in your marriage is shared by many, many other couples. That insight in itself is often therapeutic.
However, the most important part is that The 2- Minute Solution is a hands-on book that strongly encourages practice. No self-help book, no matter how great it is, will make a difference unless the readers are willing to practice the skills described. To help with the practice aspect of this book, I have included “The Insight Corner” at the end of each chapter. This box describes a variety of assignments that are supposed to make you think about, talk about, and do things that may be out of your comfort zone, but are great stepping-stones for change. Please remember that practice takes time and failure before one can experience long-lasting success.
Those who know me can vouch that I am a big believer in “practice what you preach,” so I can say that my husband and I have been working at these skills for about seven years. I won’t lie; it did take some work, but this work was worth the time and effort. And don’t get me wrong, these skills and ideas will not resolve all of your marital problems, and they will not prevent arguments from happening. As a matter of fact, we still experience ups and downs that make me doubt my expert status at times, but, overall, we have made it so far, and we still like each other.
Please keep in mind that I wrote this book to complement and not to replace other medical, pharmacological, psychological, and spiritual resources available for couples’ health and marital therapy. There will be times when it is recommended to consult your physician, a sex therapist, your pastor, a friend, or a relative on the thousands of things that could go wrong (or right) in your relationship. I wrote this book, however, to stimulate a different perspective.
The thoughts and sex-provoking ideas described in this book have helped many, but they may not be helpful to all. While I am a licensed psychologist with experience in couples’ therapy, I am not a physician or a licensed sex therapist. Please consult with a physician, especially if you have a condition that may affect your sexual endeavors.
Finally, just to cross this off the list and ward off all of the critics who may line up to say that this book will take women back to the dark ages, this is not about a “wife’s duty to perform” or about some sort of submissive perspective. I meant this book to be a modern and fresh “hands-on” approach (no pun intended) to highlight how biology, communication, and psychology can come together successfully and contribute to a loving and committed relationship in today’s fast-paced and often stressful home environment.
Dr. Ruxandra LeMay is a licensed psychologist in Phoenix, Arizona. After earning her undergraduate degree in Business Management, she spent 15 years in the corporate business world. While working with numbers and negotiating contracts, she realized that she enjoyed working and motivating co-workers with different personalities and different ways of doing things. She liked working with people, helping them focus on their strengths, and mediating communication with their management or conflict with peers. It was during this time, she decided to dive into the world of psychology. She went back to school and earned her Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Clinical Psychology.
During her formal training, she continued with her interest in relationships, this time in family and couples’ therapy: pre-marital education, marriage counseling, and post-divorce mediation. In addition, she worked with adults and adolescents struggling with addiction, anxiety, and mood disorder related issues. Last but not least, as she became a wife and mother, women’s life concerns became another topic of interest. Pregnancy, breastfeeding, ante- and post-partum challenges, low sex drive, and parenting have all been at the forefront of her study for the last ten years.
She has a very direct and practical style. Therapy takes time and money. They are both valuable and she does not want to waste your time or your money. She wants to offer the most effective recommendations that you can implement right away so you can feel immediate relief from whatever it is that you are facing. Her book, blogs, and therapy are all a reflection of her belief that even small changes, if they are the right ones, can make a big difference in someone’s life.
Her latest book is the nonfiction/psychology/self-help book, My Spouse Wants More Sex Than Me: The 2-Minute Solution for a Happier Marriage.
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Musings from Michigan