Why Couples Aren't in the *Mood* at the Same Time—and How to Fix It

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Playing Marriage Q & A: How Do We Get on the Same Page About Intimacy?

It's no secret that marriage takes hard work. Just ask the hilarious duo who literally wrote the book on it. Kevin and Melissa Fredericks have been married for almost two decades, and they're sharing what they wish they knew as newlyweds in their new book, Marriage Be Hard—and lucky for us, also here, with our viewers. 

Viewers Joy and Jim have been happily married for 11 years, but recently, they find themselves on different pages sexually. Kevin and Melissa are weighing in on how to work on that—and it's all about knowing your partner's "accelerators and brakes." 

Question: "We've had a very active sex life for about nine years," Jim explains. "About two years ago, Joy had a medical issue that kind of put a little scare in her, so for the last two years, my sex drive is still way, way, way up there..." 

"The sex drive has nothing to do with my medical issue," Joy continues. "I just don't feel sexy. I gained 20 pounds. I gained it all in my stomach. Here's what it is. I'll wake up in the morning, and I'll say, 'Good morning, Jim.' He'll go, 'Good morning...?' I'll get out of the pool, and I'll say, 'Hi, honey.' And he'll say, 'Hi!' Jim holds no bars. You know, because the eyes pop out of the head and the head pops up."  

Answer: "Sometimes willingness is all it takes," Melissa says. "If my alarm goes off in the morning for the gym, and I'm warm and cozy in my bed, I may not want to go...but I am willing. And I know once I’m there, I'll be happy I'm there, and I'll be happy I went. I find the same thing applies with sex. But also, intimacy may not be all about sex. Maybe Joy desires intimacy outside the bedroom, so make sure there’s room for that, too."

"I 100 percent understand that how you feel about yourself is always going to [be] a factor in how sexy you feel, so I'm not going to discount that," she adds. "I absolutely get that. We've had Dr. Emily Nagoski on our 'Love Hour' podcast, and she talks about accelerators and brakes and being able to identify your turn-ons and your turnoffs—the things that you're really sensitive to and the things that maybe are really going to turn you off. Being able to say, 'Hey, you know what really helps turn me on? Feeling good, pampering myself. These are my turn-ons. A clean house, kids not running around. Take something off my to-do list, so that way, I have the time to maybe at least moisturize my legs, put on a nightie, do the things that help me get in the mood and can tap on those accelerators."

"The more I can tap her accelerators and less on her brakes, the better off we are," Kevin says. "And I think part of it is understanding that this is just what it is. It's not like I want it to be something else so I'm going to try and force her to be like me."

Melissa and Kevin also helped newlyweds Melanie and Josh with advice on communication and resolving arguments

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