Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Alexandra Stockwell
Marriage expert Alexandra Stockwell is today’s guest entrepreneur joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots business coaching podcast.
She is an Intimate Marriage Expert, which came about as after twelve years of treating families’ medical needs, she then studied the art and science of emotional intimacy and sensual connection in order to show couples how to heal their relationships as well.
Now, for over two decades, she has been guiding men and women to bring pleasure and purpose back into all aspects of life— from the daily grind of running a household to creating ecstatic experiences in the bedroom!
She embarked on this journey not only for my patients but for myself and my own relationship.
As he says “I wanted more for my life and my marriage than logistics, and discussions about childcare. I wanted to look forward to connecting with my husband after we were both done with our day. Every day
How The Marriage Dots Joined Up For Alexandra
And as I looked around, what I found was a lot of information for singles and younger couples disinterested in marriage, but not much guidance available for committed couples like me and my husband.
So I took what was offered and figured out how to implement it in a way that worked for us with our successful careers and busy family life. I want this level of passion,”
joy, and fulfilment FOR YOU!
So how do you find the business in your life which actually is the one that you need too?
And how do you start making that business work for you in a way that doesnt separate you from the partner you want to be more connected with?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Alexandra Stockwell.
During the show we discussed such weighty subjects with Alexandra such as:
We discuss the importance of self care and why looking after your own needs is a huge part of building your ideal marriage.
Alexandra shares the steps to finding the guidance principles in your marriage and why fixing on your North Star is a priority.
Why the advice of compromising in a marriage is actually one of the worst things you can do and should be avoided at all costs.
How To Connect With Alexandra
If you enjoyed this episode with marriage expert Alexandra Stockwell, then why not listen to some of our favourite podcast episodes such as Ron Stelle, Ted Yoder, Sean Swarner or the amazing How To Stop Lack Of Motivation
Or if you prefer just pop over to our podcast archive for thousands of amazing episodes to choose from.
Audio Transcription Of Marriage Expert Alexandra Interview
Life shouldn’t be hard life should be a fun filled adventure every day. So now start joining up dots tap into your talents, your skills, your God given gifts and tell your boss, you don’t deserve me. I’m out of here. It’s time for you to smash that alarm clock and start getting the dream business and life you will, of course, are dreaming of. Let’s join your host, David Ralph from the back of his garden in the UK, or wherever he might be today with another JAM PACKED episode of the number one hit podcast. Join Up Dots.
David Ralph [0:39]
Yes Good morning to you good morning to everyone across the world. Thank you so much for being here with us today. Today’s guest on the show is an interview show is an intimate marriage expert, which he came about as after 12 years of treating family’s medical needs. Our guest Ben studied the art and science of emotional intimacy and sensual connection in order to show couples how to heal their relationships as well. Now for over two decades, she has been guiding men and women to bring pleasure and purpose back into all aspects of life from the daily grind of running a household to creating ecstatic experiences in the bedroom. Now she embarked on this journey not only from her patient’s point of view, but for herself. And her own relationship. As she says I wanted more for my life and my marriage. Then logistics and discussions about childcare. I wanted to look forward to connecting with my husband after we were both done with our day, every day. And as I looked around, what I found was a lot of information for singles in younger couples disinterested in marriage, but not much guidance available for committed couples like me and my husband. So I took what was offered and figured out how to implement it in a way that worked for us with our successful careers and busy family life. I wanted this level of passion, joy and fulfilment. And now I want it for you. So how do you find the business in your life, which is actually the one that you need to? And then how do you start making that business work for you in a way that doesn’t separate you from the partner you want to be more connected with in the first place? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Alexandra Stockwell. Good morning, Alexandra, how are you?
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [2:22]
I am fantastic. How wonderful to hear you reading that it sounds very different coming from your mouth than from mine.
David Ralph [2:29]
I didn’t read it. I just memorised it, it’s I’ve been stalking you. It’s just there. But I’m gonna I’m gonna get straight to it, Alexandra, because I think there’s two questions here. Number one is that last one? How do you start making that business work for you in a way that doesn’t separate you from your partner. So you’ve decided that you want to spend more time with your husband, and you want to have a deeper relationship with them. And I totally understand that when life gets in the way. And you’re talking about childcare and what you’ve got to do the next day and you don’t really ever connect in the same way. How do you do that when you’re building a new business, but still give time for the other person?
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [3:11]
Okay, well, the first thing is that the answer is not more time. It’s definitely what people think. And I’m not against spending more time together. But it’s not actually the most essential, important thing. What is important is a level of presence and intentionality. So the example that I like to give is, if one of you is let’s say you’re leaving for work, I don’t know if you work at home at night, but let’s just say you leave the house in the morning and your wife, she may go out to work too, but she leaves after you so you could just leave because it’s time to go. You could go to the door and say bye honey, see you later and head out the door, you could go over to her and give her a pack. But your mind is already on the way to the car and thinking of other things. Or you can go to wherever your wife is. Take a breath. Actually look one another in the eyes. Feel your lips connecting, allow it to be an erotic moment, which doesn’t need to take more than, you know. 12 seconds. It’s not more time. But the quality of connection in that moment means that when you see one another again, at the end of the day, it’s going to feel like reconnecting there’s going to be a sense of being in partnership all day long, a kind of background tingling in your body. That just isn’t there. If all you do is say bye honey See you later which is nice enough. So in answer to your question I think using what time there is to really be present with one another is far more important than just having more and more time.
David Ralph [5:11]
Now, my issue with that Alexandra is the power of my smooching, the power of my kisses, my love bombs that I set off, I wouldn’t get out the door, she’d be all over me, I have to pay careful, because my powers have no limits when it comes to that kind of thing.
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [5:31]
Well, then you need to expand your repertoire and develop a bit more of the seductive energy rather than the full on connection energy.
David Ralph [5:41]
Now, welcome. I’ve gone through the whole repertoire. I’ve been with my wife for 31 years now. And she’s she’s seen it Oh, she’s seen that, which is an interesting point. Because what I loved about this, is that you’re not working with people that are failing in their marriage, you’re not working with the issues, you’re just working with people that love each other, are really committed, but just want more. And I know that we’ve made I tell your story, my wife just had, while we’re recording this, my wife had to pop out. And my son said, Oh, mum wants to know when you’re finished recording the podcast interview. And so I can message her and she’ll come back. And I said to him, I’ll don’t message her. I said, I’m quite happy to have a bit of free time, she just wants to come back and what 600 episodes on Netflix. So is that a failing? Or is that knowing that actually, for that part of the relationship? I’m quite happy, you know, does it have to be all on? Or can we circle around a little bit before we make that connection?
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [6:47]
Actually, I’m gonna respond to your question using language that’s completely different than the words you used when you asked it. And that is, self care, people tend to think, being alone, doing what really nurtures you, self care is important for you. And it is, but I think it is one of the most important things for a relationship. Because if you come, if you connect with your wife, whenever that happens, feeling really satisfied and fulfilled, and you’ve been able to finish your projects or had time alone, whatever the case may be, you then will be more available, more pleasant, and contribute more make it better, feel better to be with you. So yes, it’s not that things specifically need to be postponed, but alone time and doing what really lights you up of whatever sort that is, is a very important contribution to a marriage. And in fact, we see marriages where it doesn’t go well, when people don’t honour their own needs as distinct from their partners. So
David Ralph [8:05]
but what about from the other person’s point of view? Because you know, I am happy to go weeks on my own. We we had a discussion the other day, and the kids said to me, have you ever been lonely dead, and I couldn’t honestly remember feeling lonely, I just kind of, I’m quite happy, puttering around on my own, I never think about somebody else until we’re there. But from the other side of the fence, the partner may want more from you might they they might be feeling like they’re missing out, they can’t understand why you’re quite happy to be on your own.
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [8:38]
You know, something that isn’t talked about enough. And is really essential, is what the foundation of the relationship is what the guiding principle is, I mean,
David Ralph [8:51]
you know, houses Netflix, I think?
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [8:54]
Well, I’m not really sure how to where to go with that response. Because you talk on so on each of the episodes of this podcast that I have listened to, you say the most magnificent things about having vision and pursuing your goals and so to your guests, well, in relationships, people tend not to have the equivalent conversation so yes, somebody’s dreams of getting married and then happily ever after, which is so vague what a euphemism happily ever after. So, what I’m saying why
David Ralph [9:34]
why is that I’m gonna jump in there because that’s nice. Isn’t it? Happily Ever one after all the fairytales finish we’ve happily ever after that’s, that’s what everyone wants in it. That’s not vague.
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [9:45]
It’s completely vague. Because, why? Because if you ask most individuals, let’s say they’ve been married for 20 years 30 One years as the case may be for you, 26. For me, if you ask most individuals, what do you want? They know what they want for lunch. They also know what they’re gonna choose for clothes to put on. They may know what they want to do next with their career, not always, but more often. But when it comes to what do you want in your relationship, people usually don’t have a lot of clarity about that show. You can say I want to be happy again, that’s wonderful and vague. But how do you want to be touched? How do you want to be listened to? How do you want to respond when your partner cries? These are things that inform the feeling and experience of being in a relationship. But people don’t tend to think about what they really want. And so the problem and happily ever after is it’s an umbrella term with no specificity, which makes it very hard to move in the direction of having that come true.
David Ralph [11:10]
But but you can’t know what you don’t know, Kenya until you find out. It’s like, the day that I’ve been married now for 31 years? No, is it? No, it’s Sorry, I’ve been with her for 31 years, we’ve been married for 21 years. And the marriage now is totally different from the marriage before, you know, and I don’t think I ever had a plan. It was just life was occurring. And we sort of went with it. And then you had kids, and then the kids have grown up and they’ve moved out and then the grandchildren are coming round. I don’t know if you could plan for that can can you plan and know exactly what you want from it?
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [11:51]
Well, I don’t think you can plan in the way that you’re talking about. But you absolutely can have guiding principles, articulated North Stars to steer by, for example, in my marriage, my husband and I were very clear that our priority is our own and one another’s personal growth. And that means that we have navigated all kinds of situations in ways that are different than if the guiding principle was just happiness and harmony, or to do what our pastor said, or to focus on raising the children together. I mean, the the examples that I’ve just given, those are definitely guiding principles in many people’s marriages. But the one which really leads to the most juicy connection, the one that’s most relevant for couples who love one another and have a solid relationship, but want to be more connected, enjoy more erotic intimacy, have an easier time with emotional conversations, for that kind of relationship, which is the one that results in passion, and really being fueled by your marriage as you go about your business in your life for that a guiding principle like being devoted to one another, and your own growth really, will take you very far. So if we go back to the very specific question about you could go weeks on your own, and I’m guessing your wife would not be so comfortable during those weeks. If you’re looking at it in terms of where is the most growth? Where is the next place to expand your comfort zone and lean in and become more of the more of your best self? Well, you’re going to navigate that very differently, if that’s your approach, versus to have as much happiness and harmony as possible.
David Ralph [13:59]
So everyone should comfortable. Yeah, so everyone should have a series like a mission statement, as opposed in now, like a business has a mission statement. We should have one in our, in our personal lives. And
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [14:14]
yes, exactly. I actually have a process that I take people through I call it a vision for an aligned and hot marriage. In fact, we can I can share that we can put that in the show notes for anyone who wants to access that. And yes, it is very helpful for many reasons. One is that just like in a business, when both people are clear on it and and create the vision statement together, that already brings more unity, more clarity, and when there are conflicts. It’s it’s less complicated to navigate it if you’ve agreed on the same principles. And I would take it further because I think for anyone who’s an entrepreneur, there’s so many prints To bolster business that are really helpful to bring to a relationship, one of which is to do regular check ins for some couples once a week is good, especially when they’re young children and lots of moving parts for some couples who have been together longer, I encourage them to do essentially a quarterly retreat and once every three months, whether you go away for the weekend and do it in a beautiful place, or you do it for a few hours at home, at your dining room table, to just look at the different areas of your marriage, and what each of you want to experience individually and together and do an assessment and make adjustments because communicating about these things, absolutely makes a difference in whether or not they can then go the way you want.
David Ralph [15:48]
I remember going out for a meal with a few of our friends while my wife springs, and we’ve known him since we had our last babies. And so the babies have grown up and they’re now learning to drive cars and stuff. And we’re still friendly with the with the adults. And one of the ones was no my wife, my wife got a bit drunk. And she was saying, Oh, why is why is it that, you know, we don’t have sex as much as we used to, you know, we only have it twice a week and the other couples went twice a week, twice a week, you know, we don’t have it twice a month. And then one of them said, No, we don’t have it at all. And there wasn’t any concern about that. It was just kind of, that’s how it is. And that’s one of the things isn’t it in life, you, you fail to realise that things are changing, until you have a conversation like this. And you then look back, it’s for example, I was reflecting as you was talking, me and my wife used to have a night called conversation night where we didn’t have any Telly on, we would just sit down and we would just talk to each other. I can’t remember last time we did that. And to be honest, if I did sit there listening to the wife now she just talks about the same things all the time. So I kind of switch off, but but life just takes you over.
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [17:03]
Yes. In fact, in terms of your friends, and then I’m going to respond to what you said about yourself. In terms of your friends. I think that there is an epidemic of conflict free passion free relationships. And people keep the peace they compromise a try to make things as comfortable as possible. And the erotic energy just goes wah wah wah. When we
David Ralph [17:34]
are what that noise in the bedroom, do you know that? If the wife hasn’t performed, I’m just gonna press a button and make that sound. And then and then when I do anything good. I’m gonna round of applause.
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [17:50]
Yeah, I’m sure that’s a real turn on for your wife.
David Ralph [17:53]
Now she loves it. I love it.
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [17:56]
That’s so funny. Yeah, well, you know, throughout the world, the most common relationship advice that’s given, is to compromise. If you want a great marriage, you have to be good at compromise. Compromise is the name of the game. And that is completely wrong. If you want a bland, pleasant, mutually supportive companionship, you not having sex twice a month or not at all, then compromise will definitely deliver that. But I advocate especially with couples who have solid loving relationships, I advocate for uncompromising intimacy is the name of my book. And it’s one of the things that I talk about most often because let me just say, when I use the word uncompromising, I do not mean that you always get your own way. I mean, that where compromise involves holding back your desires, thoughts, feelings, dreams, in order to have your partner be more comfortable. When you are uncompromising, you share the truth of your own experience. And you do it in a way your partner can hear it and invite your partner to do the same. And with that comes so much intimacy, emotional intimacy, and also sensual sexual intimacy. But the key is to learn how to actually bring what is happening inside you to the relationship because when we put up little or big barriers and don’t share honestly with one another, there is no magic switch that gets flipped in the bedroom where suddenly we can bring all of ourselves and have the most incredible experience. If when we’re not in the bedroom. We’re essentially leaving important aspects of ourselves outside of the relationship, which is what happens when we prioritise compromise.
David Ralph [20:00]
So what you’re saying is that actually in a loving environment in a loving marriage, it’s each of yours responsibility to, to grow the other person to allow them to be more of themselves and, and had their own life because you see that a lot, don’t you? Where people basically become so and so’s data, so and so’s and they lose their identity, they become connected to somebody else. Oh, this is David’s wife. And this is, you know, whatever.
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [20:30]
Yes, if I had access to the buttons that you have, I would put the applause button on now that is absolutely correct. That when we are devoted to becoming our best selves, and making room and supporting our partner to do the same, even if it’s uncomfortable or messy, that is what leads to the most amazing intimacy, gratification and a marriage that gives you the courage to face all of life’s difficulties.
David Ralph [21:02]
I met my missus, when I was 21 years old, I’ve now turned 52. So I’ve been with her. I struggled to think of times when I wasn’t with her. She’s just like, she’s always been there. And we said the other day that, you know, you could strip anything away. If we split up, I’d still want to be with her anyway, because she’s my best mate. You know, and it’s one of those things where, at our essence, we’ve always been best friends. A we’ve always looked after each other that way. But yeah, you have kids, you get tired. But we don’t really have arguments. My children say, Oh, you’re arguing all the time. Okay. We don’t argue at all. And you’re always arguing, okay, well, what do we argue about? But I don’t see it at all. I just see that, you know, she’s an idiot, and she needs to be told. Oh, that was? Yeah, I knew you’d go that way. Alexandra.
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [22:02]
Well, I’m gonna go back to my answer to what you just said,
David Ralph [22:08]
I’m losing, you know, your what I’m losing you, I can censor your, your turn.
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [22:15]
I am turning I’m going in a different direction. So the direction that I’m going in is what I want to say before when you said you wouldn’t want to talk with your wife, because she’s always saying the same things. And that actually, though, a throwaway comment from an amazing, charismatic person, is a very profound pointed comment as well. Because if you think back to the experience of being in love, we are filled with curiosity. Where’s that scar? From? What how do you like your Potatoes cooked? What are your favourite books? If you could be in a band? Which one? Would it be like? We just have so many questions. And then when we get together, we already know the answers and we stop asking the question. But people continue to grow and evolve. And one of the most profound ways to create more connection to make those conversations where the televisions are off. To have it be more interesting is to ask open ended questions. And an open ended question, of course, is where there is no right answer. You’re just asking to learn more. So what was the most challenging part of this past week for you? Or what was the most gratifying part of last week? If you could have dinner with any celebrity alive or dead? Who would it be? And what would you ask them? So whimsical questions, profound questions, spiritual questions, whatever it is that you actually want to know. It is amazing how just making this one shift. To ask open ended questions, starts to create more intimacy in a marriage.
David Ralph [24:13]
And what why do you actually don’t want to know you don’t really care? Is it still a good thing to do
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [24:19]
not ask, Do not ask it is essential that you actually, Ark want to know? Because sometimes the answers depending on what you ask, I don’t recommend starting with what is the sexual fantasy you have done before? Don’t be an idiot and start with that question, if open ended questions is new to your relationship,
David Ralph [24:44]
but I wouldn’t do it at the dinner table with the kids. I leave at one till later.
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [24:49]
That sounds good. That sounds very wise.
David Ralph [24:52]
So so when you’re when you’re doing this kind of thing, because I I I understand totally what you say. And I understand Nice as well. But I’m basing everything from my own point of view for my relationship. And, you know, I’ll give you some clarity. My wife has got a job down the road, and my daughter works better. And my son works better. And my son’s girlfriend who lives with us workspace. So when they come home, that’s all they talk about. They talk about where they work. And I sit there thinking, how to shut up. This is all I hear all the time about this, but it’s for people really interested. And it’s just not me. So by the time that’s finished, I don’t have any desire to ask sort of questions about, you know, what’s been your biggest challenge this week? Because it just take me back into that world of what they’re most interested in.
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [25:45]
Have you ever in a kind, vulnerable manner? expressed this to your wife?
David Ralph [25:54]
Yes. Yeah. I said to them the other day, Oh, shut up and talk about something different for a moment.
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [26:00]
Oh, that’s what you meant by kind of vulnerable.
David Ralph [26:02]
Yeah, that’s it. That’s how we do in the United Kingdom.
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [26:06]
You know, what I want to tell you a story, tell me. So I gave,
David Ralph [26:12]
and we’ve happily ever after?
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [26:15]
Well, it might, it actually might. So I gave a talk some years ago, to a woman’s business group. And I talked about communication in marriage, and went through the steps to successfully make a vulnerable communication because with vulnerability comes more intimacy and connection. And this woman who herself had been married for 33 years, very type a very successful in the corporate world came up to me afterwards, she didn’t really make eye contact, she kind of looked to the side, and very quietly, so no one in the room could hear besides me. I mean, there were other people speaking. But still, she spoke very quietly, I really had to perk up to catch it. She said, What if your husband doesn’t care? What if he’s not interested
David Ralph [27:06]
in what in her life or in her as a person?
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [27:11]
Well, both same difference, in other words, that she didn’t see making vulnerable communications and having him really be interested to receive them. And so because mostly when they’d be chatting, he’d be on his phone, and so on, and so forth. And so she was willing to try the techniques that I teach for how to have a successful, vulnerable conversation that creates more connection and intimacy, emotional intimacy, but she already knew that he wasn’t going to want to participate. He, he just doesn’t really cares what she said. So the first thing I did is clarifying that he’s not abusive, he’s not a narcissist, like it’s safe, and it’s loving and their relationship, which is the case and so then I said to her, if that’s the case, then you need to be more vulnerable, which happens was slowing down. And using a tone of voice, which is gentle, it doesn’t sound complaining or attacking, but just really accessing a kind of a softness anyway, I mean, not soft in the sense of weak but soft in the sense of tender. So she took that she was absolutely sceptical, and that was that. And it just happened. I don’t even know this woman’s name, but we happen to run into one another, and another event A month later. And she came up to me, still not making eye contact, but for a very different reason. Because as she spoke, there were a few tears that she wiped away and this was a type a go getter, she I don’t think she cried much. Anyway, she said to me, I said to my husband, sometimes I feel unseen, an unimportant. And remember, this is a type a go getter, ambitious, successful woman. And so it was really risky for her to say something that had such vulnerable content in such a vulnerable manner. So again, she said, Sometimes I feel unseen and unimportant. And her husband who also was a very ambitious, successful executive, put down his phone, turned to her and said, Me too. And they had a level of emotional intimacy in that moment, that they hadn’t had in 33 years and the whole way It came to be it was that she took the risk in being vulnerable in saying something she had barely ever said to herself, let alone to him. Think of that? Well,
David Ralph [30:16]
I think that’s very interesting, because I’ll share with you about myself, I don’t share stuff about myself, I, because what I don’t like is if you’ve got problems, sometimes you just want the other person to listen. But the other person will always try to give you a solution. And that gets up my nose. And so I always say, you know, a problem shared is a problem doubled. So I just deal with it myself.
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [30:43]
That’s what you always say what I always say is, no one is a mind reader. We’re all habituated and conditioned to behave the way we behave. If you want a different behaviour, request it so for example, honey, I want to tell you something. And I really need you to agree to just listen. And that’s all No comments. Or if there’s a certain kind of comment you want you say it, but I want to share this. and have it be complete that I’m sharing it, I’m not sharing it to start a whole fixing problem solving conversation. Are you available for me to just share and you to hear and then you can know this with me?
David Ralph [31:37]
But but but what’s the point in doing that? Because it doesn’t it just make the other person be concerned that they’re not providing providing something? Is it? Is it better? Because I am absolutely I do not share issues and problems. I probably share more on the podcast, because I’m on my own when I’m recording it and you kind of don’t think that anyone’s gonna listen to it by me enough. But actually in house, I don’t show weakness at all. Don’t allow anything to go.
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [32:08]
Here’s the thing, David, do you believe in women taking orgasms?
David Ralph [32:14]
Not with me? Not with me Alexandra with other people? Perhaps but no,
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [32:18]
no, no, I’m not asking do you believe occurs? Do you think it’s a good idea? Because I’m gonna use this as an analogy.
David Ralph [32:25]
Do I think it’s a good idea? No, I don’t actually I’d rather know that things haven’t worked.
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [32:31]
Exactly, exactly. And so I can’t tell you what a revelation it is. When I point out to women that if you fake orgasm, you are basically training your lover to think something that you don’t enjoy is working for you. And if it’s a one night stand, I guess then you’re just, you know, making it worse for the next woman. But if you’re in a committed relationship, faking orgasm is really one of the most strategically poor ideas ever. Because in the short term, yes, you can end things and move on and not have to deal with disappointment. But in the long term, you’re basically restricting the skill of your partner, because they’re not learning authentically, what brings you pleasure. So I’m using that now, as an analogy. If you don’t tell the truth, of how to most successfully connect with you, when you want to share what’s happening inside, I know, you don’t want to share it now. But you would share what’s happening inside you, then there’s no problem in telling your wife, how she can be successful with you. And you really just need to set it up, right? This is a conversation that can go very poorly, if it’s not set up well. But if you set it up well, it can go magnificently, and setting it up well looks like this. Honey, I’m sure you’ve noticed that I often don’t share any problems. And I just update you once things are resolved or completed. Would you be interested in my sharing more of my process so we can be closer while I’m working through things? Because if you would be I want to tell you how that would be appealing for me. And then she’ll say whatever she says, and based on that answer, you’ll know if she’s just saying, Oh, yes, I want to know, but she doesn’t really, or she really is interested and is going to be surprised to hear what you say because you’ve never said it before.
David Ralph [34:50]
Well, I must have some kind of emotional blockage because as you were saying that I thought, Oh, I can’t do that. I’ve don’t feel comfortable at all doing that. that she thinks I’m having a breakdown or something. It’s just not me. Can Can you go smaller? Can you Join Up Dots to something bigger? Can you start with a crumb and then build up to that? Because, you know, she cheated me down at the doctor’s if I suddenly did that.
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [35:17]
Okay, well, this gets back to the foundation of the relationship and what you’re together for. And if it includes gross, and
David Ralph [35:28]
she owes me money, that’s why I’m, I’m with her. She owes me money. And until she pays me back, she stuck with me.
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [35:35]
Okay, so how does she feel when you make deflective? Jokes? Is she happy with that? Or does she get frustrated?
David Ralph [35:43]
I think she’s just used to it to be honest, after 30 years, she doesn’t laugh as much as she used to, I must admit, when I first met her, she would, she’d laugh all the time laughter interface,
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [35:55]
I’ll just tell you, you are a very funny, entertaining charismatic person. And all of the humour that you use to deflect intimacy is a protective mechanism is a protective behaviour. And so really, you know, let’s, let’s go further back to A to the real question is, are you happy? Are you glad for your relationship to be the way it is? Because we don’t want to create something different go fixing a problem, which is actually working for you?
David Ralph [36:36]
Well, this is my point. This is the let’s let’s go back when I said you don’t know what you don’t know. I couldn’t answer that. Because I don’t know what a different relationship is, you know, as I just as long as you make a cup of tea in a dressing gown, and you know, that’s, that’s good enough for me.
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [36:57]
Okay, this is so funny to me, because before we recorded, you’re telling me how you do one thing, and then you get bored and you do another and so you have so much variety in your entrepreneurial life. You try different things, you research it, you see what turns you on, where you can make a positive contribution. And then when it’s time you move on to the next thing without much drama or existential crisis. That’s what I understood. First of all, is that correct? That’s
David Ralph [37:27]
pretty much spot on Alexandria. Yeah.
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [37:30]
Well, I’m so glad. So for me, I think there’s value tremendous value in having an analogous growth and expansion and evolution in a long term relationship. Whereas the way you talk about your relationship is like you got a nine to five when you’re 21. And you’re, you’re still working, they’re
David Ralph [38:01]
interesting. It is, I don’t think it’s like that it has changed. But I don’t think it’s changed dramatically. I think, you know, you can you just view like, what you like, don’t you, you know, it’s, it’s,
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [38:14]
well, if you like it, I fully honour and respect,
David Ralph [38:20]
but I will say Alexandra, you have opened a door you in this conversation, I was gonna go in a different direction here. But as you were talking, I was thinking, Maybe I am in a in a rowing boat, just, you know, keeping up with the tide and the cabin, maybe I should get into something else and go for a speedboat, you know, and, and change things up a bit, because maybe I am just in a current that’s not taking me anywhere in the relationship.
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [38:49]
Okay, well, in terms of a right size next step, nevermind, the conversation that I was suggesting before, if that is just too, it’s like, suddenly landing in Swaziland? You know, you want to maybe just go to France
David Ralph [39:07]
souped up, go to Tinder, but I start with that one first.
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [39:12]
Okay, so one thing you might do is find a class some interesting experience or adventure that you’re both interested in but had never done together. So whether it’s a cooking class or a dancing class, or maybe a walking tour focused on some aspect of history, that would be interesting. I mean, I don’t know your personality enough to give the precise example and I certainly don’t know your wife’s personality, but there’s probably something I don’t know taking a helicopter ride over London like something that would interest you would interest her. It’s not necessarily something either one of you have been thinking about or craving And, but when you consider it, it would appeal to both of you. And that is a way to just bring some new energy, new experiences. It will be shared memories for new conversations compared to the ones you’ve been having. That would be a next step. And you see if you like it,
David Ralph [40:24]
just before the pandemic hit, she took me to Iceland, I’d always wanted to go to Iceland and see the northern lights and stuff. And I didn’t see the northern lights. And I think most people won’t when they go there. But there was this one night, and we stood out in a field and my wife hates being cold. You know, she, she, she’s tropic, she’s tropical. And she she’d rather be sitting in a hot tub somewhere with a glass of wine. And we stood in this darkened field, looking up at the skies thinking, we’re not going to see these. It’s never going to happen tonight. And it was about minus 17. And we were just laughing. We were just laughing that the fact that we both found ourselves in this disposition that was so alien to both of us. And that’s what you mean, isn’t it? It was it was that connection that perhaps we wouldn’t have found, but we had to change our situation to get it?
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [41:13]
Yes, exactly. And that’s such a beautiful story. And it actually tells me something about your marriage, which I hadn’t necessarily heard and the other things you’ve revealed, because, as you can imagine, for many couples to be standing there in Iceland, minus 17 degrees, everything you’ve just described, they might start bickering and getting on one another’s nerves and just build resentment. But what the two of you did was just laugh and enjoy the irony and the adventure of it all, that is so beautiful, and creates the kind of connection that we need an infusion of from time to time, because all of the stability and familiarity is wonderful. But it’s not enough to really tap into what’s possible in an intimate relationship.
David Ralph [42:12]
So I’m aware that the time is rushing on here, and I want to just take it back to, to the listeners. So I imagine a lot of our listeners are have been in long standing relationships. Some of them might have met their, their partners in university and now 30 years later, 40 years later, they’re you know, moving into the next stage of their life, is there anything that they can do that can make a big difference, but not be too weird for the other person so that the other person doesn’t mean hang on what’s happening here? What’s, what’s this person doing? You know, have they had an affair? And they’re feeling guilty? You know, is there something that they can bring into the relationship?
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [42:51]
Love the question calibrating and just that way is essential? And yes, I think the simplest thing to introduce, is asking an open ended question and don’t ask for something outrageous. Maybe just what did you enjoy most about this past weekend? For which which book that you’ve read recently, is one that you enjoyed the most. I mean, I’m thinking it’s gonna depend on the context. But something so simple, and even that can actually be too much I see this when men who are used to not sharing have women, who are their wives who ask them a question they don’t answer. And so my recommendation is just to keep asking, don’t interrogate, don’t become some kind of an investigator. This these questions are not to get information. These questions are a kind of invitation for your partner to just bring more to shared the shared part of your relationship. And you don’t need to wait for your partner to ask you these questions. It may not be tit for tat, they may not catch on to what’s happening. So just go ahead and share your answers. Well,
David Ralph [44:19]
I’m gonna start doing this secretly, Alexandra, and I’m gonna let you know if she spots. If she says why are you asking now? Or if she just answers
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [44:29]
naturally? She does ask why are you asking now? How will you respond? That’s very important.
David Ralph [44:35]
I’ll say I think you’ve been having an affair and I want to know what’s happening. No, you’re gonna say, you know, I do amuse myself.
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [44:45]
Right? You’re gonna say I realised I love variety in business. And I wondered what would happen if I add just to touch a variety in our conversations too.
David Ralph [45:00]
Yeah, she think I’m heading for a threesome or something like that. And I know, I know. Because that’s that’s where it all leads in.
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [45:06]
Well then have that conversation, David. God, that’s a brave one.
David Ralph [45:10]
That’s a brave one after 30 years. Trapeze,
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [45:13]
if that’s where her mind goes, then
David Ralph [45:17]
that’s all excited. Now your voice went high.
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [45:22]
Well, the likelihood that that’s where her mind is gonna go, is very low.
David Ralph [45:28]
Yeah, it’s non existent. I promise you is
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [45:31]
yes, that’s why my that’s why I was laughing. That’s why I got excited because I thought that is so not going to happen.
David Ralph [45:38]
Now her mind will go to what episode of Stranger things am I into at the moment that that’s, that’s where her mind will go? Well, Mama, you
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [45:47]
have the advantage of saying to her listen, just go listen to the interview I just did with Alexandra Stockwell. And then come back and tell me your answer.
David Ralph [45:57]
Listen to this, yes, I haven’t got time for that. She’s She She’s not that kind of woman. But um, I tell you what I’m going to do now Alexandra. It’s something that we do for all the guests. And we’re going to take you on a slight journey. The compensation been different on this one. But I’d be very interested to take you back on the Sermon on the mic when you get a chance to speak to your younger version. And if you could go back in time and speak to the Alexandria who first met your husband? What advice would you give her before you set off on the journey that you’re on today? Well, we’re gonna find out because I’m gonna play the music. And when it fades is your time to talk to each other. This is the Sermon on the mic
Unknown Speaker [46:44]
with the first bit of the show, the Sermon on the mind the sermon on
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [47:03]
first of all, Alexandria, the rom coms have it all wrong. They make it seem like all the excitement and adventure and miscommunications and having fun together happens, and then you get married. And then things are pretty status quo out a few children so far, that is so not how it is. The best is yet to come. And the key to bring that best is to really take some time, allow yourself to slow down and meander, just kind of consider different things and tap into what you really want. The thing that really doesn’t work is to put aside your own desires, that lasts for a little while, sometimes for a long while. But ultimately, it doesn’t serve you and it’s not going to serve your marriage either. So start finding the courage in small ways and ultimately bigger ways to identify what you actually desire for yourself as a woman, for yourself as a sensual sexual being, for yourself as a life. What do you desire to bring to your marriage? And what do you desire to be experiencing? And what’s it gonna take for you to say so, because no matter how sticky it is, if you work through resentment, you’re not complaining or blaming, you’re just revealing your desire. It’s always going to be worth it. Because with authenticity, passion, growth, and truth emerge.
David Ralph [49:05]
Yeah, great stuff. Great stuff. So Alexandra, for the people out there listening who are maybe in a relationship and and want that increased level of intimacy, intimacy, and just making something that’s great, even better. Is it all couples? Is it gay couples, or just sort of straight couples? Who do you actually work with?
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [49:29]
The majority of people I work with are heterosexual couples, but I’ve coached quite a few lesbian couples. I have not had any gay men reach out to work with me, but I’m open to it because these tools apply in all relationships. And in fact, some of my favourite testimonials are people who use the communication tools that I teach. I don’t only teach communication tools but I Let’s start there before moving into sensuality and sexuality, I want people to have rapport and be able to share the truth. Anyway, the communication skills that I teach, they apply with stepchildren with CSIS advisors and professors with colleagues. Because it’s all about authenticity and success in communicating.
David Ralph [50:25]
I think that’s absolutely true. And that’s across the board in life, isn’t it? If you haven’t got the communication skills, vain, you’re struggling.
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [50:34]
Totally. And there’s just, I do have couples reach out to me because they’re not having sex, or the sex that they’re having isn’t satisfying for both of them. And that’s great. But I start by teaching them how to ask open ended questions, cultivate curiosity, make vulnerable communications and many other things as well. And about 80% of the time. That’s all that’s needed. Because when the emotional intimacy and the presence with one another is reestablished, the sex just follows quite well. And in the 20, or so percent, where we do then talk more explicitly about what’s happening in the bedroom, and how that can be better. All of those conversations really benefit from the clarity of communication and emotional intimacy that’s been established.
David Ralph [51:29]
And what about my problem that I’m having too much sex, and I’m just exhausted at Alexandria, I’ve got podcasts to record. And I just, I’m just, I’m a spent force.
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [51:41]
Well, I think it would balance your life, to open up a little bit more vulnerability and curiosity with your wife. And you might still have that problem. But it would be worth it anyway.
David Ralph [51:56]
I’m gonna try my best. And I will report back. Alexandra. Wait, thank you so much for being on the show today. Thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots. And please come back again, when you’ve got more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our pasts is actually the best way to build our futures. Alexandra, thank you so much.
Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell [52:18]
Thank you, and thank you for having this very conversation in this very way with me.
David Ralph [52:25]
So Alexandra stock, well farm, say alpha was she SanFrancisco? She told me before we started recording. So does any of that resonate with you? Are you in a relationship where you think, yeah, we used to be really intimate with the things that we’re talking about and the emotional side, but now we just kind of see you later tonight. and off you go. And when you come back and plunk in front of the TV and stuff and certainly in my life, I think that that’s become true. So I’m, I’m going to make a difference. I’m going to try to bring certain things in I’m not going to do all of it because he looked like I’m gone meant or something. But I’m certainly going to try to bring an element of fat in. And yeah, I’d love to know if you you’re gonna do the same. But um, until next time, you know, thank you very much for listening to this episode. Thank you very much to Alexandra, and we’ll see you again. You look ourselves Cheers. See ya. Bye bye.
That’s the end of Join Up Dots. You heard the conversation. Now it’s time for you to start taking massive action. Create your future create your life. Easy only you live God. We’ll be back again real soon. Join Up Dots join the gods Join Up Dots. Jolene, Join Up
Unknown Speaker [53:45]