Dr. Paul Hokemeyer


Editor’s note: Dr. Paul Hokemeyer is a nationally recognized expert on Eastern philosophies, relationships, and emotional healing. A Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, he holds a PhD in psychology, as well as a doctorate in the law. A part-time Telluride resident, Dr. Hokemeyer is based in the New York City office of the Caron Treatment Center. He is also a contributor to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, “The Dr. Oz Show,” CNN’s “Headline News,” and other media outlets, including “Good Morning America,” “truTV,” WebMD, and “Oprah Radio.” The following blog is based on a recent TV interview featuring Dr. Hokemeyer.


Dr. Paul Hokemeyer

Fear is a great motivator of reality. I’ve seen that play itself out time and time again.

So the woman who marries and becomes obsessed with a fear she will be left the same way her mother was becomes driven by her unconscious to manifest that fear. She becomes so paranoid and terrified of abandonment, her neurosis drives her husband away.

The way to avoid that outcome is to confront and process feelings around the fear through a conscious process. By squarely facing your fears and addressing them in a psychotherapeutic process, you can dissipate the pull of the unconscious and work on the integrity of your marriage in a healthy and constructive way.

That said, among women, one of the most common fears is having nothing in common with their spouses anymore, watching them lose interest.

The fear falls at the top of the worry list because couples do grow apart if they are not diligent about taking the time to connect sexually, emotionally and recreationally.

It is important to look at those variables as the three legs of a healthy and fulfilling marital stool. It’s also important to recognize that each leg of the stool carries weight differently throughout the life of any marriage. In the early years, the sexual leg is almost always the strongest. Later on, not so much.

Often we think a marriage faces the greatest amount of stress during a partner’s mid-life crisis and when a couple experiences the “empty nest syndrome.” In my experience, the critical point of a marriage is around seven years, yes, the proverbial itch, when partners are faced with the stresses of young children and toddlers. It is during this time, parents stop having sex, stop connecting emotionally and begin to have separate lives

As time passes, the hormones of both partners diminish and the responsibilities of life drain their physical energies. To avoid what I call the destructive “black hole” wherein the sex life just shuts down, I encourage my couples to schedule weekly sex dates. Those dates do not need to be involved our even highly romantic. More than an event, these encounters need to be an act in which partners hook up and get it done. A simple 20-minute-a-week investment in the hay will pay incredible dividends through out decades long marriage.

For sure, without the sexual glue, everything else can become more difficult  – and the motivation to fix things can go out the window.

To learn more, click the “play” button and listen to my interview with Susan Viebrock.

1 Comment
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