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Have you tried the bonding behaviors or the Exchanges? If you are waiting to try them until you feel some attraction for your partner, you never will. Humanity’s mating program is quite effective in estranging mates over time. That is one of its primary tasks. The intense feelings that drive us apart come from the mammalian brain, beyond all rational thought.

Fortunately, our bonding program is just as effective. However, mates have to engage in bonding behaviors before their feelings change. Willingness, not sexual desire, is the key here.

For years we’ve assumed that romantic relationships had to begin with physical attraction (reproductive urges) in order to expand into the desire for a close emotional bond. Now it’s turning out that the two desires can operate independently—and move in either direction. That is, relationships can begin with the urge to bond to someone. They may later expand to encompass sexual desire. This type of transition is especially natural for women, but some men have this experience, too.

When I’m really emotionally bonded to someone, I find myself becoming physically attracted to them.—Lisa

Even if you are positive your union is ending, the bonding behaviors are a wise course (they work fine without intercourse, too). They promote trust, and make leave-taking less traumatic for both partners. Why not nurture each other as a parting gift? After all, despite the problems, you both probably have much to be grateful for.

"Relationships can begin with urge to bond."

A mentor tells me that : "You need to act your way into right thinking. Thinking your way into action doesn't work."

The actions that intentions/thoughts/dreams inspire are more important than the thoughts, then!

We are what we consistently do, said Aristotle. All that is required is a desire to do right, and the rest falls into place, because we are self-correcting creatures.

the challenge

A friend of mine in recovery said he could give up his hobbies and profession tomorrow, for ten years, and not think twice about picking them back up. But giving up masturbation and pornography for ten years is overwhelming. That's how entrenched this is for us. Thank God for people engaging in recovery, you're all amazing.