Though Shayna was scared her kids would feel they were losing her if she had a sexual relationship with her husband, Dr. Berman says the opposite is true. "I'm not saying that any child should see their parents having sex or know the details of their sex life, but the best family structures, the best relationships that children experience, is the balance," she says. "You're their model of what a loving, intimate relationship is. So, you don't want them knowing the details of your sex life, but to have a sense of the sensual and sexual chemistry between their parents is important."
To start the work of getting intimate again, Dr. Berman assigned Dan and Shayna homework: to spend 15 minutes kissing. "It was a big failure," Shayna says. "I was supposed to initiate the kiss when I was ready. He was holding me and right away I started to feel pressure because I felt out of control. I had this flood of emotion. I started to think about all of the things riding on this moment."
Shayna says feeling out of control sparks her to take the reigns where she can. "The way I soothe myself is I try to find things that I can control, so the only thing I can control is being a good mom, because that's the story in my mind of who I am. That's where I feel safe. ... I thought about my kids, and then I felt disgusted and I couldn't even lift my face up to his."