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5 Couples Reveal: "The Extreme Ways We Saved Our Marriages"

"We took a tantric workshop."

Tamara Hutter, 35, and Stephen Hutter, 43; married 11 years;
Burlington, Ontario

Tamara: After nine years of marriage, my husband and I were on the brink of divorce. Stephen would lash out at me over the smallest things, and I wasn't much better. I was so tired of arguing. We felt that we had tried everything, including months of marriage counseling, but nothing was working. Our anniversary was coming up, and in one last surge of hope, I went online to try to find a gift for Stephen, something that might help our marriage survive as well. I came across the Tantric Sex Workshop by Pala Copeland and Al Link in Ottawa. The testimonials from other couples who'd attended sounded promising, and I thought that we didn't really have anything to lose by trying it.

The workshop was very quaint. It took place in Pala and Al's home on the beautiful Ottawa River. Over the three-day course, they taught us tantric sex techniques, and we had time to privately practice them. They also taught us to create our own space to make love in, by adding pictures, soft lighting, and sensual items. The ideas were simple, but they taught us new ways of expressing ourselves and appreciating each other.

Now when I am upset, I can tell Stephen that we need to talk and it won't blow up into a big argument. The workshop also taught us that sex isn't just sex — it's a very spiritual way of connecting, which makes it a thousand times more enjoyable for both of us, physically and emotionally.

Stephen: Tami had told me she wasn't happy and that we needed time apart. Counseling only seemed to worsen our problems; we were two strong-willed people who fought a lot, and in therapy all our anger would come out. When my wife came across Pala and Al's workshop and suggested it, I was intrigued.

When we got there, I was nervous, but after Al started talking, my butterflies disappeared. I'd always been the type of guy to get angry if my eggs were cooked wrong in a restaurant. Pala and Al made me realize that I need to accept the things I can't change and move on. They had us reexamine the way we looked at, talked to, and thought about each other.

The "heart talks" technique they taught us was key. If something's bothering me, I tell Tami I want to talk. She listens, without responding. Then within 24 hours she comes back with her response. The talks diffuse confrontation and we both feel understood. I love my wife more each day and could not imagine what would have happened to us without this workshop.

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