How to get the spark back in your relationship

Best-selling relationship author/doctor John Gray is best known for his book, "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" that strives to help men and women communicate more effectively with each other. But in his latest book, "Venus on Fire, Mars on Ice: Hormonal Balance - The Key to Life, Love, and Energy," he takes on how our hormones may be doing a lot of communicating for us - through our emotions. In his book, Gray notes how hormones can affect love, success, and overall health.

According to Gray, "Quite often, you can blame it on the hormones. If a man's testosterone levels are low, he's just grumpy and irritable. He can focus only on one thing, particularly the TV. No way he's going to hear his wife."

Video: Super-stimulate your hormones with Dr. John Gray

"And then there's the women today who are feeling more overwhelmed than ever before because fast pace or change has a bigger stress reaction in women. Their brains are wired up differently," Gray explains. "And so in a moderate stress, her brain becomes eight times more active than a man's. So her brain is spinning, thinking all of these things and she's wondering why is he sitting on the couch not thinking of anything."

So what can we do to help our hormones?

"Understanding how our hormonal balance gives us insight in what we can do to support ourselves, to be in a better mood, and what we can do to help our partners," he adds. "There's a lot of information about hormones. So I'm not talking about taking hormones or taking natural hormones, I'm teaching people what they can do in their lives to stimulate the production of hormones."

So with men, it has to do with testosterone, for women, it's oxytocin, Gray said

"It's the bonding hormone, the nurturing hormone, but it has a particular effect on women and not men. It actually lowers women's stress levels. So when a guy brings a woman a flower, he doesn't have to bring two dozen roses, that creates the same amount of oxytocin. A surge of oxytocin, her stress level goes down. If he gives her a hug, if he's affectionate, if he looks her in the eye when she talks. Lot of the things that men stopped doing - they do in the beginning - and then they stop doing it," he explained.

Gray added, "It's the little things that make a big difference. Men don't live in that world. If you do little things for men, they look at it as little things. It doesn't matter much."

How about for men?

Gray said, "What rebuilds testosterone in a man? He has to work hard. If he's out of work, that's not going to happen. If he's working hard, he runs out of testosterone. Then if he can relax, that's what he's doing when he's sitting on a couch. That's when a man relaxes their muscles."

"Wait, women are not going to be happy about this one. The sitting on the couch not listening is recharging the batteries?" Hill asked.

"Only for a limited amount of time," Gray said. "This is proven the way a man rebuilds testosterone is when he can relax. If he's sitting in front of a football game, the testosterone levels will start to go up. Then when once they're up, It feels so good to be sitting there, he doesn't move. That's where women come in. Move him, get him back in to action. Ask him to do things. Know how to ask so you're not nagging. "

How do I ask properly without sounding like I'm nagging?

"It's nice the first time," he said. "The second time, the same tone of voice or if he doesn't do it, he says I'll get to it. You know he's going to forget. 'Then you say I'll put it on the list.' Now you just say, 'I have the list here.' You will help pull him off that couch," he says.

"The next thing is you have to let go of the notion that he should automatically do these things. This is the way the women think, you automatically should do these things. One woman gets up to wash dishes, they all get up. Somebody sits, they go who do you think they are. Men don't play by those rules. One guy gets up, they go, 'good, it's his job.' We don't have that reaction. So we need to be motivated. Women are the great motivators. Once they realize that, they could pull out the best in men."

The book, "Venus on Fire, Mars on Ice: Hormonal Balance - The Key to Life, Love, and Energy" is in bookstores now.

  • CBS News Staff

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