This is what I realized (while I was in the temple).
I want to share it with you:
I deeply believe that our deepest purpose is to learn who we are and become more. That is Heavenly Father’s plan for us.
How do we become more? There are so many ways. The way I’ve figured out is through life coaching. Life coaching helps us see what we are thinking and believing, so that we can remove any belief that is preventing us from growing.
What happens when we do this? We become more confident. We love ourselves more. We experience genuine joy.
That is the purpose.
The clients I work with understand their identity more, see their value better, gain confidence and are able to set and reach goals.
I love seeing their results!
If this sounds like something you want, email me or sign up for a free consult call. I will show you what is getting in your way and help you make a plan to address it.
And if you want to watch a video of me explaining my why, find me on Facebook at Denita Bremer Coaching. I have a free group there as well if you want to ask for free coaching.
I talked about pressure to have sex here, but I wanted to add to that a bit tonight.
I often hear women saying something to this effect:
“My husband has higher desire. I never feel like having sex. I have young kids and not a lot of time. I always feel so much pressure from my husband. If I am wearing make-up or dress nicely or even just kiss passionately, he will want sex, so I avoid those things. And then when I do agree to have sex, he seems to push me to do things that I don’t want to do and it makes me not want to have sex anymore.”*
If this describes your feelings about sex, I want you to think about this: why don’t you just say no? You don’t want to have sex, but you also don’t want to say no to sex.
Saying no to sex makes you feel guity.
Not saying no makes you feel pressure.
Your brain doesn’t like either of these options, but in this scenario, your brain would prefer the pressure to the guilt (because that is what you are feeling).
Feeling pressure keeps you from feeling guilt. Feeling guilt keeps you from feeling pressure.
I also want to teach you that pressure comes from your THOUGHTS.
IT DOESN’T COME FROM YOUR HUSBAND.
If a stranger came up to you and asked for sex, you wouldn’t feel any guilt for saying no. And if you didn’t actually say no, you wouldn’t feel any pressure. Maybe disgust or fear or any other number of feelings, but pressure likely wouldn’t be one of them. This is because you wouldn’t care what a stranger is thinking or feeling.
Pressure comes from your thoughts about what your husband is thinking or feeling.
Of course, our husbands’ opinions matter to us in so many ways.
But whether or not we “should” have sex doesn’t have to be one of them.
What if your husband could your grab your butt…
or you could kiss him passionately…
or you could wear whatever the heck you want…
and you wouldn’t feel pressure or guilt?
It’s not your job to manage your husband’s emotions.
I promise when you stop trying to make him feel a certain way and expecting him to make you feel a certain way, you will start focusing on what you really desire and the pressure will go away. Your relationship will grow to the next level.
This is not selfish because in the end, your husband will also benefit from this shift.
Last thing. Of course he always wants to have sex with you! You are amazing! He thinks you’re hot! You are smart and the mother of his children! Why wouldn’t he want to have sex with you?? You got it goin’ on!
*I am referring to a loving, non-abusive relationship.
When I was 5 years old, I walked to a convenience store with my parents. My nose was counter height and I remember standing there at the counter eyeing some little foil-wrapped chocolate footballs. They were probably five cents back in the mid-80’s. I picked one up to “look at it” and then dropped it into my pocket.
I totally stole a candy from a convenience store.
On the walk home, I felt so guilty about it that I threw the candy into some bushes.
I never told anyone about that for years, but it burned a hole into my memory.
Fast forward to today: The whole family was heading out to dinner, but my husband needed to leave directly from the restaurant to catch a flight, so he was driving separately. I pull out of the garage and out of habit, hit the button to close the garage door. Before I could reverse the garage door, my husband started backing out of the garage and the top of his car got scratched. It could have been much worse if the garage door had been damaged, but luckily it is fine.
I slide the window down and yell “Sorry! Habit!” and was on my way. My son said, “If I did that, Dad would be SOOOO mad.” I responded with, “Oh, Dad is really mad at me, but he can manage his own emotions.”
Over a 5 cent candy as a child I feel guilty for years. A possible hundreds of dollars worth of damage and no guilt today. Sure, I feel sorry, but guilty is not the descriptor I would use.
Even just two years ago, I probably would have cried over a mistake like this.
So why the change?
The answer is: I have learned how to manage my emotions and let others do the same.
(Let’s be realistic. Your average Joe does not manage their emotions. They react, resist or avoid their emotions. So when I say I let them manage their emotions, I mean I let them have their emotions and don’t feel responsible for them.)
I know that in most situations, guilt is not helpful.
Guilt is only useful in moral right and wrong. (So technically, my stealing at age 5 is an appropriate situation for guilt.)
Accidentally closing the garage door out of habit is not a moral wrong. I can try to make it right, and maybe I will get a paint kit for the scratches, but that’s about it. There’s no repenting needed. I apologized and that’s about all I can do. It was a simple mistake.
I say all this, because guilt is a hot topic with sex.
But whether or not you have sex, or how often, is also not a moral right or wrong.
God never said “Thou shalt have sex with thy husband three times a week.”
Guilt will not be useful, and may even be harmful.
Remember, guilt means “I have done something wrong.” Sometimes it leads to shame, which is “I am something wrong.”
Why do you feel guilty when you don’t have sex, or don’t want to have sex?
It comes from a thought. Probably something along the lines of “I should have sex.”
Then, how do you act when you feel guilty?
You probably do some form of hiding– don’t talk openly about it, fall asleep, withdraw into your mind, etc. (Guilt likes to hide.)
And then the impact of those actions is that your husband continues to want sex with you and you continue to find evidence that you should have sex. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle that gets you nowhere.
Guilt is a negative emotion that our brains really want to avoid. So when you associate guilt with sex, your brain wants to avoid sex at all costs.
Here’s the other thing: your brain prefers the guilt to the resentment that comes when you do have sex, but you don’t want to. So recognize that guilt is the “better” option, but it is still optional.
When you gain confidence in yourself, a natural by-product will be less guilt. But you can choose to just not feel guilt now too.
What if it’s not true that you should have sex?
What if it’s ok if your husband is upset about it?
What if owning your emotional responsibility will eventually lead you to feeling closer to your husband? (With hotter sex?)
These are skills you can absolutely learn. And the great news is that they apply to every situation with any emotion, not just in the bedroom. Or in the garage as the case may be.
I have time this week for some consult calls if you are interested in learning more. Feel free to email me or hop on my calendar.
I’ve been reading Becoming Cliterate by Laurie Mintz, PhD. (I recommend it with reservations. It feels a little vulgar at times.)
She says, “When you’re engaged in sex with a partner, monitoring and evaluating yourself will diminish your sexual pleasure and orgasms. Psychologists call this “spectatoring.” Women’s most common form of spectatoring involves evaluating and worrying about their bodies, but women—and men—also have “performance” worries (worries bout whether they’re “doing it right,” being a good lover, taking too long to orgasm, etc.). Again, it’s impossible to have an orgasm if you’re thinking about such concerns. To have an orgasm, you need to switch your brain to “off mode.”
Do you engage in spectatoring?
Yeah, me too.
Mintz goes on to talk about how practicing mindfulness can help end spectatoring.
When you are practicing mindfulness, your mind is in your body, in the moment instead of thinking.
So before sex, you want to be aware of your thoughts and what they are.
Choosing thoughts that will maximize confidence will help you have better sex.
But during sex, you don’t want to be thinking at all.
You want to be in your body. Focusing on the sensations.
What do you feel with your hands?
What do you smell?
What do you taste?
What do you hear?
Notice the visual details.
When you notice yourself spectatoring, bring your mind back to the sensations of the moment, just like you do with meditating.
I have lots more to share about this book, but I wanted to encourage you to start practicing mindfulness now. Even just a couple minutes a day will help you improve your sex life.
You can do this throughout your day, while you do dishes, or as you are walking.
Just practice focusing on all the sensations with whatever it is you are doing.
If you try this, come back and tell me how it went. I’ll be practicing myself.
If you have any history of sexual abuse or trauma of any kind, a likely experience regarding sex in your marriage is getting triggered.
I have a simple but powerful exercise to address this.
Journal out what happened to you. Try to remember as much detail as possible. This will most likely be an emotional experience. Pay attention to these emotions. Take note of what you are feeling and why.
If you are afraid of being triggered, recognize that what you are really afraid of is feeling how you felt while the trauma was happening or immediately afterward.
Let me use an example:
You might be afraid to be triggered because it makes you feel out of control.
When you feel out of control, you want to shut down.
When you shut down, you get the result of feeling like you will always be afraid of trigger and feeling out of control.
Notice that in this example, you are afraid of feeling out of control, but you already ARE out of control.
What if you could just feel out of control?
You don’t need to be afraid of a feeling.
A feeling is just a vibration in your body.
You are human and therefore an expert in emotions. You feel emotions every day.
Releasing yourself from fearing the feeling takes off one layer of emotion and gets you closer to how you actually want to feel.
Welcome the feeling.
Name it when it happens.
Describe it in your body.
It will come and go in waves, and eventually it may never come back.
So many women feel like they just don’t have time for sex.
I would like to share my time-management practice; it’s the best way I have found to manage your time— and I have tried many things!
Time management is really mind management. Everyone has the same amount of time; seconds keep ticking no matter what we are doing. It’s how we manage ourselves in time that really makes a difference. (Which is why life coaching around time can be so powerful.)
I like to plan out my calendar one week at at time. It seems the most manageable without getting too far in the weeds or too far in the sky.
List out every. little. thing. you want to do or you have to do.
Delegate or drop every task that you don’t really have to or want to do. (You don’t have to clean toilets. I promise. They will still work even if they are dirty.)
Prioritize the remaining tasks from most important to least important.
Write in the tasks on your calendar that have times associated with them: appointments with other people, etc.
Schedule down time, play time and time to yourself. It’s ok to schedule blocks of time for you to do “whatever you want.” Make sure to do this first. If you don’t, it will never happen. Make sure to schedule your bedtime and wake up times. Don’t forget to plan in sex!
Schedule the rest of your tasks starting with highest priority and working your way down until you have no unscheduled time. Be careful with transitions. They always take longer than you think they will.
If you are trying to get something done and you have kids, assume it will take 1.5-2 times longer than if you could dedicated all your focus on it. I build in flexibility by limiting myself to one task per half hour block. Even if the task will take 5 minutes, I only schedule one task. Then when something comes up later, I inevitably have “extra” time.
Follow your calendar no matter what, except for true emergencies. When someone asks you out to lunch, tell them “I’d love to but I already have something scheduled then! How about next Wednesday?”
If something comes up that you weren’t expecting, ask yourself if you would have chosen it or what is on your calendar if you were planning ahead. It’s ok to change your plans, just make sure you aren’t doing it to appease your primitive brain.
Following your schedule once it is set is the key. You are going to have drama: “I don’t feeeeeel like doing this right now.” But recognize that when you planned your calendar, you were using your pre-frontal cortex, the part of your brain that makes rational decisions and plans ahead. When you don’t feel like doing something, you are using your primitive brain that doesn’t ever want to do anything because it is more concerned with conserving energy. This is not how we up level our lives. It will feel uncomfortable in the short term, but you will be so proud of yourself in the long-term.
I am telling you, I have been able to get so much more done using this method. And I am a very organized and dedicated person. But I still have a primitive brain. The very first time I committed to trying this for a week, I got to the end of the week and had gotten everything done and worked ahead, so I had “extra” time.
There is a little bit of trial and error and learning what works best for you. My recommendation is to try this for at least 3 weeks and see how it works for you.
I would be so curious if you tried it and how it went!
Figure out what you want the outcome of the conversation to be. Do you just want to get some things off your chest? Do you want him to understand something? Do you want a specific result?
Get yourself to a place where you are full of love. Love for yourself and for your husband. Don’t have anger or resentment or any other negative emotion brewing. Process those emotions and come from a clean place.
Focus on the facts. It is too easy to get emotionally charged when the conversation is dominated by opinions. Strip it down to facts that everyone in the world would agree with.
Set aside a time where you both can focus and not be distracted. At least as much as possible.
Recognize the awkwardness or difficulty of the conversation right from the start. You can use these words, “I need to say something that might not be easy for you to hear, and it isn’t easy for me to say.”
Start with the facts.
Move into how things are impacting you. “I feel” statements are great at diffusing any possible blame.
Tell what you want out of the conversation, and give him a change to respond. Recognize that he may not respond the way you want him to. That’s ok. Whatever he says is coming from his feeling in the moment, which is coming from his thoughts in the moment. It has nothing to do with you.
Be truly curious about how the conversation is feeling to him. Great questions to ask are, “Why?” and “How does that feel to you?” or “What do you think?”
If need be, set a time to follow up.
A few extra tips:
If you don’t feel safe to speak openly with your husband, do the work first to figure out why. Life coaching is great for this, just sayin’!
Start the conversation at a time when you aren’t having sex.
If you can’t get yourself to open up, figure out why- get yourself to a life coach!