We pay money, we get a product or a service. We devote time and in exchange get a relationship or knowledge. We give effort and in exchange become someone new.
Tonight my almost-teenager was frustrated about her growing acne even though she washes her face twice a day. (Poor girl!) I told her it might be because of something she’s eating… like sugar. She looked at me and said, “I’d rather have pimples and eat sweets than not eat sweets and have no acne.” As long as she knows she’s making that exchange.
Awareness of these life exchanges is where all your power lies. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like an exchange but a choice. For example, I want to get a new job, but I’m scared I’ll feel stressed all the time. But right now I need money. So do you want to feel stress or in bondage to your money? It’s just an example, but might help you make difficult decisions.
Just remember that it’s always an exchange. You are almost never giving something for nothing.
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!
I had someone reach out to me and tell me about their sexual experiences and how they are struggling. One thing stood out to me, because I can relate.
“I’ve never had a good example of what a healthy sexual relationship looks like. I don’t know what it feels like…”
I too, never had an example of a healthy sexual relationship.
My parents were teenagers when they got together. I was the result of an unplanned pregnancy that my dad hoped would help my mom love him more if they kept the baby. My mom turned 17 ONE MONTH before I was born.
Now, I am sure plenty of people have been able to have kids in their teens and turn it into a good experience. But my parents were not such an example.
They were never married because my mom never wanted to make that commitment.
My parents fought non-stop. Their relationship was hot and cold. There were times they were very affectionate, but other times they hated each other, or so it seemed.
My sister believes she has heard my dad rape my mom. My opinion is that rape is a strong word. I think my mom was often just a reluctant participant, but did ultimately give her consent.
Their relationship was co-dependent at best.
Other couples I was close to also didn’t have the best of relationships. My aunt and uncle definitely had an abusive relationship that I witnessed on many occasions. That same uncle sexually abused me and my sisters. My grandparents were married over 50 years but they were cold to each other and slept in separate rooms or beds as long as I knew them.
Basically, I also did not have any good role models.
Beyond examples of loving marriages, sex is often not something we see modeled anyway. (And when you do, you wish you hadn’t seen it!)
All this to say: you don’t need an example of a healthy sexual relationship to be able to create one of your own.
In a way, NOT having an example opens you up to all the possibilities and lets you design the sex life you want.
What if there is no right or wrong, only what you want and don’t want? Only what feels good and what doesn’t?
It may take you a while to get there. If you come from a dysfunctional family like I do, it takes work to unravel the messages and beliefs you were handed about sex, marriage, relationship, men, love, etc.
You may even find yourself fighting against a good relationship because it conflicts with your self-image. I know I tried to get my husband to leave many times because I felt like he was too good for me. I was comparing myself to so many broken women that I couldn’t see the me he saw. I leaned on his belief in me for so many years until I could believe it myself.
And deciding what kind of relationship you do want may take some trial and error. It’s not all going to be rainbows and daisies. There will be hard days.
The first step is recognizing what you already believe and think about your relationship. I recommend journaling them all out. There is something about writing that is cathartic and gives you distance from your thoughts. If writing is not your style, though, try using the voice memo app on your phone.
The second step is testing each of those beliefs. Are they true? Do they get you the result you want? When you think them, how do they make you FEEL?
The third step is dreaming about what might be possible. If you find yourself having a hard time even going there, ask yourself what are you protecting yourself from? If you are capable of a healthy, sexual relationship, but your brain is not offering that option to you– then why? What are you afraid of?
For many of us it is this: if I try for a healthy relationship and fail, then there is something wrong with me. We just fail ahead of time by not giving ourselves the chance to go there.
Sometimes highlighting what you really don’t like about your relationship will tell you what you do want. So what bugs you the most about your husband? What is the opposite of that?
For me, I hate that my husband can be condescending. He owns it and tries to be careful not to come across that way. But when he is condescending I just feel so stupid. I want to feel like my opinion is valued and valid.
See? Do that for everything you dislike in your relationship and you will have a good starting point for the relationship you want.
Of course, you can do this on your own. I will continue to provide value here on the blog to help you. But it will take a lot more trial and error and time. But if you want results faster, I invite you to sign up for a free consultation call with me. I can show you where your blind spots are. I can guide you to what you really want and why. Time is the most valuable asset you have; why waste another day feeling like you can’t see the way out?
How do you get your husband to stop asking, nagging, initiating or pouting about sex?
The easiest way?
So what comes up for you when I say that? Why aren’t you doing that already?
Maybe he doesn’t deserve it? (This came up for one of my clients today.)
Is your reason that you don’t feel connected to him, so you don’t feel like having sex?
Do you think he will ask even more and then you will have to have sex even more and it will be a never-ending cycle that you can’t get out of??
Let’s take these one by one.
Time. How long does it really take to have sex? Let’s face it, this is just an excuse. Time isn’t a REAL issue for most of us. See my last post for more evidence!
And if time is a real issue for you, then it’s just a matter of prioritizing your time. What is most important, second most, etc?
Energy. I’m feeling the tough love tonight– If you spent less energy thinking and fuming about sex, you would have more for sex. The underlying belief here is that sex TAKES energy. But what if you are wrong? What if it actually gives you energy? Why would you keep yourself from that?
There are activities that drain us and activities that energize us. It all depends on your thoughts about the activity. So if you can get to a place where you love sex… just sayin’…. it might be energizing!
But really. What if your husband isn’t taking from you but giving to you? What if you are looking at it all wrong?
He doesn’t deserve it. If you are thinking this, there is a good chance you are in a parent-child dynamic with your husband. And who the heck wants to have sex with their kid? Umm, not me. This feels like a responsibility, a heaviness. Your brain is gonna want to get far away from that. What if pleasure is not something we deserve or earn with good behavior? What if pleasure is just something we naturally seek and then it’s just about what we want or don’t want– the type of pleasure we are up for? The scriptures say that Men are that they might have joy. We are created for joy, and that often comes from pleasure.
So again, what if you are looking at it all wrong? He doesn’t deserve it or not deserve it. And neither do you! This is just about pleasure, connection and desire. What do you want? (And do you see that when you withhold sex from him, you are also withholding sex/pleasure from you? Even if you don’t enjoy sex yet… the promise of future pleasure with practice is being delayed for yourself.)
Connection. Yes. Connection leads to intimacy. But intimacy also leads to connection. It’s a self-reinforcing cycle. Either you have to have connection first. Or you have to have sex first. Depends on your desire type (responsive vs. spontaneous) as to which way you will prefer.
Also: connection is a feeling. Feelings come from our thoughts. You can create connection by thinking loving thoughts about your husband. Try focusing on what you love about him. What do you appreciate? What would you miss if he were gone? Boom. Connection.
Here’s the thing. It’s so much easier to give the power of our emotions away to other people. Then we don’t have to work at it. But it’s much more satisfying to do the work ourselves and create the feelings we want on purpose. It’s not easy, but it is powerful. I promise it will help you feel more connected to yourself and therefore more connected to your husband.
The never-ending cycle. OK, so right now you are just having sex the bare minimum in order to shut him up about it already. Your heart probably isn’t really in it; it’s just a physical act for you. This is like eating bread every meal. It’s not filling. What if you had sex more often but you still aren’t that into it? Like having more bread meals. What if you have sex and you decide to be all in? After all, if you are going to do it, you might as well do it right! This is like meat and potatoes meals. You might be surprised, but your husband likely doesn’t want sex just for the sexual release. It means something to him too. He wants you to be into it! He wants to be filled up. He wants to feel loved and like you mean it. When you can get to that place (and I assure you, you can if you want to), he will likely want sex less often because the “filling meal” will last longer.
Maybe I am wrong and his desire is off the hook. In that case I want you to recognize that you always have a choice. You don’t ever have to have sex, even with your husband. So if you are having sex even if you “don’t really want to,” the alternative is worse than the sex to your brain. What’s the alternative? Only you can answer that.
*Another way you could get him to stop asking for sex is to get divorced. There are always alternatives my friend.
Man, I love this work. I love helping women love their sex lives which leads them to love themselves more so they can love everyone around them more. Come join my coaching program so you can get amazing results in your life. I promise it’ll be worth it.