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Archive for the category “Dysfunction”

Are you killing your marriage?

An excellent, thought provoking article:
“5 ways you are unknowingly destroying your husband and killing your marriage” by Katelyn Carmen

KILLING your marriage – DESTROYING your husband”

Harsh words and a little dramatic – don’t you think? – Or are they!

I admit I was a bit surprised with #2. I thought she was going to go down the criticizing husbands road. I had not considered this aspect of how being negative about ourselves and other things around our husbands can be harmful to the relationship, but it is so true. Negativity (any kind of negativity) is energy draining to those who express it and those who listen to it! No-one (that I know) really enjoys being around a negative person. This one made me think – how much complaining do I really do around my husband. I need to start paying attention to this aspect of my behavior.

“Women” (and men because she says this article also applies to men), “we need to be careful about how we are caring for our husbands” (wives) “and marriages. Don’t let the small stuff ruin the things that will bring you the greatest happiness in life.”


Caution – children really can be a libido killer!

In my enlightened state of embracing sex and with my new-found recognition of its value, I would like to think if I could do things over in the early years of my marriage that I would definitely do things differently and would be very sexual with my husband often, because of the knowledge I now have about the positive power of a good sexual relationship in a marriage,  Then… I watch my grandkids for a day or two to give their parents a break – and I think – nope, I probably wouldn’t have a lot more sex than I did, even knowing what I know now.  I would want to, and I would try to, but I am pretty sure I would fail.  Every time I watch those sweet little grandcreatures – it all comes back to me!   Children can really do a number on a woman and kill her desire to have sex!!!  I’ll be honest with you, if I was raising children again, I am not sure much would improve, at least in the sexual frequency area, from how it was in our sexual desert years.  No – instead I think the frequency would still be about the same, sad to say!!!

What??? How can you say that?  You are supposed to be pro sex, and helping other women to embrace their sexuality – all women – even those with children!  Don’t abandon us poor suffering sexless husbands now!!!

I can say it, cause it’s true!  It’s true for me and millions of other women – children, especially little children,  have a way of sucking every ounce of sexual desire out of a woman.  Sorry men – it’s just an unavoidable fact of nature.

Pay attention guys – this is important!

Here are 3 of the most common ways children killed and still kill my sexual desire!  (anyone relate here??)

1.  Children are physically exhausting.  I mean dead tired – can’t barely lift a leg to get into bed – don’t ask me to turn out the light – my head barely hits the pillow and I am out – exhausting.  Then invariably –  after a couple of hours of sleep,  one or more wakes me up for some stupid reason – like vomiting.  And the most maddening thing of all – there is a snoring body in my bed while this is going on  – one that doesn’t even have a clue that I have been up every hour on the hour throughout the night.   So by the next day – when I have to start over, I’m already exhausted and it goes down hill from there.  The only desire left in this exhausted body – is the desire to sleep.  Blessed, uninterrupted, heavenly, blissful sleep!!!

2.  Children require physical touch all day long and lots of it.  Holding, hugging, grabbing, carrying, picking up, sitting down, rocking, wiping, bathing, etc. etc., so that by the end of the day – the thing that is dreaded the most is more physical touch – touching or being touched –  by anyone.  In fact, at this point, anything touching the skin, even a sheet, feels like sandpaper and is irritating!   So don’t take it personally guys!

3.  Children are emotionally draining.  How do you convince a 2-year-old who insists on taking 3 hours to dress himself when you have to be at an appointment in 5 minutes?  How do you get 3 children and a screaming baby out of the car, into the grocery store, back out to the car, along with all the 15 bags of groceries and then get them all home without forgetting any of the children… or the milk you stopped at the store for in the first place?  milk?  oops … would that be the white stuff running down the driveway??    And how do you control your anger when the 5-year-old kicks over the 3 year olds blocks, rips off his 7-year-old sister’s Barbie doll heads for the 6th time in the last 2 hours  and then runs to the bathroom and locks himself in before anyone can get their hands on him?  Figuring out how to be the loving, patient, wise judge, teacher, chauffeur, doctor, psychologists, mediator,  juror, and jailer all day long is emotionally draining.  Sliding into bed to show love and adoration, while being amazingly sexy – just doesn’t seem to happen when you start from the position of sitting on the floor, tears flowing down your face because you just screamed at one of the kids that they will never get another drink in their entire life – ever, if they even think about getting out of bed again tonight – AND they just got out of bed again anyways!!!

I mean really guys – where does sex fit in with days like this?  With children – most days are just like this!!!

You guys ask,  “So what are we suppose to do then, just go without sex until the kids are gone?”

Yup – Either that or …

Don’t have kids in the first place!  (I am being 100% serious here – this is really the BEST option – really it is!!!)

For those of you who have already been sucked into this disaster arena, meaning the kids have already been birthed and aren’t going anywhere soon – you need to get creative!  And quickly!

If your wife is like me  – and millions others – and children seem to suck the sexual life out of her, you need to do some serious communicating, accompanied with recognition of her supreme sacrifices, admiration and praise for her heroic efforts of raising YOUR children, and true repentance and sorrow for putting her into this situation in the first place (all the result of sex for the record).  You are going to have to work hard with your wife to figure out ways to help relieve some of these sexual desire killing situations for her!  Give her breaks, hire some help – babysitters, cleaning ladies, a mommy’s helper, a prostitute.  (just making sure you are paying attention)  Better yet – help her out yourself – after all they are your children too!!!   Encourage her to take time for herself – to exercise, to hang out with friends (with no children tagging along), take a class, learn a new skill or take up a hobby.

If you want your wife to desire you – you better help her figure out how to save some of that desire, which means keeping the children from taking it all from her!  It’s your only option!  If you fail – the good news is that the children usually grow up and move away – eventually.  The bad news is – they often move back in with even more desire sucking techniques.   (Sorry – but I have to level with you.  Besides forewarned is forearmed!)

Caution: You may want to be careful while watching the kids while your wife is happily away – your libido will be the next one to go because of the desire sucking creatures!  They are not at all picky about their victims. 

More Caution:  Be sure your wife’s new hobby doesn’t include another good-looking man – with no kids – who happens to also be rich.  Or else you may find yourself in a real dilemma!  (Just saying)

(In case you are wondering – yes this was a bit of satirical writing – but it is based on whole lot truth)

It’s just words – with a whole lot of emotion behind them

While reading through some forums where husbands and wives were talking about their low to no drive spouses – I started noticing the words used to describe their spouses and sex lives.  I decided to compile a list of some of the words that I have seen over and over on many of these forums.  Here is the list of words I pulled out after about an hour of going through a couple of forums again.  I changed some of them to their descriptive form for the purpose of this post.   I have to say, it was a depressing hour!  I felt so sad for these people and even sadder when I realized all of these words could have been used to describe me in my early marriage!

Silent – Passionless – Uncaring – Heartless – Cruel – Disrespectful – Irritating – Indifferent – Selfish – Frigid – Frustrating – Insensitive – Belittling – Rude – Rejecting – Cold – Controlling – Uncompromising – Resentful – Unresponsive – Revengeful – Asexual – Neglectful – Hurtful – Dysfunctional – Naïve – Prudish – Inhibited – Repressed – Withholding – Unwilling – Sheltered – Rigid – Anxious – Reluctant – Critical – Angry – Ambivalent – Disconnected – Dismissive – Uninvolved – Withdrawn – Unloving – Sad – Depressing – Unreasonable – Resistant – Blaming – Distracted – Unsatisfying – Offensive – Critical – Unappreciative – Confusing

These are just words, but there is a whole lot of emotions behind them – and it’s definitely not happy emotions!



No sex education for married couples needed – Really Bad Advice!

In the early part of my marriage, I listened to a talk given by our Stake President’s wife at a women’s conference.  Her talk was about marital relationships and she touched briefly upon physical intimacy.  While I remember very little about most of her talk, this brief part stuck in my mind.  I still remember it vividly.  Basically, she said that most young couples embarking on marriage do not need to seek outside education concerning sex.  It was not necessary to read “how to” books or talk to others to figure out how it works.   Instead most couples living the gospel would develop close physical intimacy over time by coming together in their innocence, learning and opening up emotionally with each other through their own exploration and communication with each other, discovering sex together by experiencing it, and praying for God’s help when necessary.  I remember being a little uncomfortable with her message that learning about sex, including reading “how to” books was not only unnecessary but also was not really a good ideal.   I think in her generation there were many who believed the same misguided philosophy – including my parents.

Before my wedding, I received very little sexual instruction from my parents, possibly because I was already pregnant (oops) and they figured I knew enough already.   They had opted me out of school sex education, so the only formal education I had on the subject was presented in a very clinical and limited form in biology class by a cranky old spinster high school teacher.  I also managed to pick up a few bits and pieces of titillating facts from my friends, TV, and movies (we did not have personal computers in those days).  My husband was raised with a similar lack of sex education.  Our attraction and hormones helped us figure out how to accomplish “the deed” and we thought we knew all we needed to know about sex at the time.  Actually, we were quite ignorant about it.

When troubles began to surface after we were married, we never considered seeking help or reading books to learn more, and there was no-one that we felt we could talk too.  We just ignored the issues.  Later on we bought some “safe” marital  relationship books that proved to be not very helpful with the sexual relationship part.  While I had discovered how to have orgasms from clitoral stimulation during masturbation in my youth, I did not learn what the clitoris was or it’s name until several years after I got married.  Hubby figured out that I felt pleasure when he touched me in certain places, but for the most part he thought women felt pleasure and climaxed through intercourse the same as men.  I thought I should respond that way too – but I didn’t.   I was extremely naïve and had little knowledge about my own sexuality and the role it could and should play in my marriage, and was even more clueless about my husband’s sexuality and his needs.  My lack of knowledge left me ripe for the negative attitudes I picked up and bought into which caused a lot of problems within my marriage.   But that was not the full extent of the damage!

Lack of sex education not only affected me and my husband, our lack of knowledge and negative conditioning was also passed down to our children.  We taught them what we believed and what we knew about sex mostly through our own discomfort and embarrassed attitudes.  While we made a shallow attempt to teach them more about sex than our parents did – providing them with some books to read, along with having a few uncomfortable talks –  all of it followed the context of don’t, don’t, don’t!!    In some ways the current generation of LDS youth and young adults are way more educated about sexual mechanics and behavior than my generation, however for the most part I think as a society, we are still doing a very poor job of giving them a proper education on this subject and  they are just as naïve about the complexities of sexuality and have as many hang ups as past generations.

I have come to the conclusion over the years that the advice given by the Stake President’s wife was extremely bad advice, and that kind of attitude is actually destructive to marriages.   From my experience and from all the readings that I have done after opening back up sexually, I now believe sex education for young teens and adults is extremely important in helping them to grow and develop into healthy and mature sexual adults.  We create an environment of sex being looked upon as  “illicit”, “dirty”, and “evil” when we avoid or refuse to discuss it with our youth.  Many believe the more you talk about sex with young people, the more they will be tempted to have sex.   I have heard many young adults say they were advised not to talk about sex or read about it after they got engaged because it would make them too horny and tempt them to break the law of chastity.  I don’t believe proper sex education causes people to be tempted – in fact I think it’s just the opposite.  The more we teach about sex and sexuality, especially in the context of true Christian doctrine: how our bodies  function  and mature, that God created sex for the purposes of procreation AND marital pleasure and bonding, that sex is not illicit, dirty, or evil, but rather is a divine and wonderful gift within the proper limits of marital relationships, that our bodies (both men and women’s) were created by God to desire and feel sexual pleasure, that frequent sex has an extremely important and healthy place in marriage, that there is an important emotional aspect of intimacy and sex, etc. etc. – the more likely youth are to be less curious about it and will understand the reasons for not having sex before marriage and will more likely want to choose that path.

The people that I have come across, both men and women, who have the healthiest sexual attitudes and marriage are ones whose parents were very open in teaching them about their bodies and sex at a very early age.  Their parents talked openly and honestly about sex and sexuality.  They answered any and all questions their children asked,  always providing a clear  perspective, including the importance of sex within committed relationships.  These parents were not ashamed about the topic of sex, or about their bodies, and were not ashamed to admit they liked sex and had it frequently, while also establishing the proper privacy boundaries concerning it.  These parents did not shame their children for their budding curiosity nor did they shame them for their sexual feelings. Guilt was not their form of teaching, rather they taught them with positive messages – about the normalcy of sexual development  and the importance of emotional maturity, along with the importance and advantages of making wise choices and understanding responsibility concerning their developing sexuality.  These children, now confident adults, are teaching their children in the same manner.

In order for us to teach our children in a healthy way, we as parents have to be educated and have healthy attitudes about sex and sexuality.  This is just one more reason for all LDS women and men to learn to embrace their own sexuality and to explore it and learn about it as much as possible (within God’s boundaries) – so that they can help educate and pass down a healthy understanding and appreciation of sex to their children.  Just think of the difference we can make, not only in our own marriages, but especially in the future marriages of our children and in the generations to come.  It is often said that education can cure many of society’s ills.  Perhaps unhealthy marital sexual attitudes is one ill we can do away with through more education – starting with educating ourselves.

A closed heart


While staying with a very close friend this past week, we had a very long personal talk about her marriage.  This friend is in a sexless marriage, her choice – not his, and is not willing to change things at this point.  My opinion of some of the things that went on in their marriage that caused her to shut off marital sexual relations has changed somewhat because of my attitude transformation about sex, but I can not condemn her for this choice.  I am not convinced it is the best one for her, but I understand why she made it.

I have cried with my friend as she battled the horrible pain and torment caused because of problems her husband had with pornography over the course of her 25+ years of marriage .  I helplessly watched her self-esteem plummet and her testimony of the gospel slowly decrease as a couple of Bishops unwittingly made her feel responsible for her husbands pornography use and the sexual problems it caused in their marriage.    And I encouraged her during her long struggle while she tried to rebuild her self-worth and learned to stand up for herself, which she has accomplished to a point, but only after detaching both emotionally and physically from her husband.  She finally found a way to turn his problems back over to her husband and find some relief from the pain, but in the process she also lost all of her respect, desire, and love for him.  Yet, she stays married to him, a man she does not even like.

Their marriage continues on a superficial level, they still sleep in the same bedroom, he still tries to get sex from her occasionally, and she turns him down.  For the most part they function on the surface as a married couple, but the reality is they live parallel lives, coming together only to discuss parenting schedules and family issues when necessary.  I know that she stays in the marriage mostly for financial reasons because she quit her education so he could finish his when they got married and she has been a stay at home mom since.   I am not sure why he stays – actually I am quite perplexed about why he stays in the marriage.  Why he keeps trying to get her to engage sexually with him when he knows exactly how she feels towards him and knows she will reject him, I can not comprehend.  They have a sick and dysfunctional relationship and are now seeing how it has also hurt their kids in a myriad of ways.  The wounds are numerous, for both my friend and her husband, and in some ways they have gotten worse, infecting their whole family.

I asked my friend if she thought she could ever forgive her husband for what he has done over the years and accept that he has a problem and love him in spite of it.  I asked her if she felt she could ever rebuild a sexual relationship with him again.  She insists she has tried over and over, she has prayed over and over – begging God to help her to love him and accept him, she has tried to fake it till she felt it, but nothing has worked.  And now she is done trying.  She says it wasn’t the pornography that caused the major damage to their marriage – although it certainly played a big part, it was his lying and the sneaking around and the way he closed himself off to her that hurt her the most, which she said he still continues to do.  He has never cheated on her with another “live” woman, although he came very, very close,  yet he could not be completely loyal to her or honest and transparent with her about his behaviors and he has not been honest and open with her emotionally and physically.  She feels the wounds are too deep now and can not be healed.   And then she said something that I have been pondering ever since.  She said, “I can not open my body to him because my heart is closed to him.”

Pornography use and guilt caused her husband to close his heart to her in their early marriage.  Years of pain from trying to deal with his closed heart finally caused her to close her heart to him and then eventually she also closed her body to him.  This is how they both have chosen to treat their painful wounds.  And now they both co-exist within a physically and emotionally almost dead marriage – both ignoring the wounds, going their separate ways while still living together.  I can’t begin to express how this saddens me because of the joy and happiness that I know they are missing out from not having a healthy marital relationship.  At this point in their marriage opening their hearts back up would probably take a miracle, an enormous amount of work with an extremely good counselor, and a great deal of faith in the healing powers of the atonement of Jesus Christ.  For now – my friend has given up on that ever happening and is content with her life and her closed heart because she no longer feels the pain.

There are so many reasons why we close our hearts to our spouses – hurt, resentment, pride, fear, rejection, and stupidity to name a few.   Pain from the relationship becomes so unbearable that we feel we have to stop the pain however we can.  So we avoid the issues causing the pain, and we close our hearts off emotionally so that we no longer can feel anything.  In essence, closing our hearts serves as an emotional pain-killer.  The longer our hearts remain closed, the more addicted we become to not feeling the pain, and the harder it is to open our hearts back up.  Based on our past experiences, we fear our spouses who have wounded us, and we fear more pain and further injury so we move into a self protective mode – medicating the pain, covering the wounds so we can not see them and building walls around our hearts to close them off and keep them safe.  In this state, we can not feel, we can not love, we can not forgive, and most importantly we can not heal.  Our emotional wounds remain and our pain is only alleviated.

When our hearts are closed, we become comfortable in our anesthetized state and our fear of feeling all of the negative emotions can be paralyzing, keeping us from moving forward with our lives. Opening our hearts back up is risky and scary for valid reasons.  Once our hearts are opened back up, we are faced once again with feeling and treating the painful wounds and dealing with the issues that caused them.  This process can be even more painful than the original pain because the wound has gotten infected from not being treated.  We also become vulnerable to more wounds because there are no guarantees that opening our hearts up will fix the relationship or that our spouse will not continue to hurt us.

Yes, opening our hearts up in relationships that have been painful in the past is risky and yes, we can be hurt deeply again.  But as long as our hearts remain closed there is no chance of fixing the relationship, we remain in a wounded state, and our emotional healing is stifled.  If we open our hearts back up, we can become healthier and grow stronger as we address the pain by healing the wounds instead of just covering them up and ignoring them.  If the relationship survives, it also can become stronger if both partners are willing to deal with the real issues instead of hiding from them.

Relationships are hard and some are often unbearably painful.  Closing off our hearts in order to stop feeling is certainly one way of dealing with the pain and negative emotions, but it does not solve the real issues.  Along with blocking the emotional pain, closing off our hearts may also be blocking true emotional happiness and joy.  When faced with severe marriage difficulties it can be hard to choose between true healing or long-term pain relief – an open heart or a closed heart!

From watching my friend, and from facing difficult relationship issues myself, I totally get why one would choose the closed heart and long-term pain relief it seemingly offers. In fact, after pondering what my friend said, I realize that I had made that same choice myself – for different reasons and mostly because of internal emotional wounds caused by my own faulty thinking patterns.  I closed off my heart and my body to my husband thinking I was making the right choice, but the reality turned out different, and instead I hurt my husband deeply and created a dysfunctional marriage.

Thankfully my husband chose to keep his heart open to me and after I finally opened my heart and my body back up to him, we were both able to heal most of our wounds and begin to work on rectifying my costly mistake.

Starving Spouses

This post is in response to the comments on my last post – here!

We always thought my husband had a high sexual drive.  Surprisingly, after I had my sexual awakening, his drive dropped considerably.  Hearing that others had the same result happen to their spouse in similar circumstances,  I have concluded that he really did not have a high drive in the first place, he was just sexually starving which caused him to be hungry for sex all the time.  When he is well fed sexually and is satisfied, then he does not desire sex all the time, and instead of wanting sex daily or more, like he use too, he is actually quite content with 3 or 4 times a week.

It is human nature to crave what you can’t have, especially if what you want is sitting in front of your face all the time.  This fact explains why diets fail most of the time.  Once you try to cut out certain foods completely, especially your favorite foods – in my case its donuts and pastries – your craving for them intensifies .  That craving increases to an almost unbearable level, when you are around those foods.

In my weight control endeavors, I have found that instead of totally restricting certain foods, I get better results when I concentrate on choosing healthier foods and eating smaller meals more often so that I am not hungry.  This helps reduce the cravings for the foods that are not good for me.  But when I start noticing that a craving for a certain food begins to build,  if  I allow myself to think that I can have it if I really want it, and will have some later, just not right now, or if I allow myself to have just a little after I fill up on some healthier foods first, then the craving goes away, most of the time.   But If I don’t eat regularly and if I am really hungry, and the foods I crave the most are in front of me, it seems the craving for that food just builds and builds until I can no longer control myself and I end up on a total pig out binge which usually includes not only that particular food, but any other unhealthy one that is within my grasp.   Keeping myself well fed, and knowing that I can have a food anytime I want, helps me not crave those foods as much and I am usually perfectly happy to say, “I don’t have to have that donut right now, because I know I can have it later if I still want it.”

I believe that for many people who think they have a very high sexual drive,  a similar principle applies instead.  Their high drive is really just a manifestation of their intense craving for the sex and connection with their spouse that they can not have.  Because their spouse denies them sex most of the time they are sexually starving.  And because their spouse is there, right in front of them, tempting them – the craving is there all the time and seems unbearable.  If they were allowed to have sex with their spouse when ever they craved it, and if their spouse kept them regularly fed with a healthy dose of sexual and emotional connection, I think many of them would find they really have a more average sex drive instead of a high one because they would not be starving for it anymore!

Symptoms of Good Girl Syndrome

Quotes from Laura M. Brotherson’s book “And they were not ashamed”:

“The Good Girl Syndrome is a result of the negative conditioning that occurs from parents, church, and society as they teach – or fail to teach – the goodness of sexuality and its divine purposes…

The Good Girl Syndrome is caused by ignorance as well as distorted and incorrect beliefs, perceptions, attitudes and associations accumulated over time.”

“Symptoms of the “Good Girl Syndrome”:

  • Discomfort, embarrassment or inability to appropriately discuss sexual matters
  • Underlying belief that sex is bad, wrong, dirty or sinful
  • Lack of understanding of the divine purposes of sex – particularly that God intended it for pleasure, as well as procreation
  • Inability to relax and let go within the sexual experience
  • Lack of enjoyment of sexual relations – participation out of duty
  • Lack of sexual understanding and “know-how” – a simplistic perception that if I just do what’s right I will have marital bliss
  • Inappropriate inhibitions, guilt, shame or awkwardness associated with sexual relations within marriage
  • Discomfort or distaste with sexual parts of the body and body functioning”


Not allowed to desire sex!

Women who have GGS generally are dealing with a mental aversion to sex, in addition to also dealing with the marital relationship issues (anger, resentment, poor communication, etc), in addition to having a low physical sex drive.   So it’s a triple whammy!  Even if the husband works on fixing his part of the relationship issues and works on meeting her needs more, the sexual issues still exist because she still has a mental aversion to sex – made worse by the low drive, but driven mostly by HER dysfunctional thinking patterns, which in reality has NOTHING to do with ANYTHING about her husband.   Not recognizing SHE has a problem, she deflects her issues, focusing instead on deficiencies she believes her husband has.  He gets the blame AND suffers the consequences!   Attempts to increase the quantity and quality of sex seldom work on these women because their mindset does not allow them to desire sex, no matter what their husbands do or don’t do.

To further understand this mental aversion it helps to understand the following realities about these women:

•  Sex is usually not pleasurable for them
•  They seldom allow themselves to get aroused.
•  When they occasionally do get aroused and have an orgasm, the mental negativity that goes on in their head far outweighs any pleasure they experience.
•  Sex does not feel like an emotionally bonding experience for them.
•  Sex has nothing to do with love in their mind.  It does not feel like an expression of love from their husband and they do not view it as a way to express love to their husband.
•  They view sex simply as a physical activity, a distasteful one at that, that they occasionally have to endure because their husband wants it.
•  Sex feels like another chore and is just one more thing they have to do for someone else.
•  Sex is not a need for them so they do not understand why it would be a need for men.

With thinking patterns like these, is it any wonder why these women don’t want to have sex?

Initiating sex techniques don’t work because these women DON”T WANT to have sexual relations, period.

Talking to these women about having more and better sex does not work, because they don’t think they have a problem.  Their husbands have the problem and need to learn more self control.

Coercing, begging, doing nice things for these women does not work.  Nothing seems to work!

Women with GGS are bothered and aggravated when their spouses are interested in having sex because they feel they are being pressured into something they don’t want to do, something they are uncomfortable doing, and something that just feels wrong to them.  So almost any kind of attempt to get them to be more sexual results only in rejection – over and over and over.  And the rejected partner feels frustrated and hurt – over and over and over.  This dysfunctional cycle is extremely harmful to the marriage.    And it will continue until one or preferably – both spouses decide to break the cycle and rebuild a functional relationship in it’s place!

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A Place to Learn How To Make Marriages Rock!

The Mormon Therapist

God created our bodies to enjoy sex - what's not to enjoy?

Hot, Holy & Humorous

God created our bodies to enjoy sex - what's not to enjoy?