couple talking

Couple Talking – The Quarantine Communication Crash Course

Couple Talking – The Quarantine Communication Crash Course

 

It is perfectly understandable that couple talking techniques would change, because when we find ourselves in new situations, we need to come up with new ways of coping and flourishing. 

I’ve noticed in meeting with clients that some couples are finding challenges communicating effectively, and as couples spend more time together than ever, couple talking changes! You can’t expect the same results from old ways of thinking and communicating! 

Just spend a moment considering how much your work routines have changed. 

We’re all on some sort of video conferencing software, balancing parenting or caretaking, health and exercise, financial stresses, and other tasks within the boundaries of our home. 

The coronavirus pandemic has forced all of us to make fast decisions about what’s vital and what’s not. What doesn’t work fails immediately, and effective results stick.

The same goes for couple talking techniques. 

Quarantining all day has been a crash course for many of my clients on verbal and non-verbal communication with their spouse or partner. 

The more you utilize effective strategies and techniques, the faster you’ll adapt to this new reality.

Let’s look on the bright side and imagine how much better we’ll know and communicate with our partners as things transition back to “normal” life. 

You can use your time now as a petri dish to experiment with some of these expert couple talking strategies.

couple talking

Dr. Gottman on Intimate Conversation

Dr. Gottman has been helping couples build bonds and communicate effectively for decades. One of his main strategies for building trust in a relationship is related to open communication free from any hint of defensiveness.

Your partner could be hiding something from you or masking destructive behaviors because they fear your reaction. It could also be one of the reasons they react strongly to anything that resembles criticism. 

For example, that sort of thing happens a lot when a spouse attempts to talk to their partner about what they see is a pornography problem. They move to strike back quickly to discourage any more questioning.

For many of us, our first inclination when our partner has a problem or talks about something challenging is to offer solutions. We want to immediately problem-solve their way out of it. We tell ourselves that’s how we’re projecting that we care about them.

Instead, though, Gottman says that before advice must come understanding

Intimate communication must include couples talking  that’s free from judgment.

One of the best ways to do this is by asking your partner open-ended follow-up questions. These invite them to speak more freely and get out whatever feelings they’ve got pent up inside. The next time your partner expresses frustration, anger, or even joy, ask them to talk more about how they feel and why. You’re on your way to build a more free and open communication platform.

 

Find Healing with Imago Relationship Therapy

Imago relationship therapy focuses on building intimate connections through healing. Fear of being truly known is one of the main obstacles my clients face. Most of us naturally maintain some semblance of a distance between our true selves and those around us. It may not be as simple as we don’t trust them. Often, we feel uncomfortable thinking or discussing our past or trauma we still live with.

Sharing intimate feelings, both fears and aspirations will help you as a couple build a love that’s more connected and intimate. Easier said than done, however. To feel comfortable opening or, you and your partner have to feel safe in your relationship.

Worries, concerns, doubts, and other emotions have to be communicated in a safe environment without risk of retribution.

The best couple talking happens in safe conversations. You can discover how to create safe conversations by talking to your partner about what makes them feel unsafe. Eliminate any conditions that could trigger anxiety as you speak. Sit closely to stay physically connected. Maintain eye contact. Offer validation often as your partner shares difficult emotions.

couple talking

Couple Talk with F-A-S-T

As a therapist, I help people understand how their emotions can hijack conversations. We all must understand how our messages are conveyed, especially to our intimate partners who we care deeply about.

In many couples, there’s often one partner who feels it’s appropriate to make their feelings subordinate to their partner’s to “make things work”. They are quick to apologize to try and smooth things over and withhold their true feelings because they don’t want to rock the boat.

What these people don’t realize is that they’re setting themselves up for long-term failure. That negatively impacts their partner and also their self-worth. If you find yourself sacrificing too much for the good of the relationship, you need to reexamine things.

For example, sometimes clients struggle with different sexual desires in their relationship. The higher-desire partner can feel frustrated and that they’re giving up something incredibly important because their partner doesn’t want to have sex as much as they do. Either that or they’re into kink or want to try some roleplaying.

Telling yourself that that’s just the way things are can only last so long. Eventually, the resentment will be so strong it will lead to collapse, infidelity, or some other disruption.

The point of learning how to speak about difficult topics is to find a way to meet in the middle for a solution that’s acceptable to both parties.

I recommend the FAST method of communication as a way to stay grounded when communicating with your spouse or partner. FAST stands for:

Fairness – Remember to be fair to yourself and your partner. Avoid criticism and judgment.

Apologies – Reserve apologies for when they’re required. Don’t apologize for feeling a certain way or being who you are. Apologize when you’ve done something wrong.

Stick to Your Values – There’s a compromise, and then there’s self-sacrifice. Too much sacrifice will make you feel resentful. Don’t cheat on your values to make something work or to make someone feel better.

Truth – Don’t exaggerate and don’t lie. Stay grounded and honest in your communication. Your partner will listen to what you have to say and know you are being sincere.

FAST is just one communication technique I recommend for couple talk. Several other methods can help you remember effective communication skills when conflict arises or it’s time to give your partner validation and praise.

I think we forget too often that we need effective communication when things are good just as much as when they are bad. How you speak to your partner when things are positive is like filling the well that you can draw on when stress is high and you’re having disagreements.

If there’s anything everyone needs right now during this troubling time it’s more praise and validation. These are simple things you can do to build your partner up and create stronger bonds in your intimate relationship.

You can get more free content on relationship and sex tips by checking out my Youtube Channel - The Sex Healer

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.


Are you dating a narcissistic? 

Are you dating a narcissistic? 

 

Dating a narcissistic is complicated to say the least, whether the narcissist is your parent, partner, boss, or best friend. From what I have learned from my clients and my education, it is clear that there are some tell-tale signs of what it looks like to be associated with someone who is a narcissist or has narcissistic tendencies. 

Often narcissists will demonstrate obsession or idealization of the person. This person is usually on a pedestal and the narcissist will sing this person's praises (aka love bombing). The person gets significance from the narcissist and connection. The narcissist also gets significance through the adoration and admiration of the other person. This is a vital need for someone who is a narcissist. 

The relationship between the narcissist and the other person (often someone who is co-dependent, people pleaser, or a trauma victim) engage in this relationship as long as the non-narcissistic person continues to engage in the relationship in the same way. As boundaries are set or requests are made or attention shifts, the person who is engaging in narcissistic behaviors begins to disconnect from their partner or other person. 

The non-narcissist is now no longer perfect or idealized and the person with narcissism devalues and eventually discards the other person. Often at this point in the relationship the narcissist will increase behaviors such as gaslighting, crazy-making conversation, withdrawing, and seeking alternative ways to get their needs met (other friendship, partners, or family members). 

At times the person with narcissistic tendencies or with the personality disorder will self-sabotage creating circumstances where other people will abandon them due to their behavior (abusive or ethically questionable). Other times, the narcissistic person will disengage completely as to be the person in control and “to leave” before they are left. 

As long as the narcissistic person is getting their needs met of significance through someone elevating them and focusing on their needs they will continue the relationship. As soon as that need is not being met, the person will repeat the cycle. 

You can get more free content on relationship and sex tips by checking out my Youtube Channel - The Sex Healer

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.


Control consent

Keeping Control Over Your Right to Consent

Keeping Control Over Your Right to Consent

 

Staying in control over choice and consent is crucial to your long-term happiness. I encounter so many people who struggle with others imposing their will on them. 

They feel like the negative consequences of saying “no” outweigh their desire to exercise total free will.

Consent is one of the most important foundational blocks in an intimate relationship. 

Without it, it’s impossible to truly know your partner and even yourself. Real intimacy comes from vulnerability, and making a conscious choice to open yourself to another human being.

When consent is denied or withheld, it places a roadblock in front of the deep connection that love can provide. When given, it’s one of the best gifts you can give.

We all should fiercely guard control of our ability to give consent. 

That’s true of when we’re having sex and how we’re treated by others.

 

Control Over Choice Vs. Control Over Outcome

This is an important distinction when it comes to being a control freak. Let’s take physical intimacy as an example.

In bed, a lot of people are control freaks.

Control consent

They want to dictate how fast things happen, what positions you have sex in, what they go, no-go areas are, and how often you make love.

When this happens, control tilts into negative territory because it affects your partners and their ability to control their intimate experiences.

Real control, related to physical intimacy, comes when we set parameters and make choices willingly to engage in a mutual sexual experience. We’re controlling the situation, not the outcome.

We should fiercely guard control over our safety, what we feel comfortable doing, and who we’re doing it with. However, trying to control the outcome will only shortchange the experience. 

It won’t be as fulfilling as when you let the outcome develop naturally.

 

When to Put the Control Freak in Time Out

I meet with so many people who deny themselves sexual pleasure and close connection with intimate partners because they can’t let go of control. The act of controlling something is now controlling them!

We all need to work on keeping the control freak in check from time to time. It opens us to new sexual experiences and parts of intimacy we have yet to explore.

Dealing in absolutes over what you will and won’t do can be limiting. In cases where there is past trauma, that may be warranted. However, in a trusting and consensual relationship, hardlines aren’t conducive to great sex.

One of the greatest pleasures with sex is the exploration and development we all go through as we experiment and discover. You learn how you like to be touched, when to move fast and when to go slow, and what turns your partner on the most.

 

Letting Go of Control Can Be the Ultimate Freedom

Overcoming your inner control freak isn’t easy, especially when it comes to sex. The people most hell-bent on control often have the most difficult time sexually. They can’t get past their head and just enjoy the experience.

Progress with letting go of control and enjoying intimacy takes time. Progress comes in stages that are sometimes small victories over the years. Hopefully, you have a supportive partner and friends you can count on to help celebrate any forward movement.

Staying mindful of your mental state before, during and after sex can help. Try to take notice of how you feel before you have sex. Are you naturally resistant anytime your partner tries something new? Are you able to comfortably allow your partner to stimulate you to climax? Can you have a frank talk during or after sex about where you want to be touched and how?

Letting go of arbitrary boundaries or any shame you carry around sex in bed or during everyday life, is the true path to control. Instead of being a control freak about the little things, start freaking out over controlling the important things in life. Search for and find love and fulfillment through openness and exploration.

 You can get more free content on relationship and sex tips by checking out my Youtube Channel - The Sex Healer

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.


Polyamory: Jealousy vs Envy

Polyamory: Jealousy vs Envy

 

What’s the difference between jealousy and envy? We’re taught not to covet or desire something someone else has. It’s ok to aspire, but for generations, we’ve been warned against crossing the line into jealousy and envy.

Even though they’re often interchanged in common language, jealousy and envy aren’t the same. They have different meanings that matter greatly when it comes to our relationships.

Struggling with jealousy is something most couples deal with, but today we’re talking about how people in polyamorous relationships or who are considering polyamory.

 

What is Polyamory?

Polyamory is the practice of loving more than one person. Usually, when you’re in a polyamorous relationship, you’re connected to two or more people intimately, and often sexually. This isn’t a side piece or an illicit affair. All partners understand the basic guidelines of polyamory and adjust accordingly.

Polyamory is also commonly referred to as open relationships. On the most basic level, it’s when people feel they can’t restrict feeling attraction and connection to just one person. It’s not that they’re driven by simply the act of sex with other people, but want to enjoy the same love, support, and intimacy with multiple partners.

Bringing up polyamory always triggers mixed reactions. Depending on your age, belief system, how you were raised, current relationship status, and many other factors, you’re either eager to read on or questioning how on earth people navigate life like that.

Well, it’s not easy. But neither is staying in a committed monogamous relationship. The main difference is, instead of dealing with the emotions of one partner, you have to be aware of how you are affecting multiple people. When things are misinterpreted or miscommunicated in intimate relationships, it’s typical for people to get jealous or envious. Keep an open mind as we explore how jealousy and envy affect polyamorous relationships.

jealousy envy

 

Jealousy & Envy: What’s the Difference?

The main difference between envy and jealousy is that envy is when you want something that someone else has. You’re envious of how much attention your partner is giving someone else in a polyamorous relationship. You crave the time they’re spending with someone else or want to hoard or keep things you share between just the two of you.

With jealousy, there’s a fear of something being stolen or taken away from you. You guard things you care about closely to prevent them from slipping away. Jealousy in its worst form can turn nasty and even dangerous.

 

Navigating Envy in Polyamory

Envy strikes everyone in polyamorous relationships at some point. Both people new to polyamory and the seasoned pros struggle. Particularly for people who were in monogamous relationships opening up to polyamory, avoiding envy is a challenge.

Envy in open relationships is going to happen. The real issue is stopping it from damaging the relationships beyond repair.

One of the best things you can do to combat envy is to encourage frank and frequent communication. Partners who are afraid to express envious feelings can lose confidence in how other partners feel about them. Once they start questioning their footing in an open relationship, it can spell disaster for multiple people who care about them.

Remember, open relationships aren’t easy. Think about the times you’ve questioned your feelings and the feelings of your partner in past monogamous relationships. Now you’re dealing with a situation with much more fluidity and definitions that are new to most of society.

Keep an open mind, talk often, counsel with your therapist, and come to grips that envy will be there and that you can navigate it successfully.

jealousy envy

The Stain of Jealousy

Jealousy, not just for polyamorous relationships, can kill. When you or your partner is jealous, there’s resentment and a scarcity mentality that poisons the relationship between you and whoever else you’re in love with.

Jealous lovers are constantly comparing. They measure how much time you’re spending with other people in the relationship, how often you tell them you love them vs how frequently you say it to them. Who has a better sex life, and so on. It’s a constant practice of comparison that pits them against other people in the relationship.

Even in polyamorous relationships with clearly defined boundaries, feelings get hurt. Emotions change and so should your approach to how you deal with emotional reactions from your partners.

Comparison is the thief of joy, as they say. Jealousy will threaten to destroy your relationship if left unchecked.

 

Keeping Jealousy in Check

The worst thing you can do in a polyamorous relationship is to let jealousy run wild. So many couples just “have” a jealous partner. They laugh about it and avoid the issue by covering it up with humor or avoidance.

Eventually, though, jealousy will build until it craters your relationship. If you truly care about your jealous partner, you need to fight jealousy head-on.

Overcoming jealousy does not mean accommodating their negative behavior. If you respond to jealousy over time spent together by spending more time and sacrificing time with other partners, all you’re doing is reinforcing that jealousy will get them what they want.

Discussing jealousy should be done openly with as many partners as it’s affecting! You should also include your therapist in these discussions to guide you away from hurt feelings and any resentment.

 

Keeping Your Management Skills Sharp in Polyamory

A lot of Americans find great fulfillment in open relationships. In fact, among younger generations, it seems that moving into polyamory is saving relationships that have been on the rocks previously.

Monogamy certainly isn’t for everyone, but neither is polyamory. If you’re curious, give it a try, but you should be honest with yourself if you recognize that it’s not for you.

Many people are attracted by the thought of the multiples of love by connecting intimately and sexually with more people. However, enter with caution because you’re also managing a web of interpersonal relationships each with individual needs.

The best way to nourish an open, loving relationship is through constant feedback, encouragement, and acts of love. Find out what your partners respond to and do what you can to love them how they need to be loved.

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.


Sexual Cheat Sheet for Exhausted Couples

Sexual Cheat Sheet for Exhausted Couples

Sexual Cheat Sheet for Exhausted Couples

 

You may be surprised to hear that more and more men are seeking help from sexual therapists. These days more men are seeking sex therapy than women at our practice. 

The availability of sex therapy and more open attitudes around talking about sex and getting help have made men more comfortable seeking therapy. That’s a great thing!

In talking to many of the men I come in contact with, a lot of them express similar feelings with regards to intimacy challenges with female partners. They want sex more, they want it longer, and they sometimes feel like their wives, girlfriends, or partners don’t care as much as they’d like.

In long-term relationships, it can almost feel like you’re playing roles. One of you is more sexual, one is better with the finances. You might be a kid person, while your partner is better with fixing the sink.

It’s easy to fall into defined roles in all aspects of life, even with sex. However, the great news is that things aren’t so set in stone, and you can work with your partner to make things better.

Sexual Cheat Sheet for Exhausted Couples

The Ebb and Flow of Sexual Passion

Understand that passion, and certainly, sexual passion rests on a spectrum at any given moment. Think about your sexual desire. Sometimes you’re burning hot with desire for your wife or partner, and sometimes you’re not so on fire.

Think about a time when you’ve been apart for a longer period. Have you ever traveled for work or been away for more than a week? How do you feel if your wife comes out of the bathroom at night dressed in sexy new lingerie or asks you to use a vibrator on her? Chances are that your sex drive and desire for your partner experience a significant spike.

The point is, sexual desire is impacted by so many factors, internal and external. The way you and your partner feel, what’s happened to you during the day, how you’ve been treating each other recently, the way you look, and so many other things influence both of your interest in sex.

 

Understanding Male and Female Sexual Perception

The frustration that a lot of men have is they feel their female partners are just not into it. There are certainly genetic differences in humans when it comes to sex drive. The variance, though, is probably not as large between men and women as so many people believe.

Most men and women are simply programmed a bit differently. We also project our impressions on our partners, which isn’t always helpful.

A lot of women, for instance, believe their partners are only interested in quickies. So many women tell me their male partners are all about the climax, and that everything else is simply a garnish to them.

That, though, is a huge oversimplification about men's’ sexual motives. Most men want, certainly with their partners, engaging and loving sex that’s fulfilling to everyone involved.

Sexual Cheat Sheet for Exhausted Couples

Women, on the other hand, tend to be much more cerebral when it comes to sex. They have to be emotionally engaged and clear of the distractions we carry throughout the day.

Most of the time, women carry a great deal of emotional strain, worried about work, children, the house, and a million other things.

Adding initiating sex at the end of the day to that list can be exhausting. Additionally, many women struggle with not knowing what kind of sex they want or like.

What ends up happening is a lot of “duty sex”, where the male partner initiates, women obliged to please their partner, and everyone is a 6/10 on the happy scale.

 

Stoking Your Partner’s Passion for Sex

Things don’t have to be this way! Many of the women and men I work with come to realize that sex can be fun and deeply fulfilling for both partners. All it takes is some legwork to understand your partner’s sexual cues and doing the work to get in the right headspace.

For men, and I hate to generalize but this typically rings true, some grabbing and kissing, and a hand on their penis is usually all it takes to set the mood.

Women, though, are not so easy. Here are some ways you can help your female partner feel more comfortable about sex and initiating the type of sex she wants.

 

  1. Don’t always bring up sex right before you want to have sex

Find a time to talk about how your sex life has been going and what you want out of it. Telling your partner you’d like to try anal sex as you’re lying naked in bed isn’t the best approach. A partner will feel more comfortable getting feedback and talking about what they’d like if they are sure that you’re paying attention and not discussing it to serve your interests.

 

  1. Make-out more with nothing else

You and your partner may have settled into a pattern when both of you (or one of you) equate physical touch with initiating sex. Engage in some kissing and cuddling more often. Small investments over time will help build up your intimacy when sex happens.

 

  1. Share physical touch that is focused on her. THEN ASK HER ABOUT IT!

Find time to focus physical touch on her without you orgasming or anything like that. Invest the time in making her feel good about sexual touch and build trust that you’re interested in pleasing her.

After your “touch” sessions, ask her about it! Find out what she liked and didn’t like and use that to inform your interactions going forward.

 

  1. Share sexual touch that ends in orgasms for no one

This is another thing you can do to help your wife or partner feel more comfortable with touch and feel aroused. It helps a lot of women to know that you enjoy touching, kissing, and feeling her as much as you like having an orgasm.

 

  1. Encourage her to talk about her orgasm the next day. Use encouragement!

Remember to follow up on the times when sex is fantastic. Always offer more positive feedback than you think is necessary.

 

  1. Ask about sex dates you can commit to just her, and some dates that are all about you

Many women flourish when boundaries and intent are clear. If you’re both going into a weekend or a night away at a hotel knowing that it’s all about her, then she’ll be more likely to open up. She’ll also have the time to mentally prepare for the intimacy. The better things are for her, the better they’ll be for you when it’s your turn.

Recognize when your partner’s not up for the whole show and only wants a preview. These steps help but there’s so much more you can do! Over time, it will build trust and give her the space to feel comfortable initiating sex.

 

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.


Divorce Care – Why You Need a Therapist

Divorce Care – Why You Need a Therapist

 

Divorce is tough, there’s no getting around it. No matter how bad things get, and no matter how happy you might think you’ll be after it’s over, most people are woefully unprepared for the realities of divorced life.

It’s easy in the middle of screaming fights or after going months without sex to think about how great life will be once the divorce is final. We get seduced into dreaming about starting over in a new, perfect life.

What you don’t realize, though, is that when a marriage ends, a lot more goes out the door with it. Your life changes. Yes, you’re removing something that was potentially abusive and traumatic from your life, however, some positives get sacrificed on the altar of divorce every day.

Managing the disruptive ripples of divorce is one of the main reasons people need therapy during, and after, the process. Here are some of the ways a licensed therapist can help you deal with everything divorce entails.

 

Dealing with Social Rearrangement

Depending on how long you’ve been married, it’s hard to imagine what life will be like alone. A lot of times, we fall into this trap where we imagine our lives will revert to what it was like before we met our spouse.

We don’t account for how we’ve changed. Your priorities, career, age, and a whole bunch of other things are different. You might have kids, pets, and different friends.

divorce

Dealing with the social aspect of divorce can be trying, especially when we’re vulnerable and need to rely on friends. What happens when all of your friends are married couples that you met with your ex or soon to be ex-spouse?

You may go looking for a shoulder to cry on, only to discover that your “friend” has already chosen sides, and it’s not yours. You’re also going to have to manage your feelings when your friends want to maintain relationships with both of you even though you’re no longer together.

Losing friends is a part of divorce most people don’t think about.

 

What About All of the Logistics?

Therapists can be a “divorce coach” for all intents and purposes. Odds are, they’ve dealt with several divorcees in the past. They know what’s involved in the process.

A therapist can help you sift through the minutiae of divorce to help you make sure you’re not taken advantage of.

They’ll draw on other clients’ experiences to advise you on things you might be overlooking, like coming to an agreement over visitation rights, the right approach to dealing with in-laws after a divorce and splitting up your possessions.

Separating lives that have been intertwined for so long is extremely challenging. It’s also overwhelming. Dealing with the stress of divorce makes a lot of people want to throw up their hands and say, “Forget it!” over a lot of things that will matter to them down the road.

Divorce is one of the main causes of financial hardship. High legal costs, the long time it takes to unwind joint assets, having to sell your house quickly to settle your affairs, and other logistical decisions will have a huge impact on your life ahead.

Having a therapist who you can trust who’s dealt with divorce in the past can be a guide you can lean on for advice when things get rough.

 

Helping You Keep Your Kids Centered

It’s bad enough to go through a divorce, but it can be even worse when kids are involved. When you love your children so much, it’s hard to imagine not being able to see them every day or have total control over how they’re raised.

Children that go through a divorce all experience trauma to some extent. The separation of a family unit, no matter how amicable, is never the same.

divorce

Children also aren’t always the most understanding. They may not recognize that you need or needed a divorce to protect yourself and live happily. They may resent you for your decisions.

A therapist will help you work through a divorce and mitigate risks to your children and the relationships you have with them. It will keep you focused on considering their well-being even when they seem to be doing alright.

 

Therapists Can Help You Avoid Repeating Your Mistakes

In most divorces, couples share the blame. Yes, there are situations where a spouse is abusive or manipulative, and those certainly should end in divorce. Most, though, happens when a couple is no longer able to overcome resentment. Heels are dug in too deep and no one’s willing to give anymore.

What many people don’t realize, is that they assign the reason for their divorce to the individual to whom they were married. It was a difference of personality or you fell out of love.

So many things, though, drive us toward divorce. Whether it’s childhood trauma, failure to deal with our parents’ divorce, depression, shame, or some other issue, there are personal influences in all of us that contribute to divorce.

Therapists work with clients to identify obstacles to connection and any destructive patterns we repeat. Too many of my clients have felt like they just met the wrong person, and that they’ll get it right the next time around. Their ex was just a bad apple and they didn’t see it early enough.

Unfortunately, success rates for second and third marriages aren’t any better. They’re even worse. According to Psychology Today, second marriages end in divorce 67% of the time, and 73% of third marriages end in a split.

Perhaps, after one divorce, we’ve normalized separating a bit, so the idea of leaving is less taboo the second or third time around.

Working with a therapist can help you get to the root of issues holding you back from making a real connection and building loving relationships in the future. With hard work, you can break the pattern of mistrust, insecurity, shame, or whatever else is standing in your way.

You can get more free content on relationship and sex tips by checking out my Youtube Channel - The Sex Healer.

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists!

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.


When Is Porn Cheating? Identifying Porn Use That Crosses the Line

When Is Porn Cheating? Identifying Porn Use That Crosses the Line

 

Ooh, when someone asked me “is porn cheating” the other day, I thought “this is a touchy subject.”  

In the past ten years, I have seen this as one of most gender-divided topics that other-sex couples struggle with everywhere, and one that same-sex couples often disagree on. 

Does looking at porn constitutes infidelity or cheating?

Views on pornography are all over the place. It’s still a relatively new phenomenon in our society to have access to this material from any place at any time.

Before the internet, pornography was relegated to dimly lit adult stores, hidden in homes, or inside magazines. There was much more stigma around porn, and it was regulated. 

These days, pornography is everywhere. Any barrier to viewing and using porn is simply a formality.

Knowing this, you have to understand that you and your partner will be exposed to more pornography than ever before. It’s a fact we all have to deal with today.

How you view the use of porn will depend on your upbringing, religion, your views on the industry and also how you feel it affects the intimate relationship with your partner.

As usual, avoiding absolutes and working with your partner, with the help of a therapist if necessary, can help you both arrive at a place of love and understanding when it comes to porn.

 

Avoid Porn Shaming

On average, women are around two times more likely than men to report that they never use porn. It’s probably easy for people to understand why porn use is higher among men, yet that doesn’t mean women don’t view and enjoy pornography.

Let me just say it. Your partner has, is, or will likely use pornography at some point during their life.Is Porn Cheating

Realizing that now before you come across it on their phone or computer will save you some heartache when it happens. Any person that says they have not ever seen any pornography may be lying.

Knowing that there are a majority of individuals who have viewed porn at some point should deter you from taking a stern approach if you’re unsettled about your partner’s porn use. 

You may ask “is porn cheating?” and I would say that irregardless, the worst thing you can do is use shame as a motivator to try and change your partner’s behavior. 

 

That’s true with porn and just about every other scenario.

An understanding approach to dealing with pornography in a committed relationship or marriage will help both of you to be open and honest, as well as find a solution that hopefully works and contributes to trust between you. 

Even if there are bigger issues like porn compulsion, shame is not the way to get someone to change.

 

Do You REALLY Want to Know?

Don’t kid yourself about how you’ll feel when you find out what your partner is doing while you’re not looking. If you want to know what’s going on, you’re likely going to be surprised at how often your partner uses porn, much less what they are into online.

A lot of individuals approach watching porn online as a fun, stress-relieving activity. 

They might even be curious at times, searching for some far-out fantasy they have or a certain type of porn that’s not something the two of you have played around with in your intimacy.

How are you going to react if you discover your partner is really into watching threesome videos or bondage porn? 

DO NOT jump to conclusions thinking your partner is unhappy or that their porn viewing habits mean that they are unsatisfied with you. Because, that’s usually not the case.

It’s fine if you want to have an open conversation about porn with your partner, just be prepared for if, and that’s a BIG if, they’re completely forthcoming.

 

When Porn Use Crosses the Line 

Just like with many other things in a committed relationship, porn use crosses the line when it involves deception.

Omitting the truth about porn use can be a red flag. Not being truthful can lead to a slippery slope. It can push the boundaries of what one partner is willing to keep from the other.

We’re not talking about saying you watch porn “a few times a week,” when in fact it’s every day.

 

Is Porn Cheating

When taken to extremes, omissions of truth can help people justify hiding things like affairs or irresponsible financial decisions that impact both parts of a couple and the family system. 

Therapists deal regularly with people who are opposed to pornography for religious beliefs and other ideologies. For some people, it’s a redline that if crossed means a major betrayal of trust. 

That shouldn’t be taken lightly.

It’s hugely disruptive when you enter into a relationship with a common understanding that deteriorates over time. 

Even outside of pornography, imagine discovering your partner doing something both of you vowed to avoid when you committed to each other in the beginning. 

What if you’re against drug use and you find out that your partner loves smoking weed? Would it be a dealbreaker?

What if you thought your partner was satisfied, but really they have been faking orgasms with you a majority of the relationship? Would that justify a betrayal? 

 

So, Is Porn Cheating?

Porn is cheating when you’re actively hiding it from your partner. That means viewing it after you’ve told them you wouldn’t or when you hide it from them, so they don’t even THINK about needing to ask.

Cheating doesn’t always mean you’ve slept with someone else without permission. 

It means you violated the trust in your relationship and cheated on the spoken and non-verbal guidelines that are the foundation of the bond you have. It’s also a major issue if it takes away from your intimacy.

 

Open Communication Is Crucial

Our partners can be sensitive to our porn use, because of moral beliefs or finding out you’re looking at porn triggers insecurities in them. 

Am I not enough for you? What is it about me that isn’t filling that sexual hunger? If my partner is watching porn, will it eventually lead to an affair?

Is Porn Cheating

These concerns are not only legitimate, but doubly so if you or your partner are deceitful about pornography habits.

The solution to porn use, and most other relationship challenges, is open communication and honesty. Laying out the vulnerable parts of you on the table and finding a way to be on the same team and find a win together!

If you’re a porn user, don’t hide it. 

You don’t need to report every time you look at porn or masturbate, yet don’t project one image and then lead some sort of double life. 

If your partner is using porn and you’re concerned about it, try to have an open mind. Don’t be quick to make ultimatums or create shame. That can make things worse. WAY WORSE!

Encourage each other to be honest and accepting. Collaboration is the real key here. 

As you grow older and more mature in your relationship, hopefully fewer things will become real deal breakers, because you’ll realize we’re all human, and that comes with a lot of imperfection. However with imperfection and growth, there is potential for more beauty and greatness.

You can get more free content on relationship and sex tips by checking out my Youtube Channel - The Sex Healer

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.


Is My Relationship Over

Is My Relationship Over?

Is My Relationship Over?

As a sex therapist, I am often told stories and then asked “is my relationship over?”

This is a tough one. Knowing if, and when, your relationship is over is never easy. 

How could something that started so lovingly and bright decay into something where you are questioning is my relationship over?

Dealing with a struggling relationship is complex. Some moments you’re wishing you never met, and the next you remember good times in years past and wondering if it is salvageable.

Every relationship has some kind of volatility. Some ups and downs are great. 

They test our resolve and commitment to each other. 

Arguments and miscommunications are learning opportunities where you can examine your behavior and your partners, and work on self-improvement. 

Ideally, you’re with someone who pushes you to become better than you were before you met and opens you up to new experiences.

Is My Relationship Over

What happens when things aren’t so great? When the lows become more frequent, it can be harder to remember the highs.

 

The Slow Descent into Disconnection

Even in the more dire relationships, there are early warning signs that things aren’t right. It’s easy to look at something like infidelity and assign blame because it’s a climactic event. 

It’s disruptive and so in your face.

Many times, though, those issues are said to be an outward expression of inner sadness, anger, and disappointment that has festered for years. 

This doesn’t excuse any lying, coercive, or destructive behavior like unfaithfulness; it illustrates how many people are often unconscious to the turmoil that is within their relationships. 

What ends up happening, in my opinion, is that emotions seem to build even more, despite people saying or thinking they can handle the status quo of their romantic relationships.

 

When A Breakup is the Best Option

The bottom line is that some relationships won’t last. Just look at how many of us get divorced every year. No matter how much everyone says this is forever, some things fall apart. 

As relationships crumble, there are clear warning signs that you can either accept or choose to ignore.

Typically, when resentment and criticism become a staple of your communication, that’s a major red flag. 

You may also be giving each other the silent treatment more. If you spend hours in silence and are avoiding the conversations about the state of the marriage, your sexual relationship, your needs, and your feelings, you will lose out on years of intimate time together.

Is My Relationship Over

An obvious warning sign to answer “is my relationship over” is when both of you refuse to accept responsibility for something you may have done (or said) wrong because you’ve built up so much resentment that you refuse to accept blame. 

Either that or, sometimes you are so angry at your partner that you don’t care if you were wrong. 

When this happens, we are often at our most core inner triggers and family of origin attachment styles. 

 

The Importance of Self-Love

When you’re in a rough patch with your partner, depending on your personality, you may be tempted to accept an outsized portion of the blame. 

What happens, though, is that you endanger your sense of self-worth. Sacrifice in relationships is important, only to the degree that it does not interfere with your ability to meet your own needs. 

Do not put yourself in a situation where you may be doing long-term damage to your confidence and self-esteem. You may end up with a warped view of what love is.

In the face of willfulness, domestic violence, and more contempt, resentment, or criticism than you feel comfortable with for your own sense of self-worth, the best choice can be to walk away. 

However cliché this sounds, letting someone go can be a true expression of love. 

After all, what’s worse, letting them and yourself free, or taking both of you down in flames, along with your family and friends, to the bitter end?

The thought of separation from a long-term partner or someone you loved so deeply once is often terrifying. 

It’s hard to see now that ending a relationship can lead to happiness in the future.

 

When It’s Worth the Fight

I’ll say this, as a systemic therapist and working in the field of trauma, I do not believe any romantic relationship is irreparable if everyone is willing to work on it. 

Everything can be fixed as long as you’re willing to put in the effort. 

Know this, though, that fighting to save a relationship that many people from the outside looking in would say is over may be like clawing your way out of quicksand. 

When things become so dire that you think breaking up is around the corner, walking yourself away from that edge can be very difficult.

It’s all about whether you’re willing to change, and that goes for your partner too. 

How can you bring yourself to express love to your partner when it’s been months or years since they gave you any sort of affirmation? 

How can you apologize for something that hurt your partner when you feel like you’ve done nothing wrong and are just trying to get your own needs met? 

Is My Relationship Over

Resolving differences in a relationship that’s on life support is multiples harder than what any securely-attached and more integrated couple has to deal with. 

There are layers of built-up resentment, insecurities, and hurt feelings to navigate. The key is whether each of you is willing and capable of taking small, meaningful steps toward reconciliation.

If there is a sincere effort, little by little, acts of goodwill, physical affection, acts of service, and other expressions of love will start creeping back in.

Repetitive positive changes of behavior build trust. However, if it took you years to get to this place, you have to know it will take time to get out!

The real concern is whether enough goodwill can be built up in time before the next storm hits and you face conflict, which inevitably will happen again.

If you and your partner have both experienced trauma and you are asking “is my relationship over,” the stakes appear much higher. 

There is rarely a bank of understanding where each of you has been making deposits for years. 

One mistake triggers whatever trauma the both of you have been through, and then resentment and criticism threaten to rise again like flames out of a volcano (it’s that Pele energy).

 

How Your Therapist Can Help

Working with a licensed therapist won’t solve all of your relationship problems overnight. 

It’s no panacea that will transport you and your partner instantly back to the good old days when things were romantic, deep, and exciting.

A competent therapist can help you come to grips with what you’re feeling, which will guide you towards greater understanding. 

When you understand who you are and what you’re feeling more, it helps generate the determination to make decisions that will benefit you.

If that means getting out of a relationship with no heartbeat, then so be it. Sometimes that has to happen for you to be who you need to be. 

And, if greater understanding can help you hang on, and ultimately improve, a relationship you still want and cherish, then a therapist can help facilitate the healing that needs to take place.

You can get more free content on relationship and sex tips by checking out my Youtube Channel - The Sex Healer

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.


Eye Contact Exercise

Eye Contact Exercise for Erotic Couples

Eye Contact Exercise for Erotic Couples

 

Eye contact exercises are part of the key for developing strategies you need to guarantee your Sexual Satisfaction!

So, today, we will answer how to use eye contact exercise for sexual satisfaction with another.

I’m so glad that you are interested in joining us in this topic of eye contact exercises.

In this video, I’ll be answering: what is an eye contact exercise and how to use eye contact exercises in your sex and love life.

We hope you will take some of this advice to use for your own sexual fun with eye contact exercises!

Amanda Pasciucco, an AASECT certified sex therapist and owner of Life Coaching and Therapy, shares her tips to success! Watch now! Amanda has been featured multiple times on CNN, PornHub, Men’s Health, Hartford Courant, Playboy, Maxim, Daily Mail, HeadSpace, and more!

HOW TO GET OVER SEXUAL ANXIETY FOR MEN

LEARN HOW TO GET THE PERFECT VAGINA!

VIDEO ON COMMUNICATING YOUR SEXUAL DESIRES!

 

DOWNLOAD OUR FREE EGUIDE “THE PLEASURE PRACTICE”

https://lifecoachingandtherapy.com/ ←HERE

-Learn How to Unleash Your Self Pleasure and Transform Your Sex Life!-

 

NEW VIDEOS EVERY WEDNESDAY AT 9 PM EST

 

Say hi on social:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thesexhealer

Instagram: http://instagram.com/thesexhealer

 

You can get more free content on relationship and sex tips by checking out my Youtube Channel - The Sex Healer

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.


shameless sex

Shameless Sex

Shameless Sex

 

There’s no doubt about it, shameless sex is complex. 

Sex can range from a random fling with someone you met online to intimacy that creates the deepest connection possible.. 

No matter what kind of sex you’re having, there’s often a lot of emotion involved. Even the “casual sex” you think you’re having has something deeper at work.

Whether it’s a want for connection, a desire to outwardly express love, for kicks (or even revenge), sex is about more than just the act of genitals. 

We’re driven by a need to fill a part of us emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, and physically through the “feel-good hormones” that get pumped into our body after lustful, intimate, or sexual connection. 

After sex sometimes feels complicated. 

Have you ever sat and thought about how you’re feeling after sex? 

Unfortunately, a lot of people, for several reasons, feel shame during and after sex. Shame can be a debilitating condition that hampers your ability to enjoy sex and experience everything it can give you.

 

How Sex Education Impacts Our Attitudes About Intimacy

It’s normal for all of us to have grown up in a more conservative environment than the one in which we live now. People’s ideas about morality and sex become more open as they expose themselves to new ideas. It takes time to overcome and discard the narrow thinking of the past.

You may have grown up in a conservative religious home where sex was taboo and not a conversation to be discussed. Abstinence may have been the only option, so you learned to view sex as forbidden. 

The people in your immediate circle – your parents, friends, mentors, and teachers – are more likely to have shared similar beliefs, so there wasn’t much in the way of information to be had.

Without proper preparation, you may not have been ready when you started to encounter sex. Sexual thoughts and acts may have been something you kept in secret. 

Many religious people grow up having to hide even masturbation, something we know now is normal and almost completely universal.

When we associate sex with something bad or shameful, it warps our ability to connect and on a much more basic level enjoy sex! 

It can take years of therapy and so many ups and downs to overcome the feelings of guilt and shame we carried for years.

 

The Difference Between Shame and Guilt

We need to make a distinction here that shame does not equal guilt. They often get bunched together, but they’re very different.

shameless sex

Guilt can be a positive emotion because it helps us adapt and correct harmful or detrimental behavior. It can drive us to become better and push us away from negativity. 

Shame, on the other hand, isn’t a helpful emotion. 

With shame, we veer into the territory of letting our mistakes or something bad that’s happened to us define who we are. Instead of recognizing something we did was bad, we become bad.

Shame can be debilitating. It can trigger anxiety that affects the way we think and interact with those around us. If you’ve struggled with shame in the past, there’s a good chance you’ve struggled with shame in the bed as well.

 

The Baggage We All Carry

The moment we realize that every person we have sex, and every time we have sex, we carry with us certain attitudes and thoughts about who we are and what we’re doing. Baggage can range from something horrible like childhood or sexual trauma to other issues like poor body image.

So often, we let baggage define us. It’s who we feel we are deep inside despite whatever image we project to a one-night stand or our committed partners. Overcoming baggage and identifying shame is so important to enjoying sex. Whether you’re trying to simply have fun and get off, or you long for meaningful eye contact as you make passionate love to someone you love, shedding the shame can give you the permission you need to let loose and enjoy sex.

 

Shameless Sex Through Self-Compassion

Self-compassion is a gigantic step we can all take to drop our baggage approach sex more positively. After all, isn’t it time you cut yourself a break?

We tend to take things so seriously, even sex. Have you ever been in bed and listened to some of the negative thoughts that seem to race through your head? “Is he disappointed in my body?” “I’m worried I won’t be able to orgasm.” “Why am I so tense?” When we’re having what should be an amazing experience, we’re busy shooting ourselves down.

Self-compassion, on a very basic level, means cutting yourself a break! Instead of letting the way you feel define you as a person, you put them in a box labeled just what they are, “something you experienced once”. It’s a practice during which we focus on forgiving ourselves for whatever we did or happened to us.

 

Rejecting Shame and Embracing Shameless Sex

If you have trouble relaxing during sex or feel shame about your body, then reading this article isn’t going to solve your problem. You know by now that shame isn’t something you abandon. It’s usually buried deep and digging it up takes work.

Working with a licensed therapist can help you recognize shame and other detrimental emotions that prevent you from enjoying sex and other aspects of your life.

Don’t worry, you’re here because you know sex should be fun and something enjoyable.

Shameless sex is something a lot of us aspire to and are working earnestly towards. Stop thinking that something is wrong with you and that one magic day all of your problems and shame around sexual issues will disappear.

Experiencing shameless sex starts with the desire to get better.

Shameless sex for people who have wrestled with shame in the past is something we’re constantly working on. We learn how to forgive ourselves for being human and maybe even laugh at ourselves once in a while. It’s all part of the process of approaching sex is a more realistic, positive way.

You can get more free content on relationship and sex tips by checking out my Youtube Channel - The Sex Healer

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.