relationships

5 Steps to De-Stress Your Holidays

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Are you done with feeling stuck like a 12 year-old when you go ‘home’ for the holidays?

All those family expectations, and roles we fall into, are draining. Somtimes it happens when we aren’t even aware of it. What if you didn’t have to get drawn into everyone else’s emotional chaos and you could choose how you wanted your family time to go?

You can.

De-Stress the Holidays

Here are 5 practical ways to maintain your peace and reclaim who you want to be.

  1. Practice daily self-care and check-in with your feelings.

    This could look like a five-minute step outside to get a deep breath and release tension. You have to be intentional and continue to validate what’s important to you. It’s okay to meet your own needs.

  2. Bust relationship triggers before they occur so they can’t derail you.

    This means you need to antiicpate Aunt Beth’s caring, but overly inquisitive interest in your love life. (See one-liners below.)

  3. Empower healthy boundaries for your time and energy.

    You don’t have to attend 3 dinners in one day. Even if your family doesn’t understand your new choices, you’re only responsible for you.

  4. Personalize ‘one-liner redirects’ to take the pressure off.

    Responses like, “Thanks for sharing.” “I’ll get back to you.” “What do you think I think about that?” will politely acknowledge the interaction but provide a way for you to not reveal any more than you are comfortable with.

  5. Create your own traditions that support your sense of happiness.

    The holidays (even if you’re going through a big transition) can still be a special time. Find little ways to capture meaningful moments.

Remember, being the authentic you is the best gift you can give yourself. And when you are at peace and fulfilled, that is the best gift you can give eveyone else.

Happy Holidays!

#metoo Discovery on a Bike Ride

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Can You See the Light at the End of the Tunnel?

That question took on new meaning for me last week. I was up in the mountains of Montana on the Hiawatha Bike Trail. The views were spectacular. The weather conditions, perfect.  I’d been on the trail before, a few years ago, so I gave hardly a thought to the preparations, plus, I was going with a large and well-equipped group.

But, there were several things I had not taken into consideration.

My helmet didn’t fit well. I had not gotten used to the gears on this rental bike. I’d experienced a broken ankle and 5 months of not walking since my last bike trip here.

Why do I bring this up and how does it fit into a ‘sex and intimacy’ themed coaching? Stay with me to find out.

The first of the 9 tunnels, on the 15-mile trail, was 1.6 miles long. Pretty impressive. The idea of it certainly charged me up. (I’ve been known to do a few challenging things in my career, like direct a ropes course 40 feet in the air, in both KY and CO.) But for the most part, I was motivated by the opportunity of a change of pace and scenery to gain a fresh perspective on what God was speaking to my heart.

Shortly into the tunnel, things were going okay. I was with a small group of riders. I could hear their cheerful voices and see the overshot light of their headlamps. I acclimated to the darkness. It felt cool with the drips of condensation falling on my arms, and a bit thrilling to ride into the ‘unknown’.

But minutes later something different happened.

The group pulled ahead of me. I realized my own headlamp was not pointed directly in front. My vision became obstructed by the dimness. Then, I noticed the road not only had potholes in the gravel but also, it wasn’t flat. The center was a bit mounded. It sloped down on both sides to an edge with an 18” concrete drop off, to collect the dripping water and rain flow if it occurred.

Are you getting the picture of where I might be going with this now?

As I rode on, the nagging thoughts about my limited vision, uneven pedaling (due to the poorly adjusted gears), and realization of no place to pull over to realign, finally got to me. I began to lose my balance, drift down the sloping side, then overcorrect with the handlebars, which made everything worse. I picked up speed, zigzagged towards the side and thought, “Oh, my gosh! I’m gonna crash right here in the worst possible place for me AND everybody else behind me still riding this way.”  This went on for a short eternity. Back and forth, jiggling and bumping over the gravel, in the dimness.  At the last possible second, I put my foot down and caught myself before skidding into the concrete drop off.  I was relieved to not crash, but I was still in the tunnel, still in the darkness, and now my adrenaline was soaring. I felt even more encumbered.

How on earth was I gonna make it all the way through?

My plan of action was to slow down and just do what I could do. Thankfully, the next small group of riders came up and one of the guys went in front of me and shone their light. Whew! There was another wave of relief, but I still could not see the light at the end of the tunnel, figuratively or literally.

I began to pray silently and try to relax.

I knew my tension was not making anything any easier. And, I kept pedaling. As much as I wanted it all to stop immediately, as much as I was slightly embarrassed and still slightly afraid, I had to keep on going. In my head, the tunnel had to end at some point, if I could just keep going.

And then it happened.

Way in the distance, the light began to appear. I was instantly encouraged. Truly, I could see the tiniest bit of daylight peeking through. I couldn’t take my eyes off the dimly lit gravel path in front of me, but I was aware the light was there. It was such an encouragement.

What followed next though, caught me by surprise the most.

As the light grew, and the outline of other riders began to be more noticeable I thought it would all be over ASAP. With every rotation of the pedal, I thought surely we are there now, but it wasn’t so at all. One of the riders nearby called out, “Halfway mark!” and my heart sank. I was not out of the dark yet. Even though I could see the light, even though I had people around me, and even though I knew daylight and safety awaited me, I still had more work to do… mostly in my head, but also compelling my body forward, to ride that final stretch.  

And, so I did.

I came out the other side. Took some pictures, got a drink of water, adjusted my helmet and my gears and began the rest of the ride, enjoying the stunning evergreen vistas and waterfalls.

But there’s one more part to my story, which will explain the whole reason I share this experience.

After dinner that night, we met with friends to recap the day. Everyone was telling their best stories and the mood was light. I didn’t want to be a downer for the scene, but I did want to lightly reflect on my thoughts. I described that first tunnel (I had to ride through 8 more, but none of the subsequent tunnels were as long or precarious). I spoke of my surprise about traversing the mounded gravel road, in the dark with poorly adjusted gears and helmet, and how it had been more of a challenge than I wanted or expected.

And here’s where the beautiful ‘ah-ha’ moment took place.

My friend, who had also been on the trail with me, said, “I didn’t know you were experiencing that, too. I thought it was just me.”  And right then and there, each one of us was validated and supported. Our thoughts and feelings were honored and affirmed. She knew she wasn’t the only one.

This was the best kind of #metoo.

Here’s my point- the paths we take in life are sometimes not what we wanted or expected. Especially in regards to sex and intimacy, there can be slippery slopes, and long patches of darkness, plus the feeling of not being able to do anything but KEEP ON GOING. And though we know in our head that it’s just a season, there will be light at the end somehow, still,

...we have to keep on going.

So, for any woman who reads this, you don’t have to stay in that scary and uncertain place of darkness, sexually.

~If you’ve experienced belittling, manipulation, or distorted views about intimacy (even through the church) this is your light at the end of the tunnel.  

~If you’ve never been comfortable sharing what’s going on in your marriage, even though you know it’s just not right, this is your light at the end of the tunnel.

~If you’ve had sexual abuse or trauma in your past and it feels like you just can’t get over it, but you want to, this is your light at the end of the tunnel.

That’s my story, too.

God restored my heart and brought me to a place of happy and healthy relational intimacy. HE can do that for you, as well. I can ‘ride’ with you, shine the light, and help you through to a safe place to receive His acceptance, to love yourself with His love, and to create a future, full of confidence to be YOU.

Wow! Just how much would that impact your intimacy in your relationship?!!  

If this is you, and I know it’s many of you, let’s talk. You never have to feel trapped, in the dark, and unable to make the realignment and adjustments you want and need.  Email me and we’ll explore just how I can help you. hello@marywhitmanortiz.com

I dedicate my harrowing tale to you and declare a NEW trail is in your future.

What is "Step 1" to Create Emotional Intimacy?

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“I just want him to know me and do things that are meaningful to me.”

Seems simple enough, right?! But actually, that is a very high level of empathy and takes a lot of learning (and desire) to get there. What do I mean?

1. Cognitive Empathy is the first level.

It’s the ability to understand another person’s perspective AND to stop telling them how they should do it ‘your’ way.

That’s HUGE!

When we remember our opinion is only ONE opinion and other opinions have EQUAL value, it fuels connection, which fuels intimacy, which makes it ‘safe’ to be vulnerable, which creates the right tone for sexual intimacy in marriage to be the blessing God designed it to be.

2. Emotional Empathy, at the next level, allows you to ‘feel’ what another person feels.

This is NOT logical. There is a tremendous amount of work to get to this place. Identifying your own feelings is ONLY the result of very intentional observation and assessment. Identifying what someone else is feeling and CHOOSING to feel that with them, WOW!! This is such an act of love.

This empathy process is completely FOREIGN to so many people. Maybe even your husband.

3. Empathetic Concern is the high level that will actually sense what another person needs from you… and will CHOOSE to give that.

Can’t you see God’s love at work?! This is what dying to self is really supposed to look like. It says, “I honor me because God made me in His image. And I honor others because they are also made in His image.”

If you want your guy to just know what you want and give it to you without even being asked, well, you are expecting a lot from him. Are you doing the same in return?

The good news is… Empathy can be learned.

Empathy will make EVERY relationship better. Empathy gets easier the more you practice it.

The first step to empathy is to understand another person’s perspective. It starts with questions like this, “Would you explain that to me again so I can better understand you?”

Remember, the Golden Rule is to treat others as you would like to be treated, but the Platinum Rule is a bit different. It says to treat others like they want to be treated.

Wishing you happy trails down the beautiful, yet winding path towards Empathy.

When Your Normal is 'Off' How is Your Relationship Impacted?

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Let's say you have a new influence on your every day life. Maybe your in-laws are visiting, your husband is out of town, or your child is sick. Those can all be stressors. You love the people in your life and want to be there for them, but if your ‘normal’ is off, you need to something about it. Something healthy and good.

First, identify that you don’t feel like yourself.

You need to separate your feelings from the actual events that are taking place. Are you sad about being ‘left out’ of a fun trip (even if it's for his work)? Are you irritated about having to give up your plans to provide the extra comfort your child needs? Are you frustrated that your husband slips back into ‘son’ role when his parents are in town and he minimizes his interaction with you?

Next, determine what you want to do about the situation.

Do you want your husband to listen and validate your feelings? Do you want him to brainstorm with you for some ‘us’ time even during this 'off' season? Do you want him to hear your heart while you repent for some selfishness or insecurity?

Last, find a way to include him in your journey.

Should you dump your rambling thoughts while the emotion is still intense? Should you tell him you need to ‘talk’ knowing that might make him ill at ease in anticipation? Should you diffuse yourself, share a snippet, and set-up an agreed upon time to share?

Relationships are living entities, forever changing, adjusting and providing opportunities for vulnerability and trust.

The process starts with getting your 100% value and identity from God. Then, you have to know and love yourself. After that, if mutual respect and understanding is the goal, you can find a healthy choice that keeps your emotional intimacy close.

Choosing to learn, while you’re in the middle of an ‘off normal’ season, is the hope that pulls you through to the next better place in ‘us’.

Be Brave!

“How does he love me?” In all the ways I teach him how.

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Do you know what love feels like… to you?

 If you haven’t formulated that in your own thoughts there is no way you will know If he is doing that, so you won’t be able to respond well to him. You also won’t be able to encourage him to continue.  That is a lose-lose scenario, but you can do something about it.

Love is experienced when needs are met.

Do you know what your needs are? Have you given yourself ‘permission’ to need? There’s a way, time and place to ask, to express yourself in a nonjudgmental tone.  That’s how you’ll be heard the best. Love is not a default way of living, but it’s worth all the work it takes to make it come true.

Knowing your love language is a great place to start.

Each person has a natural way of giving and receiving love. That will give you a heads-up about what makes you feel special and cared for. Then you step out of your comfort zone to learn his language, too. Here’s a link to an online assessment. http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/

So,with the LOVE month upon us, you may want a bit more attention from your guy. Remember, It’s actually okay to teach him how to love you. It doesn’t make it any less valuable or personal. It starts with a goal of wanting more connection. When you know and love yourself you can invite others to do the same.

Is it more difficult to manage sexual purity before marriage or healthy sexuality afterward?

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Your sexuality is a treasure entrusted to you by God. How you manage it lies in your hands.

If you’re single, your sexuality might be on your mind… a lot. The attraction, the excitement, the longing… the decisions on how to handle it. It’s a BIG deal! Everyday!

If you’re married, how often is your sexuality on your mind? Are you finding mutually desirable ways to meet your needs? Are you staying in touch with what makes you come alive? Are you choosing to create the time to transition to intimacy?

~You are the only one entrusted with your sexuality.~

Does the health of your sexuality right NOW reflect how well you treasure it?

Single Ladies

As a single lady, do you let the guy make all the decisions about how you treat your sexual identity? NO! You decide:

~How you will honor your values

~How you will respect God’s blessings for you

~How you will let integrity have a louder presence than feelings

Married Ladies

So married ladies, what are the decisions you make regarding your sexual identity? Does it all revolve around your husband?

Don’t go crazy on me! I’m not saying involve other men besides your husband. Whew! Nope, that’s not where I’m going. My point is…

if men don’t define you before marriage, why would they define you after marriage?

Is this an intriguing topic to you? Hear ALL about the “Whys” and “Why Not-s”. Walk away with some fresh tips. 

Tuesday, Sept 5th at 6:30 EDT.

Join us for the LIVE event.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/GodlyGirlTalk/

~Married ladies, you are the one making the decisions regarding your sexual identity.~

 

What Happens When We Know What We Want, What We Really, Really Want? (Part 4)

Knowing how to ask for what you want can be separated into 4 categories: People, Place, Time, Words

People

Ask yourself, “What people have I invited into my inner circle because they have shown me (by their behavior) that I am valued and safe?” If you TRUST them (you feel respected and believe in their integrity), then you can consider if they are someone with whom you want to build a deeper relationship. Sharing ‘what you want’ with them has the potential to grow your relationship.

 

Place

Once you’ve determined who you want to share with, you can consider an ideal location. This needs to be free from extra distractions (like kids in-and-out and sports on the TV) and full of options for comfort that would put you both at ease (like refreshments and pleasant seating). It can happen most anywhere, on which you both agree.

 

Time

The time focuses on when and how long you share. Picking a mutually agreeable time (usually not first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening) and committing to a limited amount of time (maybe 30 minutes max) will make the process easier. As you build on these kinds of experiences you can say more in less time and almost spontaneously go to a deeper level of communication.

 

Words

“I” statements are the least threatening way to reflect on your concerns. This relieves the other person of feeling judged or blamed. If you have an idea about a common issue, you could use phrases like, “I’m puzzled when you ________” or “I have a concern about _____and a request to change it to____”. Concentrate on your perspective, because the goal is to bring understanding.

 

Assertiveness will grow with you as you put it into practice more and more. As long as the goal is bringing your whole self to the situation (and not being bossy or sassy) then it’s actually very respectful and freeing for the both of you.

 

If this still seems to be a bit much to manage because of a backlog of negative messages that affect your self-esteem and confidence, I have another service to offer.

 

Build Your Self-Esteem

 

“Self-Value Transformation Empowerment Day” is a one-to-one ALL day coaching session. There is time to identify your feelings and fears, release the lies that have limited you and replace them with God’s truth about your identity. This is led in a relaxing, beachside setting at Jacksonville Beach, FL or virtually, at your convenience, through SKYPE.

For all the details go to: http://www.marywhitmanortiz.com/self-value

 

Let’s book your day and bring transformation, healing and freedom to your heart and relationships.      

Why don't We KNow What We Want, What We Really, Really Want (Part 3)

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This could be your ‘come to Jesus day’, because our first step involves knowing WHY you VALUE yourself. I believe we are made in God’s image, that HE loves us immensely (enough to send His son in our place to open the door to amazing fellowship with Him), and HE wants only good for us. But if that’s not your point-of-view, then fill in the blanks for how and why you value yourself. Are you ready?

 

1.       Value Yourself

        Choose to accept God’s love, to believe that HE accepts you JUST as you are, and HE has a plan for your future filled with His love and goodness. To really learn more join me for “Beauty in the Mirror: How to Value Yourself and Create Healthy Emotional Connections” http:www.marywhitmanortiz.com/self-worth

 

2. Hear Your Heart

Let the world stop long enough so you can release those hurts, confusions, and frustrations. Recognize what you’re FEELING, not ‘thinking’. Download a list of feelings (or contact me for a through inventory of feeling words (hello@marywhitmanoritz.com).

Don’t worry, it’s not just you. As a society we’ve gotten away from this process. We all walk around numbing, stuffing and ignoring our feelings. But it hurts us physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

You can change all of that NOW!

 

3.       Recognize Your Needs and Wants

Maybe you’re lonely because there’s a holiday coming up and you don’t have anyone to be with.  You need friendship or a listening ear. Maybe you’re sad because you’ve gotten some bad health news and you need comfort or companionship. Maybe you’re scared because work tensions are growing and you may have to leave. You NEED close friends and family you can trust with your concerns and heart issues.

 

That brings us to the final part in this series. “How to Ask for What I Need” will open your eyes to big picture topics like boundaries, and to relationship skills like knowing the love language you and your close friend have. 

Consider learning more about your relationships by taking a Prepare and Enrich on-line assessment with detailed feedback from me as your facilitator.

      bit.ly/2oMMKPO

 

Does this seem like work? It could be. But is it worth it? Are YOU worth it? YES! YES! YES!

Do You Know What You Want (What You Really, Really Want?)

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If you knew what you wanted… what you really, really wanted… how would that help you?

 

Is it all about getting your way? Is it to control other people and make your life easier, even happier? Is that the connotation we have sometimes when it comes to people freely expressing themselves and their requests?

 

Unfortunately, knowing what you want AND how to ask for it can be seen as a negative characteristic. But, when used in the best possible way, it’s a win-win-win. It actually produces self-confidence which makes everyone involved not only more comfortable but also more productive!

 

Let’s dive into that a bit more.

 

Being assertive means-

 

  •  I know what’s going on inside of me.

 

  • I’ve identified my feelings.

 

  • If I have a need, I can ask for it intentionally.

 

Just think about how much peace is created when we take responsibility for our needs (either by fulfilling them ourselves or with others). No more wondering what’s bothering you, how to get past a yucky feeling, or shutting down due to being overwhelmed.

 

And in personal relationships- how welcoming would it be to squelch the drama and just have meaningful conversations with reduced fear and a common goal of respecting and supporting one another?!!  Wow! Such a tremendous goal!

 

Knowing what you want… what you really, really want…  transforms your communication into something filled with PEACE, CLARITY, and RESPECT.

Stay tuned to find out ‘why we don’t usually choose assertiveness’, and the ‘step by step process to develop a healthy assertiveness lifestyle”.  And, a boundaries and love languages combo to bring it all together. Parts II, III and IV to follow.

When Pleasing Others Sells Your Soul

This is not the story I always dreamed of writing. But it is the story that needs to be told.

 

I found myself deeply buried in a cycle of being in the dog house because I wasn’t pleasing to my husband. It’s not that I spent too much money. It’s not that I was a nag. No, my ‘dog house’ sentence was because I didn’t want sex the same way he did.

 

I resisted sex. Not because I didn’t like it. My hormones were A-Ok. My female plumbing was in great condition. No, I resisted sex because I felt so belittled and used. There was no closeness, no warmth, and no sweet words. It was ALL about a physical act with a biological result. I was just a body; actually, I was his body. He told me that Scripture said I belonged to him.

My body was not my own, so I was obligated to fulfill his demands.   

 

During sex, I had to disassociate from being there.  I had to perform to be a pleasing, godly wife, but he didn’t want my heart.   How could I please him AND protect my heart at the same time? I couldn’t.

 

The day after didn’t provide a warmth or closeness, either.  Yes, there was the chemical release that made me feel drawn to that moment, but that was secondary. The primary focus was on the short-lived period of being free of his demands and able to think for me.

 

Unfortunately, when his sex tank was full I was then displaced, not pursued, and not needed.

And although the break was something I lived for, at the same time the dismissal was devastating. His absence interpersonally communicated rejection and abandonment. I wasn’t wanted. How could I be happy about being unwanted?

 

And so my perpetual doghouse lifestyle continued… damned if I did and damned if I didn’t.

 

Later it was revealed he had a clinically diagnosed addiction to porn. That explained a lot. His lack of intimacy was conditioned by the interaction he had with internet porn. Real people and real relationships require connection. Images on a screen do not.  

 

God walked me through much recovery and healing. I found a way of living that embraced my own heart, provided FREEDOM to be all God called me to be, and opened doors for the true love I had longed for, for decades.

 

My story goes from dark to light. Will yours?

 

I help women embrace God’s design for love, sex, and intimacy. This includes recovery from sexual trauma and dysfunction. If your story is at all like mine, let’s find a path to your wholeness together.   

 

There is a place of peace and confidence in God that says, “I am beautiful and chosen in Your eyes.” Through Inner Healing Prayer Ministry and other tools you can embrace your beautiful and strong heart.

3 Must Have Communication Tips Even When Connection Is Distant

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Every time I go to church I sense…  she’s here.

She’s crying out to God, feeling alone in the midst of the crowd, and wondering and fearing about what might happen.

Broken hearted, she hopes her husband will want to do something with her (for them), but she can’t even put into words what she wants.

 It gets all too emotional when she talks.

The pain is so great she can’t be objective

If she brings it up, the conversation turns into another cycle of confusion, rejection and more hurt.

 

Why doesn’t she know how to talk to him… anymore?

What would she even say if everything was just right to be heard?

How can she get herself ready to have the most important talk of her life?

 

If having a more meaningful relationship is your hope and dream here are some must have tips.

 

  1. Recognize that God is your source in every way. I love thinking of the comfort and refuge He provides in Psalms 91 as I pull up my own comforter and snuggle in bed.  “Ahhh…” I’m hiding under the shadow of His wing.

  2. Create a new pattern of listening to your thoughts… when you aren’t in stress. Identify your feelings and recognize what events trigger both pleasant and uncomfortable feelings. Be a student of yourself, so you can better share what’s going on inside.

  3. Prioritize the concerns you need to communicate. Consider the best setting (free of distractions, agreeable by both) and set the tone with beverages or snacks of choice. Be calm and frame your words with “I feel _____ when ____ happens and I’d rather feel _______.”

There are many other communication tips, but this is a great foundation.

When distance and damage in an emotional connection drains you in every area of your life, you will have to intentionally address the hurt and develop new ways to connect. Although it may feel awkward and unnatural at first, you can create loving ways to feel close… again.

Secrets to Unlock and Engage Your Intimacy

  Greater Intimacy = Greater Sex   That may sound appealing, but how can you make it happen? Intimacy can feel like a vague goal that you never know if you are getting nearer to. And even if some days seem like there's more closeness between you and your man, is there a way to make it consistent? YES!!        Intimacy is Intentional!   Through conscious and realistic steps you can grow the bond in your marriage. By putting into practice daily, weekly, and monthly actions, you WILL produce a sweeter connection.   Learn the Secrets to Unlock and Engage Your Intimacy!   #1 Determine what you want  Men are not mind readers (women aren’t either), so your husband won’t automatically know what you want. Plus, if you have not pre-determined what the ‘love-making of your dreams’ looks like to you, then you won’t recognize it, appreciate it, or sustain it when it happens. Make sure that what you want is something realistic you will actually do.   * Create a time and space to check in with yourself and begin to define the intimacy you want.  * Identify and release your feelings over any frustration or hurt in your sex life (past and present).  * Allow yourself the freedom to hope for the future. Invite God into your journey.  Stay tuned to catch all 5 secrets. It's God's desire for you to know soul-satisfying happiness in your relationships. With a little courage and persistence, you'll be on your way to wedded bliss.              

Greater Intimacy = Greater Sex

That may sound appealing, but how can you make it happen? Intimacy can feel like a vague goal that you never know if you are getting nearer to. And even if some days seem like there's more closeness between you and your man, is there a way to make it consistent? YES!!   

Intimacy is Intentional!

Through conscious and realistic steps you can grow the bond in your marriage. By putting into practice daily, weekly, and monthly actions, you WILL produce a sweeter connection.

Learn the Secrets to Unlock and Engage Your Intimacy!

#1 Determine what you want

Men are not mind readers (women aren’t either), so your husband won’t automatically know what you want. Plus, if you have not pre-determined what the ‘love-making of your dreams’ looks like to you, then you won’t recognize it, appreciate it, or sustain it when it happens. Make sure that what you want is something realistic you will actually do. 

* Create a time and space to check in with yourself and begin to define the intimacy you want.

* Identify and release your feelings over any frustration or hurt in your sex life (past and present).

* Allow yourself the freedom to hope for the future. Invite God into your journey.

Stay tuned to catch all 5 secrets. It's God's desire for you to know soul-satisfying happiness in your relationships. With a little courage and persistence, you'll be on your way to wedded bliss.

 

 

 

 

When is a Secret NOT a Good Thing?

  She wanted to get away from it all for a little while.    She needed some time to think when ‘he’ wasn’t on her case or in her face. But even when she left the busyness and noise behind, his words were still ringing loud and strong in her thoughts. His actions were still fresh in her memories. How could she make it stop?      It wasn’t always like this.    When they were first together she felt like a princess. He was so attentive. He brought her gifts. He couldn’t get enough of being with her. But gradually things began to shift. It’s like she didn’t have total ownership of her thoughts or feelings anymore. Everything had to be shared with him and run through his perspective.  And, if that wasn’t bad enough, it all got weirdly connected to sex, too.     Yes, she wanted to please him, but at the same time, it was everything she could do to be intimate with him. She felt exposed, too vulnerable, and if she really faced it… she felt violated. It was like he didn’t want to be with her. He didn’t want to know her. He didn’t want to bond, to be close, or to be one. He wanted her, for her body, for what he could take for his enjoyment.     It made her cry. Often.      She loved him, but felt used by him.    She wanted to be with him, to make love to him, but it didn’t feel special like love. It felt cold and wrong.  There was no personal connection. There was only a physical act with a physiological response. To participate she had to separate who she was in her heart, from who she was in that moment... kidnapped by his agenda.     There was nothing godly or healthy in this scene, and now she felt stuck. Trapped in a twisted cycle of fooling everyone on the outside with a smile, while on the inside not admitting what was really happening. What could she do? How could she ever get past this? Out of this? Free from this?      Sexual trauma and dysfunction are all too common.    We’re devastated when it happens and disappointed to know it’s alive and well, even in the bedrooms of community and church leaders, alike. The worst part is… the more upstanding your position is in the community, the more likely you are to keep it a secret.     Secrets are only good for Christmas and surprise birthday parties.     If you are miserable and feel compromised in your sex life and intimacy, don’t keep it a secret. Find a dear trusted friend, a female Christian leader you know and respect, or seek professional help. It doesn’t have to stay that way.      Stay tuned for Parts Two and Three on why this is happening and how you can bring the hope, change and freedom you want. Remember, you are not alone. Even if life seems scary at this moment there are more options for you to choose.  Your heavenly Father calls you His beautiful and chosen daughter. That is the vision for your future. You can “Be Known & Loved.”

She wanted to get away from it all for a little while.

She needed some time to think when ‘he’ wasn’t on her case or in her face. But even when she left the busyness and noise behind, his words were still ringing loud and strong in her thoughts. His actions were still fresh in her memories. How could she make it stop?

 

It wasn’t always like this.

When they were first together she felt like a princess. He was so attentive. He brought her gifts. He couldn’t get enough of being with her. But gradually things began to shift. It’s like she didn’t have total ownership of her thoughts or feelings anymore. Everything had to be shared with him and run through his perspective.  And, if that wasn’t bad enough, it all got weirdly connected to sex, too.

 

Yes, she wanted to please him, but at the same time, it was everything she could do to be intimate with him. She felt exposed, too vulnerable, and if she really faced it… she felt violated. It was like he didn’t want to be with her. He didn’t want to know her. He didn’t want to bond, to be close, or to be one. He wanted her, for her body, for what he could take for his enjoyment.

 

It made her cry. Often.

 

She loved him, but felt used by him.

She wanted to be with him, to make love to him, but it didn’t feel special like love. It felt cold and wrong.  There was no personal connection. There was only a physical act with a physiological response. To participate she had to separate who she was in her heart, from who she was in that moment... kidnapped by his agenda.

 

There was nothing godly or healthy in this scene, and now she felt stuck. Trapped in a twisted cycle of fooling everyone on the outside with a smile, while on the inside not admitting what was really happening. What could she do? How could she ever get past this? Out of this? Free from this?

 

Sexual trauma and dysfunction are all too common.

We’re devastated when it happens and disappointed to know it’s alive and well, even in the bedrooms of community and church leaders, alike. The worst part is… the more upstanding your position is in the community, the more likely you are to keep it a secret.

 

Secrets are only good for Christmas and surprise birthday parties.

 

If you are miserable and feel compromised in your sex life and intimacy, don’t keep it a secret. Find a dear trusted friend, a female Christian leader you know and respect, or seek professional help. It doesn’t have to stay that way. 

 

Stay tuned for Parts Two and Three on why this is happening and how you can bring the hope, change and freedom you want. Remember, you are not alone. Even if life seems scary at this moment there are more options for you to choose.  Your heavenly Father calls you His beautiful and chosen daughter. That is the vision for your future. You can “Be Known & Loved.”

So, What do you do?

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“So, what is it you do?”

I get asked this fairly often and I take it as a great compliment. I have a BIG heart for seeing women FREE, fulfilled, and loving themselves, as God does.

At the core of every relationship status- married and struggling, divorced and starting over, single and wondering, committed, yet wanting more- the key foundation is: are you KNOWN and LOVED?

We crave emotional connection.

Our very DNA was divinely wired for being loved.

If we sense that someone has invested their time, intention and care into our lives… we can do ANYTHING. That SUPPORT, personal VULNERABILITY, and COMMITMENT communicates:

 

---I matter.

 

---My thoughts, feelings and needs count.

 

---My life is valuable.

 

But, being KNOWN and LOVED by others, only happens when you first know and love… YOU!

***That’s what I do.***

 

I help women joyfully navigate the intricacies of being KNOWN and LOVED, so you can create relationships full of meaning and closeness.

My Relationship Coaching is open to ALL women, wherever they are in in their relationship status, who want:

  1. Freedom to accept, LOVE, and be themselves

  2. Super practical insight to COMMUNICATE clearly, even in conflict

  3. Healthy boundaries to HEAR, honor, and protect your heart

Through my Intrapersonal Realignment process you RELEASE the lies that limited you and REPLACE them with the truth of how your heavenly Father sees you.

Personal transformation is yours today, when you Know and Love yourself.

3 Signs Your Relationship is Stagnant or Worse

We were created for RELATIONSHIP.

It’s in our DNA to be known and loved, by God’s design for us.

Relationship affects EVERY area of your life, from a casual EXCHANGE at the grocery check-out, to important CONVERSATIONS with your children’s teachers, and ultimately, with intimate CONNECTIONS that are based on vulnerability and trust.

Sometimes relationships feel like something is just ‘off’ or there is a missing piece. Other times there is deep and almost debilitating HURT. The wounds are so powerful they shut you down and CHANGE the course of your life…forever.

Do you want to get it together before a potential PROBLEM begins or increases?

What areas of pain are in your life right now?

  1. Emotional DISTANCE, lack of connection, or awkward and uncomfortable settings where you don’t click, and may even be prompted to pull away.

  2. Unpleasant COMMUNICATION filled with surface or social talk (only), negative words and belittling tones, or a downward spiral of accusations and intentionally harmful arguments.

  3.  Substitutes for relational INTERACTION from ‘good busyness’, to choosing distractions because you’re in denial, or finally succumbing to addictive behaviors that attempt to fill a void.   

These scenarios can play out in a million ways, but what’s at the core? How do we SOLVE THE PROBLEM?

Let’s start where we have the most power. Who are YOU?  

  1. Do you acknowledge and VALIDATE your own thoughts, feelings and needs?

  2. Do you know how to EXPRESS your innermost ideas? When? To Whom?

  3. Do you have an UNDERSTANDING of your identity, purpose and plan?

***You are ½ of every relationship.***

When you are clearer, stronger and freer, in yourself, you will bring a more POWERFUL person to the table.  Your side, fully empowered, will affect every motivation, choice and interaction.

You, KNOWING AND LOVING yourself, because your heavenly Father first knew and loved you, will bring wholeness, peace and honor to your relationship.

Just how different and amazing is that?!

If you need to work through emotional DISTANCE, unhealthy COMMUNICATION, or relational SUBSTITUES… let’s start with YOU.

I love partnering with women on their journey to IDENTITY, FREEDOM, AND DESTINY. If this speaks to your heart, take action today.

---You are worth your love, time and attention.

 

---Your relationships are ready for FREEDOM and WHOLENESS.

 

---The world awaits your gifts, as you step into your God-given DESIRES and DREAMS.

 

Together, we can create a path to the Beautiful and Chosen YOU.

To learn more, contact me today for a FREE 30 minute Discovery Call.

hello@marywhitmanortiz.com

*** Let’s find and celebrate the TRUE YOU!***

3 Ways to STOP Your Entrepreneurial Spirit from Being an Obstacle in Your Marriage

What do you do if the one person you LOVE MOST in the world doesn’t ‘get’ or support your work?

They say, ‘opposites attract’, but let’s be honest, the opposing friction we like best is the result of GOOD chemistry.

So how do you deal with differing views on what’s super important to you: like your BIZ?

 

1. Validate yourself.

Acknowledge your own effort and DARING SPIRIT, your amazing commitment, your desire to SERVE and bring significant change and help to your sphere of influence. It’s a GOOD thing. It counts.

Your resilience is powerful. You’re getting sharper, clearer, and more effective every day. Yay you! for being both a DREAMER and a DOER. You are a rare breed.

Yay God! for making you exactly like you are, the only person who can bring your specific gifts to the world. Your PASSION for life is real. It matters!

 

2. Get Support.

There is NO need to do life alone, in any situation, especially one that is so tough. Find like-minded WOMEN who can walk the path with you.

Have one ahead of you to LEAD and assist. Have one behind you to extend your INSIGHT. Have ones on your right and left on which to lean, celebrate, and be ACCOUNTABLE and vulnerable.

Remember to pick them wisely. We’re not casting our pearls before swine here. Get a gauge for RESPECTFUL support and shared goals.

 

3. Communicate wisely.

Let’s dive into this a bit. He’s your man, not your enemy. Your DESIRE is to stay close and connected. Even through sharing differences, you can still be holding ‘US’ as your biggest priority.

And one more mind blowing idea for you- the goal is NOT 100% agreement. The goal IS 100% understanding.

You are two, separate individuals. Having different strengths makes you stronger TOGETHER.

Consider these points:

  • If it’s important to me, that’s enough.

  • His differences do NOT negate my values.

  • Boundaries in marriage are very healthy and actually create MORE closeness.

This is just a starting place.

If you want to know more how to communicate using: assertiveness, emotional word pictures, relational focus, and low-pressure strategies, let’s chat.

God is for you, your gifts, and your MARRIAGE. There is a way to make it happen.