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.

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!

What Happens When You Lose Hope?


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Her relationship was strained at best. There was a lot missing from their connection. It used to exist but had drifted away. Logical reasons were at play- job crisis, health concerns, and family schedule demands. But even with knowing WHY, it still hurt. She confessed it felt more ‘sad than helpful’ to pursue learning new ways to make it work.

THAT is lost hope.

The feelings of disappointment and hurt came in waves. She told herself to STOP thinking those thoughts and keep on going. But just stuffing it didn’t free her from the pain.

When our coaching call started she gave me some specific examples of what their communication looked like. She said, if a topic was too personal, her husband either didn’t listen, changed the subject or walked away. It was a complete shutdown and shut out.

Maybe you’ve known that pain, too. 

Without the tools or support to take care of yourself and make a difference, it seems overwhelming. Why bother? But with individualized communication tips, empathy, and God-inspired encouragement, all of that can turn around.

By the end of our appointment, we had discussed *10* possible communication ideas. *10*, not 3, 5, or 8, but *10*! That’s like going from a weekend athlete to an Olympic-trained super star. With that kind of personalized support, she knew she was not alone, that someone cared, and she was equipped with techniques that matched her situation and her timing. It was an empowering coaching session.

Her perspective changed by the end of our call.

(This is from a subsequent message.) “…You have encouraged me by talking with such conviction about the end goal; how our relationship can look like. So you have encouraged me to not give up, but to be intentional about doing what I can in a positive and loving way to make our relationship great!”  

I love what I do!!

Helping women to build their own confidence and to create amazing possibilities for their relationships is such a blessing. The strategies and support you need to transform your marriage are just a phone call away.  Let’s connect today for the relationship encouragement and empowerment that is custom-designed for where you are right NOW!

https://calendly.com/mary-19/2017-relationship-clarity

   

The Magnolia Girl Story


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Years ago, during a very vulnerable season in my life, a young woman had a word for me about being like a Magnolia. She described how strong the blooms were, with leathery blossoms. At the time it was encouraging, but I was in such a place of hurt that I couldn’t process it all.

Fast-forward to 2016 and what God had placed on my heart to minister to women recovering from sexual abuse and dysfunction. (These are also Christian women who can’t quite bring themselves to come forward because some of their very issues revolve around mixed messages from the church.)

I didn’t know how to frame my message.

I had the calling, the understanding, the personal and professional experience, but I’d been praying for the right image and words to connect with other women. It finally came to me, while visiting a state park.

The Magnolia is a beautiful flowering tree with a sweet scent.

What most people don’t know, though, is it has an ancient existence, even before bees. It required pollination by beetles. That’s one of the reasons the blooms are so tough, to allow the beetle to walk on the flower. But the beetle’s method was unorthodox by human standards and altogether repugnant. The beetle ate its way through the flower while defecating and rolling in it… relishing in the pollen. Even so, the Magnolia stood regal and continued to not just survive, but receive acclaim as the symbol of grace and strength.

Women are like Magnolias.

Some women have been walked on, robbed of their life-giving essence, and then defiled by filthy disgusting treatment. And yet… their divinely designed beauty and strength continue to flourish.

I combined my idea of supporting women with the history of the Magnolia.

‘Magnolia Girls’ is for women who have experienced the devastation of being used (trashed by other’s harmful and selfish sexual pursuits) and yet retained their strength as their true beauty. It’s for women who have struggled with intimacy in their Christian marriage and the taboo of being able to talk about their concerns. ‘Magnolia Girls’ is for women seeking restoration from God for their delicate battles regarding sexual intimacy. Identifying as a ‘Magnolia Girl’ gives privacy for healing as the image is so positive (beauty, strength, and grace) to the public.

At this time support is available through small group sessions and private coaching with individual prayer ministry. For more details see http://www.marywhitmanortiz.com/magnolia

Support is also available for Christian leaders who want training to minister hope, truth, and grace to women with sexual intimacy struggles. Joint sessions are open to men and women who both desire more information. Personal ministry training is designed for women to minister to women. For more details see http://www.marywhitmanortiz.com/church  

“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.

I’d Give Up Everything if He’d Hold My Hand


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According to everybody else, she’s living the dream life (fabulous jewelry, resort vacations, and country club lifestyle). On the surface, it looks amazing, even enviable, but she knows the truth. He’d rather give her money to spend than his time to cuddle and talk. She doesn’t have his heart. She’s aching for intimacy.

It’s an empty life to feel distance and not love.

There are 3 struggles she faces all the time.

1. She’s conflicted by her Christain views. (I’m supposed to be happy and not complain, right? I should just be grateful and keep looking for the good in life.)

2. She battles with self-doubt. (What’s wrong with me? What did I do? Why am I not good enough for him?)

3. She’s suppressed her dream for real intimacy. (I guess this is all I get. That real love and closeness, where he actually wants me, just isn’t possible.) 

But the truth is… You are justified to want MORE than the surface dream life. 

God’s design is for real closeness and connection in your marriage. HE wants your heart to feel cherished and cared for. HE wants attention, attraction, and affection to be mutual between you.

Although there is a lot involved to create intimacy, you can begin this process by seeking ALL God says about your value. HE sees you as His precious daughter, beautiful and chosen. Let those words communicate your true value and we’ll continue to find ways to bring real intimacy to your marriage.  

Remember, God’s design for “Limtless Intimacy” is courageously loving wide open.

 

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.

Assertiveness Tips that Bring Clarity and Kick Fear OUT of the Picture.


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When delicate issues arise, that you REALLY want to talk about, it helps to have a clear plan. Part of that is settling some vulnerable areas in yourself, first. Fear maybe lurking around (disguised as anxiety, hurt or even resentment) and it will skew all of your attempts to clarify. No one likes to be on a ‘runaway feeling train’ so let’s see how tapping into God’s limitless love will bring peace, direction, and favor.

The Assertiveness Journey Helps You Know and Love Yourself.

1. Know What You Want

Although this may seem like a silly point, it is a great starting place. Step outside of the emotional turmoil caused by the tension in the relationship, and ask yourself what you’d love to see happen. Picture it vividly. Get in touch with the great feelings that come from this positive place. Journal the idea to keep it fresh, as a focal point.

2. Give Yourself Permission to Want It

This is where the confusion may lie. Have you put your desires at the bottom of the list, after everyone else… but you still want MORE from your relationship? That’s when resentment creeps in and you can feel justified to stay there. Let your self-awareness rise-up to pinpoint what mixed messages you’ve internalized about ‘you’ receiving what’s good for you. By the way, this is not a selfish practice or goal.

3. Settle the Fear Issue

When questions arise, when control is gone, when doubts get loud, we are walking in fear. It’s not all ‘bad’, but we want to get on the healthy side. Here’are a few reminders: You’re only responsible for you. You’re not a mind reader, and neither is he. Quit playing both sides of the conversation in your head. That closes the door and creates distance and more fear before you even start.

4. Establish Your Self-Value and Identity  

You have a choice about how you see yourself. It can either be God’s way or the way of the world, filled with junk. That may seem blunt, but if you want transformation, that’s the truth. It takes a little digging to discern what messages are building you up and what you need to let go of, but it’s worth the work. Restoring your self-value frees you to love courageously, to see the best in everyone, including you.

5. Ask for Your Wants (with Understanding as the Goal)

Growing closeness in the relationship means you want to share what’s going on inside of you, bringing some missing information to the communication. Find the best setting for you both. Use a supportive tone. Select nonjudgmental words, preferring more “I feel…” statements to open up vulnerability, empathy, and intimacy. Ask for him to listen. Be ready to really hear him in return.

Women Who Take Action Change Their Relationships.

If you’re a woman who ‘has it ALL’, but your relationships are more disconnected than close, you’d trade everything just to recreate the magic, especially in your marriage. Thankfully, there are powerful communication tools that will bring clarity, kick out fear, and revitalize true connection. Let’s talk more and see how Relationship Coaching will open the door to ‘Limitless Intimacy’ and  courageously loving in your marriage.

Frustrated Wife Disease and the 3 Mindset Shifts You Need to Overcome it and Get Powerful in Loving You


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If you’re breathing and alive on this planet, frustrations are a given, but sometimes there is a situation where they escalate and need immediate attention. Could that be you in your marriage?

 

What is Frustrated Wife Disease?

1. Not receiving the personalized love and attention you want (includes romance)

2. Being uncomfortable with sexual expectations (in marriage) because of lack of emotional connection

3. Giving up hope he will change or ever do anything different than what you’ve always known

 

Does that ring a bell?

 

Sure, these are legit bummers. As wives, we do have dreams, images of beautiful marriages, and expectations for certain behaviors. But do you know what I noticed? All of those frustrations are about him, his actions (or lack of), and his perceived mindset. Hmmm…

 

Can you control him or his actions… like even one little thing?

 

That would be a “NO!” He is responsible for himself. You are responsible for you. So what can you do?

 

Here’s what you have control over. Here’s what you can do:

1. Act on your choice.

Your choice is either being power-ful or power-less. That’s right. You either choose to control yourself or choose to let others control you. It’s a head-scratcher, I know, but hang with me.

2. Know what you want and how to ask for it.

Does this seem like a ‘no brainer’? “Of course I know what I want!!” But sometimes we let our emotions get in the driver’s seat and take control, to the point that the issue is clouded and we don’t know what the problem really is or what we want to be different. And even after all of that we need to know how to put into words he will get… to stop an argument even before it happens. Yesindeedy, the plot thickens. There is more depth to this idea than meets the eye.

3. Face the problem.

When you gain truth about where your relationship really is (not just where you are hurt, or think he is wrong, or the what ‘always’ happens) then, and only then, can you find a specific solution. That will build trust and vulnerability, which leads to intimacy- both emotional and sexual.

 

Look at that!! You are so powerful! You can truly impact your marriage right where you are, regardless on ‘him’. Now, I’m not saying husbands should do nothing, but if you are only waiting on him to make the difference in your marriage, well, you have given away your power.

 

When is it ever a good idea to give away your power?

 

Exactly! The answer is… NEVER.

 

So, if you are on board for becoming more powerful in who you are, then I have the most perfect program for you. It’s called “Healed and Happy Intimacy in Marriage”. I will help you to-

~Heal your heart from past sexual wounds and lies

~See your identity in God (loving yourself through His eyes)

~Create a plan to share ‘you’ and grow the understanding in your marriage

 

Wowser! That’s amazing! But there’s more.

 

I’m offering this at an Introductory price- 50% OFF- the regular price of $497.

For a spectacular $247 you get:

~4-weeks Healed & Happy Intimacy in Marriage program

~ (4) 1-hour private sessions

~4 weeks of communication and relationship skills, specific to where you are RIGHT NOW

~4 weeks of unlimited email access, for those urgent “Yikes!” moments when you want to keep your new skills fresh in the midst of… you guessed it, Frustration

 

So, what are you waiting for? Sign-Ups begin on Oct 4. There are only 5 spots.

Let’s set-up a call so you find out how this will meet what you want now. Plus, as a bonus, I’ll give you a Self-Value & Peace Growing Tool to help you TODAY!

And… I have Payment Plans.

Sign up for a call here:    https://calendly.com/mary-19/relationship-breakthrough-session       

  

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!