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.”

I am NOT an Expert on Trauma, but…


I may not be a trauma expert, but I know we’ve all been impacted by Hurricane Matthew.

My weekend had an unusual twist. I was out-of-town on a previously scheduled trip. As a matter of fact, this weekend had been in the making for 30 years, as it was my husband’s college reunion.

So we scrambled around on Wednesday, like everyone else, to get extra water, tuna fish, peanut butter and batteries. I even have an empty bread aisle photo from Publix to document my errands.

But we were also packing to head north (think first cool spell) and for me, I was prepping to make a good first impression on his important friends.

Our flight, thankfully, was set for Thursday, before the worst of the weather reached our area, but it was a super strange to leave with such mixed emotions. I was torn to not stay with my home, so the excitement of our upcoming plans stayed just out-of-reach in my heart.

And then we waited, like everyone local, but we were out-of-state.

Being long distance meant we only caught bits and pieces of the news, and looked like ‘unsocial’ friends with faces buried in the limited feed on our phones. Arrgh! It was frustrating and sad and a bit scary at times.

I don’t do ‘pretend’ (hide things) well, so I had to be real.

I opened up to these new friends about my concerns and instantly bonded, connecting at a deeper level. That helped so much.

Finally we got the word that the worse had passed and we personally had been spared from most of the damage. That was a huge relief. My feelings were still tugged at by everyone else’s experiences, but after that I could give myself a little more to all the fun and reminiscing.

And then we arrived home last night.

My heart was in my gut as we drove away from the airport. What would I see? How would I handle the damage first hand? Seeing it via the TV or through friend’s Facebook posts was one thing, but now I was having my own experience with it.

It was like my beloved city, and especially my friend the beach, had been ‘violated’ while I was away. That may sound strange, but all of these other emotions got stirred up. I felt at a loss for not being here, and equally disturbed by the end of innocence of my safe haven.  

Though very grateful for my personal situation of minimal clean-up, I could sense some grief creeping into my feelings.

Life as we knew it had come to an end.   

That’s when I realized, whether your loss of property was big or small, there is another loss to consider. Our normal was gone. Our peace had been significantly disrupted. Our lives would never be the same.

So, if the raking, cleaning and sorting through damaged mess seems to really be getting to you, let me offer these words…

Give yourself some grace.

  • Although this extra care and work load requires new adjustments, inconveniences and stressful hassles, take some time for you.
  • It’s okay to feel sad (or whatever you are feeling). That’s ‘normal’ and healthy for you to acknowledge.
  • Look for opportunities to be with other people. This can include providing physical help or just being there. Giving to others keeps your perspective balanced and removes the heaviness of isolation.
  • Be aware that waves of sadness, frustration, and overwhelm could be around for a while. Once again, it’s uncomfortable and not something you may choose, but ignoring or suppressing it will not help.
  • Know that you are cared for and valued, and your heavenly Father is always available to provide you with peace and strength.

“I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” Psalm 16: 8   

As with all storms and trials, courage and character await you on the other side.

May the impact of Hurricane Matthew also bring you to a place of grace.

Jacksonville, we have another day.     

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.