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.

Upgrade Your Sex Life Book Study 1


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Upgrade Your Sex Life Book Study- Week 1:Why I chose this book, what my pushbacks are and the first 2 sexual expressions

Why I Chose this Book

Dr. Weiss’ information is groundbreaking in regards to descriptions of sexual expressions. He gives language to the delicate behaviors of sex with everyday examples. This fresh understanding removes the fear of the unknown, which reduces anxiety. It describes actions and motivations with an objective point of view. That creates a safer distance to examine personal hurt. When you recognize certain patterns, yet see they are not isolated to you or your sexual partner/spouse, it releases some of the sting. It’s also laid out in a way to study sexual behavior, identify your bent and your perspective, so you can apply practical tips to make changes… to Upgrade Your Sex Life.

What I Liked About the Book

1. It gives language to behavior. If you are hurt by someone else’s words or actions it’s hard to be objective and describe their behavior. It’s seen through the pain. Dr. Weiss’ descriptions provide nonbiased words to distinguish each innate sexual expression.

2. It emphasizes intimacy within sexual encounters over the actual act of sex. This means the goal of bonding, love, fun and mutual pleasure and meaning, trumps the physical sensation of sex.

3. It is NOT described in a graphic sexual way. It’s more about how emotional needs show up in a sexual context.

4. It is NOT a list of sexual acts or techniques. It’s a PG version of pleasurable touching.

5. The goal of upgrading your sex life is to create a loving, healthy relationship.

6. It focuses on key components that I highly agree with- integrity with sexual choices (includes purity in marriage), abstinence and obvious harm from pornography, and understanding and mutual agreement on sexual activities- with showing love as the purpose.

7. It has a great mix of solid background information (5 expressions), possible problems (3 roadblocks), and practical steps for change (applications for communication).

8. It has an explanation of the sexual expressions in a continuum, showcasing healthy but giving examples of what each sexual expression looks like in an immature demonstration.

My Pushback

1. It is not written with an overtly Christian perspective. Although Godly honor is represented there are no scriptures or references to a Christian framework for relationships. Dr. Weiss does partner with Christian media outlets though, through Healing Time Ministries and other sexual integrity groups like Bravehearts. We both presented in the 2018 Restored Summit with 70+ Christian leaders.

*This could prompt you in a good way, though. You may question what scripture is meaningful, that you base your understanding on. You may more quickly identify how scripture has been twisted in your past experiences when it is NOT included in any kind of shaming way.

2. It doesn’t include any additional obstacles faced by Christians because of messages embedded in church culture. That’s a very real thing; like “can I be ‘hot’ and ‘holy?’” and “I said no for so long before marriage, I don’t really know how to say ‘yes’ now”.

3. He refers to couples as partners and NOT spouses. His work is open to Christians and non-Christians, so his language in this book does not abide by the sex-in-marriage-only standard. I overlooked this to get to the heart of the message. I, though, talk only about sex between a married-to-each-other husband and a wife.

FUN as a Sexual Expression

 Do words like spontaneous, creativity and experimenting get your attention? Then, maybe FUN is your innate sexual expression. The goal of every new sexual activity is not necessarily adding more meaning or more pleasure. The goal is- will this be fun? It could be a very similar sexual act but in a new location.

Of course, on the immature side, that push for something new might include greater risks, even to illegal behavior. It also could seem selfish or demanding because their ideas are all they are focusing on, not their spouse’s well-being and mutual honor and pleasure.

DESIRE as a Sexual Expression

Do you want to be craved by your partner, starting sexual conversations outside the bedroom and building great anticipation? The DESIRE sexual expression totally enjoys the playful tease and touch throughout the entire day. They love to plan special time together with the whole mood in mind.

If this expression is not fully developed it may seem like the act of sex is a substitute for an overall emotional and sexual connection. The behavior could make sex seem shallow and their spouse might feel more like an object. Their way is NOT the right way. Blending both expressions is best.

 

More Sexual Expressions

How can you determine your innate expression and your spouse’s? The next blog post will cover the remaining three expressions and provide a brief ‘quiz’. Read it together, where ever your most intimate conversations happen, inside or outside the bedroom. Understanding is the goal. When you know and love yourself, you can be known and loved by others, especially your spouse.

Your Personal Pushback

Petrified? That’s the most common feeling when talking about sex. Maybe you are truly interested in learning more, but it just makes you uncomfortable. You know it’s stirring up lots of memories and mixed feelings. The thought of really diving deep (no matter how much you need to) is more than you can do on your own. It’s going to be okay. That’s what I’m here for.

I once was in your shoes, stuck in a cycle of sexual dysfunction. All of the components were there- other people’s behavior, mixed messages from the church, and my own low sense of myself. I was a mess for sure.

Father God walked me through a process of healing. I went from feeling invisible to living out loud. I can help you on your journey, too, as a woman or as a couple. Together, we can find your way to being heard, understood and loved.

Don’t let your past rob your future.

Set up a call today to see how you can Upgrade Your Sex Life, in a holistic way- spirit, soul, and body. https://calendly.com/mary-19/relationship-breakthrough-session

Upgrade Your Sex Life Book Study 2


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The 5 sexual expressions, written by Dr. Douglas Weiss, are as ground-breaking to sexual intimacy as the 5 love languages are to relationships. By recognizing your own tendencies in these objective descriptions, you will reduce your anxiety. There’s nothing like knowing you are not alone, your views are not ‘crazy’, and you can make all of the changes you desire.  

PLEASURE as a Sexual Expression

Do you enjoy learning about new techniques, like where to put your hands and what activities to combine together?  Do you see sexuality as an unlimited, multidimensional and ever-growing experience? Do you want to be understood and explored as a whole person with an entire range of sexual pleasure with your spouse? This might be your innate expression.

PATIENCE as a Sexual Expression  

Would your sexual experience be even better if there was a designated space, both in time set aside and in a very private location? Is the type of touch you like very light, almost barely there and possibly with an extended time for foreplay? Have you preferred an orgasmic encounter that’s based on consistency and reliability of motion and stimulation? This might be your innate expression.

A quick pushback on the name of this expression: out of the 5, this word doesn’t have the same positive connotation. Compare it yourself- fun, desire, pleasure, patience, and acceptance/celebration. Because of that and, in conjunction with the description, I propose we rename it to: gentleness. That seems more appealing than ‘patience’ but it still communicates a similar feeling. What do you think?

ACCEPTANCE/CELEBRATION as a Sexual Expression   

How does the thought of ‘all of me’ loving and being known by you, speak to you? How does it feel when your spouse doesn’t just ‘love’ you but also likes you and is proud of you? If given the choice, would you pick words of value and gratitude as a part of your sexual experience? This might be your innate expression.

Immature Expressions

All of these expressions also have immature counterparts. It’s typically selfish and even demanding. They may confuse sex for love. This unhealthy version could have been prompted by neglect, trauma, sexual abuse or addiction. But by using this information to grow in your understanding  (as an individual first),  you can still make the changes you want to… Upgrade Your Sex Life.

ROADBLOCKS to Healthy Sexual Expression

Stay tuned for the next post about possible Roadblocks that have gotten you stuck in your process. You may not be aware of past experiences that have hurt you. You may have buried them deep, but know they’re there. It’s time for your healing.  

 Your Personal Pushback

Petrified? That’s the most common feeling when talking about sex. Maybe you are truly interested in learning more, but it just makes you uncomfortable. You know it’s stirring up lots of memories and mixed feelings. The thought of really diving deep (no matter how much you need to) is more than you can do on your own. It’s going to be okay. That’s what I’m here for.

I once was in your shoes, stuck in a cycle of sexual dysfunction. All of the components were there- other people’s behavior, mixed messages from the church, and my own low sense of myself. I was a mess for sure.

From Invisible to Living Out Loud

Father God walked me through a process of healing. I went from feeling invisible to living out loud. I can help you on your journey, too, as a woman or as a couple. Together, we can find your way to being heard, understood and loved.

Don’t let your past rob your future.

Set up a call today to see how you can Upgrade Your Sex Life, in a holistic way- spirit, soul and body. https://calendly.com/mary-19/relationship-breakthrough-session

Upgade Your Sex Life Book Study 3


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Dr. Douglas Weiss’ book is nothing short of groundbreaking! Not only do the 5 sexual expressions (Fun, Desire, Pleasure, Patience/Gentleness, and Accept/Celebrate) provide objective descriptions, but there’s more support to find out WHY strains of immaturity are present. That’s today’s topic: Roadblocks.

Who Does This Apply To

There are some clarifications needed before the roadblocks are addressed. First of all, these roadblocks are not about interpersonal communication, meaning joint issues for both spouses. Second, if you recognize your own story here, take action. Third, if this seems to be your spouse, be supportive. Fourth, if your spouse does not take action, be ready to seek your own support to know how to manage your part of the marriage. Lastly, Roadblocks are typically from before your current relationship/marriage. Therefore, you are neither the cause nor the cure

Roadblock #1: Abuse

Abuse looks like MORE than the normal bumps of childhood. It can fall on either extreme: intentional and physical harm or neglect, even to withhold medical care. Parents themselves may be immature, addicted or suffer a mood disorder. In my words, they may be repeating how there saw their own parents react.

In an emotional setting, parents may create an environment that isn’t safe for sharing feelings or being honest. They may not support the uniqueness of their child… you. This can be communicated verbally (ridicule, control) or nonverbally (silence, avoidance).

Sexual abuse causes feelings of worthlessness, shame, fear, lack of trust, and compensation through over performing and over-giving. I’d add ‘over-explaining, over-apologizing, and overly taking responsibility for faults and tasks that are not your own’.

Sexual abuse also affects sexual behavior on both extremes; from hypersexual to diminished desire to totally disconnected, even a fantasy or blank state of mind. 

Sexual neglect towards a child or adolescent looks like NOT providing appropriate information and education on ~body changes, ~the meaning of sex, ~the standards of your family or culture, and ~the relational aspects of sex, i.e. we show love and commitment as a husband ad wife in our marriage through sexual intimacy. 

If the effects of sexual abuse is NOT addressed it will: LIMIT how you give and receive Inside and Outside the BEDROOM.

Roadblock #2 Addiction

All addictions rob the emotional, spiritual and moral development. All addictions rob the emotional, spiritual and moral development. All addictions rob the emotional, spiritual and moral development.

That is worth repeating. It doesn’t matter if it’s alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, or shopping. The addict:

·         Emotes like a 13-15 year-old

·         Can’t define right from wrong

·         Cant’ take responsibility (for self)

·         Lives in a fantasy world

·         Thinks they can do as they please, without consequences

But in recovery, after moving from immature to healthy, they can connect and have even greater sex!

Sexual Addiction

·         Limits the ability to be authentic

·         Includes pornography, masturbation, sexting and hookups

·         Causes comparison which creates dissatisfaction

It can bring about:

·         Betrayal (there’s a struggler and a partner)

·         STDs

·         Job loss, financial loss

·         Erosion of family

Roadblock #3 Anorexia

Although we typically think of this term in regards to an eating disorder of withholding food, Dr. Weiss has coined a term, intimacy anorexia.  One partner withholds emotional, spiritual or sexual intimacy. The partner feels alone, disconnected, unnoticed, and unwanted.

How does it happen? Distance is created by:

·         Being busy – with work, kid’s projects, even helping at church

·         Speaking blame – I’m doing these things because of you

·         Withholding love and praise

In general, this partner is UNABLE to share feelings with their partner. In general, this partner is UNABLE to share feelings with their partner. In general, this partner is UNABLE to share feelings with their partner.

Yes, this is also worth repeating. This kind of distance is NOT just a certain personality type that has a problem opening up. It is also NOT because they don’t know how or they are afraid. It is an intentional withholding.

It may be the most noticeable in:

·         Criticism

·         Anger/Silence

·         Money usage that is manipulated

·         Roommate Status – with no blow-ups, but also no closeness

Ho w to Resolve

I disagree strongly with Dr. Weiss on how to bring recovery to this issue. I won’t even state his suggestions. I employ 5 R’s to bring healing.

1. Recognize impact (You have to acknowledge what is happening.)

2. Release lies/wounds (Your identity and value has been jeopardized by this hurt.)

3. Replace with God’s Truth (You can choose what God promises and the love HE has for you.)

4. Restore wholeness (You create a new lifestyle of choices that honor you.)

5. Reclaim identity (You see and receive the power and blessing of being God’s child.) 

Your Power in Your Sexual Intimacy

Learning how to be responsible for what you want in your sex life, what asking for sex looks like (in a healthy way), and applying practical phrases for being a clear communicator are the last thoughts we’ll cover. This is the practical application of the entire book. Don’t miss next week’s video or blog!

 Your Personal Pushback

Petrified? That’s the most common feeling when talking about sex. Maybe you are truly interested in learning more, but it just makes you uncomfortable. You know it’s stirring up lots of memories and mixed feelings. The thought of really diving deep (no matter who much you need to) is more than you can do on your own. It’s going to be okay. That’s what I’m here for.

I once was in your shoes, stuck in a cycle of sexual dysfunction. All of the components were there- other people’s behavior, mixed messages from the church, and my own low sense of myself. I was a mess for sure.

Father God walked me through a process of healing. I went from feeling invisible to living out loud. I can help you on your journey, too, as a woman or as a couple. Together, we can find your way to being heard, understood and loved.

Don’t let your past rob your future.

Set up a call today to see how you can Upgrade Your Sex Life, in a holistic way- spirit, soul and body. https://calendly.com/mary-19/relationship-breakthrough-session

 

 

 

Upgrade Your Sex Life Book Study Week 4


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Dr. Douglas Weiss bookends this work with ground-breaking insight. To open, he describes the 5 sexual expressions: Fun, Desire, Pleasure, Patience, and Acceptance/Celebration. (You have to read the other blogs to find out which one I renamed.) To end this book, he compares the development of a sexual adult, sexual adolescent and a sexual child. These are not physical age groups, but emotional ages. It’s absolutely fascinating and eye-opening. Again, these descriptions will help you so much as you lean into objective conversations to gain understanding with your spouse.

Let’s dive in!

Did you know you not only CAN ask your spouse for sex, but it’s also very helpful and empowering when you do. But, it’s often avoided because of so much clutter in our cultural practices. Truly, if you never learn it’s okay (even GOOD) then you probably have not learned HOW.

The bottom line is: Unspoken is Unclear

How do you ASK for sex?

1. Use “I” statements (I’d like to be intimate, fool around, make love, have sex…)

2. Be clear (Don’t ask: do you want to go upstairs?)

3. Use eye contact (especially while you are practicing this skill.)

How do you RESPOND to the ask?

1. Don’t stay neutral. (okay, fine, sure)

2. Be positive (Great! Awesome! You bet! Love to!)

Now that you know HOW, whose responsibility is it to ask?

Sexless marriages often happen because couples get stuck in a cycle of hurt-distance-busy-cool down-talk-sex. That can be extremely frustrating, especially if the cycle takes weeks. That’s a lot of time for resentment to build – and temptations to meet needs in other ways.

In the meantime, the negative self-talk goes crazy: I feel rejected, unwanted, ugly and fat! Why go there when you don’t have to?

There is NO one right person to do all of the initiating. It’s just what you both agree upon.

And now for the finale, the other ground-breaking bookend.

Sexual Interaction on Different Developmental Levels

Development as a Sexual Adult

1. Accepts themselves, is comfortable in who they are ALL day, not just when the clothes come off

2. Able to be sensitive to partner

3. Maintains and protects integrity in the marriage (no outside parties)

Development as a Sexual Adolescent

1. Mostly in it for ‘me’ and not ‘us’

2. Unaware of their partner’s needs, desires or sexual expression

3. Gets mad over having to have sex, being expected to have sex, when they can’t have sex (due to the partner’s illness, pregnancy, etc.)

4. Conversations are immature, almost like cheap locker room talk

Development as a Sexual Child

1. Don’t see themselves as a sexual being, it’s something they have to do

2. Rarely initiate sex

3. Rarely talk about sex

When it comes to initiating sex, here’s what you need to know.

NOT initiating communicates:

I tolerate sex. I don’t need sex. I don’t want you. You’re fat (or some other negative message.)

Whereas, initiating sex says:

I am wanted. I am attractive. I am valued. I am important. I turn them on. They matter.

Wow! What a difference!

If you want your spouse to feel loved, initiate sex. Bottom line. 

Your Personal Pushback

Petrified? That’s the most common feeling when talking about sex. Maybe you are truly interested in learning more, but it just makes you uncomfortable. You know it’s stirring up lots of memories and mixed feelings. The thought of really diving deep (no matter who much you need to) is more than you can do on your own. It’s going to be okay. That’s what I’m here for.

I once was in your shoes, stuck in a cycle of sexual dysfunction. All of the components were there- other people’s behavior, mixed messages from the church, and my own low sense of myself. I was a mess for sure.

Father God walked me through a process of healing. I went from feeling invisible to living out loud. I can help you on your journey, too, as a woman or as a couple. Together, we can find your way to being heard, understood and loved.

Don’t let your past rob your future.

Set up a call today to see how you can Upgrade Your Sex Life, in a holistic way- spirit, soul and body. https://calendly.com/mary-19/relationship-breakthrough-session

How does the Super Bowl Half-Time Show Impact Your Sex Life?


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Let’s Talk about IT!

There’s one thing you might not know that could cause you to grieve even more. (It’s closer to home than any other issue.)  

The LIV Super Bowl Half-Time show happened last night. It is affecting our culture today. Let’s speak out and be a voice for holy sexuality.

Let’s be a part of the SOLUTION.  

Yes! We saw entertainment that was inappropriate for children. (Even though children were included. )

Yes! This type of dancing degrades women and healthy, Godly sexuality.

Yes! These images contribute to sexual exploitation.

It can also be said though, that the performers are highly talented, and as individuals are worthy of value and God’s love. They are merely products of our culture, following the social trends of the day. Knowing this is the norm for our society can grieve our hearts for sure.  

But how does this impact the Christian marriage– between husband and wife?

From my experience, as a relationship coach and a leader in the church since the 1980s, Christian couples are both uninformed and misinformed about healthy, Godly sexual intimacy in marriage.

So how will the Half-Time show impact a multitude of Christian marriages (maybe even your own)?

1. They will be repulsed, angered and judgmental. All of their “NO-s’ will be reinforced.  

2. They will be mildly intrigued, curious and swayed. Their standard for morality isn’t secure.

3. They will be shamed again for their past experiences.   But not willing or able to get help.

4. They will shut down their sexual expression with their own spouse. You can’t be ‘hot’ and holy.

Why do Christians struggle with healthy and Godly intimacy in marriage?

1. They spend a lot of time and energy countering the world and their own past.

2. They trip up on sexual messages embedded in church culture that have been twisted.

3. They CAN’T TALK OPENLY with their spouse about sex.

4. They don’t have a foundation of trust, vulnerability and commitment.

5. They have no idea how to apply verses like Hebrews 13:4 in a practical way.

The good news is:

1. Healing, freedom and joy in intimacy is available.

2. Emotional intimacy can be learned.  

We will ONLY change the sexual climate if we speak out.

The images you saw at Half-Time are truly disturbing. But there is so much more at stake.

The images you are not seeing (the hurt, dysfunction and trauma in bedrooms of Christian married couples) is devastating heartbreak. That is what you can truly grieve.

We have HIS love yet we don’t know how to bring it into our most intimate connections.   

That’s why I created Limitless Intimacy, LLC, to bring healing and joy to the sexual soul. Father God’s love is limitless.

HE wants the very best for us.

When we release the hurt, lies and shame and replace it with His love and truth, we restore His design for intimacy and reclaim ALL HE has for us. Then, we overflow His love and reconcile others.

Please reach out if this speaks to you.

Do you want personal healing? We can talk.

Do you want to bring this message of healthy intimacy God’s way to your group? Let’s talk.

Let’s be the SOLUTION. Let’s talk.   

Valentine’s Day Won”t Fix the Hurt in Your Marriage


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Don’t expect Valentine’s Day to fix your hurt!

Neither one of you can make-up for sharp words or walls built for self-protection by one dinner out or one array of flowers.

Pretending it didn’t happen (for that one day) is not reality either.

What you could say is: Hey, I know things aren’t great right now, but I still want to be with you. I want to make a place for ‘us’.

Then, agree on a time to have a talk about what’s going on – a different time than your Date Night.

It’s amazing how that simple act will diffuse anxiety and then you really can enjoy (at least a bit more) the expected Valentine’s Day activity.

Nobody is a mind-reader.

~You don’t know his fears (if what you see is anger).

~He doesn’t know your hurt (if what you show him is distance).

Your goal is NOT 💯 agreement.
Your goal is understanding.

Understanding only comes through connecting with intentional words and your whole person.

The good news is: you can be heard, understood and loved.

It just takes a willingness to heal and a commitment to learn communication skills.

God’s love is limitless. HE’ll walk you through every step.

To build connection in simple steps you can do daily, try the 30-Day Marriage Challenge. You can find in in the Free Resource section of my website https://marywhitmanortiz.com/books-and-resources

If you’d like more one-to-one support, the Love Sense Questionnaire and Coaching Session is amazing. I’m offering it as a Valentine’s Day Special Feb 19, 2020. Check that out here

https://marywhitmanortiz.com/love-sense-special

Remember, you can be heard, understood and loved.

Christian Women Face Additional Obstacles to Sexual Intimacy


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If God says sex in marriage, between a husband and wife, is good, then why aren’t we celebrating it? Yes, sexual intimacy has been perverted by the world, so we know to abstain from some of those practices. But even sadder than that, it’s been shamed by the church, the very institution that could best represent God’s view.  No wonder Christian women, in church circles, find themselves struggling with even more obstacles because we as the church aren’t embracing God’s design.

What obstacles do women face?

1.       “How do I say, “Yes”, after saying “No” for so long?”

Thankfully, we are raising some kids who are keeping their purity until marriage. That is truly a blessing and helpful in so many ways. But, we don’t always prepare them with a healthy mindset about Godly sexuality. They get the ’No! No! No!’ message, and not the ‘Save Your Gift for Your Spouse to Express in a Free and Honoring Way!’ message. 

So, they reach their wedding night and don’t know how to transition to a new way of managing their sexuality. Awkwardness aside, who are they going to tell about their dilemma? They feel embarrassed with thoughts like, “I’m supposed to know what to do. This is supposed to be okay, but it doesn’t feel that way. Is something wrong with me?” And they don’t open up. Instead, they create a very unhealthy pattern of sexual activity without vulnerability, emotional intimacy, and transparency with their spouse. It’s the start of something very damaging.

2.       “Can a Christian woman be ‘Hot’ and Holy?”

Women typically connect everything in their life together. They’re more intuitive, so knowing about the kids’ school projects, the church fellowship dinner, and their husband’s big problem at work get intermingled, all the time. But when it comes to combining their Christian walk and their sexual being… not so much.

They keep these ideas very separate. Yes, they can embrace their love for God with as much commitment and passion as possible. But honoring their sexuality (in beautiful, Godly ways within marriage) still feels very OFF LIMITS, like they’re not supposed to even think about sex… and they’re married!!  

They almost have to disassociate with who they are at their core to even participate in sexual intimacy with their husband. It breaks down their identity as a woman and wife. They don’t know that they can be free to express themselves with the Father’s blessing.  And, again, who are they going to tell? This is the very reason they are having the problem!! There’s no safe space to have this talk. A healthy, whole view of mutual respect and pleasure (in marital intimacy) seems to be missing.

3.       “But, doesn’t the scripture say… ‘your body is not your own’?”

Scripture is often twisted. Whether intentionally communicated with a slant, for selfish motives or authoritarian control, or unintentionally perceived through a negative filter. Certain passages are highlighted that limit one’s freedom of thought and expression. This is sad for any topic it affects, but particularly harmful when it comes to the marriage bed. There are wives who feel like they have no say in their marital relations. Even though many scriptures highlight mutual respect and submission, those are not the passages they’re hearing the loudest.

These wives sense that if they displease their husband in this manner that they are displeasing God. So they are earning their place of acceptance in God by performing sexually for their husband.  It’s as if their value and Christian identity hinge on measuring up to a certain sexual standard.  If this pattern continues women feel if they choose to stand up for themselves and honor their bodies that means they have chosen to ‘leave God’. Why should they ever feel they have to choose between self-protection and being obedient to God? That is never how the Father wants healthy sexuality to be viewed.

4.      “Everybody watches porn, right?”

Pornography is wrong in every possible way. We know that it’s not a real representation of love-making. The people are actors and often there through sexual exploitation. We know repeated pornography usage reduces one’s ability to interact easily with their spouse. It also breaks down neurological connections that can cause misfiring and permanent damage.  These facts are known in the secular understanding as dangers of pornography.

For a Christian wife (and/or husband) there are additional pitfalls. The Christian couple stood before God on their wedding day and made commitments to shared values. These values established heart choices towards each other and God. When a spouse chooses pornography as a lifestyle they betray their partner. Some consider this to be on par with adultery. This pornographic habit is also a choice to participate in a vulgar sin unto God. They bring that sin to their marriage bed. They have sinned against their own body and their spouse’s body as well. Shame sets in even if the activity is hidden. It not only destroys the individual but also their partner and family.     

5.       “I asked the church for help and now I feel worse.”

In the world, there are support groups for everything imaginable. Although the advice given isn’t always Godly or healthy, there are still open ears and kind hearts to listen and embrace. In the church, there has been some success for groups like Celebrate Recovery and a few others, but in general, there is limited support for women who want guidance for healing in regards to sexual intimacy issues.

So when she gathers her courage and seeks help through the church, but is pushed away or made to feel ‘bad’ about herself, she is crushed. It may cause her to shut down permanently and never get the help she needs. It’s as if her issues are doubled. The original pain has now been compiled with rejection. It’s so much hurt that she may choose to never become that vulnerable and trusting again. Once more, the very institution that could best communicate God’s message of hope has been a vehicle for darkness.

Now to their defense, I realize that we all have previous experiences and filters that shape our view. These church leaders are only operating out of their own understanding. They don’t know what they don’t know. It’s not a malicious oversight, but still, one for which they are responsible.     

 My prayer is for more truth to be available for the church at large so that more opportunities exist for freedom.

 What can we do about It?

Let’s grow a church culture that partners with God’s view on healthy sexuality and celebrates His goodness. Let’s identify and encourage female leaders with a propensity to minister grace and truth in this delicate topic. Let’s create a safe space for talks about intimacy.

For more information on services I offer to church and ministry leaders, and for individual women check out:

http://marywhitmanortiz.com/church 

   

Bust the Quarantine Crazies


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“2020 marks the highest spike in online learning.” Do you think that’s the headline we’ll read in a few years? 

Yes, we have some extra time and togetherness on our hands right now. It has a huge impact on your everyday life.  But, if you get caught up in the frenzy, you might re-waken past resentments. Or you could learn new relationship tools, and come out closer and stronger.

What you do determines your outcome.

Follow the learning trend. Get the marriage you wanted, when you said: I Do.

Apply these tips:

1. It’s NOT about you.

Of course, your feelings and needs matter. What I’m saying is, when your spouse blows up over business closings, the stock market, or the kid’s homeschool stuff everywhere, that’s NOT a slam directed towards you. He is just releasing his anxiety in your direction. (You might be doing the same thing.)  

2. Their point counts.

You have a unique lens in which to see the world. So does your spouse. The things that upset them (hoarding TP), are just as valid as your own ideas. Give them space and affirm their concerns and worries. They will feel safer. This opens the door to even deeper and closer communication. 

3. Set a boundary.

Social Distancing is now a part of our new normal. It’s the perfect visual for emotional distancing. I’m not talking about self-protecting with walls. But not every need your spouse shares is up to you to fix. Choose what you receive and what you give (emotionally) based on levels of trust and respect.  

  

We can turn this situation around.

Genesis 50:20 highlights the story of Joseph and his brothers. He experienced many trials at their hands. They worried he would turn on them. Instead, He said, “what you meant for evil, God used for good.” We are looking for God’s goodness in the quarantine time.   

Your relationship CAN come out closer and stronger.  

Remember:

  • You don’t have to do this in your own strength.

  • God’s love is your source.

  • Draw on Him for Limitless Intimacy.   

How Hardships Change Relationships


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There are two sides to enduring hardship together.

Just sharing the same experience doesn’t automatically guarantee bonding. If you don’t openly express what’s going on inside of you, yet assume your spouse has the exact same perspective, you can wrongly attach deep feelings to them. Without joint, significant and mutual investment in the relationship, you may engage in a false intimacy.

This could surprise you tremendously, cause a huge disappointment and division, and leave you with greater hurt and loneliness.

To achieve a benefit from a shared hardship, intentional action must happen.

1. Identify your own feelings (fears, hopes, and authentic ebb and flow)

2. Share in a nurturing environment (free from belittling and full of trust)

3. Create acceptance for others to express (vulnerability and grace) 

You talk about what you are experiencing during the nitty-gritty, listening and welcoming your spouse’s thoughts, feelings, and needs, also. Remember, their perspective will include new and different ideas.

The power of the bonding, though, happens when you recall these experiences on the OTHER side.

You verbalize the struggles, the choices, and the mishaps. There will be no reason to hide what didn’t go well, because it was already shared in the light.

When you bare your soul in a safe and secure relationship, you create a fierce union. Every ‘remember when’ story reinforces your past journey, present commitment and future trajectory. It’s more than words. It’s a testimony of your faith. It’s an alignment with heaven.

God is for your marriage.

You can co-create with Him by putting feet to His promise of blessing. Bring ‘oneness’ through one intentional and simple step of intimacy.