Dec 14, 2018
So many women think they don’t want to have sex because they are tired or “touched out” at the end of the day. What was once a vital and important part of the marriage has taken a back seat to life and child rearing. In this episode, we examine how the thoughts you are telling yourself are killing your sex drive…and how you can get it back!
3in30 Podcast with Dr. Finlayson-Fife
Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife
This episode I am piggybacking off of a post I did last week in my Instastories. Last week, my friend Rachel at the 3in30podcast did a great interview with Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife who is an LDS sex therapist. It was titled “What happened to my sex drive and how can I get it back” I highly recommend you go listen to it.
In preparation to the interview, Rachel asked a question on her Insta-stories about why women didn’t have a sex drive and she posted a lot of the answers and it seriously made me so sad. Pages and pages and pages of women with no sex drive. Responses varied, but the most common ones were being tired, being touched out, and body image. Almost every single one of the responses is a mindset issue. Rachel was kind enough to point her followers my way, because coaching can be so powerful is this area. I’ve received an overwhelming amount of DM’s and also people requesting a free min-session to discuss this issue. So I decided I wanted to address it specifically on a podcast.
I hear a lot from clients that they want to feel more connected to their spouse. They want to feel desire for them and feel like they are desired by them. So connection and desire are both feelings. And feelings are just a vibration created by a chemical or hormone in the body. So I want you to identify for yourself what connection and desire feel like to you. What do those feelings feel like in your body. Where is it located? Does it stay still or does it move? Fast or slow? What is the texture? What is the color? Really get familiar with what those feelings feel like to you. When I am feeling that connection and desire for my husband, there is a quickening in my gut…butterflies. And then it’s like this ray of yellow sunshine that pulses out and fills my whole body. So figure out what that feels like to you.
I think many times as women we think that in order to feel connected or desire we need something FROM our spouse. We are expecting them to create that feeling for us. But this, my friends, is the source of the problem. Expecting those feelings to come from outside of us instead of creating them within us.
We’ve talked about in many previous episodes that all of our feelings are created by thoughts. All of them. Whether they are conscious or unconscious thoughts. And if that’s the case, it is our OWN thoughts that make us feel connected to our spouse and feel desire for them (or feel like we are desired by them.) It has nothing to do with the situation or the person. It’s all about our own brain.
What does feeling connected to another person mean to you? You feel love and desire for them and from them? You want to be around them? You want to feel like you matter to them? You relate to them and have things in common? Maybe you like to do things together or you like having conversations with them.
So if these are the things that make you feel connected to them, and you aren’t feeling it, what is getting in the way? Your thoughts! All of these things make you THINK thoughts that create the feeling of connection. Your brain is giving meaning to what your spouse does or does not do that create those feelings in you.
For example - Let’s say your husband comes home from work, kisses you on the cheek, asks about your day, and asks what for dinner. Now depending on YOUR thoughts, you can take what he is saying and doing a variety of ways.
It all depends on YOUR thoughts if you feel connected to him or not. It really has NOTHING to do with him.
Feeling connected to someone is all about our thoughts about them. And you don’t even have to be WITH them to feel connected to them. Think about a loved one who has passed on or maybe when you’ve connected with someone by email or letters or texts. This year as I was getting out my Nativity set for Christmas, I felt very connected to my Grandma who passed away earlier this year. She had given me my Nativity piece by piece every year for Christmas. And as I got it out this year, it made me think about her and my relationship with her and I felt very connected to her. Because of my thoughts.
Now desire is also created by our thoughts. Especially for women, so much of our desire and arousal for intimacy and sex with our spouses comes from our minds. And we are often times putting on the brakes for that desire without even realizing it.
In my coaching practice I often hear women who just don’t find their husbands attractive anymore or they get on their nerves or irritated by something they do. Some women could care less if they ever sex with their spouse again and others realize that there is a vital piece missing and they just don’t know where to look for answers.
And the answer to ALL OF THESE is in your mindset….the way you think.
Often times when we’ve been married for a while and especially after having children, we think that something must be wrong with our accelerator. That something has changed physically within us so that we are no longer able to be aroused like we used to. And sometimes, that may be the case. I do recommend that you check with your doctor to make sure that nothing is physically going on with you. But, most likely what is happening instead is that we are actually putting on the brakes by the thoughts we are having (either consciously or unconsciously).
I want you to consider what it felt like when you were dating. How did you feel about your spouse? Did you find them attractive? Did things that they did and said drive that desire in you? You were CREATING thoughts in your brain that made you feel those things. Those same thoughts (or different thoughts) are available to you now too…you just have to choose to think them.
What thoughts are you currently thinking that are putting on the brakes for you?
So I want you to think about what thoughts you are currently thinking that are putting on the brakes for you. Maybe it’s “I’m just so tired” or “Sex just isn’t a priority” or “I find that annoying” or “I’m just so touched out after kids hanging on me all day.” or Thoughts about your husband “He’s annoying” “I’m not attracted to him” etc. Thoughts like those are KILLING your desire.
Another issue I hear a lot from my clients is that they don’t want sex or don’t like sex because they can’t orgasm.
Just a little side note: Only 30% of women orgasm with intercourse…. so chances are, that is you and you just need to try something different. And you need to get your mind in clear space thinking thoughts that BRING arousal and not slow it down. That’s the bring worry, stress, “I don’t think it’s going to happen” or “this is taking too long” totally KILL your arousal which almost always stop you from having an orgasm.
So, thoughts about not being able to orgasm or not being interested in sex or not being interested in your husband definitely don’t help your sex drive.
If we put this in a model
C = Sex with my husband
T = I’m just not interested
F = uninterested, disengaged
A = Disinterested, Tell him I’m not in the mood
R = no sex life, and continue to be uninterested in sex
Do you see how that thought creates more distance in your marriage? It’s not creating that connection and desire you want.
What if you changed your mindset…what if you changed your thoughts to something like “I’m a wife who likes sex” or “I want to create that connection with my husband” or a thought I heard from Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife was “I’ve taken care of everyone else all day, now it’s time for me to be taken care of.”
Especially in the LDS culture, so much of our framework around sex is that it is a woman’s job to meet the man’s needs. And that is just wrong. Sex and intimacy has more to do about your about yourself, rather than giving someone else pleasure. It’s about coming together each as a whole person and sharing your whole self with another person. It shouldn’t be about taking…it should be about both giving and receiving.
If you are having trouble with this, we can definitely talk more about it in coaching with what is specifically going on with you, but I would also highly recommend Dr. Finlayson-Fife’s online classes. They are on sale for Christmas right now and what a great Christmas gift you could give yourself and your spouse. I will link to them in the show notes.
Another topic that seems to kill women’s sex drive, is our own body image. Those subtle messages that we give ourselves about our bodies KILLS that desire within us. If we have those thoughts running around our head of course we aren’t going to feel desired. We need to send ourselves body-positive messages. Of course we all have things that may be sag or droop more than they used, or aren’t as tight as they used to be. THIS IS NORMAL! But dwelling on those things does nothing to help you create a desire and connection with yourself that you can share with your spouse.
Managing Your Own Needs
I talk a lot about meeting your own needs within your relationship. That your spouse is NOT there to meet your needs, they are just there for you to love. I do believe that Sex and Intimacy are an area where you also need to meet your own needs in whatever way that feels appropriate to you. Maybe that is speaking up for what you want. Maybe that means you need to initiate more. Or maybe that just means managing your own urges and desires. But meet your own needs in a way that you feel is appropriate.
So my friends, to summarize, I want you to really think about those thoughts that are going on in your head. Thoughts that you didn’t even realize were putting on your brakes. I want you to just gain an awareness around them. Really look at them and realize that they are OPTIONAL. And while your brain may continue to offer them to you, you can engage your higher brain, your pre-frontal cortex and CHOOSE different thoughts that are going to serve you and serve your marriage better.
And as always, if you want some help, I am here. Just sign up for a free mini-session. No strings attached. And let’s get your sex drive back!
Now…I want to give you a bit of homework.
Write down how it feels to you to feel connected and feel desire. Where is it in your body? Describe it in depth. And what does feeling that create? How are you showing up in your marriage when you cultivate the connectedness and desire within yourself? What thoughts do you need to think to create that for you? And then try it! And see what changes. See how you show up different to your spouse. What results are you getting? And, I want to hear all about it!