How To Get Unstuck

A few years ago, I was feeling stuck

I was feeling stuck in my career, stuck in my marriage, stuck where we lived. 

It was one of those moments where life felt like an impasse. Nothing seemed to be moving forward or making progress. 

I knew deep down, that it was time to leave my job, so I started looking pretty aggressively for new work. I started calling on connections and friends for new leads, but still, everything felt like a soft roadblock, as in, nothing felt “just right."

So, we thought, maybe we need a new place to live, land, or a new house. We drove all over our city, outside of town and in ever-increasing circles in the countryside, waiting for something to grab us. Nothing did. 

Even in our marriage, we loved each other, but something felt stale and listless. We were tired, worn out from parenting, day to day decision making and just not feeling lively. 

All of it felt a bit like a country song, like this one by Robert Ellis (I’m a sucker for sappy traditional country music).
 

"What am I supposed to do?
Just drivin'
round the fairgrounds another time or two
Where am I gonna go?
When the girl behind the counter at the
coffeshop
gets tired of me hangin' round withnothin' left to say
I'm tryin' to get away

I'm bored out of my mind
And I've changed all the lightbulbs
And had this conversation about three million times or more
I guess I walk around the grocery store - again


Ohoo this don't feel like livin'
It's just survivin'. I ain't goin' nowhere
I'm just drivin'"


How many times have I been there, a fight with my wife or just the dark moody thoughts about my own life? When is it going to get better, when are things going to round the corner and go from stuck to something more?

Have you ever been there?

I thought I'd be there forever.

Then a tiny miracle happened. Something in my brain shifted. I stopped looking at life right in front of my face and I started to think and dream and imagine beyond the four walls of my day to day life. What if what I’m really looking for isn’t a new job, a new house, or a new spark, what if it’s a new experience altogether?

I think I was at my desk at work when a new possibility entered my mind. What if I did something crazy instead of something conventional? I was raised in the church and this kind of thinking is not often encouraged unless God, on high, tells you himself to do something crazy. 

Thankfully, I’ve matured and been given the gift of seeing life through the lens of the freedom- that I am free to choose to live a brave, Romantic and Adventurous life and when I really give myself over to it, the possibilities of life begin to rapidly expand. 

So what was that thought at work? I’ll wait to tell you in my next email, but I’ll give you a hint, it was something big to look forward to. It might sound silly or underwhelming or not impactful to you, but to me- and then when I told it to my wife, it spoke right to our heart, like an arrow in a bullseye.

That’s how we knew we were on the right track, it rang like a bell for us. Even though it was nuts, even though it would be costly, even though it would be hard and challenging. More than that, though, we had a new path to head down, we had something to prepare for. We had work to do and because we were both so excited, it refreshed us, it gave us energy and a new angle on our purpose with one another. To be honest, even thinking back on it, after all this time, it’s still so invigorating! 

So, let me ask you somethin, when was the last time you really had something to look forward to? When was the last time that you were able to shift your thinking and expand your belief to live with more Romance and Adventure, in the truest sense? 

Two Things That Always Make You Happy

I sometimes wake up with a deep craving that has no object nor direction, it’s just there. An emptiness that wants to be filled.  So I roll over to my bedside table in the pre-dawn dark, my hand automatically finding the one thing that brings a kind of instant relief: my smartphone.

The tender blue glow delivers what I want, that digital hit. 

I scan the notifications and small amounts of dopamine begin to fire, small cerebral firecrackers giving me a momentary reward. 

Emails, Likes, Hearts, and Comments. Facebook, Instagram. Pictures of friends in far-off places, kids, dogs, plates of food.  I really need to get up. 

Within 30 seconds I’ve consumed a night's worth of newness and I’m ready to head to the open web to find more. 

Making coffee, my phone, a portal to the known universe, is still in my hand. And yet, it never ever satisfies. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and back to bed, I yearn for something new, over and over. 

I can't seem to get enough. 

Then there is the bigger hit: buying things. 

The daily deals that you must act on now because if you don’t you’ll miss out.  Books, clothes, electronics and for me, the big daddy of stuff I like to own, motorcycles. 

There is a saying among motorcycle riders. “Which is the best motorcycle? The next motorcycle.” 

Replace motorcycle with handbags, shoes, or whatever you covet and you will probably agree.

If you are nodding your head yes, I appreciate your solidarity. 

Thankfully, not all mornings are like this, but enough of them are so I’ve learned to beware. With lots and lots of deep work and reflection, I’ve found for myself that stuff doesn’t bring happiness and fulfilment. (Ha! No, duh!)

Harvard University has been conducting an ever growing study that started with the class of 1938. The study was to measure, among other things, what brings an individual actual fulfilment. 

(Isn’t this what I’m also looking for when I reach over to my smartphone in the morning? Something fulfilling, even for just a quick moment?)

The scientists measured all kinds of things, tangible and intangible. Things like income, geography, marital status, home, and car ownership.

Every part of the participant's life was calculated. What they found was that buying all that stuff, no matter how much or how beautiful just led to wanting more. 

We all know this.

And, we’ve all heard that money can’t buy happiness.

However (interesting twist!) studies, including this Harvard study, state money CAN buy happiness if you spend it on the right things.

What are those right things?

Meaningful experiences and something BIG to look forward to. 

This is exactly what Morgan and I discovered a couple years ago. (Remember the last email?)

So what was that moment for us?

At a crossroads in our life where we could have decided to take the path well-traveled (buy a house, buy a nicer car, just buy more stuff), we decided to go against convention and invest in our own meaningful experiences.

  • We took our kids to Europe.
  • We went to Mexico with our friends.
  • We invested in yoga trainings and coaching programs. 

Without realizing it, we designed our life perfectly in-line with the research. 

(Turns out, our whimsical nature is Harvard-backed wisdom!)


We created remarkable memories with our kids (riding camels in Morrocco! making fresh orange juice at a farm house in Spain! eating percebes in Portugal!).

We fell in love again in Mexico, swinging in a hammock to the sound of ocean waves and tropical jungle.

We swam in warm waters with our friends and built a beach fort together in our own private cove.

We had things to look forward to. We were making plans in alignment with what we really wanted, not what we should want.

So I'll ask you this question again:

When was the last time you felt like you had something to look forward to, especially a trip that you know would speak right to your soul... and maybe even shift the trajectory of your life or relationship?

The Best Gift You can Give to Your Husband

This is an unofficial part two from this post. 

In 2008 we were starting a new life together. Living in a one-room cottage in the back of her parent's house. Way, way too old to be there, but that’s where we were. In the back yard. Two full grown adults and a 2-year-old living in a shag-carpeted former tool shed with what might pass a bathroom. Toilet, yes. Sink, yes. Shower, more like a sink sprayer.

Our life had had already hit the reset button two years earlier when she became a single mom and halfway across the world, my then-wife had Fedexed me divorce papers.

Now, after a long-distance courtship, we had bit the bullet. I quit my stable marketing job in England, sold all my (few) belongings and moved back to the US to start a new life. This time as a dad.

Going from glamorous long distance to a domestic nightly routine of brushing our teeth was comforting, charming, and for the moment, novel.

Both of us standing in our underwear and t-shirts. Talking as we got ready for bed and loading toothpaste on our toothbrushes. She had a fancy Sonicare that I think an ex-boyfriend might have bought her.

She was telling me a story about a meeting she had with an astrologer. Her eyes were bright as she was telling me the story. But my hearing dimmed as soon as she said, astrologer.

You see, for a churched boy as myself, astrology was a big no no. A practice of witchcraft and satan. Don’t mind the fact that I was already a very, very heavy drinker, divorced, living with my girlfriend, all things that I was so glad to overlook so as long as I was happy and comfortable. But astrology wasn’t a line that I had crossed yet and one, that for some reason, my semi-religious mind was too afraid to participate in.

Morgan was just talking away like it was totally normal. And I guess, for someone who had not been brainwashed by a church, it was perfectly normal. Totally normal. Astrology. You know, like the back of a newspaper.

I did her the disservice of cutting her off with the terse sentence, “when we are married, we aren't going to consult mediums, spiritualists, or astrologers.

She wasn’t fully aware of my history, nor was she aware of me picking and choosing some “Christian” rules over the other, nor did she even know that I was somehow elevating any kind of Christian rule. This was all, very not normal to her.

She had been raised as a perfect, Portland humanist. At first, relying on little other than her incredibly bright mind, good grades and drive. But as she grew, she could sense a divine spark in the universe and sought it wherever there seemed to be a clue.  Why not an astrologer?- Even Jesus’ arrival was, celebrated, announced and charted by far eastern astrologers.

She sought the full spectrum of human understanding of the human mind and spirit, studying philosophy as an undergrad and later getting a master in eastern philosophy. She had earnestly dabbled in everything from Nietzsche, Buddhism, Baha'i, and even landmark (And by dabbled, I don’t mean she read a book or two, I mean, she really threw herself into them for a year or more.

Meanwhile, I had built a solid wall around my mind that told the world the only way to be rescued from the punishment of our own existence was to say a specific set of words, in a specific sequence. Doesn’t this sound a bit more like witchcraft?

Back in the cottage.

She continued to brush her teeth.

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM, said her Sonicare toothbrush.

Her eyes, gorgeous oceans of blue looked at me, deciding.

She spit in the sink. And she stood at the door to the bathroom.

I stood on the other side, brushing harder to hide my own fear and feeling of being both out of place and to be honest, mentally outmatched. Her eyes continued to measure me.

Then in her gentle west coast, educated elocution, she said, “I don’t agree with you. But it’s more important to me to respect you than it is to argue with you and be right.”

That sentence concussed the air like a bomb. And if I were a physicist, I’d say, those words were so powerful that by their very force, they have continued to be heard in every direction into infinity, probably reaching the asteroid belt past Mars about now.

Up to that point, she had confessed her undying love for me, promising me her forever. She had said 1 million I love you's with everything in her faculty, but those words hit me deeper than anything she had ever said.

It was at that moment that all my fear, edge of reason doubt and worry about our relationship was blown out of my belfry, as easy as a birthday candle.

SO HOW ABOUT NOW?

That was a defining moment in our relationship. And I still say silly shit like that. Plus, I’ve made dumb mistakes; spending money that I shouldn’t have, decisions that hurt us as a family and even this year, neglected to buy her a birthday card.

And when I do boneheaded things I often try to stay in my boneheaded world instead of quickly admitting fault and course correcting, falling into a wonderful sticky marshmellow of self-pity that just invites me to go deeper the more I squirm.

Last night was one of those time, we had a tough conversation about money and she wasn't feeling very confident in me. In fact, she was pissed at me. (you can listen to our follow up podcast about money here.)

She could have easily belittled me. Instead she firmly urged me to remember who I really am, reminding me what I can live up to and the deadend that my self-pity would lead to.

Was she mad at me? Hell yes.

Did she rail me like she could have? No.

She allowed her respect for me to filter her anger.

Her respect is always the best (and often undeserved) gift that she gives me. 

--

Where are you at with respecting your man? Is it something that comes naturally or do you feel as if he's got to earn your respect?

How to Take Pressure Off of Your Wife (Who Wants Sex Less Than You Do)

An open letter to my wife + hate mail 

This was originally posted over at Romance & Adventure

See her open letter to me, here

My Dear Bride,

In my best self, when I desire you, I desire the deepest parts of you. I desire your mind and your soul. I desire your secrets and your dreams. I desire your body, your voice and your gaze. I desire to be one with you. One flesh and one heart who light the darkness from our past and blaze into the journey that we run into together.

But I have often desired you from my worst self. Simply giving into a conditioned response. My whole adult life, when desire like this arrives, I’d give in. And when you didn’t give in, I would resent you. I’d wish that you would just serve me, make me feel like I was the center of your universe, that my pleasure was your responsibility and a responsibility that I thought you should have been glad to enjoy. Isn’t that what a good wife would do? I would think and pray?

Then my prayer changed. I  prayed for me to be in my right role and for you to do the same, allowing the definition of a spouse's role to be renewed and revealed to me.

I’m sorry that I mistook your role. You are not for the gratification of my lust, nor for my constant pleasure. I’m sorry that I treated you like men do when they do not see women as equals.

What I didn’t realize was that when I gave into the pressure in my head, I was putting on the mask of them men who had done the same to you before. I was those men.

Thankfully, in our pain there was a redeeming hope.

When you gave into the pressure to perform, the veneer started to crack, we were in fact connecting, but the connection was to our brokenness and like a hurt tooth, the pain would hit like electricity and I realized I was creating destruction and harm and something inside me said this is not right and this cannot be.

We can’t keep on like this.

My desire would feed your guilt and shame. I knew that my desire needed to change.I knew you couldn’t wear that guilt anymore, it’s a rotten and horrible hide that covered you like a foul disguise. And the good husband in me, the one that longs to protect you at all costs, rises up and says enough of this. You can’t run to the silence any longer and I can’t treat you like an object.

So I rub your back with my fingertips, like I have a thousand times to get your attention, only this time, I want your presence and I want to hear everything that’s running through your head. And you tell me about your past and the guilt lifts away like smoke. And I tell you everything about my desires and the shame fades like an echo and though we aren’t one flesh in that moment, we are one heart and mind and the healing in this place begins.

We don’t have to live that way anymore.

The deeper into the pain we go, the deeper into the past, the deeper into the running, the more it is erased. In the space where things were once written, we are able to author a new story. A new story of desire from our true selves. A story of passion and connection that is safe. 

We don't have to have sex tonight, I really do love just holding you and talking. 

 

BONUS: Hate mail from the original post:

This is feminist bullshit written by a socalled man!

 

How to Create Purpose for Your Marriage

Be the Number One Team in the Universe

I ran into a friend of mine the other night, he’s a pretty young guy and also a newlywed.

Somehow we got on the subject of being on the “same team” with our spouse.  I looked at my friend and said, "my wife and I are super synched." He raised an eyebrow, so I elaborated.  

Several years ago when my wife and I were dating, she used to throw the term around, “the number one team in the universe,” as in we are the number one team in the universe.  I have to admit, at first, it was a little too Tony Robins for me, but she was not only super cute when she said it, she was also totally owning it. She really did want that for us.

Here is one of my first memories of us living together:  We were brushing our teeth before bed. She started telling me a story about a visit she had with an astrologer and before she could even finish her story I cut her off and told her rather stoically,  “we will not consult psychics or mediums.”

Why? she said.

“Uh… the bible says not to.." I whimpered. 

She just looked at me while continuing to brush her teeth. There was no harsh judgement, just a look of genuine assessment. She spit and rinsed her mouth out and said, “I don’t agree with you, but it’s more important to me to respect you than for me be right.”

I was still brushing but swooned so hard. I couldn’t really even formulate a proper response, but my brain was yelling, “MARRRY HERRRRR!!!!”

After a couple of times hearing, “We are the number one team in the universe”, I just decided to go with it. What I didn’t realize at the time was we were giving our partnership (by then a marriage) a mission. In the book, Intimacy & Desire: Awaken the Passion in Your Relationship, Dr. David Shnarch calls it a Collaborative Alliance (an unwritten common goal that brings out the best in you both).

Above all else, we worked toward being on the same team, how we want to spend our time, our money, parent our son (and now our daughter), where we want to go on vacation-  It all takes a back seat to the question, how is this bringing the best out in us? By the way, we weren’t really asking that question, it was and still is, way more subtle than that. We not only look for the common good but what would be the very best outcome for each of us. Sometimes that might mean one of us sacrificing for the best outcome for the other. It’s a big way we show each other how we love one another.  

Does one of us need a break from the kids? Would it delight our heart to take a weekend trip alone or better yet, get a romantic night away together?

So the question to you, what’s your mission? Or, way less formally, are you guys on the same team? I’m going to go ahead and give you permission to take ours of being “the number one team in the universe.” It’s a great starting point and a playful one that doesn’t bear too much weight.  We still pull it out all time, sometimes with a high five, sometimes in the “afterglow.”

So do yourself a favor and go get one. According to Dr. Schnarch (and we can attest), it makes your sex better, makes your brain function better, and helps you guys get through difficult situations much quicker. He also says, no one ever has one all of the time and that Collaborative Alliances are constantly challenged by the ever changing landscape of marriage, but couples who work on maintaining them fair way way better than people who don’t.

Now go be the number one team your universe.

re-posted from Romance & Adventure

How to Have Sex for the First Time

A primer for those (especially Christian men) who have never done the deed

There is a lot of pressure leading up to the wedding night. You just finished one of the biggest days of your life, you just made a lifelong promise that was witnessed by friends and family and now you are supposed to switch gears and get it on. Heads up, this could be way harder than you think.

I can tell you first hand and from story after story from clients and friends that the wedding night can go real sideways. But we all think we are going to be the exception to the rule. “Other people will have problems, not me.”

Don’t be that couple. Give yourself a leg up and expect it to be, at the very least, a new experience that requires a ton of learning and patience. In fact, just go ahead a lower your sexual expectations for that night.

Here’s why, for lot’s of people, the mistakes that are made on the wedding night can create a bad foundation that can last a lifetime. We talk to couples all the time that just shake their head at the mistakes they made that night.

Going from family filled, giant party to hot sex is a tough transition as it is. Then add the stress of all that went into the actual wedding plus the compounding factors of your own sexual baggage, and baby, you got yourself the ingredients for a sexual disaster. But like any disaster, you can be prepared!

Here are 13 things you need to remember when you have sex for the first time (your wedding night). It doesn't matter if you saved yourself until marriage, or if you tried to do the right thing, but ended up fooling around a ton beforehand, or if you just gave yourself over and had all the sex you wanted, the goals should be the same. Fear, guilt and shame should be left outside of your bedroom. It’s all a new chapter, the past does not define you.

1) Lower your sex-pectations 

Lot’s of Christians think that this is the pinnacle of all you’ve been waiting for. You got hitched and you are about to have sex- you made it before the rapture happened! The truth is, the first night it going to be awkward, sex isn’t exactly intuitive. The movements and rhythms have to be learned.

Do yourself and your spouse a favor, expect it to be awkward. Expect to not know what you are doing, because if you’ve never had any kind of sex, you won't. So embrace the awkward!

If you are a seasoned sex veteran and starting your new life together, there can still be pressure for your wedding night to be a night of bliss and ecstasy. Remember, you just went through one of the most stressful days of your life and entered into the (according to the American Institute of Stress) 7th most stressful experience a person can endure, marriage.

Don’t succumb to the artificial notion that you have to hump like rabbits. You aren’t a rabbit- yet. 

2) Sex can happen without your junk

As in your genitals.  Remember, sex isn’t just penetrative acts, I love what my old psychology professor, Dr. Feller used to say, “sex is two people being mutually vulnerable and mutually gratified.”

Notice that doesn’t say anything about an orgasm, especially his (a mans) orgasm.

Use the time to unwind after all big day. Hold one another and just bask in what you’ve done. If something warms up and leads to sex, that’s okay. But, if it’ doesn’t and you just need a cuddle and some sleep, go with that. Maybe take a bubble bath together.

You’ll have plenty of time for intercourse in the future. When in doubt, switch it up. Go for a late night walk, watch a movie, order room service or a pizza. The night does not have to be about sex at all.

3) Expect there to be crying. Just say it now, there will be crying.

You both are physically exhausted. You need sleep. It’s been a big day. Happy, sad or afraid the transition from single to married life is a big one. This is a great moment to just embrace and reassure each other that all will be well.

The last 10 things are specifically for the dude, but go ahead and read them too.

4) Don’t put pressure on your new bride to perform (or ever for that matter)

You don’t want to set this kind of precedent in your marriage. Your wife isn’t someone to objectify or use. Really check in to make sure she’s feeling relaxed and in a good place. If she’s feeling stressed, tell her that it’s totally cool to not do anything that night! 

5) In every way possible, tell your bride that she’s safe and free from any expectation other than to be loved

If this sounds like more of number 4, it’s because it’s that important. You are surrendering your sexuality to her. She loves you, she’s not going to withhold and punish you. Likewise she’s not there to masturbate inside of. If you winced when you read this, you should have, because using your wife for pure sexual gratification is really that bad. Deal with it man. 

6) Don’t put pressure on yourself to perform

If you are feeling pressure and can’t get it up, dude bro, this is normal. It happens all the time, to all kinds of dudes. Go back to number one and go take a bubble bath together.

7) Don’t ever ever, ever, ever blame your spouse for a less than stellar sexual moment

It takes two to tango. If she’s feeling out of it, it’s your job to help her understand that everything is going to be okay. Let her know that it’s totally normal to feel out of it- especially on your wedding day!

 Don’t ever, ever, ever even begin to hint that something is wrong with her for

 A) Taking a long time to get in the mood (it takes a while, she’s a crock pot, you are a microwave). 

B) Not exactly liking sex yet (it can take a while to even begin to enjoy).

C) Orgasms not happen, lot’s of factors here. Lower your expectations.  

8) Calm the hell down

This isn’t the night you need to go crazy on, it’s going to take you guys a while to hit your stride. You aren’t going to explode if you can’t have sex. Seriously. 

9) What you saw in porn isn’t how it’s going to work- don’t bring any of those expectations into your wedding night

Yeah, if that’s what you are carrying into this, you might as well have been reading comic books. Give you and your wife a huge courtesy and leave that stuff out of this, in fact, just abandon porn all together. 

10) If you’ve never ever been touched down there expect it not to work out like you had hoped

Here are some two common scenarios

A) the hair trigger (it’s going to go off at the first whisper). Totally normal. 

B) It’s going to feel like a reluctant freeze dried, overly thawed hot dog. It’s just not going to show up and do the work. Also totally normal. 

If needed, go back to step one. 

11) Lube- it’s your new best friend

My favorite is Penchant, it’s not greasy, it cleans really well and makes the entire process a LOT easier and way more fun. Be in charge of this and go ahead and get it. You can also get it on Amazon, if that's your bag. 

12) Sex is pretty messy

Don’t be grossed out by it. If she is, use reassuring words rather than, get over it! Be prepared. Have some hand towels nearby and find the way that you two like to keep things tidy.

However, there is something that’s pretty satisfying about sex that’s so messy you’ve got to take a shower afterwards.

13) Embrace the novel (the new experience, not a book)

How often do you get to dress up like you do on your wedding day? How often do you get to walk through a line of all your friends and family holding sparklers, jump in a limo and then get whisked off to a hotel?

If you BOTH are feeling the spirit move and you are BOTH feeling the excitement of the moment, go with it. But don’t feel like you have to fit the entire Kama Sutra into one night.

Final thoughts

Lastly, enjoy the process. You won't’ get it right, you will make mistakes. Knowing this ahead of time will really help! If you are feeling at a loss for what to do, go with love, love and more love. Embrace, hug, laugh, talk- a lot and work on not allowing any fear, guilt or shame to stick around. 

What To Do When Your Wife Tells You That She Hates Sex

My wife and I finally pulled the trigger on a 3 month trip to Europe with our kids. In the past,

when we travelled to Europe, it generally meant we were going to see the sights, taste the food

and have a very sexy time with one another.

With this expectation, we took off for Europe. What I didn’t account for was all the other factors

that were at play. Kids in tow, cold weather, digs that weren’t as comfortable or sexy as we had

thought. The further we got into the trip, the more dammed up my expectations felt. The more

sex seemed farther away, the more I thought I needed it.

After 5 weeks and one botched attempt at sex in a motorhome, we rented a farmhouse in

southern Spain. I was like a horse headed towards the barn. The closer I thought I was, the

more I ran.

I thought the house would equal a turned on wife. I had forgotten about how all the elements

needed to be right.

She, of course, could feel my desire turn into something that spilled into an obligation. Into that grimy place between a husband and wife where a husband can feel like he’s too much and the wife feels like she’s not enough.

I lay next to her in the dark and for the umpteenth time, I tried turning a back rub into something more. Her gentle no finally hit a tipping point and in the dark, lashed out at me. She broke and yelled something that, in that moment, was completely true.

I HATE SEX!!!

What I had forgotten in my pursuit, was the sexual trauma she had carried from her previous life before me. I had forgotten about all the gentle ways she needed to be put at ease and I was allowing my own desire and my own tendency to seek sex while I’m stressed to bowl us both over.

She was fuming and I felt like such a hypocritical idiot.

How many times had I promised her to not pressure her like that for sex? How many times had I told myself that I wouldn’t do it again and again and again?

I whispered an anaemic apology.

Fuming, she took a small gentle step toward forgiveness.

That small apology and forgiveness germinating in the dark, growing from only a mustard seed.

We fell asleep with lingering resentment. There was no real solution that night, just a tiny step from a broken “I’m sorry.”

It was the moment that I saw us both for who really were, shipwrecks. A man with expectations that unconsciously turned into obligations. A woman who had been used by men, objectified and for a long time in her life thought that was the role she had to play.

Neither of us wanted to live that way anymore, but time and time again, we’d edge toward that old center of gravity.

The next morning, as if it had grown in our sleep, real forgiveness was at work, bigger than ourselves, beyond our own ability.

If you keep hitting the same roadblocks in your relationship, especially in sex, here are three simple things you can do to hit the reset button in your relationship.

1) Look inside to see where you are at fault.

I know that I was seeking sex because my expectations had gone out of control. I was also

stressed from the travel and was looking for comfort that borders on codependency.

It’s fine line between codependency and a healthy sexual life because at it’s best, sex does

bring comfort, love, and validation. But, my own pursuit had essentially tainted the right outcome

for both of us.

2) Ask for forgiveness from your spouse and from yourself.

It was only a small apology because I felt small. It barely felt right or enough, but it’s almost as if

the direction was more important than the progress.

3) Ask God for help.

How many times have I whispered this to him and how many times had he answered in

mysterious ways.

 

It’s in the mix of these simple ingredients that something in me (and us) turned into hope and

acceptance. We woke, holding one another. Feeling like maybe the night before had been a

nightmare. Hope does come in the morning.

The morning turned into a beautiful day. I didn’t walk around all day wondering about when or if

I was going to have sex again. I remembered about how I had pushed and pushed until in a

moment of frustration, my wife declared something that she didn’t mean.

That night, we lay in bed. I held her close. My message to her was, “you are enough, just as you

are. Despite the way I’ve been acting, you are enough.”

Her message to me, “you aren’t too much, despite the way you think you need me, I still love

you and accept you.”

Then, in the silence and the starlight, she told me without words how much she loved me. With

all of her. In a way that I could have never demanded and in a way that words can’t ever

describe, It was what I thought I wanted the night before, but so much more. Free of obligation,

expectation, fear, guilt or shame.

---

Ron Cecil and his wife Morgan Day Cecil run the website

http://www.romanceandadventure.com/. Together they also teach the online course, the R&A

Sutras, a 6 week program to that teaches an easy and holistic approach to sexual well being

that releases you from fear, guilt and shame in bedroom hell.

Ron is also a men’s mentor and coach, leading men into deeper connection and intimacy in the

relationships and areas that matter most to them.

When not working online or working one on one with clients, Ron and Morgan can be found

leading retreats or traveling with their two kids. Ron also loves motorcycles, rock climbing and

burritos. They live in downtown Portland, OR.