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Question: I keep hearing from friends and family about how “Everything changes” physically and sexually when women go through menopause. I’m not at that point yet, but I would love to know what I can do now to prepare physically and mentally so that this can be a time when my husband and I are still connecting intimately. So many people I talk to say their sex lives went downhill when they got to that point. Do you have any suggestions? I’m not even sure what to expect because I can’t find anyone willing to talk about it.

Answer: I’ll be honest, I don’t know a lot about it at this point.  But, I have reached out to a friend who knows much more about this subject and invited her to come on my podcast to talk about it.  That should be happening in June.
In the meantime, I do know that the main issues are thinning vaginal tissue, decreased lubrication, irritability, hormone shifting, and physical discomfort like hot flashes, etc.  Desire can often decrease from these issues.  But if you can address and solve them, then things shouldn’t be too bad.

Category: Sex
Tag: Menopause

Question: I’m having a hard time finding pleasure. I don’t know if it’s an actual physical problem or if it’s a mental thing that I’m somehow not allowing myself to feel pleasure. My husband wants so badly for me to find something that is pleasurable because we both know exactly how he feels pleasure but are stumped when it comes to me. It’s disheartening, and last night he even said that I was broken. It made me feel even worse than I already feel. He knew that wasn’t the best thing to say and apologized later, but it’s just been hard. I do feel pleasure sometimes, but it’s not very often and not enough to make me actually crave it. Last week we bought an expensive sex toy (the WeVibe Chorus) to try something else, but it didn’t do much for me unfortunately, which is what kind of confirmed in his mind that I am broken. I have gotten some enjoyment out of a rabbit vibrator that we have, but that’s the only thing I’ve found that works. Even then, though, it’s not something that I crave. The times that I do enjoy sex have been more about my connection to him and our closeness than my own actual pleasure. I want to be able to feel pleasure more and have this be something that I actually want. What can I do mentally to help me with pleasure?

Answer: Well thinking you are broken isn’t helping anything!  Figuring out how you personally feel pleasure is a process.  Try working on the Roadmap to Personal Pleasure in your workbook.  You can also try a different kind of vibrator. Some people have more luck with one that does an air pulse.  The Satisfyer Pro, The Womanizer, or the Lelo Sona Cruise (it does a sonic pulse) are all good options.  Spending some time by yourself with may help too.  Making sure you are getting time to connect to you.

Connection is an important piece, so don’t discount that.  But you are NEVER going to be a man and probably not crave it like he does.  Women just don’t have the testosterone, which is what drives me to want it.  But finding what works for you is a process that is well worth your time.

Question: Ever since I have had my 1st son, I feel this ticking time bomb where I have to have my kids a certain age apart, or that I have to be thinking when I’m going to have another child. I know I am not excited about having another child because of postpartum depression/anxiety, and generally not liking the baby stage. Even though I tell myself I won’t even address having another baby until the end of the year, I have this constant thought like a virus, that always reminds me of planning for another baby. I don’t know how to manage these pressures I feel from others & myself, so I can enjoy the present moment of just having one child.

Answer: You can’t feel pressures from others, it’s only from you.  You need to figure out the thought causing the pressure and figure out a different thought, that you can believe, instead.  Even just “I’ll make this decision later, but now I’m focusing on my son.”

The ticking time bomb is also coming from a thought.  What is that one?

Question: Sorry for this being a little long. I shockingly found out a couple days ago that I am pregnant, and we didn’t plan for this at all. I don’t even know how far along I am because I haven’t even had a period since before I got pregnant with my son, who I am still nursing and who just barely turned one. I have been in denial and have been super stressed. It’s kid number three, which means changing a LOT, including needing a new car and many other things. I told my husband, and he is not handling it well at all. He wanted to be done at two kids, and this is shaking his world. I’m not prepped for it either and have my fears, but I’m handling it better than he is. I’m trying to get excited even though I know this is going to be really hard. He’s been gone for work, so I haven’t seen him in person since this news, and we’ve been having a lot of arguments over the phone. He’s seeming to blame me for things (which is dumb) and is so negative. I’m trying to be positive but also allow him the space to feel how he needs to feel. We’re just having a lot of tension. We have a lot of plans and changes coming this year already with potentially moving, job changes, business startups, and we don’t know how to navigate everything now. How can we get through the tension as well as figure out how to deal with all the uncertainty? I know that’s a lot, but any advice or help you have would be super appreciated!

Answer: Well, first off, Congratulations!  While it is unexpected, I personally believe a baby is always a good thing 😉

While we *think* we know what is going to happen the future, we make plans, etc. the future is ALWAYS unknown.  There is always uncertainty, even if we don’t think about it that way.

Right now, your brain is offering you (and your husband) a lot of thoughts that create fear and uncertainty and you are just listening to it and believing it.  Probably not helpful.  But what you CAN be certain about is how you will choose to show up for yourself and your marriage despite your circumstances.

Here’s your current model

C: Pregnant, potentially moving, job changes, business startups.
T: We don’t know how to navigate things
F: Uncertain
A: Worry about everything that might change. Think about all the different options.
R: Still don’t know how to navigate things

And here is a possible intentional model

C: Pregnant, potentially moving, job changes, business startups.
T: We will figure things out as we go because we always do
F: Certain, Confident
A: Make decisions when they come. Trust myself.
R: We figure things out

Try listening to this podcast:
Episode 107 – Uncertainty and Unmet Expectations

Feel free to write again or come onto a call.  Hugs!

Question: I am so frustrated. This morning was what “should have been” a great set up for sex. HE initiated (yay) romantically out of the shower, we had no interruptions from the kids, we had plenty of time and felt relaxed and no distractions.. and still NO excitement/arousal/passion from me or my body, even when I kept redirecting my thoughts to the moment, my body, and my positive mantra of “I can create meaningful sex” I am so tired of this crap and trying without getting any positive results.

Answer: I am so sorry! You’ve been in this pattern for a long time, so it might take more than one encounter for things to change.  But if he is finally pursuing you and initiating, then hopefully that is leading you in the right direction!

Question: You answered a question today about pain during sex, and part of it was to make sure to be fully aroused before insertion. Does that mean orgasm before? I usually do with a vibrator before he comes in, but I’m not necessarily fully aroused anymore once I’ve orgasmed (maybe I’m weird! 🙂 ) I have pain during sex sometimes because of babies and have done some pelvic floor physical therapy, but I’m wondering if we should insert before I orgasm so that I’m aroused.

Answer: Your vaginal canal should still be open and lubricated after you orgasm so that it intercourse isn’t painful.  So if it is, you can definitely try insertion beforehand or try using more lube.  You might need to experiment and see what works best.

Question: Sometimes when I notice that I want to make changes in any aspect of coaching or life, I suddenly feel like “I’m always the problem” or “why do I have to be the one always making changes” or I’m feeling broken or “why can’t I feel this way”. It’s difficult for me to overcome these thoughts about feeling broken or less than perfect, or just straight up invalidated by what I’m feeling. How do I get over that gut response that gets in the way of actually doing anything to make the changes I want to? I feel like there’s a few things about perfection, control, and invalidation that just seems to be tied to every struggle I have.

Answer: The thoughts aren’t the problem, it’s what you are making them mean.  What if you just noticed that they were there and didn’t judge yourself for having them or didn’t let them stop you.  Just notice them, allow them, and move on.  “Ah, there’s that thought again.  Silly brain.”

Our brain’s job is to keep us alive.  When we want to do anything new or different, it’s thinks it is keeping us safe by telling us these things so that we don’t get hurt later.  Your brain is actually working perfectly.

Question: I’ve noticed lately that during intimacy with my husband I actually sometimes like more than a soft touch – hard to describe but maybe a little bit rough without any pain? I would describe it as wanting to feel more passion. How do you keep intimacy sacred and safe but yet bring in a little more passion without crossing the line into becoming aggressive?

Answer: Why can’t aggressive be sacred and safe?  As long as both partners want it and are ok with it, aggressive and passionate lovemaking can be fun and bring you closer together.  It’s all about creating goodness between the two of you and there is no “right or wrong” when it comes to sex.  Sacred doesn’t just mean soft and gentle.  It means that is brings the two of you closer together.

Category: Sex

Question: You mentioned someone who has an FHE lesson around thought work. Can you please share the link for that? Thank you!

Answer: Yes! Jody Moore.  Family Home Evening Lessons

Categories: Children, Church Stuff
Tags: FHE, Thoughtwork

Question: Hi Amanda, My husband and I are doing great. Our relationship has never been better or stronger. I apologize for this off-topic, that is non-relational, challenge, but it is the biggest struggle I’ve been trying to figure out how to handle. My issue is the loss of freedoms from unconstitutional government mandates. In trying to run the model, I am struggling to find an intentional model that will bring peace. The unintentional model: Circumstance: The governor has no constitutional authority to make law, yet keeps shutting things down and is threatening fines and arrests for even having more than six people in a home for Thanksgiving. I have five children, so we have a family of seven. The only reason that the mandate works this year is that one of my children is serving a mission for six more weeks. Thought: Freedom of choice is being taken away and is not expected to be given back. Feeling: Helplessness Actions: Civil disobedience when I feel I can. Otherwise, following the mandates, which is not living with integrity because I feel I should be fighting back, not cowering. Results: I allow the governor to take my choices away by living with the declared guidelines.. What does an intentional model look like? I want to feel peace, but it’s hard to figure out how to do that. I can’t change the circumstances coming from the government, but I don’t know how to change the thought in a way that will bring peace. Pretending that freedom will be restored before the millennium is like living in denial, and although it could bring peace, denial doesn’t seem like the right answer either. How do I get an intentional model that brings peace and helps me live within my integrity and understanding of the signs of the times? I really could use some help sorting this out, if you are willing. If it is better via email, I totally understand.

Answer: Hi! You can ask me ANYTHING here.  Doesn’t need to be relational 🙂

So here’s your problem – your circumstance in your unintentional model is your thoughts…not facts.  They feel VERY true for you.  They feel like facts.  But they aren’t.  You also have other thoughts spread throughout your model. We need to be very factual in the C line and keep your thoughts to the T line.

So your model actually looks like this.

C: The governor doesn’t have constitutional authority. He has shut things down and says words about fines and arrests.  The mandate says no more than 6 people in a home at Thanksgiving.  I have 6 people in my home this year.

And then you have a lot of thoughts about it
– He is threatening us
– This wouldn’t work for my family if my son was home from his mission
– Freedom of choice is being taken away
– It might not be given back
– If I follow the mandates I am not in integrity with myself
– I should fight back, now cower
– He’s taking my choices away with his declared guidelines

F: Helplessness (which though is this coming from?)
A: (What do you do when you feel helpless? Civil disobedience doesn’t come from helplessness).
R: (would depends on the T, F, and A)

So, for your intentional model we need to figure out what is going to work best for you so that you can feel like you have integrity.

C: The governor doesn’t have constitutional authority. He has shut things down and says words about fines and arrests.  The mandate says no more than 6 people in a home at Thanksgiving.  I have 6 people in my home this year.

T: ???

F: Integrity

A: (What would you do in the circumstance to be in integrity with yourself?)

R:

Feel free to post your response and we will add to this discussion.

Categories: Politics, Self

Question: How do we stay calm and focus on peace when all of those we conversate with want to discuss the state of the world and how horrible it is? I always bring gratitude into the conversation but I”m getting exhausted listening to the voices of despair! I can’t cut these people out of my life. One of them is my mother and she’s 80 and very worried and sad for our country. I feel bad for her and it is bringing me down.

Answer: How do we stay calm? By thinking thoughts that create the feeling of calm.  Watch your thoughts….

T: They think the state of the world is horrible
T: They are the voices of despair
T: It’s exhausting listening to them
T: She’s worried and sad for our country and I feel bad for her
T: She brings me down

Do these thoughts bring you peace and calm?  I’m guessing no.  What could bring you peace and calm?

T: She can think whatever she wants and it’s ok.
T: I can stay peaceful no matter what others think

Category: Relationships

Question:  Lately I have had problems being able to orgasm. My spouse is very attentive and determined which does put a little pressure on me. I appreciate his determination but I get sooooo close and I will stay close but just can’t let go. We have talked about it and I’m perplexed. I don’t feel a huge amount of pressure but could this be the problem?

Answer: The problem is almost always what is going on in your brain.  Sometimes we don’t orgasm, even when we get close.  But worrying about if you are going to or not usually just makes it worse.  I would go back to basics.  Focus on pleasure and connection and not orgasm.  If it happens, it happens.  If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.  The pressure you feel is from the way YOU are thinking, not what he is DOING.  Remember to stay relaxed and also let him know that while an orgasm would be nice, you just want to focus on connecting and pleasure.

Category: Sex
Tag: Orgasm

Question: Hey Amanda! So i’ve noticed that when my husband and I have sex two days in a row it seems almost impossible for me to orgasm both times. I’m wondering if this is normal or if there is anything I can do to help with it. Thanks!

Answer: Just like men have a refractory period  (the time between an orgasm and when you feel ready to be sexually aroused again), so do women.  It varies for each individual.  For some it’s short, and some it’s longer.  It can be minutes to days.

There are three key factors affecting refractory period length that you may be able to control: arousal, sexual function, and overall health.

To boost arousal:

  • Switch up how often you have sex. A different sex schedule may result in a different refractory period.
  • Try a new position. Different positions mean different sensations. For example, you may find that you’re more in control of your arousal if you’re on top of your partner or if they’re on top of you.
  • Experiment with erogenous zones. Have your partner pull, twist, or pinch your ears, neck, nipples, lips, and other sensitive, nerve-dense areas.
  • Fantasize or role-play. Think about situations that turn you on and share them with your partner.

For sexual function, make sure you are doing your kegals. And overall health, the usual; diet and exercise.

Category: Sex
Tag: Orgasm