Here's your Monthly Digest packed full of amazing Imago Relationship Blog posts and Relationship Tips.
Explore healing racialized trauma in an interracial marriage, learn the right questions to determine your true life partner, discover how to heal violence in your home, learn how to stop sabotaging your relationship, explore how to increase sexual frequency and intimacy, examine what keeps a woman truly happy, discover the best sex tips for women to have more pleasure, and learn how to raise loving and kind children in today's world.
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When to Say I Love You - Why Waiting is a Good Idea
Opening our hearts to a new relationship can feel so vulnerable and scary, and we're looking for signs that we are not going to be hurt, to make a fool of ourselves.
That can be especially true if we've got a lot of relationship trauma in our backgrounds. So there can be a tendency to push for declarations from our partner that they genuinely love and cherish us.
And because we fall in love from the limbic system and have all these outpourings of feel-good brain chemicals - oxytocin, dopamine, pheromones, endorphins, we are literally on a chemical high. So wanting to express and declare love goes along with that feeling.
Time is our best friend - to really see the person we are getting involved in a relationship.[Read more...]
How to Stop Sabotaging your Relationship
We all know what it’s like in relationships: We fall in love, and with all good intentions, we think we have met “The One.”
The one who’ll meet all your needs, make you happy, and think and feel the same way you do! We may even say, “I’m so lucky to have met you!”
But for most of us, somewhere between six months and three years into the relationship, things begin to change. We come to realize that we are very different.
Some Differences Shared in Relationships:
"They don’t communicate."
"They communicate too much."
"They don’t pay attention to me."
"They are smothering me with attention!"
"How can they be such a slob?"
And so it goes… So what do we do? We try to get them to change. We all do it.
Very simply--we want our partner to be more like us. And that is the beginning, the source of much of our conflict. And worst of all–we know it doesn’t work!
Most of us do Some Version of the Following...
Healing Violence in Our Homes
“He hit me!” Daria announced in a harsh tone when she and Ricardo came in for their first couple’s session. “You provoked me until I did. You wanted me to hit you!” Ricardo rebutted.
“No, I didn’t! You always blame me for everything. Why can’t you just take responsibility and say you’re abusive? You’re just like your step-dad, and you know he was and still is an abuser.” Daria rebutted.
"You’re impossible! You’re never satisfied with anything I do. Who do you think you are, my judge and jury? Get a life! Get off my F@*king back! Besides, you provoke me into hitting you. You hit me sometimes too. Don’t pretend you’re the innocent one in all this!” Ricardo rebutted.
"Whoa, whoa, hold up … whoa guys … time out!" I said to interrupt their rapidly escalating battle.
“It makes sense that both of you are scared and upset. You’re intruding on each other’s boundaries and trying to protect yourselves at the same time. Let’s slow things down a bit and try to find out what’s underneath the emotional and physical abuse." I further explained.
First Order of Business - Stop the Hitting!
They simply could not allow it to continue. I also recommended they attend a marriage intensive and weekend workshop, which would specifically give them insight, help them gain some compassion for each other, and an understanding of early childhood wounding. The combination of the workshop experience and the marriage intensive therapy is strong medicine and a healing balm.
Because Daria and Ricardo didn’t bond securely with their first caretakers, their parents, they had many difficulties trusting and being close to other people later in life. Intimate relationships were incredibly hard for them. When they felt unsafe, especially rejected or abandoned, they tended to get violent and abusive to control their partner and avoid feeling hurt.[Read more...]
Lack of Sex in a Relationship? How to Increase Intimacy in the Bedroom
We have all seen the scene in the movie when a man and a woman become overwhelmed with passion, and they find themselves in a hurried embrace that leads to steamy, spontaneous sex. Those moments are erotic, but for committed couples, impromptu sex doesn’t often materialize. That doesn’t mean your sex life has to suffer, on the contrary.
Rather than waiting for impassioned desire, decide to learn the art and pleasure of sex. In doing so, you’ll improve your relationship and your overall health and wellbeing.
With our smartphones always at our command, it is challenging to get our undivided attention. At any given moment, we might be responding to a pressing email, reading a disturbing headline, or locked in an addictive video game.
We are running our own, individual, movie in our minds, and balancing competing desires throughout the day. Part of ourselves may want to watch TV; the other part may want to go to sleep. This is also true for our partner. They, too, have their own story running throughout the day. So to presume that your partner’s mind and body are ready for sex at the same time, you are is not very likely. Since this is the case, it is helpful to plan your sexual rendezvous. In doing so, you and your partner can properly prepare and anticipate.
My husband and I plan for our intimacy by scheduling an indoor date. We set aside time on Friday night to be intimate. We allow our daughter screen time while we have alone time. With our bedroom door locked, we luxuriate in each other. What our indoor date entails can vary from date to date. Create an evening that includes activities that stimulate you both.
Discover your Turn-ons, Turn-offs, and Fantasies when you Plan.
4 Tips on How to Keep Your Woman Happy
"What do women want?" is an age-old question that rolls off the tongue of many men with alarming regularity. The nods of other men confirm the mystery. Women will be happy to tell you if you ask. And men have.
What keeps the mystery going is that the answers are so different from how men think and operate that they're too often tossed out simply because the answers don't seem to make sense.
Knowing what makes women tick is discoverable, but you need to suspend your beliefs about what you think she wants and be prepared to be impacted.
Ira Glass once asked a researcher on This American Life why she thought her hypothesis was so far off her actual results. The researcher answered that she had assumed the experiment's teenage subjects would be a lot more like she had been at that age. Ira Glass commented, "Ah, the mistake that rules the world." This couldn't be more true for romantic relationships.
A woman wants to be understood for who she is, how she thinks, what's important to her, how she feels, and why she feels what she feels.
Healing Racialized Trauma and White Fragility in Interracial Relationships
I am a Black woman married for 13 years to a white woman who grew up in a middle-class, academic family which endowed her with all the safety and privileges of whiteness and left her blind to the problems of race and racism.
One of the privileges she enjoys is her family's cottage on a tiny island in Maine, where approximately 300 other white families reside in the summer. Many of these families have been "summer-ing" on Cliff Island for generations, and each new parent is excited to introduce their own kids to this idyllic place that holds such fond childhood memories for them.
My wife, Yael, has her own fond memories of Cliff Island. For years, she would describe to me her vivid dreams of swimming in the "Cove," picking raspberries, heating up hot water for a bath in the antique metal tub in the kitchen, and gathering for elaborate dinners with summer family friends. Given all of this, I was excited when she first invited me to go there with her. I wanted to see this magical island!
One summer weekend, we drove the three hours to Portland, Maine, where the Casco Bay Lines ferries all begin and end. Yael became more and more excited the closer we got, pointing out details and sharing memories. Standing in line for the ferry with our tickets, I wanted to share in her excitement, but I was beginning to feel very nervous. As we got settled for the 1 1/2 hour ride to the island, my fear grew, and I suddenly started to feel as though I was suffocating, the same feeling I've experienced at my predominantly white professional conferences and throughout my academic and clinical training.
What Yael hadn't mentioned in all her reminiscing and what I could now see was that the folks who went to these islands were all white; I was the only Black person on the ferry. As I watched my wife basking in the sea-breeze, her face lighting up with childhood joy, I felt as if my very existence was being sucked out of me.
Best Sex Tips for Women - How to Have More Pleasure During Sex
A while ago, I read an inspiring article in The Guardian about several women working at the radical edge of sex-positive feminism, called "The Pleasure Revolution." This line particularly struck me: "#MeToo was about men imposing their pleasure on women. The pleasure revolution is about women asserting their pleasure."
It's Time to Claim Our Right to Sexual Pleasure
Women, it's time. It's time to assert our rights to our sexual pleasure. Throughout most history, men's pleasure has been prioritized, often at the expense of women's pleasure and even consent. Now, in the wake of the #MeToo movement, we have the opportunity to change the conversation.
Men are feeling unsure of themselves, uncertain of how to interact with women. They worry about saying or doing the wrong thing. They hesitate to flirt. Some are even becoming angry and joining Incel (involuntarily celibate) groups that target women for violence.
Rather than letting men continue to flounder or expecting them to figure it out for themselves, we need to step up and speak out. But before we can do that, we need to claim our right to our sexual pleasure, and we need to understand our desires.
Begin Your Sexual Empowerment Journey with 10 Questions:
Do you know what turns you on sexually?
Raising Loving Children - How to Teach Kindness to a Child
What can we all do right now in response to the recent horrific, unjust murders and long-standing history of systemic racism? Wow, big question! Raise children who love.
Yes, we can donate to organizations like Black Lives Matter.
Yes, we can continue to protest for legislative changes peacefully.
Yes, we can educate ourselves, become aware of our issues with race, and how we contribute to ongoing inequality. I’m a white person, but we all can benefit from and learn How to be an Anti-Racist with Ibram X. Kendi.
Yes, we can promote and practice inclusivity in our own lives and communities.
But most importantly, we can raise children who love.
After the 9/11 attacks, when asked, “What do we do to respond to the attack?” Lawrence Kelemen (author of To Kindle a Soul: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Parents and Teachers) responded by offering the encouraging answer of“we raise children who love.” What a simple yet brilliant message to create change.
Children are learning and watching us all the time in how we relate to them, our partners, and the people around us. Here’s what we can do as parents...
We hope you've enjoyed reading our Imago health and wellness blogs & tips this month. If you love quizzes, be sure to check out our Imago Relationships Quizzes!
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