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Let's Talk About Sex with Dr. Jane Guyn

 

Michael Hoffman interviews Dr. Jane Guyn about the dynamics in couples around sexuality and the challenges that can arise with it. Jane discusses her clinical practice and upcoming workshop, both of which are intended to guide couples to establish fulfilling sex and intimacy and to overcome obstacles.

Dr. Jane Guyn's website can be found at https://www.howtofixmysexlife.com/

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Trust is Precious

Trust takes time to build. Yet without it, many essential things cannot happen. Trust usually trumps other factors- it affects things at the emotional level.

You can't fake trust, and you can't establish it at the intellectual level. While it may be a start, all the trust-building self-talk in the world will break down if it does not extend to the emotional level.

When someone betrays another person's trust, it usually affects the relationship for some time.

For example, I see this when a couple comes in for counseling after one of them has an affair. The other person may choose to forgive the person that had the affair.

Many times couples figure if they deal with it verbally and intellectually by discussing it and saying "I forgive you" the issue will be resolved. But then trust enters the scene.

Months or years later the betrayed person becomes hurt, anxious, or insecure about something that triggers their trust issue. Neither can understand why it is happening. They had...

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Team-up Against Each Other's Obstacles

We all get blocked, stuck, or overwhelmed on creative projects. So team-up with someone.

Create a team with your husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, friend, colleague, or associate. Have each of you identify something that you have resistance toward or are overwhelmed by. Pick someone to go first and then work on it together.

The helper best takes the energizer role. He or she can see the situation with freshness and clarity. They can ask the blocked teammate questions to find solutions.

But mostly they are there to encourage and support their teammate to work through their inhibition, resistances, and fear. Jump off the cliff with them.

Do not stop until you have accomplished something beyond what the blocked artist thought was possible. This exercise is intended to allow the blocked teammate to see new possibilities and hope.

Then later that afternoon or on another day, switch roles and team up against the other person's block.

You get the added value of creating a ...

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Breaking Unwritten Contracts in Relationships

All relationships are contractual. Often these contracts are unwritten and unsaid- yet they control most of the experiences of the relationship. We are typically not consciously aware of what we have agreed to with this person.

During this wintertime of introspection, we may become aware that a relationship that is not working for us and may seek to change the relationship.

When we change the way that we act in a relationship, we break the existing contracts that we had with this person.

The person that has the contract broken on them usually feels betrayed, hurt, or angry. The person that breaks the contract often feels guilty.

These dynamics tend to happen even if the contract that you are breaking is unhealthy for you and the other person. They were likely comfortable with the way that it was.

The other person will often try to convince you to return to the way that it was. They may let you know how painful and inconvenient that this new way is for them.

If this is a change...

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Metaphor of the Rose: With Beauty Comes Pain

One of my all-time favorite metaphors is that of the rose. It has beauty and delicateness, but also thorns. My interpretation is that with beauty comes pain.

With the love and the unfoldment of beauty with another human comes inevitable pain. They are a package deal. We can't care that deeply with another and expect to not get hurt.

Most of us have been hurt or betrayed by loving someone.

We seek the love and beauty that comes from exposing our hearts and becoming vulnerable, yet we are reluctant to do so because we got hurt badly when we did this before. We are afraid that we might not survive being hurt like that again.

If we allow (or have allowed) ourselves to feel and heal the pain of being hurt before, it should help us believe that we could heal it again. We learn to "believe in our survivability." Then, it is just an issue of willingness to risk.

We tell ourselves a story that we can experience the beauty of love without really letting go. We figure we can have the beauty...

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Power Struggle: No, You Come Into My World!

Most of us have experienced a power struggle in a relationship. No fun. But what is it really about? Many power struggles with couples are about each trying to get the other to come into their world.

The stronger or more determined of the two usually wins. The loser resents the winner; the winner loses respect for the loser.

How about a choice c.? What if a couple created a new world together. The new world would be different than either of your individual worlds. It would be based on what works for both of you.

You still get to keep your individual worlds. It is just when you are together you primarily hang out your shared world. You could also visit each other's worlds to experience and understand each other. But you focus most of your time with each other creating a world together.

This requires a shift in consciousness from "I" to "We." In your shared world, you could consider what is best for both of you when you make decisions.

You might have to give up some of...

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Where We Spend the Holidays Matters

Wherever we spend our holidays says which family is most important to us. Whichever family gets the most priority during the holidays is our primary family.

What is the important part of my holiday and with whom I spend that? Do we go to their house, or do they come to ours? Where is Thanksgiving dinner? Where do we open our presents?

Our primary family is what we see ourselves to be most a part of. It is where we feel that we most belong. What we are most strongly a part of is our primary role-identification.

Am I primarily a husband and father, or am I primarily my parent's son? I have to choose.

Whether we realize it or not, what we emphasize during the holidays tells our partners, children, parents, and everyone around us where we stand. Actions speak louder than words.

Sometimes our family of origin is so strong, that we forget that our primary (sometimes new) family needs to be acknowledged. Do we trust our new family enough to make it our priority? Are we worried about...

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Set Parameters to Define Your Relationships

Most of our relationships have become casual. We allow them to evolve without thinking about how we want them to be. We do not take the time to maintain them or keep them on track.

What if... we invested some time to define our relationships by thinking about and deciding what we want them to be. We could ask ourselves: What am I looking for in this relationship?

Then, we could set "parameters" (like limits) to keep that definition intact. Whenever one of us starts to deviate from that definition, we care enough to set a parameter that says: That is not what this relationship is about for me; I want it to be more like this. Effective parameters can be subtle, but they are always clear.

For example, if a friend flirts with you, think about whether you want flirting to be part of that relationship (definition). Then, give them clear signals (parameters) telling them whether or not you want flirting to be part of that relationship.

Or... when a friend is not spending as much...

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