We are having marriage problems, and part of the problem is my lack of interest in sex and my husband’s frustration with my lack of interest in sex. I think there may be something wrong with me because I was into it when we first got married but now I’m more interested in sleep. If this doesn’t change I don’t see our marriage making it. Any advice?
You are not alone on this one. According to a CNN Health article, 40 million Americans are in a sexless marriage, meaning they have sex less than 10 times a year.
This is a problem because a healthy sex life is a critical part of a good marriage. For the man, sex creates feelings of security, love and validation around who he is. For the woman, sex creates a feeling of connection, fulfillment and security.
If you are committed to making this marriage work, you must identify what the problems are and commit to solving them. Here are some common issues:
Here are some things you can do to improve your relationship:
You can do this.
Kimberly Giles is a sought after life coach and president of www.claritypointcoaching.com - Cameo Haag, co-writer, is the founder of www.sexlessmarriagenomore.com and author of the e-book "5 Beliefs That May Not be Serving You in the Bedroom."
People all across Utah, Washington and the entire country have been in a state of shock and grief since the news broke that Josh Powell killed himself and his children in a heinous manner Sunday afternoon.
People have found themselves asking, How do I process these horrific events? Why do things like this happen?
There are some principles which might help you to make sense of it all, find a place of trust and peace, and let this experience change you for the better.
You must first understand the nature of life and why bad things happen.
Principle: The objective of being here is to grow and learn.
Life is a classroom and every experience is here to teach you something. Often the more terrible the experience, the greater the lesson. For me personally, I have felt a deeper appreciation for my spouse and children this week. I have a greater understanding about the depth of my love for them.
I’ve also discovered that my love for people (even people I don’t know) is deeper than I realized. I ache for the Cox family, and it is a beautiful thing to feel the depth of my love for my fellow human beings.
Principle: We have free agency.
In order for life to be a perfect classroom we must have free agency. For free agency to exist, evil has to exist. If the universe interfered or thwarted every evil act from happening, there would be no agency.
We are here to have a full good-and-evil learning experience, and that requires people being able to make terrible choices. It is what we signed up for (even though we don't remember doing it). This is the nature of this life, and we chose to trust that the universe has a plan and purpose for it all.
Principle: We cannot see the answer to why this happened, and we aren’t supposed to.
If we were supposed to understand why this tragedy had to happen, then we would. So I assume the universe has a reason for keeping us in the dark. I have also come to believe that maybe we are better off not knowing, and here is why.
Right now you are truly, deeply bothered by these horrible events — as you should be. If you understood the reason why this had to happen, if the mystery was solved and you got the answer, you might make peace with the horror of the situation. You might not be so appalled by it.
That may be even worse than what you are experiencing now. Watching this kind of evil and not being moved to tears by the horror of it — not questioning and feeling pain — would take away what makes you human.
Aron Moss wrote a wonderful article on this topic in which he explains, “Worse than innocent people suffering is others watching their suffering unmoved. And that's exactly what would happen if we were to understand why innocents suffer. We would no longer be bothered by their cry, we would no longer feel their pain, because we would understand why it is happening.”
Moss said, “Imagine you are in a hospital and you hear a woman screaming with pain. Outside her room, her family is standing around chatting, all smiling and happy. You scream at them, 'What's wrong with you? Can't you hear how much pain she is in?' They answer, 'This is the delivery ward. She is having a baby.' When you have an explanation, the pain doesn't seem so bad anymore. We can tolerate suffering when we know why it is happening."
But we are not meant to tolerate suffering.
If you understood the reason you might rationalize the horrible things and be OK with watching it happen. But as long as that question remains unanswered, you will strongly abhor evil things.
I think the question isn’t why do bad things happen to innocent people; the question is, more aptly, what do we do when horrific bad things happen to innocent people?
Principle: We are always better off choosing trust.
Chose an attitude of trust. It makes a huge difference in how you process these events. Trust the universe that it knows what it's doing. Choose to believe that even the things we can’t understand serve us for good somehow. Trusting brings peace.
Let these events make you a better, kinder and more loving person. Instead of trying to answer unanswerable questions, turn your grief into a force for good in your home and community.
Speak out against injustice and cruelty more often. Love people more passionately and take action to alleviate suffering wherever you can.
I love this statement by Moss: ”We don't really want answers, we don't want explanations, and we don't want closure… We want an end to suffering... but we [shouldn't] leave it up to God to alleviate suffering… He is waiting for us to do it. That's what we are here for.”
If you want to honor the memory of the innocent children lost in these horrific circumstances, then be a force for love in your world. Perform more random acts of kindness, pay it forward more often, and love the strangers all around you the way you love the Cox family and their grandsons today.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of www.ldslifecoaching.com and www.claritypointcoaching.com. She is a sought after life coach and popular speaker. Watch Kim on KSL TV every Monday 6:15 a.m. Read her blog on KSL Today's webpage.
I have an issue with my son and I’m not sure I’m handling it right. He is living with his girlfriend, which I do not approve of. It is against my beliefs to live with someone outside of marriage. He and his girlfriend need a place to live for two months while waiting for a new home to be completed. They have asked to stay with us, but I’m uncomfortable having them live together unmarried under my roof. When I told him so, he got very offended. He is now quite mad at me. Should I stand up for my beliefs, or give him what he wants and let them stay here together?
The parent-child relationship is a very complicated one. As a parent it is your duty to teach, guide and love, but inevitably you also place a lot of expectations on your children. You want them to succeed and make good choices so they will have a happy life, but also because their mistakes reflect poorly on you.
Children also have unrealistic expectations for their parents. They expect parents to behave perfectly with wisdom and love, and children desperately want to win their parents' approval.
In his book "How Good Do We Have to Be?" author Harold Kushner says, “Parents are seldom as wise and children are seldom as accomplished as we think we need them to be. Hence, this relationship is full of need and expectation, and disappointment is inevitable. This relationship is the most complicated one a person will ever have.”
It may help to remember that making mistakes is a crucial part of this human experience as those mistakes are often our greatest teachers. Mistakes scare us, though. We develop a fear of not being good enough. We subconsciously believe we must be perfect or people won’t love us.
The role of religion is to cure that fear by telling us that God loves us anyway. Religion can help us to see that making a bad choice doesn’t make us a bad person, that God understands how complex and messy being human is, and He offers His perfect love to each of us as we grow.
“It’s not just a matter of hating the sin and loving the sinner," Kushner says. "God condemns the sin but loves the person who did it too much to even brand him as a sinner.”
That is unconditional love.
God thinks you have intrinsic, infinite and absolute value as His child, no matter how many bad choices you make. He wants you back, and understanding the depth of God’s love for you motivates you to obey Him.
Family should also be a source of this unconditional love. Ideally, your family should reinforce the idea that you don’t have to be perfect to be loved. Children — even grown children — need to know they can make mistakes without losing the love of their parents. They must know that even if you are disappointed in things they do, you are never disappointed in who they are.
We must give them permission to be scared, struggling, fallible people in the process of learning and growing — just like us. This is the greatest need they have.
I realize the job of a parent is also to guide and teach (along with providing unconditional love). The problem is that unconditional love must come first, or an environment of defensiveness is created where no learning can happen. When people feel judgment and criticism, their walls go up and they shut you off.
Besides, the best way to teach is by example. If your children feel disapproved of, they won’t stick around long enough to see your example.
I would recommend showing your son and his girlfriend that they are more important than your policy about marriage — especially since your unconditional love will bring their walls down, and it may give you the opportunity to share your beliefs with them down the road. It will also show them what your religion is really about: love.
Admit you were wrong and apologize for being fallible and human. Tell them you would love to have both of them in your home.
At least that’s my opinion — but you should listen to the voice of your inner truth to find the right answer for you.
The following passage is from the book “The Measure of Our Success” by Marian Edelman. It is her prayer to her children.
“I seek your forgiveness for all the times … I talked when I should have listened, got angry when I should have been patient, feared when I should have delighted, scolded when I should have encouraged, criticized when I should have complimented, said no when I should have said yes and said yes when I should have said no. I did not know a whole lot about parenting or how to ask for help. I often tried too hard and wanted and demanded so much and mistakenly tried to mold you into my image of what I wanted you to be, rather than discovering and nourishing you as you grew.”
Our children need to know they don’t have to be perfect to be loved.
Principle: Love is always the right answer.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of www.ldslifecoaching.com and www.claritypointcoaching.com. She is a sought after life coach and popular speaker. Watch her on KSL TV every Monday between 6 and 7 a.m. Follow her on Twitter @coachkimgiles
I'd like advice on how to help someone who's going through a personal crisis. I know being a shoulder to cry on goes a long way, but what about when it's time to help the person get back on their feet? I have a hard time knowing when to offer advice and when to let the person find their own answers. How do I offer suggestions and guidance without pushing someone too far in one direction or another?
You’re asking for advice for giving advice? I love this question because it gives me the opportunity to share the core principles behind my LIFEadvice articles.
Here are my tips for giving good advice to others…
Principle: Listening is what they need most.
Listening to someone validates who they are at the deepest level. Being an active listener is more than just nodding and repeating what they say, though. A good listener is also a good question asker.
You can help someone find the answers they are looking for on their own by just asking questions that help them look at the problem from different perspectives. The most powerful way to help someone is empowering them to help themselves.
Principle: The person seeking advice is the one entitled to inspiration about his or her situation.
As a life coach, I have learned most people already know the answer to the question they are asking, they just don’t trust their own judgment. Don't let them use you as a crutch. It doesn't serve them.
Keep asking questions about what they think and feel until they own their inner truth. This technique leaves room for their inner guidance to direct them. All the answers they need (and are entitled to), God and the universe will provide for them right on time. If they aren’t getting the answer yet, they may not be ready for it. Don’t knock yourself out trying to explain a solution – if they can’t see it, they aren't ready.
When they are ready and if you are the right teacher for this lesson, you will be inspired with the right words to say. If the right words aren’t coming, trust there is a reason and keep listening.
Principle: Listen for inspiration.
You cannot possibly know what’s right for another person but God does know. Be very attentive, at these times, to the whispering of the spirit. It is sacred ground you walk here. Make sure you ask God for guidance and listen for it.
Principle: Honoring where the person is means asking permission before you share.
I strongly recommend asking permission questions before you give any advice or share what you think about anything. This is a powerful way to show each person you honor and respect them.
A permission question may sound like:
If they say no, respect that. Respecting how they feel this time will build trust, and they will be more likely to listen to you next time.
Principle: Base the advice you give on principles of truth.
I base all my advice on universal principles of truth. If I don’t know the answer, I review principles until they guide me to a solution that feels right.
Here are some basic principles which help people to see themselves and their situation more accurately. These are truths most people know, but forget in times of crisis when they are emotional or scared.
Principle: Recognize when professional help is needed.
If someone is dealing with addiction, mental illness, depression or any other serious situation, you must refer them to a mental health professional, counselor, therapist or doctor. If you aren’t sure whether a professional is appropriate, err on the side of caution and recommend it anyway.
I hope this helps.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of www.ldslifecoaching.com and www.claritypointcoaching.com. She is a sought after life coach and popular speaker. Watch Kim on KSL TV every Monday at 6:15am. Follow her on Twitter @coachkimgiles
Some couples self destruct during tough times, while others pull together and strengthen their marriages despite serious difficulties. It is important to understand what is happening to families around you, as a result of the economic downturn, so you can protect yours.
When times are tough couples fight more — and domestic violence rises
“The economy is not causing domestic violence,” says Dawn Reams, the direction of Bridges Domestic and Sexual Violence Support in Nashua, New Hampshire, “but it definitely influences it.”
The NY Times reported in New York City, cases involving assault by family members are up 18 percent since the recession started. Philadelphia in 2009 saw a 67-percent increase in domestic homicides. This seems directly related to the economic downturn because incidences of domestic violence had been falling for the 15 years before the recession started. Now the numbers are on their way back up.
Utah is no exception. There is approximately one domestic violence-related homicide in Utah every month. While domestic violence numbers are rising, the number of divorces is falling.
When times are tough many couples postpone divorce — which is not always a good thing
Some couples are staying together because working, to get through the recession, has deepened their commitment to each other but others are staying together because they just can’t afford to leave.
In tough economic times women can become trapped in abusive relationships. They have too much fear about making it financially on their own and many decide to stay, even in unhealthy situations.
Karen Oehme, director of the Institute for Family Violence Studies at Florida State University, says, “It’s not uncommon for abusers to keep victims economically enslaved, seizing paychecks and denying access to money. When income shrinks during hard times, the victim becomes even easier to control.”
The downturn in the economy also means less funding for domestic violence shelters and programs. George Sheldon with the Florida Department of Children and Families says their centers are over capacity and it’s the worst he has seen in years.
Still, people are less likely to seek a divorce in times of economic difficulty.
A new survey called "The Great Recession and Marriage," from the National Marriage Project, at University of Virginia, reports that 38 percent of couples surveyed, who were considering divorce or separation, have now put off those plans due to the recession.
Some states have reported divorce filings have dropped by as much as one-third.
Many are postponing divorce until things improve so they can sell their house, afford another one or at least be in a better position to survive afterward.
The average divorce in the United States costs between $1,500 to $15,000 dollars, and that is just for attorney and court fees. Add alimony, child support, changes in tax brackets and the cost of supporting two households, and — unhappy or not — many couples just cannot afford to get divorced.
This can have a negative impact on children who are living with stressed out, depressed parents who don’t like each other but are being forced by circumstances to stay together. This may contribute to the fact that child abuse numbers are also on the rise.
Children are also being affected by another trend...
When times are tough people postpone getting married — or decide not to do it at all
USA Today reported that divorce numbers are significantly down this yer, and surprisingly so are the marriage numbers.
Many couples are waiting until things get better to marry. Some are waiting so they can afford the kind of wedding they want.
Some say they are dating less because of their shaky financial situation. They feel they aren’t financially ready to care for a family. Others appear to be discouraged with the whole idea.
Many have decided living together outside of marriage is a better option. Hence, the marriage rate in this country is steadily declining. While 79 percent were married in 1970, today only 57 percent have chosen to wed.
David Popenoe, a Rutgers sociology professor, says, “Cohabitation outside of marriage is here to stay and it’s not good news, especially for children. As our society shifts from marriage to cohabitation, there will be an increase in family instability.”
Studies show that 40 percent of babies born today are now born outside wedlock. Married couple’s divorce over 50 percent of the time already — but cohabiting couples have twice the breakup rate of married couples. None of this is good news for children.
The United States has the highest divorce rate and the highest number of single parent or unwed parent families — and now the marriage rate is falling.
The family unit, which is the foundation of our society, is in trouble.
Chuck Stetson, CEO of National Marriage Week USA, says, “Marriage is beneficial for both personal and national economic stability.” Marriage breakups cost taxpayers at least $112 billion a year. "In these days of economic hardship, policy leaders and individual Americans need to get serious about our efforts to strengthen marriage."
Sheila Weber, executive director of the National Marriage Week USA, says, “Marriage makes people happier, live longer and build more economic security. Children with married parents perform better in school, have less trouble with the law, less teen pregnancy and fewer issues with addiction.”
Marriage is good for the country and good for you. It is good for you economically, emotionally and socially.
It is a smart financial decision to invest in making your marriage a happy, fulfilling and successful one. The old adage is still true today … it’s cheaper to keep her.
If you are having problems (even small problems) in your marriage — get help and get help now. Don’t postpone doing something proactive to make your marriage work.
When couples wait until things get bad — it is often too late. Hurtful things have been said and there is often no going back. You must learn the skills that create good relationships now.
Susan Heitler, a clinical psychologist in Denver Colorado, said to PR Newswire, “Marriage is a very high-skilled activity. If your marriage is failing you must assume your skill set is insufficient.”
If your marriage is struggling, make a call and ask for help. Start learning better communication and relationship skills. Don’t wait. Invest in a stronger marriage for yourself, your children and your community. Even in these tough economic times, counseling is cheaper than divorce.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.