Ep 11: How To Bring Intimacy Back To Your Relationship

Why is intimacy the first thing we put on a shelf in long-term relationships?

There are many reasons…many understandable reasons. Sometimes, it’s just natural to need to focus on other things.

However, what begins with a small break because of real life that you go through such as:

  • life is busy
  • we had a kid
  • our health isn’t optimal
  • we’re in crisis mode, ect…

  • … becomes a routine of putting intimacy off until later.

    After a while, guilt and resentment start to creep in, and misunderstandings, miscommunication, and hurt feelings pile up so high that we don’t even know how to get back to enjoying the precious gift of intimacy anymore.

    I believe you can start small and begin with grace for you and your partner. And with a few simple tools, you can bring sex and intimacy back to your relationship … consistently.

    Grab a pen and notebook … you’ll wanna take notes on this one!

    If you want help implementing the tools I teach, I would be honored to be your life coach. Working with a coach helps you to create change quicker, easier, and with more fun along the way! Are you ready to create a more Joyful Love in your own Life and Marriage? Then click here to find out more. 

    What You’ll Learn From This Episode

    • The Three Basic Needs To Bring Intimacy Back
    • The Importance of Simple Pleasures
    • Power Thoughts To Get You In The Mood!
    • Power Questions To Open Your Mind To Solve Your Unique Problems In The Bedroom

    Mentioned On The Show:

    • Purchase The Complete Confident Marriage Workshop Here: https://www.rachaelcunninghamcoaching.com/confidence
    • If you’d like to ask questions or tell me what you think, send an email to podcast@rachaelcunningham.com

    Go here to watch a free class and get on my newsletters.

    Podcast Transcript:

    [00:00:00] Hi, this is Rachel Cunningham, and you are listening to Joyful Love Episode 11, if you're ready to bring joy and connection back to your marriage. Stick around. Each week I give you the tools to up level your thinking, open your heart and bring joy and fun back to your relationship because it's not enough just to stay married. We want to love being married. Hey, friends, you know, when I first started this podcast, I decided to be two weeks ahead for every single episode that I wanted to put out. I knew I wanted to do that because at any point in life, there can be things that come up where you don't have time to do the things that you've scheduled to do. The last few weeks have been some of those times where the unexpected has taken over. So as of now, I am no longer two weeks ahead. What I record is put out the same week. So as I was thinking about what I wanted to share with you guys this week, I realized that so far I have not done an episode on creating that physical intimacy that most couples really desire and want to improve in their lives. And instead of rushing to create a new episode, I decided to give myself a gift of a free weekend. And at the same time, I'm going to give you a gift of hearing day three of the confident marriage workshop that I taught last week.

    [00:01:33] Day three of this workshop is all about creating intimacy and the three things that I believe you need to really let your guard down and allow yourself the pleasure of intimacy again. Now, this class was packed with tons of goodies to get yourself in the right mindset of welcoming the fun and passion of an intimate relationship again. So grab a pen, take some notes and start implementing this stuff to night. And if you like the class, of course, you're welcome to go to Rachel Cunningham, dotcom slash confidence and purchase the entire three day series. You'll get a bonus workbook in there as well to help you not just listen to the tools, but to actually start implementing them in your life and in your marriage. So with that said, welcome to day three of the confident marriage workshop. Enjoy. I want you guys to just trust today that you are going to get exactly what you need out of this class, maybe not everything is going to apply to you. Maybe not everything is going to resonate. Exactly. But trust that there's going to be something that is a really good golden nugget for you to take away from this class. So and if you come into this class with that attitude of, hey, I'm going to walk away with something that's going to really increase my intimacy, you're going to get so much more out of it. Right.

    [00:03:09] And if you can actually pay attention and not be distracted, you'll get even more out of it. So today you are going to leave more confident in your ability to bring more intimacy into your relationship and by intimacy. I don't want to mince words here. I do mean sex. So I'm a marriage coach. You don't think I just coach people on not being irritated and not being annoyed and creating boundaries and teamwork, right? No, fun is a big part of being married and sex is part of that fun. So you need connection. Yes, you do need connection. Right. That that kind of intimacy, that is just the the heart to heart connection. You need that with each other. You need that nurturing kindness with each other. But this is just one class. And I trust that the tools I'm going to give you today are going to help you with your overall intimacy as well. So including that heart to heart, to that connection. Now. In order to have a great sex life, you have to have three things, OK? The Big Three, in order to have a great sex life, you have to have peace in your overall life. You have to have a connection to your own body. Right, you have to be in tune and connected with your own body. You have to be in tune with your partner. So these are listed in this order because I believe for a for a great intimate life, this is the order of importance.

    [00:04:53] Without these three things, most of us are not ready to really welcome pleasure into our lives fully. We might be able to occasionally. But like full pleasure and full desire, we really need consistency in all three of these areas. Without these three things, most of us are just kind of hoping and wishing we can have more pleasure in our lives. So we might agree. We might agree to have sex half heartedly, but to really tap into that full potential of pleasure, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally, we need to have a healthy relationship with all three. So we're going to break these down today piece in your overall life. We need to feel safe before we can let our guard down and enjoy intimacy. OK, physical safety. This one is obvious. It's our basic need of physical safety, right? For no physical danger to be near and to know that we have food and water for survival. Right. You don't see in nature a rabbit stopping to procreate if it's being chased by a tiger. Right. It needs to feel safe for the sake of this class, I am going to assume that you are all physically safe and that you have food and water if you do not have these basic needs for survival and if you are in physical danger, I really do encourage you to seek help from a firm, from a professional in your area because you deserve to feel physically safe no matter what.

    [00:06:32] So if we assume that most of you are physically safe, let's dig a little deeper and ask ourselves what else do we need to feel safe with in order to really let our guard down and allow pleasure with our partners? We need to feel like we have control over our time and our environments, right when I what I see so often in my clients is that they operate from a day to day basis, almost like they are in physical danger, like a deer running from a lion. Right. Being because they're they're operating in that way. And their nervous system feels like they are in danger because of scarcity of time. So most of us wake up and immediately start thinking about all the things that we have to do today. And we don't stop that progress. We don't stop that trajectory of like worrying about time and about the next thing. Right. We're constantly moving to the next thing. We don't stop until bedtime. And there's so much that needs to be done from getting the kids off to school to to work to the taking care of the house, to paperwork, to managing appointments, to even things like that. You want to do like calling friends and calling your parents and everything in between. Right. There's so much to do that we're constantly on high alert, afraid that we're forgetting something or afraid that something is going to be left behind.

    [00:08:06] And our brains don't know the difference between that scarcity of time. And running from it from a tiger, right, our brain just it doesn't register. Oh, this is a different thing. It's just in that mode of survival. And living our lives like this does not create an environment to just for lack of a better word, Netflix and chill. Instead, we want to force our brains into relaxation mode because we're so exhausted. So a lot of times we do, you know, turn on Netflix or turn on the TV. And we we go on social media and we spend a lot of time there trying to relax, trying to just check out for a minute and let our nervous system calm down. Or we might even do really healthy things like meditation and and working out to give ourselves a space of feeling like we're in control. And these are these these last few things are really amazing. But sex does not usually come to the forefront of our minds as a way to purposefully create that relaxation time that we need. Because sex is so much more than just a 30 minute workout. It's so much more than that alone. Time to meditate. Right. And it's so much more than an hour of TV time. So we don't gravitate to that as a way to relax.

    [00:09:34] Right. Sex with a partner, intimacy with your partner partner means that you're willing to drop your guard. You're willing to let your guard down and be intimate. And all day long, you've been keeping that guard up. Right. And you've you you all day long, you believe you can't let anything distract you. All right. I've got to get this done. You know, you can't let anything distract you. So even when even with things that we love doing, there's a low level of stress that we often allow to tag along with us. Right. We constantly keep those guards up. So for me, this week, I just planted a bunch of flowers. This week I bought a bunch of flowers. And I love putting flowers on my porches and in my yard. And it's something that I actually enjoy doing. But I caught myself believing that I can't let anything distract me. You know, I gave myself a time frame to do it. And I and I didn't want my husband to distract me from getting these flowers planted. I didn't want my kids to distract me. I wanted to plant by myself. I wanted to get it done in a certain amount of time so that I could move on to the other things that I have to do. So even with that enjoyable gardening that I love to do, I welcome the bunch of stress thinking that it had to be done in a specific amount of time.

    [00:11:05] And I worried about other people distracting me from getting it done. So what actually happened was, even though I enjoy the process of planting flowers, I wasn't allowing myself to be fully present in the moment. Right. I kept my guard up. And because our lives are so busy and we spend all day making decisions and our brains are constantly on high alert, we need to actively create a time specifically for that safe space here that again. So because we are constantly on high alert and we're constantly making decisions and our brains are constantly saying there's not enough time, we actually have to backtrack and actively create a time specifically for that safe space of intimacy, which is why me and every other sex therapist out there knows that the way to create to an incredible long term sex life is to schedule that sexy time in the right. And the first thing we tell ourselves is that if we have to say, here's where most of our brains go, we say if I have to schedule sexy time and then we must not be a very passionate couple, we must not we must not have what other couples do right. We must not be as good as other couples who just have their intimate moments spontaneously whenever they want. And it's a regular thing. But I want to go back to the power of our thoughts right now, believing that believing that that it's not fun or exciting or good enough to schedule your sex life is just because you're thinking thoughts like it's better to be spontaneous.

    [00:13:01] But while you're waiting for spontaneity to happen consistently and for your lives to settle down enough to feel the. Freedom to enjoy each other again. There are thousands and thousands, there are thousands and thousands of other long term couples who are actively creating incredible sex lives for themselves. One scheduled night or morning and one scheduled and one sexy thought at a time. OK, so here's I want you to just kind of really just entertain this idea just for the next week even. Right. You can always go back to you, to your other ways of of doing things. But if those other ways are not working, I want you to just entertain this for a week, try something new for a week and see what it does for you. So here's what scheduling intimacy does for you. It creates consistency, there's no more of this wondering when the last time you had sex was. I remember my husband and I used to have disagreements all the time about when was the last time we were intimate. And I would always say it was definitely in the last two weeks. And he would say, oh, no, it's been over a month. And I was always confused, like, how could two people never be on the same page? Right.

    [00:14:31] How could we never be on the same page of when the last time we were intimate was? I have no idea. I still don't know who was right. We were probably both right in some cases. But when you schedule it in and it gets really consistent, you don't have to disagree on that anymore. Right. So the next thing that scheduling intimacy does is it creates intentional safety for your mind. Right. When we go back to that, here's what here's the whole goal of the first part of this session is to really teach you how to create safety in your mind. Right. Because so many times our brains tell us, oh, you're not safe when you actually are. So we're just going to kind of trick it into believing and seeing how safe that you really are. So number two is scheduling intimacy. It creates intentional safety for your brain. When you know you have a scheduled time for intimacy, your brain has a chance to really settle into it. Your brain starts telling you, you know what, I have a schedule and there's time for this. Right. We often think there's not enough time for intimacy, but when you schedule it in when it goes in your calendar, you start to retrain your brain that, hey, there is time for this. Right. I am safe. Time is not scarce. There is plenty of time for everything, including intimacy with my partner.

    [00:16:00] So this is, you know, and it starts to retrain your brain, hey, this is going to happen and I'm in control and I'm actually excited about it. Which brings me to number three, scheduling intimacy. Is an opportunity to plan and think sexy thoughts all day long, if you know Friday night is your time to get your sexy on and wake up and you wake up Friday morning and you say, oh, tonight we're going to get it on and you can plan for that and you can do all the things that make you feel sensual and safe. Right. That might that might become your day to give yourself extra things that you like, like maybe clean sheets. Right. If you like clean sheets on your bed, that's your data to clean the sheets or picking up the clothes on the floor. If that's important to you, it might be the day that you give yourself extra love by saying, you know what, I'm going to take a 20 minute nap in the afternoon, or it might be the day that you tell your brain, hey, brain, I'm going to purposefully choose to remind myself that the house doesn't have to be perfect for me to enjoy pleasure with my partner. I am safe. We are safe stuff lying around does not mean that I am not safe. So let's get it on right. And let's bring that that to the power. Let's bring that that idea to the power of our thoughts and that idea of the power of our thoughts by letting our partner in on our thoughts as well.

    [00:17:46] Right. That I explain that. Well, let's bring let's bring the power of our thoughts to our partners. We can let them in on our thoughts, too. Right. So we can purposefully think really sexy thoughts and we can bring that to our partners as well. So knowing that there will be a chance for intimacy later will increase your desire to be flirty and to stay open and and to have some fun, even foreplay during the day. Right. So you might even send the sexy text to your partner or you might be extra hands on with physical attire, with physical affection, so that you can both prepare yourselves and get really excited about what's to come right. You can start to like plant ideas in each other's heads. That's the fun of this. Right? So but to succeed at this, you have to go back to what we said on day one of this workshop. What did we say? On day one of the workshop? We said that we have to start small. So to succeed, we have to start small. If you have not had intimacy in months, don't start with scheduling sex three or four times per week. Let's actually create something realistic and maybe start with once a week or even once every other week.

    [00:19:10] Write drop expectations and the idea that sexy times has to it has to end in an orgasm. Right? So drop those expectations. That's the second thing you need to do to actually succeed at this. So of course, you want to improve your orgasms, but starting out might just mean that you that that success for you is to instigate intimacy consistently one time per week and then to see where that goes. So be open to really learning about each other in this intimate way. Again, be curious to what's enjoyable and what's not. And every every sexy time. Adventure is an opportunity for growth, no pun intended there. And it's an opportunity for fun. OK, so so even though they may not end in the way that we originally think they should write, that is not the point of of embracing your partner with intimacy. The point is to grow and to get to know each other and and to finger this intimate life out together again. OK, so there's zero absolutely zero need for perfection in these two things. You start small, you drop expectations, you just meet each other where you're at. Right. You just get consistent at instigating. You just get consistent at retraining your brain that, hey, this happens consistently. Now, it can be a fun thing to really include your partner in scheduling these goals, too. However, don't feel like you need to sometimes just one individual really needs to take the reins of this in your own mind and get in the habit of being open to intimacy for yourself.

    [00:21:09] So your partner will start to notice that you're instigating more and trust that that's enough for now. Right. That's your. First assignment for increasing intimacy is creating more safety in your mind by actually scheduling sex, OK, so that that's the first part. If you guys have any questions on this. If you guys have any questions on this, I want you to type you can type it in the chat box and I'll get to it, if not during the class. I'll get to it at the end. Or if you want it to be anonymous, you can type it in the Q&A box and I'll get to it at the end. So so as I go, like, if you're like, wait a second, what about this? Like so many times, like we bring our own situations into these, these classes and and it's important to get your questions answered. So so if you if you have those questions type of mine and I'll answer them. So the second thing we need for intimacy, you remember it was to connect with our own bodies. So after safety, it is connection with our own bodies. So. When you are not connected and in tune with your own body, the pleasure of intimacy is so much more difficult as women. We've been told the lie over and over, through movies, through stories, through so many things.

    [00:22:47] You guys, right through advertisements. We've been told the lie that sex is about giving pleasure to men. So our focus tends to be on what we can do, how we can dress, how how perfect and smooth our bodies are and what we can perform so that we are desirable enough. And so when all of our focus is on being desirable enough, it becomes exhausting. Right. And sex becomes it feels like an obligation. And we forget that sex is actually for our own pleasure, too. In fact, we're so out of touch with our physical pleasure that we don't incorporate pleasure in any of our lives, which is part of the reason that we fall into bed exhausted at night many days. So a huge part of finding that pleasure in the bedroom is actually finding pleasure in your own body. And I'm not just talking about masturbation here, which I highly recommend, too, but there are other things that you can do throughout the day to connect with your own body and your own pleasure that remind your brain that you are worthy of having those beautiful experiences of pleasurable sensations in your own body as well. So, again, we're going to start small here. I want you to just start with being connected and paying attention to your own body. OK, so some of the questions you can ask to do this are what does my body need now? It starts with simple things like getting up to stretch for a few minutes every hour, right? If you have a sitting job, just get up and just like take and then stretch.

    [00:24:46] Right. Take a good stretch every hour or get up and walk around, get up and walk to the mailbox. If you have a if you're sitting at home working a lot. Right. Starts with paying attention. Like what does my body need right now? And if you are up constantly moving around and you have small children that you're constantly looking after and picking up and and doing laundry and or you have a job that you are constantly on your feet, start to take notice of what your body needs. And do I need to sit down for five minutes or so and then even like a good two minute neck massage, like seriously you guys, a good two minute neck massage for yourself is amazing. And just take the moment and take a moment every day to really give your body just a few minutes of what it needs. So the other thing that you're your you might want to ask is what nutrition do I need? So pay attention to how your body feels when you eat certain foods. I know for me that if I would eat ice cream at night, I knew one hundred, one hundred and ten percent that I would not want intimate intimacy that night.

    [00:26:06] I like intimacy was off the table if I ate too much dairy. So ice cream is good. But I started to realize that it was not worth having that stomach ache every night and feeling that pit in my stomach of I something I shouldn't have. So I had to do some work to convince my brain that I was going to listen to my body instead of my brain's desire for the quick dopamine hit of ice cream. Now, thankfully, they make some really yummy ice cream with cashew milk now, and I don't have that problem anymore. I can I can have both, but I really had to tap into what my body was saying. What am I putting into my body that is decreasing its ability and desire to experience pleasure? I had to really be willing to get honest with myself and truly start to take care of myself with nutrition, with the nutrition that my body was designed was desiring. So and so many times, like we we often as we age especially, we start to say, oh, I'm just losing my desire. But in many, many times that comes naturally with hormonal fluctuations and things like that. But it's also so important to look at is your body getting what you need? Are you getting the nutrition that you need? Are you feeding your body things that cooperate with your body to help it feel it's best? That's very important.

    [00:27:46] Nutrition is a huge thing for actually creating physical desire. So the No. Third thing is what is my brain's desire? Right. Besides the ice cream, what desires and pleasures is my brain seeking throughout the day or week that you're not giving it so simple pleasures? Right. So. Simple pleasures that are actually for your body that give it a net negative or a net positive instead of a net negative, so simple pleasures could be anything from dancing. Turn on some music and dance. So, so fun. Take a long bath. Enjoy your meals, like actually take the time to not rush through your meals and enjoy them, all right, if you're into manicures, get a good manicure. I just do my own. I don't like other people touching my nails, so I just do my own. But give yourself or go get a good manicure. Listen to music. Laugh a lot. I like Mike, when's the last time you laugh, if it's been a while. Go put on a funny movie and just laugh, have a great laugh regularly, do your hair, get some comfy clothes on, get the buy some comfortable soft sheets. Right. And give yourself those pleasures. Do a foot soak, make a great drink, have a hot cup of tea while snuggled under a blanket or a cold ice water while you're sitting in the sun. Give yourself these kinds of pleasures or whatever it is your unique brain is seeking.

    [00:29:31] Give yourself those pleasures on a regular basis. And when you do, you're going to start to tap into the reminder that, hey, you know what? Just because I'm a human on this planet, I deserve pleasure. And I, I get to give myself that pleasure and all of these other ways as well. And when you get really good at these, like allowing time for these simple pleasures of life, it prepares your brain that you're worth it. Right. And the more you practice being present in these kinds of things, the more you can be present with your body for pleasure during sex. Right. The more you can really. And let's just take enjoying meals like practice, actually tasting your food and chewing your food and experiencing the food instead of just doing it to get to the next thing. Right. The more you can do that with these things, the more your body is going to be present during intimacy to instead of thinking about other things. So intimacy includes all of the senses taste, sight, touch, smell, hearing, start to bring awareness throughout the day to your senses as you're doing these things right. What is the smell like? What does it taste like? What does it feel like? Even things like like washing dishes. Right, right. So notice the soap suds on your hands. And if you put on lotion afterwards, notice how nice it feels to nurture your skin again.

    [00:31:04] When you know, when you're when you're taking a shower, notice the sensation of washing your body and how that in itself can really be a pleasurable thing. So when your partner like here's another one, like include your partner in this noticing pleasure throughout the day to when your partner stops you in the kitchen to give you a hug, or if you're the one stopping them in the kitchen to give them a hug, be present with the hug, be in tune with what it feels like to have your arms wrapped around each other. Right. Instead of just going, OK, let's hurry up and hug so I can rest to do this thing. Right. We all do it right. We all do it. We just need to bring awareness to these kind of situations when we're rushing through what could be very pleasurable moments. Another thing to really help your your small senses is to light candles or burn incense to really start to get in tune with what that smells like. Again, listen to music, throw out the door throughout the day to increase your you know, your you're hearing and being in tune with your hearing. Notice the way your body wants to move to it. So start to pay attention to all of your senses throughout the day. Right. Start to to give yourself give your brain what it desires, which is pleasure throughout the day. Right. In small, doable ways.

    [00:32:32] Every day. You don't have to do all of these every day. Just pick one or two. It really do. And then stay present with while you're doing it. It can be two minutes, two minutes every day of an intentional pleasure. And intentionally staying in tune with your body during that is huge and retraining your brain to to want and desire pleasure. So. And not only are are you going to be open to experiencing that pleasure, you're going to you're going to start to understand more what you like, right. And you're going to start to tell your partner what you like. Right. So even just simple things of of telling your partner, I really love this song because I love the way it makes me want to move. Those simple things can bleed into being brave in the bedroom and saying, OK, I like it this way or I don't like this way. Right. So like all of these simple pleasures lead up to pleasure in the bedroom. You cannot skip pleasure in your everyday life and assume to just like fall in bed with your partner and want that desire on a regular basis. So, OK, the third requirement to have a great sex life is this must be in tune with your partner. OK, so start to tune into your partner as well. Right. We don't want to leave them out of this, even though I like much of what I teach is is about like pleasure for yourself, like tapping into that pleasure as women, like giving you permission, like, hey, this can be about you.

    [00:34:19] Right. Giving you permission for that. We also want to be in tune with our partners throughout the process because it makes it more fun that way. So as you're working on connecting with your partner and tuning into their desires. And mixing those desires with your desires, it's important to remember that this is a learning process, the most important thing to allow in your relationship as you're improving your sex life is humor, right? Good lovemaking is playful. Good lovemaking drops criticism. It drops the idea of perfection. OK, good lovemaking brings humor into everything, including I know so many of us, so many of us. If we are in a long term relationship, one or both partners are going to eventually have some health issues that really hold us back from that robust sex life that we want. Right. So it brings home humor to everything, including being lighthearted about our health issues and saying, hey, this is just part of it. This is part of our journey together. So and it also includes when you're really tired. Right. But you're but you're still committed to having sex at least once a week, you know, and including also when your partner is all in. But you're but you're not or including how am I saying that, including when you are all in but your partner's not.

    [00:36:07] How can you actually bring some light lightheartedness and humor to that moment? So sex is a beautiful opportunity to be present with yourself and present with your partner. And the more you can actually be present, instead of worrying about the past or worrying about the future, the more you can laugh at how honestly imperfect the sex is. And I have a newsflash for you guys. Intimacy, physical intimacy is imperfect for every single couple during at least a small portion of their relationship. So the next skill to bring humor and acceptance of the imperfection of it, the next skill to be in tune is communication. So to communicate well, you have to drop every ounce of criticism and blame that you've ever had. I'm just going to, like, make a blanket statement, their criticism and blame for yourself and your partner do not serve you and it's not serving your partner. So just let it go. Let that criticism and blame go. It's not helping you move forward. OK, so the second thing is to assume the best if you want your sex life to improve. But your partner is not really into that right now. Assume that they want improvement to they're just not sure how to express that yet or they're not sure how to get there or maybe they're into it and are and are trying. So maybe you're the one that wants your sex life to improve and your partner is resistant.

    [00:37:57] Right? Maybe. Maybe they're too tired. Maybe they're exhausted. Maybe they have health issues. Maybe they're stressed at work, who knows? But really start to assume that they have these thoughts to that. You know what? I wish our sex life could be better, because I guarantee you most partners have that thought. If one partner wants it, the other partner knows, even if they don't know how to express it or communicate it. So start to assume the best. Right. They're doing their best. They're trying their best. How can we work together on this? So and then the next step is to get curious, be willing to communicate about your sex life and express your desires. So with acceptance. And curiosity, you're going to have so much more opportunity to approach your communication on these issues in a way that is helpful for you in a way that doesn't put up guards in a way that doesn't create more guilt and shame in this area. So acceptance and and curiosity are your best friends here dropping criticism and blame. Those are your worst enemies. So drop those, replace them with acceptance and curiosity about each other. So. Let's see, let me. Let me think of what's next. Let me look at my notes here. So then the other questions, too, to really help with your curiosity and with your communication are, you know, these are some some I call them power questions because they help you actually move forward.

    [00:39:53] They help you to find the answers to your unique problem instead of just ruminating about all the things that are wrong. So the first one is, how can I focus on the good right? What is going right with us right now, how our brains want to gravitate to the negative. So let's purposefully, purposefully. That's hard to say. Let's purposefully redirect them to what is going right. OK, so how are you? Another question is, how are our differences for us? So many times we want to say are we're just too different, but actually redirect to that thought and say how are how are all the things that we're different in actually really, really good for us. And then the other one is, how can I show that I am all in? How can I show my partner, hey, hey, man, I am all in. I know this is going to take a while to figure out. Sometimes I know that maybe this isn't going to be perfect, but I want you to know that I am all in with you. I am all in with improving our lives. I'm all in with improving our communication and our intimacy. And I'm so glad you're in it with me. Right. These are these are these are power questions that will get you moving forward and in in a way that is healthy for your relationship instead of keeping you stuck.

    [00:41:25] So I'm going to offer you guys some. Power of thought to think as well. So do you think on purpose, right? Come back and watch the replay of this or write. Write this down in a journal and actually practice them every day. And I promise you, it's going to help you so, so, so much. So sex is fun. Wake up and just remind yourself, especially on that day, that that you've scheduled pay. Sex is fun. We're in this together that feels so much more connecting and powerful than feeling like you're just separate. Number three, there's plenty of time for intimacy. This is going to help your brain to feel safe about creating time for intimacy. Sex is healthy, right? There's so many benefits of sex from helping calm our nervous system to helping our hormones stay balanced, to helping even heart our hearts right. So in decreasing stress and increasing inspiration, I mean, sex is so healthy. Just go Google how all the health benefits of sex and you're going to realize, oh, my gosh, I should be doing this all the time. So sex is for me. I love just taking a minute to just like really process that, like sex is for me, right? Like it's not just for your partner, it's for us. Right. So so how can you really use this thought to. To inspire you to to take a little more action in this area.

    [00:43:13] So another few few thoughts to just kind of end this. What is love is expansive. Love does not hold us in. It's actually expansive. It keeps growing. The more we love, the more it grows and the more other people feel it and experience it and benefit from it. Number seven is I can grow and learn through this relationship. I love to incorporate this thought whenever my husband and I are in a in a situation where I am just really struggling to understand him. So sometimes we have yes. Even marriage coaches have some have some sticking points in our relationship. But but I want you to know that just like like when you're even having misunderstandings, like recognizing that, you know what, this is an opportunity that I can grow. Right. This relationship is for me, living, having having a relationship where sometimes we kind of disagree or butt heads. That is for us, it's an opportunity for us to dig deep and see where else we can grow in life. And which leads me to number eight. Everything is a gift, you guys. This life, this this ability to love another partner, this ability to commit to another partner for life. It's a gift. Our kids are a gift are our jobs are a gift. Like all of these things that we welcome into our lives, they are a gift. And we can so easily forget that as the stress of life comes up and as our differences come up.

    [00:44:58] But it's a gift, right? So just kind of those are just some power thoughts for you as we close out today. I want you to just I just want to point out something that I find really inspiring and incredible in the beginning of our relationships, we often think of ourselves as falling in love with each other. Right. Some I'm not sure where that that that term was coined, but it sounds so beautiful and amazing. And it's a fun process. Right. If you think back to the beginning of your relationship. It was so much fun to fall in love. Right. You just like it's almost like uncontrollable. We're falling for each other. We're falling in love with each other. But over time, because of life and because we all. OK, let's just be honest. We all just got here. Really. Right. So there's a writer that said that I can't remember his name, but he said we all just got here. And that's kind of true. We have not, as a human species, been here very long. But we we all just got here. So we're still learning. And as we are learning, as we're figuring out how to process the stress of life, sometimes we become very stagnant in our relationships or we even actively fall out of love. But when you trust yourself, this goes back to day one as well. When you trust yourself to process any emotion and when you trust yourself to follow through on your commitments.

    [00:46:37] Right. By starting small, small commitments every day until you build that trust again in your brain, when you do those two things, when you feel your emotions and trust yourself to follow through on your commitments. And when you look at yourself and your partner from a perspective that you are both worthy of love, you create confidence again, a deeper confidence than what falling in love brings. You have you have the confidence to show up every single day and bring intention to growing your relationship. Right. So you have that confidence daily and that's what's going to create that confident marriage when you are so confident within yourself that you're like, you know what? Every day I'm going to show up with intention and purposefully grow my relationship. And when you do that, you don't end up falling in love again. It's actually way more beautiful. You end up rising in love, right? You are growing in love. You're not just falling in love. It's intentional. And it's so much deeper than just falling in love. And when you feel that on a deep emotional and spiritual level, your physical pleasure is going to rise to, the last secret I want to tell you is that it does not take to people to be on board with this stuff and to fully understand this stuff, to create massive change in your relationship.

    [00:48:19] The first step is confidence in yourself to see your worth, to trust yourself, to show up how you want to in life. Right. And and the confidence to dive deep into growth and fun in your own life. And most of the time you begin to see like when you really tap into that growth and trust in yourself, most of the time you begin to see noticeable differences in your partners. My clients tell me all the time that they can't believe how much their communication and understanding of each other has increased just by them focusing on their individual growth. I have a client right now that said recently that recently said that that she feels seeing for the first time in a long time and friends. I did not even coach her husband. Right. I did not coach her husband to learn how to see his partner. I taught her how to see herself and how to see him. And then the ripple effect took place. You know, when you throw a rock in a pond or in a body of water, that rock doesn't just pull up to the bottom of the of the water without anything being affected around it. No, those ripples from hitting the water with a rock, they flow and flow and flow and they go out for sometimes miles. If the if the splash was big enough. Right. It affects everything. So if you if you would like help on these concepts, if you'd like to dive deep every week and really start creating the life and relationship that's full of joy.

    [00:50:05] And connection that you deserve, book a call with me, I offer free consultation calls with plenty of time to dig deep into your specific situation. So those calls are free. Those those first consultation calls are completely free. So I welcome you to do that. So I'll tell you what you need on those calls. I'll tell you what you need to focus on to improve your relationship. And if you want to work with me further, I'll tell you how to do that, too. So I'm actually going to. I'm going to. Post this, I'm going to post the link to sign up for for a consultation call with me in the chat box. Also put it in your e-mails tonight when I send out this replay, but so you can copy that and copy and paste that into another. Into another window browser and just book a call with me and let's let's hop on and see how we can really dive in deep to your specific situation and how we can apply all these tools to your specific situation. And I will tell you that if you haven't checked out my podcast called Joyful Love, you can go listen to it on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or you know, or you can just go to my website at Rachel Cunningham dot com and click on the podcast tab.

    [00:51:32] So again, that that podcast is called Joyful Love, and I trust that you all got what you came for today. And I hope you all have an incredible week and an incredible weekend, finding pleasure and finding more and more love for yourself and for your partner. All right. That's what I have for you guys today. Thank you for joining me, buddy. OK, I hope you enjoyed and got a ton out of that workshop today if you want the video of it and to see the visuals along with getting the other two days of the confident marriage workshop, I encourage you to go get the rest. It's just twenty seven bucks in day one. You're going to learn how to have your own back and begin to trust yourself to show up in the way you want to in life. You'll also learn the importance of feeling your feelings fully. And in day two, you're going to learn how to have a whole new perspective for yourself and your partner. All three days combined, when implemented, are going to help you to have that confidence in your marriage that you're craving. So go to Rachel Cunningham, dotcom slash confidence to learn more. Thanks for listening to Joyful Love. If you'd like to know more about my work, come visit me at RachelCunningham.com

    Enjoy the Show?