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Can I Get a Side of Orgasm with That?

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O yes, we are talking about the big O. A little too big, if you ask me. As I sit with couples and discuss the tender issue of sex and the vulnerabilities it uncovers, I notice that a lot of people make a HUGE deal about orgasms. Now, I get it, orgasms are great! However, sometimes when couples make an orgasm the determining factor as to whether or not a sexual encounter was good or bad, they may discredit a lot of other good things that happen during sex.

The truth is, not everyone orgasms every time they have sex. This varies widely from individual to individual. Some people have orgasms frequently, hit or miss, or rarely at all. Some people are distressed by a lack of orgasm, and some are not. Some people are distressed by having an orgasm. Individual experiences and contexts influence what meaning we attach to things such as orgasm.

This being the reality, you can see how much pressure it can add to a sexual encounter to make orgasm the primary goal. While orgasms feel spectacular for most, connection is a good goal for sex. In fact, when someone is feeling pressure or anxiety about “making someone orgasm,” or, “I need to orgasm so my partner feels like a good enough lover,” it actually interferes with the mechanisms in the body that make orgasm the most likely. Ironic, right?

This is why I tell couples to think of orgasm as the side dish, and connection as the main dish. It is okay if you want to orgasm more and take healthy steps to work toward that with your partner. This is best achieved in a mind set of “if it happens great, but if not, we will keep practicing,” rather than a pass or fail mentality. My advice is to relax, communicate, focus on your love for your partner, and enjoy the sensations you feel.

To schedule an appointment with Kathleen Baxter, call Wasatch Family Therapy at 801-944-4555.

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3 Sure Fire Ways to Destroy Your 2nd Marriage!

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Popular wisdom would claim that 2nd marriages succeed more often than first marriages. “Hey, I’ve learned from my past mistakes. I’m smarter.” Or “we’ll do better!”

Sadly, this absolutely just isn’t true.

Based on what I’ve observed for 17 years in working with couples, I’ve come of with 3 ways that will absolutely destroy your second marriage. Please take a moment to learn from other’s bad choices to make this marriage be your Last marriage.

  1. Let the Comparison Shopping Begin

(These examples are not gender specific. Please swap male/female where needed)

Okay so you may not actually be shopping for a new spouse. But let’s face it. You’ve probably noticed qualities in other men that are appealing. Qualities you don’t believe your new spouse has. Talents you thought were there when you said “yes” for the second time. Now you’re not so sure at all.

Stop it! Comparison shopping for another spouse in a new marriage is like buyers remorse with a new car. Yes that other car at the competitions dealership was awesome. The price seemed right. The luxury features appealing. Yet not quite right! Remember how a month later you were soooo glad you’d purchased the right car? Relieved you didn’t overact? Second marriage’s can be very similar. Give it time. Stop comparison shopping even if only figurative in nature. Catch your awesome new husband doing something right. Like the paycheck. Like the living room he vacuumed. Like the “spilled milk” he cleaned up. Oh, btw, it’s all paltry spilled milk in comparison. Get over it. Don’t look back!

  1. Ditch the Ex!

Not only is moving on difficult, it can seem impossible not to experience at least some of these damaging examples:

The EX                                                                                   NEW Wife

Bugged you! Because she kept the house spotless                Bugs You! Because she doesn’t clean enough

Nagged you! To keep the yard immaculate                            Nags You! To spend more time with her

Hounded you! For more sex. Better sex!                                Ignores You! She’s too tired for sex

Watched! Every penny of the budget                                      Spends! Every penny of the budget

Reminded you! To pick up the kids from school                   Reminds you! That they’re YOUR kids

Some of these sound true? Maybe even all too correct? If so, please remember that the grass is NEVER greener on the other side of the fence (or in your previous marriage). You must ditch the ex-wife. Move on completely! Focus on your new marriage. Recognize that no one is perfect.

Not even You!

  1. When Two Worlds Collide (Or the War of Two Worlds)

Immediately following the new marriage, two family planets are on a course to collide. While the couple has anticipated some challenges with the “blended family,” they don’t foresee any REAL trouble. Most new marriages aren’t equipped for managing problems, let alone the explosion.

Going into a second marriage unequipped is like having a pilot flying into LAX without an air traffic controller to guide him safely home. Approaching potentially volatile airspace without a trained guide experienced in acquiring a smooth landing. A safe landing. In fact, even the mere mention of such a circumstance sounds ridiculous in the extreme.

However, the problem is that most 2nd marriages don’t have a Relationship air traffic controller. Someone to infuse insight into the day to day challenges that are common in almost all new relationships. Each person enters the new marriage with tender feelings. Very likely still stinging from the agonizing pain of their first divorce. As a result, they fall-back on their own often tainted experiences. Experiences that exacerbated the problems in marriage number one that resulted in divorce. Ouch!

What Can Help?

* If you’re reading this and recently divorced, absolutely eschew new relationship(s) for at least one year preferably two. Give yourself time to heal. Casual dating is fine. Hanging out is great. Getting serious will totally put you in a position to simply repeat divorce #1.

* If you’re reading this and you’re in a struggling 2nd marriage, absolutely seek help. Seek out a trusted bishop or clergy member with sage advice. Consider a therapist with many years of experience helping those struggling in the marital realm. But! Please don’t think that this will just pass. I’m overreacting. It likely won’t JUST change.

* Most of all, take care of YOU. Make sure that you’re giving yourself great self-care time. Reach out to trusted (and healthy!) friends. Give yourself time. Space. And if you are recently “single,” totally avoid the friends that say “the best way to heal from your divorce is to jump right back in!”

No, it really isn’t!

Michael Boman, LCSW, is a relationship, marriage, and Healing Outdoors expert at Wasatch Family Therapy in Cottonwood Heights, UT.

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Mormon Women, Assertiveness, and Sex: Dr. Julie Hanks on Mormon Sex Info Podcast Interview

Mormon Women, Assertiveness, and Sex: Dr. Julie Hanks on Mormon Sex Info Podcast Interview

I recently chatted with Natasha Helfer Parker, LMFT about how the ability to develop good assertiveness skills can help with sexual satisfaction. We discussed cultural gender messages, both within Mormonism and without, that get in the way of such things as differentiation, communication skills, self-care and self-awareness. I share the 5 skills from my book The Assertiveness Guide for Women that can help shift these patterns around. We also discuss managing libido differences, increasing female arousal and pleasure, sexual education for our teens, how to get past “chastity” language and more.

Listen to the podcast interview here ($1.29)

 

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#1 Marriage Advice From a Marriage Counselor

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You’ve probably been getting marriage advice since you first started dating, or even earlier! Some of it has been solicited and helpful, some of it has not. I hope, since you clicked on this article, that my advice can fall into the first category.

People, apparently myself included, are eager to share what they have learned about what works (and what doesn’t) in marriage. About half of the clients that I have seen over the past seven years have been couples.

Here is a link to an article I recently wrote on my blog understandingtherapy.com. It’s my #1 Marriage Advice that I have gleaned from observing and counseling distressed couples.

 

https://understandingtherapy.com/2016/07/11/my-1-bit-of-marriage-advice/

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Rewriting the Past

Wasatch Family Therapy
I love stories, and I feel connected to many people through the stories they share. One of my favorite things about being a therapist
is the exchange of stories that I’m invited into each day. Story telling is such a rich part of our culture, and in fact culture itself can be passed on through stories.
When I think about local dating culture I picture couples going out for dinner and then going to the movies. Movies are merely big budget stories and sometimes, like in my own life, a date to a movie turns into a story of marriage.
In studying couples we have come to understand that the way in which partners describe their past predicts the future of the marriage.  That’s some powerful storytelling! I recall the first time I heard this idea when I was in my undergraduate studies and it boggled my mind to think that the way in which a couple tells “their story” can lead a specialist to predict their stability or divorce with a 94% success rate. In my practice I have seen partners develop such animosity toward their spouse that they get to a point where they only remember the negative aspects of their marriage. In a way they are rewriting their history, and only including the bad parts. This often acts as a catalyst that activates divorce.
Happy couples, in contrast, highlight their good memories. This is significant because they are not hiding the bad, they are simply
emphasizing the positive moments. This method of story telling helps the couple maintain closeness and encourages positive regard for each other. Happy couples have an ability to look back over the years with affection and even when happily married couples experience hardships, they focus on their strength and their “we-ness” rather than focusing on specific struggles.
I enjoy helping couples rewrite their past and embrace a new narrative that empowers their partnership. If you would like help creating a new narrative for your marriage I invite you to start rewriting today.
To schedule a session with Tyler Stark ACMHC please call Wasatch Family Therapy at 801-944-4555.
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The Best Wedding Gift Money Can Buy

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As I meet with married couples young and old, to help them improve their sexual intimacy, I have become aware of something very clear. Most married couples wish they had learned what they learn in our sessions, before they ever got married to one another! I frequently hear from couples, “We should have done this years ago!” or “Wow, we really should have talked about that before marriage.”

I have noticed that some couples, depending on their value systems or home life, do not feel comfortable talking about sexual intimacy before marriage. Whether a couple chooses to be sexually intimate before or after marriage, most new couples are eager to have sex, but unsure how to talk about it. I can understand this, however, I feel there are tremendous benefits to having these conversations beforehand, rather than a honeymoon crash course where expectations can be annihilated and typically not for the better. It is good for couples to discuss what their expectations are for frequency of intimacy, history of any sexual trauma or sexual addictions and how that may impact intimacy, and thoughts regarding what is okay and not okay during intimacy. A counselor who has experience working with sexual intimacy can inform a new couple what the different stages of the sexual response cycle are and what types of things in the relationship or the individual may impede progress in the cycle. A session like this gives couples the language and breaks the ice to set the stage for many healthy and safe conversations about sex throughout their lives together.

So, next time you are stumped about a wedding gift, perhaps buy something that certainly won’t be on the registry. Buy the budding new couple one premarital counseling session to talk about intimacy. This is an atmosphere that feels more safe for couple’s to talk about these things, rather than trying to duck away from their parents or roommates somewhere.

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Welcome Kathleen Baxter AMFT

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Hi everyone! My name is Kathleen Baxter and I am a new Marriage and Family Therapist(MFT) here at Wasatch Family Therapy. It has been a wonderful experience being on the team so far and I am thrilled to introduce myself to all of you readers.
First off, I would like to give you a little of my personal background. I have lived in Utah most of my life and I love it here! I am a huge outdoors fanatic. I love camping, hiking, 4-wheeling, fishing, water sports, and anything else that gets me outside. Some of my hobbies include cake decorating, rollerblading, gardening, softball, and music. I have been married to my best friend for 4 ½ years now and it is the most rewarding relationship in my life. He makes marriage bliss.

Deciding to become a therapist was a rather easy decision for me. It all started when I was a high school senior in AP psychology. I fell in love! I went on to receive my Bachelor degree in Psychology from Weber State University. There I had the opportunity to develop my fascination with research outcomes and the power of new knowledge. While deciding what kind of clinician I wanted to be, I noticed I was enamored with my relationship-centered courses. This is when I decided to become an MFT. At one point, I volunteered in a group that facilitated prison inmates on their way back into society. In the group we brought victims and perpetrators of crimes together to share their experiences. I couldn’t help but notice that sexual trauma survivors were often abused by their own family members. It was here that I developed an interested in working with sexual trauma and specifically incestuous families.

After Weber State, I was accepted to Brigham Young University’s Marriage and Family Therapy Program. It was here that I developed a deep passion for working with couples and families. Here I explored my interests in working with sexual trauma survivors. I wrote my thesis on the challenging dynamics within families in which incest occurs and how to adapt new treatment protocol for these families. While at BYU I also developed a new passion for doing sex therapy with couples. I love helping couples get “unstuck” and rekindling that spark.

While at BYU I also had the valuable experience of working for Women’s Services and Resources. Here I developed a strong love and admiration for women who are trying to combat all the negative influences that our society throws at them. I worked with women who struggled with depression, anxiety, pornography addiction, as well as eating disorders.

This is the path that brought me to Wasatch Family Therapy. I look forward to developing professionally and personally working with such kind and talented clinicians. I am excited to be here and I am looking forward to my future here at Wasatch.

I’d love to talk with you about how I can help you and your family.

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The Gift of Closeness

If you can imagine nothing better than a more loving and secure relationship with your husband or wife, consider giving your spouse the gift of closeness for Christmas this year.

“Hold Me Tight” is an eight-session couple’s workshop based on Dr. Sue Johnson’s book “Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love” that has helped thousands of couples throughout the world repair, enhance, and grow their love relationship.  You will learn the new science of love, how to fix mistakes and overcome past hurts, and how to create the tender and intimate relationship you have always wanted.

Classes begin January 10th from 7-9 pm

Gift Certificates Available

Space is limited. Register now!

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Mean Girls Get Married: KZHT Radio

Chelsea Madsen, MS, AMFTWasatch Family Therapy’s Chelsea Madsen‘s doctoral research is getting a lot of media attention! Her KSL Television appearances have had thousands of hits on KSL.com and have created quite a buzz. In fact, my husband and I went to dinner with friends, and they had seen the segment!

KZHT’s Morning Zoo asked Chelsea to stop by and talk more about mean girls phenomenon in marriage. My teenage daughter called me on her way to school and said, “Chelsea’s from Wasatch is on 97.1!”

Listen to the entire interview by clicking the arrow below.

Play

Watch “Mean Girls Get Married” News Interviews

Read “Mean Girls Get Married” Press Release (PRWeb)

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Rate Your Marriage on a 1930’s Quiz

I had a great time last night on KSL Radio’s Nightside Project talking about this fun 1930’s spousal rating scale and how it compares to how couples rate their spouses in 2011.

Listen to part 1 on women’s quiz (go to 37:00)

Listen to part 2 on men’s quiz

(scroll to the middle of the audio segment)

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