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26August2019

Intimacy4us

Too many balls in the air?

Social patterns change gradually, and because we function in the middle of them, we don’t necessarily notice how it changes our behaviour. 

Over many years mom only started working a little bit here and there to bring a second salary into the house. Today there are only a few women who don’t have a career. Other structures that change our world are technology, media and the business world.

We have hundreds of decisions to make. We are exposed to pictures and concepts of the ideal goals, end results or dreams that we should aim to reach. The speed at which we live have increased drastically and people experience much more demands.

Companies are showing less interest in their employees and more emphasis is put on production and growth of the company. We are risking more, put more pressure on ourselves and realize the impact of this only when we are trapped in this pattern.

Women in the media sector can do everything: be a mom, be irresistibly sexy and be the manager of a company!

With time these social habits have resulted in us running around like hamsters on a wheel that never stops turning. We chase something and don’t even always know what it is. Often we suffer damage in areas that we don’t even notice, because we are not built to live this way.

The effect of these social patterns manifest itself often in our marriages: Hantie and Paul came to see me with complaints that they had drifted apart over so many years that they did not know how to get to each other anymore.

“I love Hantie, but it feels as if we have become strangers on an emotional level. She has also not shown an interest in sex for a long tim

e now and I have adjusted to it, but I miss it,” complained Paul. Hantie added: “I became so busy with the house, work, playing another role in my parents’ lives and the children that I really don’t have any energy for sex. He can’t understand that.”

If this story sounds familiar, you should also hear warning bells. You may struggle to feel comfortable with all the balls that you have in the air, and you may lose one or two along the road: the most important one is maybe you!

What is it then that women really want? Do we want to be housewives so that we can spend all our energy on our men (in the bed also), children and home, or are we happy with all our different roles as mom, woman, companion, mistress, businesswoman? Do we have to use other means to cope with our modern lifestyle?

My clients have taught me over the years that women have unique needs because they function psychologically different to men.

  • Women attach value to relationships that they have with others.
  • They are very adaptable and can definitely grow.
  • Women can do many different things at the same time – we can keep many balls in the air.
  • Women get joy out of caring for others.

They sometimes desire one or more of the following:

  • Balance between the different roles that they play. (They don’t necessarily want fewer roles – they just don’t want to feel so overwhelmed by them.)
  • That there is space for their personal needs (their unique, individual needs, as well as the above-mentioned needs).
  • The need to live according to their individual goal, personal value system and ideals – in other words, she wants to be who she really is.
  • Contentment.
  • Complete growth (intellectually, emotionally and spiritually).
  • Physical and emotional energy to do everything that they want to do.

The question is: “How do you get it? How do I handle all these balls that I have in the air and still be content with myself?” Here are a few tips that can get you there:

1.       Discover your unique goal

You must create a clear picture of who you really are. Ask yourself what makes you excited, what you like, what you don’t like, what your qualities and strong points are, what frustrates you, what you would still like to do, what makes your heart pump chocolate and what makes you sexually excited. Try to keep other people’s expectations out of your decision – it must be your opinions.

Write an essay about who you are or build a collage with pictures that symbolise your impressions of yourself. This “definition” of yourself must be a compass that can keep you on the road of “who you are”. You must look back and remind yourself about it when circumstances pull you away from who you are.

2.       Prioritise

First decide which things in your life you can change and which you can’t. You can’t for example change how you are built, but you can change your health. You can also definitely change the way you think of your beautiful, sensual body, even if you are not built like a model. If you work on your sexual self-image, your body doesn’t change, but your mind changes about it and you feel like a different person (and you act like a different woman).

Also decide which things really have to be done, what is really important to you: is it really important that the house is perfectly clean, or is it more important to lie in bed with your hubby on a Sunday morning?

We believe certain things, while it’s actually decisions that we make: Maybe you believe that only you can look after your children, which means that you and your husband can’t go away for a weekend alone (and of course not have sex!). Realize that it’s a decision that you make – you can also decide differently if you make time with your husband a priority.

Do you really want the promotion that’s offered to you, and come home much later in the afternoon? You might say: “Yes, because a person must move forward. People may view me as a failure if I don’t move up.” Challenge these ideas to see if it’s really what you think and not what society or someone in your life tells you are the truth. Remind yourself that these things are choices you make and do what is best for you.

3.       Plan

Make a list every day where you put your priorities under the following columns:

Urgent (must happen today).

Preferably (would be great today, but tomorrow is also fine).

Maybe (for some other time).

Delegate (someone or something must do it on your behalf).

Some things have to happen today (for example, your children must be dropped off at school and your project must be presented at work).

Make sure that you make an appointment with your husband for some days: the how, where, how long, what you are going to do, may change according to your needs and preferences. It may be a meeting to connect emotionally, to have fun or to have sex. If you write it in the “urgent” column, you know it must happen and you can’t neglect it. You can also write things like: “Tell my husband what I appreciate about him today”. It’s a task that takes little time, but it reminds you that your emotional connection with your husband is a priority.

Accept that there are some things that should rather be done today, but that it can wait until tomorrow if you are not able to get to them today, like buying your child a new computer game. Projects that you are busy with at work, but that only have to be completed over a long period, may fall into this column.

“Maybe” things are for example to buy new shoes, or to take the cat to the parlour.

Ask yourself regularly what you can and want to put into the “delegate” column (remember it’s a choice). It’s maybe your choice that your child goes to school by bus so that you have half an hour longer for yourself in the mornings, you can find someone else who can sew on buttons and fix hems, you can take your washing to the laundromat – all so you can have more time and energy for your relationship with your man.

Maybe this column helps you to realize that you prefer being at home and you prefer to earn less money, live with less, but be home more to care for those you love. It may also help you to realize that with more delegating and less trouble you feel more in control of the responsibilities you choose to handle yourself.

4.       Manage your free time

It sounds like a cliché, but if you don’t plan and are on the lookout for places where you waste time, you may allow your sex and connection time to get stolen. A few obvious thieves are unnecessary e-mails (all these heart-warming pieces or jokes may take longer to read than you realize), TV (make sure that the programmes you watch is really something you want in your life), telephone conversations (normally time thieves and not really quality communication), the Internet (chatting to other people and aimless surfing).

Unresolved emotions that are not handled well may also rob you of time. If you have feelings of guilt, helplessness (often because you struggle to say no), anger, bitterness, an under-developed sense of responsibility, heartache, loneliness, jealousy, a feeling of inferiority or other emotions that you are aware of, it may unconsciously use your emotional energy to struggle with these. The less emotional energy you have, the more difficult it’s going to be for you to have emotional and physical energy for sex.

Keep in mind that you are a unique individual. Don’t compare your emotions, needs or looks with others. Get as much help (read, get professional help) to cope with as many of these emotional stumbling blocks as possible.

5.       Chase pleasure and contentment

We can get caught up in the race to meet our responsibilities and to keep up with what others achieve, instead of making sure that we stay on track with our own compass – what your unique goals are.

Remind yourself daily about positive and good things in your life and be thankful for them. It’s the small things that matter: the fact that you have a man who throws his arm over you at night when you sleep, the orange colour in the clouds at sunset, the ecstasy you feel when you listen to music in your car on your way to work, the smile of your child . . . Make sure that you make appointments for yourself to do things that feed your soul and spirit – according to your unique goals. That includes anything, big or small: a nice cup of tea, reading a book, visiting a friend, playing with your child, be quiet, sex with your man!

If you struggle to get pleasure from sex, you definitely need it. It’s one of the facets of being human where we can experience pleasure – it’s how we are created. The reasons that prevent you from experiencing pleasure must be investigated and you must get the correct help to solve them. Read as much as possible about it and get professional help if you struggle with them.

6.       Ensure that you have optimal physical and emotional health

To have great sex (and the most other things), you must have energy for it and feel healthy.

Make sure that you do the right things for your body: go for yearly checkups at your doctor, eat low GI/GL and low saturated fat foods, and exercise five times a week for 30 minutes. (If you are unfit, begin with five minutes a day!) Remember that sex is also good exercise.

Do the necessary work to sort out your emotional baggage.

Make time for the things that are important to you. If sex is not on your list, you possibly need help. Investigate and find out what you really want to keep yourself busy with and make plans to make time for these things.