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Happily, Ever After, Revisited Now

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

Resources here have been curated over decades and vetted by licensed professionals for healthy relationships first with oneself and then with a chosen partner.
Based on the Western Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Eastern Chakras, relationships and sexuality are important to our overall health.

I loved teaching literacy skills. I trusted a person's ability to read and write to not only open doors for the individual, but also strengthen our society, including the economy. I still love sharing principles that can impact life experience for the better.

My training now as an Osteopathic Manual Therapist helps people Move, Feel, and Live better. At times this requires addressing pelvic floor muscles for performance driven athletes who need a little more stretch in their stride, pre- and post-partum moms, office workers whose relationship with gravity after hours and years of seated work has created adhesions of the pelvic floor, and other adults who have found discomfort or dysfunction with walking, sitting, running, climbing, or physical intimacy. When things go "wrong," it does not have to mean "broken." Instead, these situations open opportunities for growth, maturation, and development.

Knowledge is power, and these Blogs are intended to offer resources that help individuals move toward their happiest of futures. My nutritionist explained that the root of pain can be physical, nutritional, or emotional. Counselling sessions for relationships with oneself and with others has been a tool I've leveraged as I worked to create healthy relationships with myself, my spouse, and my now adult children. I privately sought resources through insurance recommendations, clergy referrals, and online searches. This investment has, over time, reduced stress and increased the well-being and lifestyle of all involved.

Books have been tools that have empowered myself and my husband with words and discussions based on scenarios presented by specialists, a non-threatening way to consider our experience from a fresh perspective one page or chapter at a time.

David Schnarch was one of the first therapists who approached the normal struggle with intimacy and physical/sexual relationships as an arena of growth rather than a dysfunction. I loved one of his recordings when he explained that if no one is rocking the boat in a relationship, then one person is not using their voice. He clarified that relationships are hard, and it's proof that things are actually going right, compressing us through our experiences for growth. Here are some additional sources:

  • Kevin Leman wrote the first book we read together, Sex Begins in the Kitchen. We've read a few of his titles. I liked that this first book focused more on helping partners figure out whom they've married.

  • Come As You Are by Emily Nogoski does a great job exploring physicality and the responsibility of the individual while suggesting strategies that help turn off the Fight or Flight response to connect better with self and others.

  • In just the last decade, the full anatomy of the Clitoris has been substantiated. This Ted Talk by Sophia Wallace clears up a lot of misconceptions in just a few minutes with a little humor. The book Becoming Cliterate by PhD Laurie Mintz is well-grounded in science and facts.

  • Because personal capacity for intimacy is directly tied into the Parasympathetic--feed-breed-rest-digest-healing system--Nicole Daedone's book, Slow Sex is a valuable insight. This source is both respectful and viable in its narrative.

  • Ian Kerner has written books that focus on both partner's understanding of their own and their mate's anatomy and response from the perspective of a qualified sex counselor, but I liked Love Worth Making by Stephen Snyder., MD, better, as it addresses navigating long-term relationships--weeks, months, years, and decades:)

  • Dr. Robert Glover clearly addressed the emotional-social playing field of a relationship. No More Mr. Nice Guy is a great listen for anyone distracted from claiming their own life by pleasing and playing nice with their partner.

Online courses set aside for a weekend, or an afternoon can also be self-paced 15-minute discussions.

  • Our recent find is Tammy Hill a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She has navigated a second marriage, career as a professor of sexual intimacy at BYU, and back surgery--I loved her explanation that post-surgery she needed to find more answers than the Western world offers about intimacy. In many ways her private online class turned all the above research-based books to a new chapter. She offers classes for people in the dating community, newlyweds, and for couples who are working to navigate raising children or aging expectations. It was worth the focus of a weekend.

  • Our first online classes were hosted by Jennifer Finlayson-Fife. Her recorded classes target Men, Women, and issues addressing intimacy in general. She's no nonsense and focuses on individual responsibility and self-respect. Her library list was the source for many of the above titles.

  • If you prefer quick access on the go, the Intimately Us for Couples App is a rich resource for podcasts, questions answered, library resources, conversation starters, and daily challenges.

It is truly possible to substantiate any opinion or direction on the internet. With so many voices in the world, I wanted sources that I trusted to deliver real facts and respectful information that included my personal value-base. Several of the titles engage all gender combination relationships; the examples are helpful amalgamations of multiple couples known by the therapists. The principles taught through these stories can apply to everyone.

Literacy is important when it comes to our bodies. It is the only thing that we keep between our first and last day on this Earth. When a person is hoping for more clarity and opportunity, these vetted sources are impactful when studied alone and when studying together as a tool to build a better relationship with a partner, supporting healthy adult life. I appreciate that these sources encourage trust of one's own experience and voice as well as challenge harmful misconceptions. The most important journey is your own. Enjoy.

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