The key to great sex is to flip that mental switch!

It’s Wednesday, the day when we always talk marriage! And today Dr. Carol Peters-Tanksley, author of Dr. Carol’s Guide to Women’s Health, joins us to encourage us to get our brains in gear when it comes to sex!

The key to great sex: Getting our brains in gear! So flip that mental switch. #marriagetip

You may have experienced the vicious cycle yourself. Something isn’t going well between you and your husband. Perhaps he was inconsiderate and said something negative about you in front of your friends. Perhaps you were extra tired or truly had a headache, and had to refuse his sexual advances. The temperature between you dropped from pleasantly warm to tepid.

Neither of you felt much like “making up.” A few days later something else happened, and the temperature dropped again. Now you’re starting to feel a real chill. You’re frustrated at his lack of understanding, and he certainly isn’t doing anything to make you feel warmer towards him. And if he were asked, he would say that you’re going out of your way to be distant, unavailable, and downright “unwifely!”

God wants us to “love, honor, and cherish” each other. And there’s not much loving, honoring, or cherishing going on.

In my role as an OB-Gyn physician, and in my ministry activities, I hear from couples like this all too often. What starts out as a temporary speedbump can easily develop into a wall between you.

It’s been two months since he made any effort at intimacy.” “She hasn’t let me make love to her for almost a year.”

And the weeks, months, or even years continue until you’re more like roommates instead of husband and wife. I can feel the hurt, the frustration, and the loneliness in these couples.

Is that you?

As a wife you have plenty of excuses you could use to keep your husband at arm’s length and not “have to” engage in sex. Children may be keeping you up at night, and you’re exhausted. Your schedule and his may leave you very little time to be in the same place at the same time. Your hormones may be making you feel crazy. Your husband just isn’t as interesting, as romantic, as helpful, or as attentive as you hoped he would be. And on top of that, he’s done things to hurt you!

The bottom line: you just can’t get in the mood.

I believe there’s absolutely no reason you should feel obligated to “give in” to sex with your husband any and every time he wants it. But I’m going to share a technique with you that’s guaranteed to bring you closer together. If the wall between you has been there a long time you may have to employ this technique repeatedly for a while, but if your husband has an ounce of good will left in his heart, this will work.

The Mental Aspect of Intimacy

To understand this technique, it’s important to realize that sex begins in the mind.

Sure, your hormones, your reproductive organs, and your environment are all important. But the biggest single factor in your experience of intimacy – including sex – is your mind.

Think of the last time you watched a romantic movie or read a romance novel. Do you remember how that made you feel? Chances are your internal engines were revved up – and the only stimulus for that to happen were the pictures and thoughts in your mind. Your husband wasn’t being sweet to you. There were no flowers or chocolates, no holding-hands-under-the-stars, no enchanted evening, no slow dancing to “your” song.

The feelings of excitement were triggered in your mind. And your body followed – to some smaller or greater extent.

You should be shouting for joy right now! Your feelings can grow from thoughts in your mind. And that means you have a large amount of control over what feelings you allow to flourish, including all the sexy, connected, excited, committed feelings that intimacy at its best can bring.

No, your choice about what to think about isn’t the only factor in creating satisfying intimacy. But it’s often the most important driver, and the one you can usually do the most about.

And by the way, I’m sure you realize that sex is only one part of intimacy. It’s a very important part, but without relationship and trust and togetherness and friendship and commitment, sex is – well – just sex. Sexual intimacy is at its best when the other aspects of intimacy are strong as well.

As women, you and I are especially gifted in this mental aspect of intimacy. And that brings me directly to that technique that is certain to bring you and your husband closer together.

Taking A Mental Step

If you want to build the intimacy in your marriage, if you want to re-connect and bring back the butterflies, here’s the technique you can learn: Choose to take a mental step toward your husband.

You’ve taken a step away from him countless times. You’ve hesitated for a moment when he makes a sexual advance, and then moved away. You’ve looked at him when he wasn’t watching, imagining what might be, and then looked away. Even if there’s nothing that has especially attracted you to him in a long time, every now and then your soul feels a hint of longing, an ever-so-small desire to be closer. But you haven’t acted on that desire.

Until now.

It’s time to reverse that, and choose to take a mental step toward your husband, rather than away from him. And then to take a small action to follow up that mental step in his direction.

I know personally how important this technique can be. My husband has a chronic illness, and barring a miracle from God may not get much better. That means our togetherness is usually filled with monitoring symptoms and numbers, managing medications and doctor’s visits, and a hundred other things that are necessary to keep him as alive and well as possible. We love each other deeply, but spontaneous romantic intimacy often gets pre-empted.

So at those times when my husband is feeling well – and amorous – intimacy may be the farthest thing from my mind. We both want to be close, but my feelings need a little time to catch up.

I’ve learned that choosing to take that mental step in his direction makes all the difference in the world.

However little or much happens next, we always feel more connected. And sometimes the results are spectacular!

If you’re struggling to feel connected with your husband, to respond to his desires for intimacy, or to get him to respond to you, I encourage you to practice taking a mental step in his direction. CHOOSE to move closer.

And then take a small action to follow up that mental step:

  • Hold his hand a little longer
  • Move closer on the couch, and ask him an open-ended question
  • Make that kiss last – and last
  • Offer a backrub

Sure, there may be a number of other things you have to address as a couple; negative baggage from past sexual experiences, physical issues that make sex difficult, forgiveness for all the little failures between you, communication differences, etc.

But owning the power of your mind in the area of intimacy will do much to help you reconnect with your husband.

If you start by taking that mental step in his direction, there’s no telling how your body – or your husband – may respond!

Web-Carol_Tanksley-SquareDr. Carol's Guide to Women's Health: Take Charge of Your Physical and Emotional Well-BeingDr Carol Peters-Tanksley is a licensed OB-Gyn physician and ordained Christian minister, sometimes known to her friends as “Doctor-Doctor.” Her new book Dr Carol’s Guide to Women’s Health: Take Charge of Your Physical and Emotional Wellbeingis available wherever books are sold. Dr Carol invites you to connect with her at her ministry website www.drcarolministries.com, Twitter, or Facebook.

Take this advice one step further! Here are the top 10 positive things to say to yourself about sex, to keep flipping that mental switch.

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