Tears. I’m crying on the phone to a virtual stranger and I’m not exactly sure why. Except she doesn’t feel like a stranger and somehow I am sharing the most intimate details of my life with her. I am baring my soul and there is this hope that maybe she will help. Maybe, she will make things better.
I volunteered for this program (I’m one of the writers working with Alicia Joy Stiles, sexuality and relationship coach) after years of my husband’s prodding, “Are we ever going to have sex more?” “You know sex once a week is average, don’t you want to be extraordinary?”. All I could do was think about exactly how much that once a week was costing me. I would easily rather read a novel or even get a few more minutes of precious sleep. In an otherwise-happy, decade-long marriage, sex is a struggle.
I kept hoping things would get better. Then the opportunity to participate in Alicia Joy Stiles’ Awakening Your Sexuality program came just as I was starting to think they never would. As I began the program, each video asked me to think about a different layer of my sexuality. I discovered that I miss me and that “yes” is an incredibly powerful word. In addition, I discovered I’m fairly well actualized when it comes to my sexuality. I know me. I know what I like and I’m not ashamed of it. The remaining question of what, then, was standing in my way led me to opt for a one-on-one coaching session with Alicia Joy Stiles (all done over the phone).
Which brings me back to the point where I am crying on the phone. I walked away from the conversation a changed woman. It turns out that an hour on the phone with Alicia Joy Stiles does that to a girl and here are five reasons why:
1. She gave me hope.
I’ve spent the bulk of my decade long relationship alternately feeling like I would be happy in a completely sexless marriage and sad that I don’t feel more passion and desire to have sex. There is a consistent imbalance in the amount of sex my husband wants to have and how much I want to have. Mainly, he wants it ALL the time and I could completely go without. Alicia was able to help me find the root of our struggle and outline a definitive plan for how to improve things between us. For the first time in years, I felt like things could get better.
2. I got advice from an impartial third party.
Most of my friends have had my back for decades. They are loyal to the core and I would trust them with my life but, the advice is less than impartial. The plan Alicia and I outlined took into account the culpability of both persons in the relationship and allowed me to go to my husband without pointing fingers. When I said, “we have to change”, I actually meant we. Being free from the blame game is a gift in any marriage and it allowed my husband and I to start out on the right foot.
3. I got help from a professional.
I take my car to the mechanic when there is a problem. When I’m sick, I see a doctor. So, it makes sense that when there is something wrong in my sex life, a professional is best suited to figure out what is really going on. It took Alicia’s experience and insight to look at our patterns of behavior to lead me to the truth behind them. Without her intuitive sense of what we really needed as a couple, I would have been lost about how to best break our patterns and start fresh.
4. Emotional release.
Remember the tears I mentioned before? I had no idea that level of emotion was there. When the tears started, I was embarrassed and shocked.”I don’t know why I’m crying,” I told Alicia. She helped me to see that my sexuality is connected to everything. When it is stifled and broken, I am stifled and broken. I ended the call with a long road of repair in front of me. But I felt 100 pounds lighter without the weight of sexual dread and guilt weighing me down.
5. I remembered to count my blessings.
Going into this I felt like asking for help was like saying that I had been beaten. Alicia helped me to see that actually, I have something worth fighting for. “You wouldn’t be here if this wasn’t important to you,” I remember her saying. I looked around and realized that I love my husband and value our relationship. All the rest may be hard, but I am incredibly lucky to have something (someone) worth fighting for.
Alicia Joy Stiles is a local sexuality and relationship coach. She’s a wife, mother, writer and public speaker. Check out her website for ways that you can work with her.