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December 3, 2020 5:00 am
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Welcome to another Best of 2020 episode of focus and family plan to address one of the most richest and exciting yet challenging aspects of married life that is physical intimacy and obviously with this kind of topic program is for adults only. As we hear from the personal experience and expertise of Mylan and Katie are committed and I told her I accept you just the way you are that was a turning point exceptionally.
We were talking about sex and he said I'm happier than I've ever been sexually I feel like we have a deeper, more emotional connection than we've ever had. We just have this for the rest of our life and be happy your hostess focus president Dr. Jim Daly and John Fuller, John. There are many reasons why this program your convictions was one of our most popular. First of all it really connected with listeners get so many positive comments and responses about the great insights Mylan K shared with us but more than that they really spoke to the heart of so many couples you know intimacy between a husband and wife is so integral in the health and happiness of a marriage. It's part of the fuel that keeps your relationship going strong.
But when there is misunderstandings or unmet expectations. Your whole marriage feels out of whack, and soon, everything else begins to break down in your relationship. Tragically, many couples don't have the tools to talk through these issues we feel deeply about our intimacy, but it's hard to speak openly and intimately and honestly about it. Even with our spouse. And that's exactly what Deirdre Bridges did on this best of broadcasts.
They were so vulnerable about their own story and then they provided great teaching about how we can apply godly truth to our marriage situations so were bringing this program back this month to help more couples address this important issue and I know you'll find this conversation very encouraging.
Yeah, of course, you can contact us here at Focus on the Family. If you need additional help for your marriage. We have our caring Christian counseling team and other resources for you are numbers 880 family or visit the episode notes to learn more. Mylan and K. Your convictions are counselors radio host speakers and authors of Mylan is an ordained minister and pastoral counselor and K is a licensed marriage and family therapist and together their best known for their love styles concept today will hear how those lifestyles impact physical intimacy in marriage and here's how the conversation began with the your coverages on this best addition of Focus on the Family in the very beginning God created male and female, and he created them to have a relationship and so the very fact that God created us as sexual beings where there's a distinction between the two of us is the beginning is how it all started, and Satan is doing everything he can to take God's design and break apart destroy it blasted he's blasting marriage is taking shots at everything that sacred the church art genders, sexuality, everything is being hit really really heartening in cages to amplify this and you know the listeners and I'm speaking to you, the listeners, now you can have three responses that couple that feels like this is something you only share between each other. It's not something you speak about in public. I get that I disagree with that but I understand that perspective and maybe the other responses. We desperately need this help. Thank you for covering it. I hope those in the first category can open their hearts to those in the second category that actually talking about is a good thing. And then third, God's design.
You know you and with my team boys. I talk about the commitment to marriage to saving yourself that God has an incredible gift for you on your wedding night.
He's intended that gift to be unwrapped at that point, not before, and that you need to honor that and II think that is a healthy way to look at a bit K what your response. I think women particularly struggled talking about this topic. I completely agree.
You know when we do this workshop in churches, we often ask how many people in the audience feel that they had a good sex education from their parents and it's like 1% 1% 1%.
It's terrible. And so no wonder we struggle because no one's really teaching us anything before we get married and then after we get married, you know it's it's this taboo subject and right and so how can you learn to communicate and grow.
If if everything so secretive and it's God's design sound should be its secretive subject and I think we need to look at it that way. As Christians, I mean this is a beautiful thing that God is done. It's not a dirty thing.
It's not ugly thing.
This is the song of Solomon something to be celebrated. So let's get into it outline for some of the common struggles couples have been there intimacy today and maybe there's nothing new under the sun. I don't know if you've looked at this historically but you say that sex is the great exposer so what you mean by that.
Well, sex, and our comfort with it, or the lack of comfort or the distress that's created in the relationship or the tension that is created over the subject of sex is one of those dislike kids. It's like work. It's like a lot of things in life, but it is one of those things and exposes our broken parts are parts it. It's a stressor. And so it is this beautiful thing but it's also a stressor. Simultaneously both and so K we we experience that is being something that would expose and us weak places, absolutely. I mean, I definitely expose their lack of sex education and exposed our inability to really communicate about difficult subjects. It I think really exposed our level of honesty, how much we could communicate.
And you know it, the things that pull up weakness feels terrible but it's an opportunity for growth know when you hit a rough spot.
It's never pleasant, but some of our hardest first conversations in our most honest conversations were about sex and it was a game changer but boy I remember how hard those first conversations were more weeds begin to be honest yeah you point to Genesis 3 in the fall of mankind. That's a big statement. How does the sin of Adam and Eve merely experience of many couples in their physical and emotional intimacy.
It is very natural or personal. We have a fallen nature.
We were made in the image and likeness of God. Yet after the fall. There's a brokenness to us and that brokenness means we don't operate well. As CS Lewis said were made in the image logs of God. But the images bent or Mart, and so with that brokenness, we find ourselves doing what we struggle and controller sexuality.
One of the biggest problems with males is with a broken nature. I don't know what to do with my sexuality and so much of the New Testament is about learning to control my sexuality right so that it's holy and not worldly but then there's this concept to that would just like Adam and Eve and we hide and were fearful and we blame, and so in that way we's are very similar to Adam and Eve, because we tend to want to project our frustrations onto the other person.
You know, Mylan. That's a powerful statement in how we do that. What are some of the examples of how than unhealthy projection occurs everywhere, jumping into the let's go there first of all I had to learn to take a very hard look at myself, what was my orientation toward sexuality.
I had to face my reality how the world had shaped me how the culture had shaped me and I would have to say that through my adolescent years and through my college and my first few years of marriage. Sexuality was out of proportion in my head. It was at a place where it had too much dominance and in priority of thought and then that was not fair. Then in our relationship here right because sexuality had this very high attention level in my mind, but then when K was expected to try to keep up with that right. It was not fair yeah and we want to get into the corridor, which is the love styles that concept let's get the listener involved that way and describe the love styles that you talk about provide that quick overview and describe each of the love styles will working to discuss. Five and they all contrast to what we would call the secure connector, which is where were headed. That is the healthiest.
That's the healthiest right we have the avoid or the pleaser. The vast later controller and the victim okay and I was the avoid or which is the emotionally distant, usually avoided scrubbing homes are. There's not a lot of emotional connection. There is not memories of comfort dishes not adapt vulnerability.
Let me ask you because some of the listeners are saying okay, this is a lot of psychology, but this is how God is wired us. There's predictable patterns here yes because were created in and that's what you're describing. From a biblical concept that is solidly behind the behaviors that you see in biblical people. That's right, this is the same thing. I created attachment he created. You know a baby's brain to develop the relationship and so sometimes those networks are built in the brain in a very positive way, but were all broken parents. There's no perfect parent, so we we usually end up with some issues around attachment that likely some great researchers just observe patterns and wrote them down for us and for Mylan and I understanding those patterns gave us a real hold on where we needed to grow yeah and and develop as people and I didn't want people to check out with the descriptions of the avoiders that what it describes somebody who's emotionally detached their evaluating thing on a contactor fearful of it. Perhaps yeah it's just there's an unspoken rule in the home of the avoid or don't be too needy and figured out on your own and this was you and this with me so we think of that sort of being a male profile that we see female and male avoiders and from a sexual perspective on my home wasn't affectionate. There wasn't a high level of vulnerability and then I get married and all the sudden the day is, you know, were married now so everything's fine. Everything you're supposed to supposed be wonderful but for the avoid a woman. There is this. That's a big leap right from no level of vulnerability to being intimate with someone and I think what happened for years. As we tried to have a sexual connection and vulnerability in the goal would be to be naked and not ashamed.
But we had no ability to be emotionally naked and not ashamed. So there was a big mismatch that we didn't understand for the first 15 years.
So that's avoid or go to the other three okay the pleaser as the child that is the good kid. They end up usually being the good kid because perhaps there's a critical and angry parent.
Or perhaps there's a kind of unruly sibling, but they take the role of pleasing the parent and as adults pleasers tend to lack the ability to say no, they lack the ability to set boundaries. They are anxious inside and if you're okay. Then there okay so they're very attentive, but it's all for the purpose of making you smile so that they can feel good inside calm and Mylan that was your profile right yes it was until 32 years ago when I decided to change it to become more secure because I realized that didn't resemble Jesus and also was not a healthy place to be. So seems that way.
No Christian could rationalize it a pleaser is very biblical will know it isn't because the perpetual caretaker rescuer. They get fused and enmeshed with people right in the struggle to differentiate between you and me, so they don't have a sense of separateness and so they can't separate from other people, so that her proximity seekers and their only happy if there were with somebody close in what you're saying is your sense of worth as a pleaser was dependent upon those people around you being happy thinking of you guys and they were happy and you you felt good about the possible job right. That's not a healthy place right number three. Avoid or pleaser vast later as the person who had inconsistent connections so as adults they are very in and out back and forth. Everything is good everything's bad that inconsistent connection creates a longing for connection that is never quite fulfilled in their idealistic expectations are that they are because if they can just make the world ideal than nobody there neck. You have to feel the pain. Of course the world, not ideal so they're often disappointed. Okay that that's fair, someone's attaching that right now and they're listening there. That's me right. What's another style. The last one would be the more difficult chaotic home and in this home. There's no rhyme or reason to connection in my home work to be the avoid at work for him to be the pleaser in this home. Nothing works. There's fright without solutions.
There may be abuse, physical, emotional, and so this is where a home where Tom happens. And, of course, affects our adult relationships and the more feisty kids grow up to be controllers where they control their world so they don't have to feel childhood pain. I don't think a lot of controllers know why they need so much control, but it's about staying away from vulnerable emotions and that the more easy-going temperament may become the victim where there just used to tolerating the intolerable and that's what they've been raised with, and so trauma keeps these two folks stuck in unresolved pain right and to give an example of how this can work to next time I want to get deeper into your personal story, but where did the two of your styles clash. The avoiders in the pleaser you've touched on that a little bit. Give us more examples, especially in this area of intimacy. Well, there were two fold number one would be if I had a hyperinflated sexual mind where I was actually call it sexually obese right if you think about it too much becomes inflated comes overweight becomes too big and then that is a burden for person who indicated mention this when she talked about the border, but there was also a lack of touch know how to her home. No hugging the real lack of affection.
So sexuality is very touched oriented and so that was a difficult challenge for her number two for the pleaser as a proximity seeker sexuality became a way to help ease anxiety so wasn't a purely a sexual desire. It was a way to create closeness to make myself feel better. So is disingenuous of and that was a part of the stress and that's just how that played out in our sexual relationship, wrote that in general, you were the chaser and I was the avoid her and you are always wanting to know if I was okay and as avoiders always find but if I wasn't in a good mood you got very anxious. So there's a core pattern that gets created as these histories collide, this is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly I'm John Fuller and today. Best of 2020 presentation.
This was recorded earlier this year with Mylan and Kate your kvetch, and that there were such a great response to the content that were presenting it again.
And if you'd like more information about our entire best of collection. Stop by your website link is in the episode notes. Let's go ahead and listen.
Now, as Jim continues the conversation Mylan K. I want to go back and cover the other three categories. You've identified the vasodilator. The controller and the victim describe the so our listeners can hook into the descriptions and maybe understand themselves better. So the vasodilator how does that personality manifest itself in marriage and within this area of intimacy okay will first falls on a personality type it as it is our experience from being in an attachment experience as a child infant into adolescence so Kate, how would you therefore describe why we think the wound is wound but then the vast later. The vasodilator is someone who has everyone has to meet an ideal standard and that's to keep their childhood pain at bay. So what happens in their relationships. Is there always disappointed because no one's ideal so they're always protesting. You need to do this you know the protesting to their kids are protesting to their spouse.
You need to do this you need to do that and what people feel living with a vast later as I can never please it's never good enough. And so, whether they're married to an avoid pleaser the very thing they hope for, which is connection they sabotage with their anger and protesting K let me ask you and Mylan.
When you describe the vasodilator what's popping up in my head is many of us in the church all these are were all in the church is only because they and I'm I don't know the percentage you do probably. But when you look at people. People that have a high standard that want to live by rules.
If we do these rules then we are achieving our A+. That's what I'm hearing you say that sounds like a spiritual context, people in the faith they want to do well. While there connection. Well, I think we can spiritualize NEDs attachment wounds and say well they're fine because they have a spiritual basis that the vasodilator and their protest is usually unkind is usually direct our outward they can criticize you but you can't criticize them. So it's not about not having a standard goal of something to grow. It's about I want you to be perfect so that I don't have to feel any pain. How does that play in the intimacy space it plays out like this, that if the best leaders in a good place and reluctant off on switch and so there is a good place and the switch is all good then sex can be fun. It can be interesting. It could be intense, could be highly passionate best leaders can be some of the most passionate people with respect to that intensity, but they mistake if you will intensity for intimacy and so intensity is what their craving and searching for and what happens is if anything has been spoiled either in the day or the week of the vacation or whatever the case may be, some imperfection, some imperfection on the switch goes off and sex is off limits and no I don't want to talk to.
Don't even think about it and because you didn't feed the dog on time disconnected could be anything unrelated sex. I'm not because right now they see whoever is responsible for what they didn't like is responsible for the better.
So let's set that forth unhealthy attachment difficulty typically born out of your childhood and I get that it's the controller and victim mentality.
What does that look like, especially in the area of intimacy. While the controller is going to control what happens sexually and when when I worked with people who need high levels of control. Noncompliance takes them back to feeling powerless, humiliated, afraid, and so there always moving towards a position where I'm in control and you do what I say so that a very unhealthy situation is very unhealthy situation, but we always have to remember when we are encountering these kinds of families and there's many of them in the church because God sees those wounds that these are born out of tremendous hurts.
This style in particular, the controller always has a horrific history underneath interesting and so their need for control can be very dominating and very hurtful to those around them.
They often hook up with the victim and they replay the roles that they grew up with one has all the power. One is powerless, but they're also addicted to sexuality. If you're controller there. There just filled with addictions. Whether it's alcohol, drugs, etc., etc., and sex is one of those addictions that when I'm agitated inside.
It is something that takes my mind off everything and for a brief moment I'm free for my agitations and so sex then becomes a way to self medicate. And that's very common with especially the controller mail so you will see various addictions, including sexual addictions and then with the compliance factor. The cages mentioned boom sexuality is just whenever whatever however I wanted. That's more than half the victim component of this components is not tolerated intolerable circumstances. My whole life, so I have no voice.
I have no ability to resist and quite often victims dissociate that which means there physically present but their mind disconnects from the experience so that they're actually not there.
They don't experience it. And so it is common for us to hear in our offices that for victims. They get married and then all of a sudden when they're having a sexual intimacy moment with their spouse. They report that I'm not there, and so there's a dissociative element to the victim and so there's no adult voice and I have nobility save real person.
No, not today, or I can't do that right now what's in congruence with my emotional state. What would that victim childhood have been like just to describe one that you're familiar with abusive, hurtful beatings, sexual abuse, shaming, ridiculing tree, powerless, powerless treating and unkind ways, making that particular child, or all the children treated less kindly than you would treat your animals right.
Lastly, because were at a time. We gotta get to the secure connector and that in in 15 seconds and will cover it more. But what's the secure connector. The secure connector has a voice.
The secure connector has the ability to describe their interstate and ask you what's going on in the inside you and you say Jesus was a secure connector absolute. Yeah, she's a model. He is our model and and Paul and the apostle in Ephesians 4 says were to grow up to look like him, and he tells us to put off the old man, which is what I had to do in order to more resemble Christ and grow up. That's right, and the secure connector looks like Jesus because when you look at all these attachment styles. They don't match what you see in the Lord and so the secure connector especially sexually is going to be able to be honest, they're going to negotiate a sexual encounter they're gonna talk during sex about what they like and what feels good and what doesn't feel good courses is in the context of marriage with her spouse absolutely so they're not can have some of the struggles because they grew up in a home most likely where there was some emotional vulnerability and where there were memories of comfort and where there was clear ability to resolve conflict and resulting conflict is a huge part of having a good sexual relationship you're listening to a best of 2020 episode of Focus on the Family with Jim Daly on John Fuller and our guest today are Mylan and K your cribbage describing how your lifestyle can impact physical intimacy in marriage and what we've run out of time today. We hope you make plans to join us next time. For the rest of this really insightful conversation John. I'm sure what we shared today is touched a nerve for many of our listeners. Maybe you have concerns about the relationship with your spouse and you want to get your marriage back on track.
If that describes you. Please contact us here.
Focus we want to help in any way we can we can connect you with one of our Christian counselors, or if your relationship is facing severe challenges will point you to our hope restored program where we offer intensive marriage counseling for those couples who are ready to call it quits and most importantly, I want to say don't give up. That's our message today, no matter what challenges you may be facing.
Focus on the Family is here to help you find godly solutions for your family get in touch with us and I will arrange an appointment time with one of our counselors and be happy to tell you more about hope restored our marriage intensive's. Our number is 800 232-645-9800 the letter a in the word family were stop by the episode notes and you find the link right there.
We also have a special bundle of resources that the your cribbage is a put together for us.
We have the book how we love which provides more detail about their lifestyles concept plus we have an extra audio message from Mylan and K.
About the top five things you need to have a healthier sex life and finally we can provide you with a CD copy of our entire conversation with your cabbages, which includes what will share next time we can send that entire bundle to you for a gift of any amount to Focus on the Family.
That's our way of saying thanks for partnering with us to strengthen and rescue marriages today donate today and request that bundle of resources.
The gym just mentioned again our number is 880, family, or you can donate online. The link is in the show, next time we'll hear more from the year which is about dealing with sexual dysfunction in your mirror.
I can't do this anymore. Something has to change because I can't keep up with you and I don't I don't feel like I have a voice.
I feel like if I say no you get upset. Something has to change half of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting back next time. As we once more help you and your family thrive