February 18, 2017 Office Hour Questions

The following questions were raised in the February 2017 Office Hours session.  The audio recording of this session is available to those who have purchased courses in the past 12 months, and to those who purchased courses earlier and extended their subscription to office hours.

If you would like to submit questions, attend live Office Hours, or listen to recordings of them, you can purchase an Office Hours subscription extension through the link at the bottom of this page.

If do not want to receive future notices for office hour recordings or question summaries, please use the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email that brought you here.

First Hour (Relationship Topics)
1:47This first segment includes an announcement of future events and describes the expansion of and changes to the Office Hours program to accommodate the increasing number of questions.
6:39My husband has consistently made decisions without my agreement / consent that affect me (e.g..,large purchases, looking at pornography). I tend to tell him I disagree but then go quiet, and he does whatever he wants. This makes me resentful, and makes me not trust him or like him. We want to have a better relationship. How do I overcome my betrayal trauma and distrust?
1:11The web site hosting Jennifer's selfhood podcast interview is down. Jennifer recommends podcasts on related topics. The Perfectionism podcast she mentioned can be found here. The "Art of Belonging" here.
3:16When taking the art of desire course, I resonated very much with the ideas around selfhood. If my mom made me responsible for her feelings, and acted often like a victim, how do I make sure I don't replicate her choices with my own children?
6:48How do I change this pattern with my mom (and sister)? They obligate me and I manage a lot of the relationship. Because of this, I have taken a step back from the relationship but it makes me feel guilty. I want to be close to them but I fear I have to regress to my old position in the relationship to do it. Do I need to be okay with this new normal? How do I handle that they will vilify me in response?
16:05My question is related to a response you gave to a question last month. You suggested an adult child of the questioner may be taking comfort in living out a negative self-concept. Thinking on this, I have become more aware of my inclination to live down to a negative identity. My mother obligates people to her and is a victim. I don't want to imitate her life. But on the other hand, I am afraid of living a better life than my mom. I think my perfectionism also keeps me stuck. Can you help me make sense of this?
10:10If I realize I don't trust my husband (following a drawn out affair), what do I do? Do I just have to tolerate that fact until he's earned it back? How do I distinguish between old reactive fear / distrust vs. tracking his deception or lack of trustworthiness now?
12:53I have given a lot to my husband to accommodate his desires but he doesn't give to me. Given his selfishness, i was frustrated and had an affair. I admitted this to him and he also admitted to me that he has had an affair. Our relationship is completely empty now. We have four children and we are miserable. Is there any hope?
5:22My husband says he does not love me anymore and doesn't desire me. I don't want to lose our family, but I want to be wanted and want to choose someone who chooses me. My husband says he chooses me now, but the relationship is not getting better. Is love something you choose? What can I do?
12:38Is it poor judgment to stay with someone who says he doesn't love me anymore but doesn't want a divorce?

Second Hour (Sexuality Topics)
1:21Information about HPV diagnosis and typical length of time between sexual exposure and warts
11:56The idea that my sexuality belongs to me is a revelation to me. I'm trying to develop my sexuality on my own but feel guilty about that. What kinds of positive thoughts can I engage during sex to manage my own feelings? Thinking about the idea that my husband wants me feels negative and consuming.
5:55My husband has made choices that have undermined my trust in him in the past. We have dealt with the issues openly. He has been much less sexually pushy over the last few years and more accepting of my lower desire, but it hurts me that he directs his sexuality towards porn and masturbation sometimes rather than self-control. I'm trying to not shame him or control him. Any thoughts on how I can approach him on this would be much appreciated.
9:27My husband thinks "sex solves everything". It is very difficult for me to ever experience sex as a natural coping mechanism with stress (as it is for my husband). When I'm under stress, I don't enjoy sex. The only time I can enjoy sex is if my life is going perfectly (which is not very often). How can I change my programming so that I see sex as a positive thing rather than a duty.
3:21Taking the art of desire course has been life changing and has opened many doors for me. I want to keep developing my sexual self. My husband has been the higher desire partner and he has stretched our relationship in many positive ways. He would love to support me in my progress but doesnt' want to interfere either. Any ideas on how he can be helpful?
5:48I learned a lot from the Art of desire course and this is the first time I have really wanted to dive into my own sexual potential. My husband would like to figure out if G-spot stimulation will facilitate me reaching orgasm. It feels uncomfortable to me. Any advice on G-Spot stimulation?
9:11Do you believe in asexuality? I am married to a handsome, wonderful man but I have absolutely zero interest in sex. If there is some inkling of my sexuality that was buried at a young age, I have no idea how to uncover it. If I am asexual, maybe I need to move on from the torture of trying to develop something that simply will never be. What are your thoughts?