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What's looking at porn have to do with my relationship? You'd be surprised!

by Kathryn Wenzel on 05/31/18

The Devastating Factors of Porn

     What is pornography?

We are not just talking about the Supreme Courts definition of Pornography.  Pornography includes thinking about underwear ads, Victoria Secret magazines, Sports Illustrated Swim Suit issue, the Sears Catalog or even National Geographic.  Today we are faced with the Internet that has over 500 million pornographic web sites, each consisting of multiple photos and/or graphic video sex scenes.  All of this is accessible to anyone by computers, cell phones and almost any electronic devices with internet capability.

  Problems with Pornography

 The active almost compulsive attraction to pornography, for some, this activity may last for hours; others may be cycling through binges, many developing a habit of several times a week.


    1.  Biological Components

    2.  Psychological Aspects

3.  Chemical Reactions



 1.  Developing nero-pathways connected to the pleasure center of the brain.

 2.  Developing dependence when stress develops in everyday life situations.

 3.  Three major chemicals are utilized in a form of self medication.

 4.  Ongoing and/repetitive behaviors develop a trained response.

 5.  Extremely difficult to stop without addressing this component.


1.  Developing an attachment, (false intimacy) with the fantasy person / world

2.  Over period of many years, this becomes our oldest, bestest, trusted friend.

3.  The ability to secrete epinephrine into blood stream increases.

4.  Sexual intimacy decreases because your partner is not your desired or preferred fantasy sexual object.

5.  Over shadows our thoughts through-out the day, creating problems at home and work.


Three extremely powerful chemicals play an intricate part in this dynamic.

 1.      Epinephrine:  This chemical is secreted into the blood stream and we receive a chemical high from sexually charged images.

2.    Endorphins:  This chemical washes over the brain, removing emotional discomfort for a period of time.

3.    Enkephalins:  This chemical is 3 to 4 times stronger than morphine, hence the intensity of the orgasm.

 Imprinting occurs into the brain of whatever we are viewing at the time of the orgasm whether it's a live person, an air-brushed perfected image or an inanimate object. Regardless of which of these it is, it is NOT your spouse, so each time you masturbate to the other images you form "sex glue" to that other image and NOT your spouse.  This creates an appetite and desire for what/who you are glued to, NOT your spouse which can create lack of arousal,  ED, or inability to orgasm with your spouse.

The good news is, it's totally fixable!

To learn more or get help, please call to set up an appointment.


Intimacy "In-to-me-see" One of the most misunderstood aspects of the relationship. No, it’s not sex but it does include lovemaking.

by Kathryn Wenzel on 12/31/15

     Intimacy is about connection, about feeling close and connected. Yet many of us don’t know how or we just forgot a long, long time ago. Many don’t even have a clue what to say or what to do, so, we just stay busy doing things that actually end up taking us even further away from the solution. 
Intimacy, broken down, is what every personal relationship needs. In-to-me-see; see into me; A mutual willingness to be vulnerable and open to one another. 
There are 5 beautiful ways to intimacy:
Spiritually – this is two parts: Now here is where most of us mess up. In spiritual, we are talking about psychological. Psychologically we are either in our adult, behaving maturely, focusing upon others with love and respect, or psychologically we are operating out of our Ego. The Ego is immature, over emotional, and at times, immoral and even rather wicked. This is seen when we are mean, rude and condescending. So, Spiritually, if we operate out of the Adult we are warm, caring, loving and accepting and the other person will be attracted to us. The second piece is to be like minded in values and beliefs. These are the foundation to communication and being in agreement with each other. Look for areas you both value and believe in and keep that focus together. What a great place to start!
Mental intimacy is sharing our thoughts and opinions, from our Adult. This way our focus stays on the positive aspects about the other person, about life and about
ourselves in general.
Emotional intimacy is connecting by sharing our positive feelings about each other and situations throughout each day. Being open, honest and giving, and making sure it’s coming from our Adult. The Ego can really create unnecessary drama here, if not kept in check.
Physical intimacy is another totally misunderstood aspect of intimacy. This is also two parts: First, doing things together like dates, social engagements, chores, meals, you name it. This is so important that without these, we can create a huge wedge between ourselves and our spouse.
The second part of physical intimacy is non-sexual physical touch. Yes we emphasize non-sexual for a reason. Unlike most men, women are geared to connect, to feel “one” with their spouse; to be intimate. Holding hands, snuggling, kissing, gentle non sexual caresses and “loving looks” touches ones heart deeply. These actions also release a bonding chemical into the body called Oxytocin, which is an important building block for trust between two people. When a person is connecting spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically with their spouse, sexual intimacy happens naturally. Well, not that easy, but it sure makes it a lot easier! This is where we really get to connect on all 5 levels. An important key is to keep a “little” light on, just enough to “see” each other, without being so bright that one might feel self conscious. Next, keep your eyes open (glue to each other) and talk, whisper sweet something’s into each other’s ear. Now things get a little bit more interesting!
The 3 P’s, to Provide, Protect and Pursue each other with Passion, are important components to complete intimacy. Actually 4 P’s, but who’s counting? We say we need to Provide spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically and sexually. This means we actively meet our partner’s needs in these areas. We need to Protect in these same five areas which also means we are not the one who attacks either. We must keep our Ego out of here or it will attack, violate and/or damage one or more areas of intimacy and we don’t need that.
To Pursue, to connect, really connect sexually, we must pursue spiritually from our
Adult. We must connect mentally, learning how to speak to our partner sexually, learning what makes them tick and not tick them off. We need to connect emotionally, making sure not to bring up past crap, issues or negative feelings. We also want to include the physical activities; especially dating, to help us connect and get in the mood. Most of us have forgotten that dating was the way we got our partner alone so we could pursue them. Remember “Old Fashion Courting”? That’s it, but with a twist. The twist is we are pursuing each other to be sexually intimate and make love. Yes! Old fashion dating with a twist, holding hands, kissing, snuggling and sitting next to each other, focused on what the other is saying and keeping focused on the positive. Positive thoughts about the other person; Positive feelings about each other and life in general and positive thoughts on activities we’d like to do in the future, (like making love real soon).
A great book to help is Dr. Gary Chapman’s “The 5 Love Languages”
So, let’s recap. Intimacy, in-to-me-see;
Getting to really know each other;
Spiritually with our Adult
Mentally positive thoughts
Emotionally positive feelings
Physically fun activities & touch
Sexually combining all five 
Combining all five areas of intimacy with lights on, eyes open, speaking sweet somethings into each other’s ears…
We use a method we call the 7’s; date every 7 days, every 7 weeks spend the whole
day together, every 7 months spend the night away from home together and every 7
years go to Maui or somewhere very special. Don’t forget to date, at least once a week. Spend a whole day together at least once a month. Get away for a night or two several times a year and take a vacation together, a second, third, fourth or fifth honeymoon every 3 to 5 years.
We also recommend the Daily 3; where every day you both write down on a 3 x 5 card;
1. Two positive thoughts about your partner. Two things you like about them,
love about them, or admire about them. They must be different every day.
2. Two positive feelings about your day – about you, not your partner, but two positive feelings you experienced this day and share when you get home. If you had
a crappy day, then refer to a previous day and share it.
3. Share two positive activities you would like to do together tonight, tomorrow or
on the weekend. This keeps you thinking about it, and then you two vote on which activity you both would like to do together. There you have it, intimacy; in-to-me-see;
Provide, Protect and Pursue each other spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically
and sexually with Passion and with the attitude; we get too!

Spiritual Adult vs Ego
Mental Positive Thoughts
Emotional Positive Feelings
Physical Fun Activities & Touch
Sexual Watch out!!!
Protect one another…
Provide for one another…
Pursue one another…
With Passion, Love & Respect.

Respect and Boundaries - frequently misunderstood topics

by Kathryn Wenzel on 10/03/15

This blog explains what most of us should have learned from our parents growing up, reinforced by teachers, coaches and other influential adults…

Yes another blog talking about boundaries, but with an interesting twist. The bottom line is that the issue of respect is the foundation of a healthy relationship.The awareness of boundaries, even on the most basic level, is key to respect. Right off the bat, we will tell you that this is a very tough, often misunderstood, and very frustrating topic. Respect is a subject matter that has become such a topic of distention, it often causes couples to split, separate, divorce and / or become involved in the legal system.We are talking about the violation of boundaries. We are not here to rewrite the book on boundaries.We are just going to present them in a different way, to help open the door of understanding. We will discuss seven very basic core boundaries that are universal and that everyone possesses. We like to use a form of sign language to help teach others to remember and memorize these boundaries.

Taking your right hand, draw a half circle above your head
 left to right, point it to your big brain, 
your mouth, fist on your left shoulder,
 hand over your heart, point to your big toe 
and now complete the bottom
half of the circle left to right.
Now, do this again and say “Spiritual” and
draw a half circle left to right above your head with your hand.
Say “Mental” while pointing toward your big brain.
Say “Verbal” while pointing toward your mouth.
Say “Physical” with your right fist in front of your left shoulder
 like a Roman Centurion.
Say “Emotional” with your hand over your heart.
Say “Personal” while pointing at your big toe. 
(We are really pointing at our crotch,
but because “personal” is our sexual
boundary, but point at your big toe.)
Say “Material” and with your right hand complete the bottom half of the circle,
left to right. Do this again and again and you will quickly memorize your seven boundaries.
These are our most basic boundaries.These seven boundaries are the foundation
of any and all healthy relationships. They also happen to be the foundation of the American Legal System. If we violate any of these boundaries we might just end up in criminal, if not civil, court and maybe even both. These boundaries are so interconnected that if we violate one, we most likely violated some of the others.Let’s examine them a little closer, with a basic definition for each;

Spiritual is our beliefs.
Mental is our thoughts.
Verbal is our words.
Physical is our actions.
Emotional is our feelings.
Personal is our desires.
Material is our belongings.

In a close intimate relationship, like a marriage, if we purposely violate any of these boundaries of one of the couple, we are psychologically violating the boundaries of the other’s as well. This is because the spouse may have no respect for the other and may actually be the one who is violating boundaries. Like we said, it gets complicated. Anyway, these boundaries are also interconnected to our responsibilities as Adults; as men, women and citizens of the United States. We are responsible for our beliefs, thoughts, words, actions, feelings, desires, and everything else we do. For in The United States we are expected to know the law and are responsible if we
break the law, regardless if we say we didn’t know about it. We all know this isn’t really always the case, because it seems there is no accountability anymore and everyone just “lawyers up” (hires a lawyer to get them out of trouble) and blames someone else for their behavior.Learning and understanding these
boundaries and learning to honor our own boundaries and the boundaries of others, are the goals here. The confounding variable, is the Ego (we love this word “confounding”). For when we are in our Ego, everything changes.The Ego holds a very immature, immoral and at times, wicked belief system, (the opposite of our Adult).This in turn changes everything with our thoughts and words usually to be focused on the negative, and the way we say things.
Our feelings become hypersensitive to everything, yet exhibit no empathy for anyone else. Our desires change and we now want what we want, when we want it,
and that’s usually NOW! At times it doesn’t make sense, even to us. This issue of respect, both self-respect and the respect of others, starts and ends with our Adult and our Ego. When we are in our Adult, it is almost innate to be respectful. When we are in our Ego we have no empathy, respect or trust and it shows in our attitude, behavior and especially our words. Learning about the boundaries and making a conscious effort to understand what each represents is important. It is also important to realize that these are also our triggers. When we feel violated, one or more of our boundaries, most likely were violated. When we are triggered, this means our Ego is coming out to play and he or she doesn’t play nice at all. When this happens, the Ego of the other person will retaliate by violating boundaries of the other person or persons who started this mess. The most common incident with this is with our spouse and now it gets crazy! With two Egos going at it, it’s like War! Either a cold war with silence and thick tension, or a red hot war with yelling, arguing and/or worse,or it could be a combination of both. Anyway we look at it, it’s Bad! It is vital to get back into the Adult:own the inappropriate behavior, apologize and commit to being respectful again. All it takes is for one of you to go off the deep end to get things started. It takes both of you to get things back on track, to have a respectful, loving relationship. 
Isn’t that what we all really want? 

Trust - The Core Issue

by Kathryn Wenzel on 02/17/15

Forgiveness might be immediate, but trust is earned. 
To earn and maintain trust, it must become a lifestyle 
and may take a life time to master.

     One of the most important principles, and we believe, the foundation of any trusting relationship, is Respect. Now, respect has an important role in that there must be both self-respect and the respect of others. This all relates to an understanding of boundaries; our own and the boundaries of others. If trust is the “core” issue, then the foundation of trust is respect. We need to honor boundaries, our own and the boundaries of others. If we don’t honor our own boundaries, how can others trust us to honor their boundaries?
     To obtain a little deeper or more mature understanding, let’s look at the seven most universal boundaries; spiritual, mental, verbal, physical, emotional, personal and material. These are just a few of the many boundaries found within any relationship and the violation of any one of the seven boundaries can lead to the destruction of trust within the relationship. This in turn may lead to the destruction of the relationship itself. 
A quick definition of each boundary may help our understanding of these boundaries:
Spiritual, our beliefs;
Mental, our thoughts;
Verbal, our words;
Physical, our actions;
Emotional, our feelings;
Personal, our desires;
Material, our belongings.
These boundaries are actually the foundation of our legal system and the violation thereof could lead to criminal and/or civil action. Within the relationship, respect of these same boundaries is imperative in maintaining a healthy, loving union. The violation of these boundaries will lead to conflict, drama and eventually the end of the relationship. The key to earning and maintaining a healthy and loving relationship is accountability.
     Self-accountability is the ability to hold oneself accountable for violating another person’s boundaries. This means to say what we did, taking ownership and then apologizing. Not saying “I’m sorry”, but truly apologizing and showing the love and respect to the very person we hurt. 
     Accountability seems to be such a big word and is often misunderstood. This is because since childhood we have been taught to “lawyer up”. For we all know, “what you say will be used against you”. In a close relationship, the quickest way to end it is to lie, deny, distort and/or blame the other person for what is our own responsibility. To be accountable is to take true ownership that we messed up, or made a mistake and show we are willing to correct that mistake. The goal and third component of earning trust is responsibility; by fulfilling all our commitments. If we say it, we have to do it.
     For many of us, we are good at saying what other people might want to hear, but with no true commitment behind it. There is very little, if any, follow through. The excuses of “what?!?” like we don’t know what they are talking about and/or “I forgot” are lame, immature and exhibits a true lack of responsibility. These also severely hinder the development of trust so needed in the relationship. So, there we have it. If we say it, we have to do it. If we don’t, we need to own it, and say that we didn't do it. Then apologize, showing respect, that is so important in the relationship. Now (the tricky part) we re-commit. We say what we are going to do and more importantly, we do it. So basic and so easy to understand, yet so misunderstood and at times actually ignored when it comes to close personal relationships.
     Each of these three concepts or principles are of equal weight. For if any one of them are removed or violated, the trust will be damaged and/or destroyed. For they are so interconnected that to remove one, you actually remove all three. When this is done, at best, you then have a relationship that is either at its bitter end or ripe for a fresh start. 
     The best practice in earning trust back when we do something wrong; is to first own it; say what you did. Then apologize sincerely; not saying “I’m sorry”. For in today’s world, “I’m sorry” has grown to mean nothing, zero, zip, we have heard it so many times. It’s time to show the respect that’s been missing. The next thing is to do is to be responsible and say what we are going to do and more importantly,do it! Otherwise, we are just making a fool out of ourselves by lying to our self and others.


The key to earning trust. The ability to account for our actions, to say what we did, to take ownership or “own it”.
The ability to respond appropriately, in a mature manner. To fulfill all commitments; if you say it, then do it.
To honor my own boundaries and the boundaries of others.

The ABC's of Maturity

by Kathryn Wenzel on 01/24/15

Warning: This chapter contains info that may blow your socks off. Basically, that it’s time to grow up and put your big boy pants on. Or your big girl pants on…

The Basic ABC’s of Maturity
A is for the Ego, who is selfish, hypersensitive
and has no empathy.
B is for the Adult, who is selfless, sensitive
and empathic.
C is for the Lover, who is sensual, thoughtful
and persistent.
We must get our Adult to take authority
over our Ego to begin the process of
building trust and then grow the intimacy
that has been needed for oh so long.
The Ego is the narcissistic, co-dependant,
sometimes bi-polar like, little kid inside
of us that drives others crazy. We can
be so controlling and oh so manipulative,
yet would never admit to that, unless of
course we are bragging to another. We are
in survival mode and we just don’t care.
Our only concern is to get what we want,
when we want it and we want it now.
The Adult, on the other hand, is the
one inside who knows right from wrong,
yet because we have exerted little control
over our stinkin Ego, we end up suffering
the consequences. Our Adult must learn to
take authority over our Ego, much like that
of the parent over their very own child. If
this is not done, our Ego will run amuck and
destroy all that our Adult has worked and
hoped for.
What we are talking about is at Epidemic
proportions. It’s really that bad! This is really
a Pandemic for it has spread throughout
the land. So to address this issue it’s going
to take a lot of hard, Hard Work and WORK
is the worst four letter word for today’s
generation. And then we went and put the
word “hard” in front of it. HARD & WORK
are also two very important acronyms.
HARD stands for;
a Heck of A lot of Reading to Do… Ugh!!!
We must read about this Ego & Adult of
ours, and then about our Lover… ‘Cause
no one ever taught us about these guys.

W.O.R.K. is a bit more detailed than
“W” stands for Wake – up!!!
The Ego is alive…
“O” stands for get Organized…
The Adult must develop a
Strategic Plan…
“R” stands for Realize
Realize your Potential, Provide, Pursue
and Protect your Lover, with Passion.
“K” stands for the Key;
Knowledge applied equals Wisdom.

“W” - Wake-up!!! The Ego, your Ego, is
narcissistic, co-dependent and at times bipolar
as all get out. Read about all three,
learn and identify the traits that relate to
you; this is what is destroying your marriage
and other relationships, not your spouse.
“O” - Organized… We are going to have
to learn that our Adult is going to have
to take authority over the Ego, and how.
This is done by developing a strategic plan,
otherwise known as a “strategory.” In doing
so, we have to learn what and how to do
this on a daily basis.
“R” - Realize the potential inside your Adult,
is your Lover. Your Lover has tremendous
authority and the power to turn any
relationship around.
“K” - The Key, is Knowledge applied which
equals Wisdom. This is what most of us

The ABC’c of Maturity In more detail
A is for the Ego, the immature, immoral
and at times, wicked little kid inside, that
is narcissistic, co-dependent and bi-polar
as heck.

B is for the Adult who is mature, moral,
loving and kind. Who willingly goes above
and beyond what we are asked and does
all this and more, because we get to. The
Adult is organized, structured, and has a
well thought-out plan that is followed every
day, every week and even on the weekends.
C is for the Lover, whose main focus is on
“Intimacy”. To provide, pursue and protect
with passion…
The Lover, must learn true Intimacy,
in being spiritually, mentally, emotionally,
physically and sexually connected. The
Lover’s main purpose is to provide, pursue
and protect their Spouse / Lover spiritually,
mentally, emotionally, physically and sexually,
with passion. What a mouth full!

The ABC’s of Maturity are where the
Adult must take Authority over the Ego
and develop the relationship by earning
Trust every day. Almost simultaneously,
the Lover is developing Intimacy on a daily,
weekly and every weekend basis.

All in all, this is hard, hard work. We
have a heck of a lot of reading to do. We
must learn more about our Ego to take
Authority; earn the Trust back through
our Adult; and bring the Passion back to
our relationship, by developing the Lover.

The Rules of Engagement:
Nine Basic Rules that simply apply to
the Ego, Adult and the Lover. These Nine
Rules, when used correctly, can turn a
nightmare into a dream come true. Nine
Basic Rules that are hard Work in utilizing,
yet oh so rewarding.

The first three rules are referred to as
The Survival Rules. They are used at work,
home and especially whenever our Ego
comes out to play. When we are triggered, we
typically go into the fight or flight response,
where we become emotionally charged and
the only one who can take control of this
is our Adult. This takes time, training and
lots and lots of practice. The Adult must
take Authority over the Ego.

Rule #1 Shut-up - the Adult must tell
the Ego to Shut-up! No sharing thoughts,
feelings or opinions. Definitely not when we
are triggered, not when we are focused on
the negative, & not when we are in the Ego.

Rule #2 Listen - Ha! We still have to
remain engaged and actively listen to the
other person, maintaining eye contact, &
repeating back what was said. Not what
we think we heard! If we are asked to
do something, just do it out of love and

Rule #3 Don’t React - do not let the
Ego do or say something you are going to
regret later. Apply Rule #1, Shut-up!!! Don’t
defend yourself and don’t argue. Gather
your wits about you, get yourself together
and allow your Adult to step up.
These Survival Rules are so important.
Use them at home, work, even in the drive
way and wherever the Ego may want to
come out and play.

The next three rules are basic as to what
to do when your Ego does come out and
play; very basic stuff. We just have got to
get our Adult to do it. Oh, the Ego will
put up a fight and it may take an hour, a
day or even a week, but we are working on
progress, not perfection.

Rule #4 Own It, say “what” you did, not
“why”, not ‘how”, not “where” or “when.”
Just admit it, not justify it, not minimize
it, not distort it or rationalize it. Just own
it, & say “what you did”.

Rule #5 Apologize for it. Do Not Say “I’m
Sorry!” For in the last 50 years “I’m Sorry” has
become an empty, meaningless set of words
that do nothing for you. Apologize! Say “I
apologize”, use eye contact and mean it.
You messed up, so clean it up. Own it first,
and then show your maturity by apologizing
for the mess you made, even if you had
help. Just do it.

Rule #6 Commit to what you will do in
the future and more importantly, do it.
Hey, we are all good at saying what the
other person wants to hear, but we have to
follow through or it doesn't mean anything.
Now, we have to do it because that’s
true commitment; the act of actually doing
what we said we would. Do all three (Rules
4-6) and the Adult takes Authority. 

We also begin the process of earning and/or
maintaining “Trust” within the relationship.
By owning our behavior, we are being
Accountable. By apologizing, we are being
Respectful; By committing to change and
actually doing it, we are being Responsible;
Accountable, Responsible and Respectful.
The three key components of earning and
maintaining Trust within the Relationship.
The next three rules apply to how you
respond to your spouse, lover or partner
when they mess up.

Rule #7 Surrender and Submit the Ego
to the Adult. This means you actually have
to use Rules #1, 2, & 3 to Surrender and
Rules #4, 5 & 6 to Submit. If you don’t, it’s
going to be really, really hard to do Rule #8.

Rule #8 Forgive & Serve the other person.
That means you forgive them, let it go and
be willing to do whatever they ask and go
above and beyond. Now, this is extremely
hard unless you truly Surrender and Submit
your Ego to your Adult and just do it. For
if you won’t or can’t, you can’t or won’t do
Rule #9.

Rule #9 Love & Respect them. Love
on your spouse, lover or partner by being
there and meeting their needs in ways only
you can do. (see “The 5 Love Languages”
by Dr. Gary Chapman) Respect them, by
honoring their Boundaries. Be kind, gentle
and understanding. Go out of your way to
touch them non-sexually, speak kindly, do
things for them, spend time doing what
they want to and maybe even surprise them
with a gift.

These three rules alone are like magic.
Do it and you will experience it yourself.
Apply all nine to your life and you will see
drastic changes in your relationship. This
won’t happen over night, but over time.

“One Foot, Two Foot - What does this have to do with intimacy???"

by Kathryn Wenzel on 12/16/14

“One Foot, Two Foot”
Warning: This blog may hit you right between the eyes 
(or not) with a little reality and common sense;
 both of which many of us lack at the moment.

For some of us, there’s a feeling like one
foot is nailed to the floor and at best we
are just running around in circles, doing
the same thing, repeating the same dang
mistakes time and time again. Some may
even feel more like they have both feet
nailed to the floor and are just stuck,
getting nowhere, no matter how hard we
try. Well, this blog is for you! Half of it will
explain why this might be happening, the
other half, what to do about it.

One foot, two foot is sort of like taking
baby steps. We have to make changes one
step at a time; one foot in front of the
other until we begin to gain momentum.
One of the primary reasons we get stuck
is we end up relying upon some form of 
self-medication to get us through, eventually
falling victim to the cycle of addiction
without even realizing it. This cycle of
addiction can help explain in a very basic
way, how and why we run away from the
daily drama in our lives, to seek refuge
in self-medication. Be it drugs, alcohol,
sex, over eating, or power and control,
they all create a dynamic we refer to as
Arrested Development: where we are
stuck emotionally, mentally and morally at
the age we first started to self medicate.

In its most basic form, the triangle of
ACE is what we use to help explain the
“Ego”. A is for accountability, for which
there is none. C is for Control, Power-n-
Control, which is what the Ego wants and
needs. E is for the esteem, it’s all about
“Me” and my self-Esteem.

ACE is defined as:
A= No Accountability, for anything.
We blame, minimize, distort, justify and
rationalize our behaviors with the 5 W’s;
who, what, where, when and why. 
We also use the 3 D’s;
Deny everything, 
Divulge nothing and 
Demand evidence, only to deny
it all over again.
C = is for Control; Power-n-Control. We
attempt to manipulate most every situation,
only to find we are never truly satisfied.

We constantly do it, consciously and
unconsciously. There are times we know
what we are doing and other times we do
it without thinking, because we���ve done it
so many times before; it’s just habit.
E= Esteem, the self-Esteem, where it’s “all
about me, I want what I want, when I want
it and I want it now! I didn’t earn it or work
for it, I just want it, and therefore I should
have it.” This is an issue of selfishness and
entitlement. When we are stuck here, we
really have no empathy for others. We just
don’t care at the time and it shows. Yet,
we are extremely hypersensitive to anyone
treating us disrespectfully. Here again we
are stuck in our Ego or what we call the
Triangle of ACE. No one understands
our point of view and we are just tired of
all their crap! The only thing left to do is
“Forget about it” and self-medicate. For
many of us we have been doing this for
so long that it has become an unbreakable
pattern. At times we feel like one foot is
nailed to the ground and at other times it
feels like both our feet are nailed down
and we are helplessly stuck! AAAaaaaaa….
This Bites!!! For some, we feel like we’ve
tried everything. For others, we have no
idea what to do. For some, this is the last
stop before doing something drastic. So,
let’s talk about a strategic plan.

The strategic plan we need, will help us
get focused and give us direction. 
In its most basic form it’s:
1. Authority
2. Trust
3. Intimacy
First, we must take Authority over our Ego.
Second, we must develop Trust within
our close relationships.
Third, we must develop a loving, intimate
relationship with our primary partner to
replace our need and desire to self medicate.
That’s all; Simple enough. It just took us
darn near 30 years to figure this out! And
it takes a lot of dang work to do it!

First, we have to figure out who our Ego is
and how to get our Adult to take authority
over it. (see the Arrested Development and the
Reverse Work Ethic blogs or buy the book The Art of Redirection)

Second, we have to learn how to behave
like an actual adult and earn the Trust
that has been destroyed by our selfish,
narcissistic behaviors.

Third, we have to learn how to have a
true intimate relationship with our significant
other; spiritually, mentally, emotionally,
physically and sexually. For too many of us, this
seems like Friggin Rocket Science and we are
at a loss as to where to start! In this blog
we will explain how this isn’t as difficult as it
seems, it’s just no one really told us.

Spiritually: we need to have an adult to
adult connection to move forward. If the
Ego comes out with either or both partners,
intimacy is destroyed.
Mentally: we need to stop sharing negative
thoughts, feelings and/or opinions. We have
gotten too good at this and it really screws
things up! It’s really not a good idea to
share negative feelings when we are trying
to be close, and work on “being the best of
Emotionally: again we need to stop sharing
all our negative feelings. We do it so well, it’s
like emotionally puking all over each other
and we know that doesn't work. So, share
only positive thoughts, positive feelings,
positive ideas and/or opinions. Make a habit
of it and watch how things will really begin
to change.
Physically: we need to do more things
together; the more the better. Quit
running away and hiding in the electronics
and other distractions. Start doing more
things together; eat, shop, walk, ride, drive,
talk, clean, do it all. Make sure you are
holding hands, snuggling, kissing and other
non-sexual touching. You get the idea. This
chapter was just to help get things started,
not the answer to all your problems.
Sexually: When a person is connecting
spiritually, mentally, emotionally and
physically with their spouse, sexual intimacy
happens naturally. Keep a “little” light on,
just enough to “see” each other, without
being so bright that one might feel self
conscious. Next, keep your eyes open (glue
to each other) and talk, whisper sweet
something’s into each other’s ear . . .
Provide, Protect and Pursue each other
spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically
and sexually with Passion…

One Foot, Two Foot Summarized

ACE = Ego
A = No Accountability…
C = It's all about Power-n-Control…
E = It’s all about “Me” & My Self-Esteem…

Arrested Development: We are stuck at
the age we first start self medicating

The Strategic Plan:
1. Authority
2. Trust
3. Intimacy

The Reverse Work Ethic

by Kathryn Wenzel on 09/09/14

Warning:    This Blog contains concepts that to some may seem very simplistic, yet in reality, are extremely dynamic. Even so, we hope it will bring a point across that must be heard to instill everlasting change.

    Once upon a time, long, long ago, we had dreams of how we’d like our life to turn out. But nobody told us how stinking hard it was going to be. Day in and day out, one thing after another, with no end in sight.  Some of us turned to Drugs, others to Alcohol.  Many others used Sex and a lot of us used Food, all in an attempt to self-medicate so we could just get by.

The Work Ethic in America is where when we go to work we focus and get the job done. Yet, when we go home, we shut down and just want to chill and relax. This is the mistake and here is the answer.  The Reverse Work Ethic is that we must “turn on the Adult” when we go home and be focused. This is where our real job lies, at home. Instead we have learned to become self-serving and hypersensitive at home. Now it’s just a matter of time before we blow a gasket.  No one seems to have an answer. No one seems to know why we act this way.  We shake our heads while walking away and, of course, most of us just want to whine, cry or yell.

         “What happened here ?!?” “Why is my life so messed up ?!?”  It’s time to find out why, how, where, when and, most importantly, what to do about it all.

The Basic ABC’s:

The ABC’s help explain what seems to be so very complicated.

A is for our Ego- that angry, manipulative kid inside.

B is for our Adult- who must rise up and take control.

C is for our Lover- who must relax and really focus upon our friends and especially our spouse and family.

The Ego chooses to live in Stupidville.  This is where everything we do is right or everyone else’s fault. Where everything we do is minimized, distorted, rationalized and there is No Accountability.  Where it’s all about “Me”, and “I want what I want, when I want it and I want it Now!” This is where we worship what we call the UNholy Trinity; Me, Myself and I. 

The Adult, on the other hand, is the mature calm one within, who steps up and gets the job done.  We say what we’re going to do and we just do it.  We do it for others, for free or just for fun.  We operate out of self-respect and treat others with respect.  Most importantly, when we mess up, we take Accountability.  This is where we respectfully own our mistakes and humbly continue on, gracefully.

The Lover is the softer side of our heart; the one that goes above and beyond for their spouse, friends and family.  The Lover treats others with a balance of Love and Respect and with an attitude of we get to, not that we have to.

       Our hearts are pleasantly settled when we touch another’s heart.  So, we do it again and again, for there is no end in being there, one for the other.

    The problem is our Ego who keeps getting in our way.  When- ever we get triggered and go back into the Ego, we always have something negative to say. When we aren’t well received, we just run away feeling sad, mad and justified to self medicate day after day.  Life never seems to get easier.  Each year as we get older, it seems there is more and more for us to do, for it never seems to end or get easier.

The Adult must learn to take authority over this little Ego, and what a Battle this will be. So, we must gear up and begin by applying the Rules of Survival. Easy they are not, for the Ego won’t just stop. The Adult must step up, because the Ego has had its way for way too long.  Just like a parent with an “out of control” child, the Adult must take control or the Ego will run amuck.

The Survival Rules:

Rule #1. Shut-up !!!

Acknowledge that you are triggered back into your Ego.  So, do not share your thoughts, feelings or opinions.  Remember, take a slow deep breath.

Rule #2. Listen…

Maintain eye contact.  Repeat what was said, not what you think you heard.  If asked to do something, “Just do it”.

Rule #3. Don’t React!!!

S.T.O.P. - Self Time Out Please

Now we are getting started, no time to sit back and relax.  The Adult must remain steady and ready. That Ego is a little conniver and just waits to attack.

These Rules of Survival are to be used internally.  A conversation if you will, in your head between your Ego and your newly emerging Adult. You must continually be vigilant to keep your Ego at bay, or the Ego will destroy the trust, respect and love, from all of those you hold dear.

       For the Adult to stand true, we need Accountability. This is the key, the ability to account for our actions. To say “what” we did, and share it with a friend.  So find a friend willing to work with you and learn how to own your behaviors, to say what you’ve done wrong.  All this is just practice, so eventually, we’ll do it with our spouse, lover, our “bestest”, trusted friend, to grow our intimacy.

       As our Adult grows, it takes more authority.  We now tap into our Lover to grow this intimacy.  Start with the Daily 3 and you will see the power of the Lover has an amazing ability.  Don’t stop there for this is just the beginning. 

The 5 Love Languages are the key to growing our intimacy. Get the book “The 5 Love Languages” by Dr Gary Chapman. It’s brilliant.

To simplify things we have developed the Basic 8:

The Daily 3:

1.    Share 2 positive thoughts

2.   Share 2 positive feelings

3.   Plan 2 positive activities

The Daily 3 Explained;

2 Positive Thoughts are about your Lover; things you like, love or admire about them.

2 Positive Feelings are about your day, That have nothing to do with your lover.  This is a hard one and will take practice. Much like learning a foreign language, you will just have to work at it.

Plan 2 Positive Activities that you want to do together, every day, every week and especially on your weekends.

Dr. Gary Chapman's  5 Love Languages:

1: Words of Affirmation

2: Quality Time

3: Receiving Gifts

4: Acts of Service

5: Physical Touch

1: Words of Affirmation

Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.

2: Quality Time

For those whose love language is spoken with Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.

3: Receiving Gifts

Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.

4: Acts of Service

Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most wants to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.

5: Physical Touch

This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.

Consistently doing the Daily 3 and the 5 Love Languages will change your heart and that of your lover, forever.

There you have it. It’s ABC

A.          The Ego

B.            The Adult

C.           The Lover

We are actually moving from intimacy with ourselves, to intimacy with our lover.  The Ego must surrender to the Adult, and the Adult grows and matures into the Lover.



Emotional / Intimacy Anorexia

by Kathryn Wenzel on 08/05/14

What is Emotional / Intimacy anorexia?

The active, almost compulsive sabotaging of emotional, mental, physical and at times sexual intimacy with the primary partner.

Emotional / Intimacy anorexia involves a pattern in which one or both members in a relationship, typically the primary committed relationship, put up barriers, avoid, or withhold nurturing the relationship. The pattern is not merely isolated to a single type of behavior but occurs across different spheres of intimacy. So, although "we just don't talk" might be a symptom of intimacy anorexia, this alone would not be sufficient for diagnosing the syndrome. 

In emotional / intimacy anorexia the lack of "talk" is not compensated by nonverbal communication and serves to weaken the sense of emotional, intellectual, physical, spiritual, and/or sexual closeness and attachment to each other. The intimacy anorexic restricts the free flow of love much the way a food anorexic restricts the intake of food. Because it is not nourished, the relationship withers. 

The individuals in the relationship wither as well. Deprivation from the anorexia can result in a sense of emotional isolation that can leave both of you, but particularly the partner, feeling that despite being married, you are alone in this relationship. Given that some researchers contend that emotional isolation is a more dangerous health risk than either cigarettes or high blood pressure, the individual impact of intimacy anorexia can be enormous. 

What are the causes of emotional / intimacy anorexia?

While there may be several causes or combination of causes, the three primary reasons are; 
  1. Sexual trauma (protecting yourself)
  2. Attachment disorder with cross-gender parent
  3. Sexual addiction (bonded to fantasies)

What are the characteristics of acting- in (emotional / intimacy anorexia)?

  1. Withholding love and or respect from your partner.
  2. Withholding praise and appreciation from your partner.
  3. Controlling your partner with anger and or silence.
  4. Ongoing criticism, which causes isolation from your partner.
  5. Withholding sexual intimacy from your partner.
  6. Unwillingness or inability to discuss feelings with your partner.
  7. Staying so busy that you have no relational time for your partner. 
  8. Making it about your partner'??s issues instead of owning your own.
  9. Controlling or shaming your partner over money issues
  10. Feeling more like roommates than lovers.

What are anorexic pattern? Why do anorexics use acting-in tactics?

  1. To control your partner.
  2. To avoid intimacy with your partner.
  3. To impose guilt and/or shame on your partner.
  4. Because your partner is not your desired or preferred fantasy sexual object.
  5. Stress
  6. A way to not acknowledge you are sexual.

How Do I Know if My Relationship is Anorexic?

You can request an evaluation from me to assess the specific patterns in your relationship. To begin to self-assess the patterns in your relationship, ask yourself the following questions:

For the Partner:

Are you starved for affection in the relationship? 
Do you feel loved and appreciated, or deprived and neglected?
Do you feel as if you are married but alone in this relationship?
Do you feel locked out from her/his feelings or as if yours are unappreciated?
Does s/he blame shift to deny responsibility or avoid looking at his/her own issues?
Has your spirit and self-esteem been systematically chipped away at?
?Do you feel rejected, unwanted, or unattractive to your mate?
Is s/he controlling about money?
Does s/he clam up when you try to communicate about something important to you? 
Do you worry about upsetting him/her or feel like you have a walking on eggshells lifestyle?
Do you feel more like roommates than lovers?

For the Anorexic:

Does your behavior communicate you don't need your partner?
Do you guard your heart so your mate can't get in?
Do you play the blame game?
Do you use criticism to push your partner away?
Do you withhold or sabotage sex?
Do you control or use guilt trips or shaming to manipulate your mate about money?
Do you stonewall when your mate tries to communicate with you?
Do you use anger to shut down attempts to connect?
Do you feel more like roommates than lovers?

Is There a Difference Between Emotional / Intimacy Anorexia, 
Sexual Anorexia, and Sex Addiction?

The answer is complex because it's both yes and no. There can be a great deal of overlap between these disorders, but they can and do occur independently of each other. Pornography and sexual addiction involves compulsively acting out with sexual behaviors. Sexual anorexia involves compulsively acting in with sexual behaviors, which may or may not include a more widespread withholding in other areas of intimacy. Intimacy anorexia, however, involves acting in across multiple intimacy domains, which may or may not include a withholding of sexual intimacy. 

The pioneering work in identifying and treating intimacy anorexia issue was done by sexual recovery expert Doug Weiss. Doug identified a more pervasive pattern of withholding in his sex addicted clients, a pattern that goes beyond the withholding of mere sexual intimacy. In his studies, 29% of male addicts met criteria for intimacy anorexia and 39% of female addicts met criteria. In addition, 39% of partners and spouses of sex addicts also met criteria for intimacy anorexia.

We see a lot of overlap between sex addiction and sexual anorexia. The irony is that the same client who is out of control with pornography or sexual behavior outside of the primary relationship, may simultaneously go for weeks, months, or years placing little or no energy into nurturing a sexual relationship with his or her partner. More often than not emotional / intimacy anorexia is also present. 

Arrested Development

by Kathryn Wenzel on 05/29/14

“Arrested Development”
by Robert & Kathryn Wenzel on 10/31/13

Warning: This blog contains concepts that to some may seem very simplistic, yet in reality, are extremely dynamic. Even so, we hope it will bring a point across that must be heard to instill everlasting change. 

     Arrested development is the failure of our Adult to fully develop because our Ego got in the way. The Ego, who had a 12 year head start, was enabled to continue to develop well into our later years because of our dependence on Drugs, Alcohol, Sex and/or Over Eating in order to deal with life.  
     In the first 12 years of our life, we go through a stage of development known as Dependence. Typically, we are dependent upon our parents, Aunt, Uncle, Grandma and Grandpa, a step parent or a parent-like substitute. This is the time where we develop what we call the Ego. The Ego’s focus is on “Me” and worships the UNholy trinity; “Me, Myself & I”. The Ego also wants what it wants, when it wants it, and that’s usually now! A sense of what is known as ‘entitlement’ or otherwise known as ‘pride’ will develop. The Ego is also extremely sensitive, and when triggered, makes rash decisions based upon hurt or angry feelings. Basically, our Ego is a hypersensitive, selfish, controlling, angry little child inside us all. We all have one. It’s just some come out way more often than others.  
     During the next nine years of Development, from 12 years old to 21 years old, we go through the toughest stage of development known to man; adolescence. This stage is also known as Independence and if there are any interruptions, we are going to have problems with relationships later on.
Unfortunately many of us go through what we call a second stage of Dependence. Instead we transfer the dependence we had on our Parents, to that of D.A.S.E. Drugs, Alcohol, Sex and/or over Eating to self-medicate and help us deal with the pressures of life. It’s at this age, when we first begin to depend on DASE, that we arrest our development. The Ego is stuck there, so whenever we are triggered, we behave emotionally and morally at that age. If we fail to get it together, we end up pushing others away, shutting down and/or running back to DASE, which keeps us stuck forever more.  
     The third stage of Dependence, is the most written about stage, for there are 500 to 1000 books out there on this topic; Co-Dependence. Man meets woman and puts on his best, just as she does, both exhibiting Adult behavior. If things work out, they begin a relationship, and six months to two years later (typical honeymoon stage) one or both of their Ego’s start to come out. This causes the other’s Ego to emerge or visa versa and the battle begins.  
Sooner or later a part of the Ego we call the “Parent”, comes out and now we really have a war on our hands. We call it WW III, ending in separation or the Big “D”; divorce. Generally, with these battles, one or both retreat to self-medicate only to repeat the cycle time after time after time again.  
This dynamic, we believe, may be the number one cause of divorce in the U.S. today. The older generation’s marriages typically lasted 30 years before one would call it quits. Today’s couples last three weeks, three months or three years tops before calling it quits.
     Let’s discuss the development of the Ego to understand what’s really going on. To simplify this we developed an inverted triangle of ACE to help; 
The A stands for accountability, or the lack thereof.  
The C stands for control. That’s what the Ego wants and needs in every situation.  
The E stands for the self-Esteem, which is all the Ego cares about anyway… (Just like the narcissist we all hear about).
     From birth on, the Ego is developed and grows to be quite the character. If we are not careful, it can and will continue to grow well into the later years.
During the first year of life, the Ego learns a powerful way to manipulate its environment, by crying. Soon the parents are responding by feeding, burping, loving on, feeding, changing and responding to every beck and call of the child. Later on, the child modifies crying with what we call the whine. This is a very useful tool; it is used to manipulate a parent when crying isn’t quite called for at the time.
     Next, year two, is where the child learns to use their anger to get what they want or need. When combined with crying and whining we have a most effective way of getting needs met with “The Temper Tantrum”.
Also during the second year of a child’s life their vocabulary is kicking in and they begin the basic art of arguing. Starting with two very basic words; “No!” and the “W” word “Why?” As their vocabulary grows, so does their ability to argue with us.  
     The third, and one of the more powerful forms of control, is learned during this second year of life; to ignore. They look you right in the eye. You know they heard what you said. You turn around to do something and they go do whatever it was they were going to do anyway. When you say something to them, they respond with a “what?” and that look...AAAaaa!!! Yup, year two.
     Year three, is where things begin to get interesting and children start to get sophisticated. First, they learn how to be nice. That’s where they are great, as long as they get what they want. As soon as you ask them to pick up, get ready for bed or anything they don’t want to do; they revert to crying, whining, getting angry, arguing and ignoring you. At the moment you are about to let them have it, they ask, “what?” with that look like they have no idea anything’s wrong. AAAaaa!!! We know. We feel your pain!
Next, and we are still at age three, they learn about “false sincerity”. This is where they become really sneaky, hiding things from us and lying. The lying thing is the most frustrating and only gets worse over the next ten or twenty years.
     Age four, is where they learn about instigation. Making fun of each other, and boy isn’t this a joy? Some actually get so good at it; we end up laughing so hard we pee ourselves. Some of the highest paid people in this country learned this skill and mastered it at the detriment of their peers in school. Adults also call this sarcasm. When used with the “I was only kidding” line, it can be a very effective tool of controlling others and teaching them a lesson. 
     Now comes age five. This is where we learn about intimidation. The use of fear to get our needs met. For an example picture this scenario. Say you and I are best friends and everyone at school knows it. Even our moms are good friends. So we are playing on the play ground at school and meet Billy, Bobby and Susie. Now I say something embarrassing about you and they all start laughing. I feel great because I am the center of attention. You, not so much. So, you say “Hey” I respond with “I was only kidding!” Then I say something even more embarrassing and they’re all peeing their pants. You yell “Stop!” and I yell “I said I was sorry!” You say “if you don’t stop, I will tell Ms. McAnerney!” So what do I do? I go tell Ms. McAnerney that you’re bothering us. She looks at Billy, Bobby and Susie, who are all smiling, and having a good time and she looks at you. “Come to my office” she yells. I just taught those three kids, “look what I will do to my own best friend. Guess what I’ll do to you if you cross me!” There is no empathy. I’m just focused on me, myself and my self- esteem for my empathy hasn’t quite developed yet. If we learn these forms of manipulation in the first five years of our life, how good will we be by eight years old? How about twelve?
     Quick side Note: In all our years of counseling we have learned a little bit about parents, teachers and adults who work with kids. Ironically, it will only take about fifteen seconds to teach you what we learned.  
    Adults and Parents cry and whine about how hard their job is, get angry, argue with and ignore their kids, act nice until crossed and then lie to their kid’s face and deny it later. They say rude, condescending things and try to use intimidation to get what they want. Then give them privileges they didn’t really earn because they feel guilty. This is false sincerity.  
    So for years we’ve been role modeling the very behavior we want the kids to stop doing. In all those years, kids have gotten better, or worse, at manipulation whichever way you want to look at it.  
      By twelve years old, we now move into Middle School where many are introduced to drugs, alcohol, sex and overeating. All are imperative in settling down the ricochet effect, even if it’s just temporarily. Another problem is, this becomes a habit. We inadvertently arrest our development at that age; emotionally and morally and it becomes a huge issue later in life when we are introduced to relationships with the opposite gender. Isn’t that why we are here reading this book in the first place?
     As we get older our Ego continues to hang around. The older we get, the harder life seems to get with things like marriage, kids and a demanding job. When we come home, we are stressed, and the slightest demand from our spouse or children just seems to set us off. We either shut down and withdraw, or yell and scream, and sometimes, we do both. We think to ourselves “Enough of this,” it’s easier to just return to DASE; (Drugs, Alcohol, Sex or Over Eating) to self-medicate.  
     The answer is, understanding that this is for real and actually doing something about it now. The first thing is to stop all self medication behaviors. The second thing to do is to get specific counseling to address these issues head on. Third thing to do is to consistently attend a weekly accountability support group to help you do recovery successfully. These three things must be done simultaneously to truly grow and change successfully.

 The Triangle of ACE

  A    C     E

ACCOUNTABILITY: There is No self-accountability. We use the five W’s (who, what, where, when & why) to Minimize, Distort, Blame, Justify and Rationalize our behaviors.

CONTROL: This is all about Power & Control which is just another way to say Manipulation.

ESTEEM: It’s all about me, and what I want and need. There is no empathy at all.

Arrested Development 

Phase I Ego is Developed
 This occurs in the first 12 years of our life.

Phase II The Arrested Part
 Adult was to be developed from 12 to 21
but because we started self medicating we
arrest this development stage. 

Phase III The Struggles 
that never seem to end:
Our Ego just won’t quit doing the most 
stupidest things at home and now at work.  

To see Rob explain Arrested Development in a video go to our "videos" page