S01 E01 - The Divinity of Desire with Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife

The way

About Our Guest

Jennifer Finlayson-Fife.jpg

Dr. Finlayson-Fife is a licensed psychotherapist with a Ph.D in Counseling Psychology from Boston College.  She wrote my dissertation on LDS women and sexuality, have taught college-level courses on human sexuality, and currently teach online and community-based relationship and sexuality courses to LDS couples.  She is a frequent contributor on the subjects of sexuality, mental health, and spirituality to LDS-themed blogs, magazines, and podcasts.  She maintains a private practice in Chicago where she lives with her husband and three children.  She is an active member of the LDS church. 

Check out Jennifer's online courses:

Show Notes

  • 0:29 begin
  • 1:20 Jennifer’s workshop “Art of Desire”
  • 3:00 The meaning frames that humans create to justify or explain their circumstances 
  • 5:30 It is necessary to integrate your God-given sexuality
  • 6:30 “False tradition” says that sexuality is a necessary evil
  • 7:20 Mormon theology for sexuality
  • 7:55 Ways to be evil
  • 9:00 Sexuality and goodness 
  • 10:00 Adjusting to marriage 
  • 12:44 Steps to cultivating God-given desire
  • 13:14 we run our own sexuality, it doesn’t run us
  • 14:49-15:06 edit out
  • 15:45 What happens when you’re afraid of your sexuality (repression or indulgence)
  • 17:15 Sexual contract - marriage is a chosen relationship; to know and be known
  • 19:45 Marriage pushes your development 
  • 20:30 What can my marriage teach me?
  • 21:15 “Ticks and moles”
  • 22:10 You live in the environment that you create
  • 22:45 We self-deceive and collude in not dealing with troubles (polite marriage vs intimate marriage)
  • 23:15 Measuring quality of marriage
  • 24:30 Can there be room for the best of both partners? We often want our own limitations to prevail while expecting our spouses’ limitations to disappear
  • 25:00 Victim mentality (guilt your spouse into submission) It may look like there’s peace, but there will be underlying anger and resentment.
  • 26:00 Unrealistic fantasy of “oneness”
  • 27:00 Using the validation of others to sustain your own sense of self
  • 27:50 “In the name of Love, we can sometimes suck the lives out of our spouses” (validate me, reinforce me)
  • 28:45 Choose to love someone, limitations and all
  • 29:00 Breaking the bond of using someone else for your own validation 
  • 30:40 Even if your partner says all the right words, it won’t land anywhere if you don’t feel it in your heart
  • 31:30 Taking accountability for your own life 
  • 32:15 “False tradition” if women want to develop vs nurture, then they are selfish (we’ve come to earth to develop and create)
  • 33:30 Create a sense of self
  • 33:50 Self-deception is Satan’s path
  • 34:20 Taking responsibility for your own emotions
  • 36:25 Don’t try to manage your partner in order to manage yourself. Trying to control things we have no control over, like our spouses, distracts us from focusing on what we CAN control, like ourselves
  • 37:45 What are my blind spots that I have yet to confront?
  • 38:00 One of the kindest things you can do for your partner is to manage yourself (anxiety is infectious). This allows them to in turn manage THEMSELVES
  • 39:20 Ask yourself “what am I pretending not to know about my role in these circumstances”
  • 40:00 Confronting yourself is a scary thing, especially in a sexual relationship
  • 41:00 Own your own desire and ask for what you want vs covert contracts
  • 41:45 Owning your desire exposes you to the possibility of rejection. This is true intimacy and true vulnerability 
  • 42:20 “you’re not allowed to complain about not getting something you’ve never asked for”
  • 42:50 it’s easier to sit in an entitled resentment thinking “you owe me” instead of asking for what you want and risking not getting it
  • 43:45 when we don’t take responsibility of our desires, we stunt the development of our marriages and of ourselves
  • 43:55 if you’re not getting what you want in your marriage - #1 have you asked for it? #2 are you doing your part to create the possibility of getting it?
  • 45:40 We’re good at thinking about all of the things we think we are owed, but not so good at confronting our part in the negative reality we are living in
  • 46:10 Make it easy for your partner to give you what you want 
  • 47:25 The theology of Mormonism contains the architecture for creating amazing marriages 
  • 48:15 you come to know God through behavior, not ideas. It’s the way you act in our marriage that is a reflection of how much you understand God. 
  • 48:42-51:43 edit out??