Ego and pride can destroy any relationship.
HUMILITY is the key.
I believe this gentlemen is experiencing what meekness or humility is without knowing the meaning of the word. Yes, humility can make you feel like a punk if you don't understand it, but thinking less of yourself and putting your spouse's needs before your own shows great character. Many are not able to show humility in marriage and have a 'what about me' attitude. As crazy as it sounds, when we put the needs of others first, the return may take a while, but the rewards are more than amazing.
Showing humility is important when it comes to spiritual warfare in marriage. It makes a huge difference in our reaction and actions towards our spouse. Humility is another form of forfeiting the last word. Humility is servant-hood. Humility invites personal growth and growth in marriage. If you're feeling like a punk, you may be showing humility.
When something is done or said that we don't like, our first thought is usually to defend ourselves or to share our point of view. If you've never tried it before, try saying absolutely nothing if a question is not asked. This is where the battle begins - self control and mind control. It's a battle to keep quiet - for some of us.
"No way will she/he get away with this!" "Who does she/he think they are?" ""Excuse me?" "No one is going to treat me this way!" "I deserve better." These are just a few of the internal mind battles that quickly cross our mind before we open lips and discharge fighting words.
From my own experience of wanting the last word because I KNOW I'm right, not responding has worked like a charm for me. Kevin and I would battle over some of the most trivial issues.Our prideful personalities would get in the way and before we new it, we were in battle. Now, I control and conquer the battle in my mind FIRST - this is also spiritual warfare. Sometimes my mind will say be silent, but my loose lips will want to run away with hurtful words. This takes practice - a lot of practice if you have loose lips topped with a hot temper, BUT it can be done! I'm a witness.
So, why not try this if you haven't already. If you do and fail, I'm sure you'll have another opportunity. You may be surprised at your spouse's reaction to your silence. Remember, this isn't a vindictive silence, but a silence of humility to forfeit the last word.
To be continued
I prayed and asked God to deliver me and he did.When I was home I felt as if I was going to die staying in that house. The sleepless nights, being awaken out of my sleep having to fight with a spouse on drugs. I almost lost my life but I continued to pray and ask the Lord to deliver me from the hand of the enemy, not knowing that sometimes the enemy can be right in the same bed with you.
The spiritual warfare begins in us before it shows up in our marriage.
To be continued...
I've waited so long to begin posting about spiritual warfare in marriage because I really didn't know where to begin! Marriage is an everyday spiritual battle - for me. If you are striving to please God in your marriage, there is NO WAY you can escape being tested and tried from day to day. Satan's job is to steal, kill, and destroy - marriage is not excluded.
One important thing to remember is the power of prayer. Many make the mistake and pray only when the marriage is in trouble. From my own experience, I've learned to pray throughout the day as if I'm going through a storm and can't see my way out. No, I don't go around chanting prayer or scripture out loud, but I am always aware of the possibility of an unexpected 'outbreak' in my marriage, so I stay in fighting position - in prayer.
I pray for my husband before I get out of bed in the morning, I cover him in prayer as he prepares for work, I pray for him on his way out the door, I pray for him with every thought I have of him throughout the day. The wonderful part of this is that he has no idea how often I pray for him. I also pray for myself throughout the day to stay connected to my power source in order to be the loving woman God created me to be. When my connection is not secure, I'm a lose cannon waiting to aim and fire.
I haven't always been a prayer warrior. I THOUGHT I was a prayer warrior. Maybe within the last year is when I truly understood the power of praying without ceasing in my marriage. Oh how I wish I had been a praying woman in my earlier years of marriage.
Just when you think it's safe to stop praying, your marriage will be shaken. There is no time to get comfortable in marriage and not pray. A simple word can be spoken to start an argument, your spouse may be missing in action, the past may trigger an unhappy thought, or a simple misunderstanding becomes a complicated mess.
Prayer can prevent a happy day turning sour....
to be continued....
I hear this comment more than you'll ever believe. So many women are at the end of their rope and are tired of praying for their husbands and seeing no results. Are there really no visible results or are we looking for a miracle? I say 'we' because I've made that statement before myself. Although I always end up back in prayer position, we do get weary sometimes. Marriage is a battle.
I've come to the conclusion that a wife's CHARGE to help her husband is not an option, but an order - a command...if you believe in God's marriage. Only the strong will survive and although you may get mentally and spiritually beat up, you win if you don't give up. I will share in upcoming posts how to remain spiritually strong in the battle of marriage.
It's easy to throw in the towel. God knows I use to keep a towel ready and recently looked for my towel. After I BOLDLY shared the power of prayer in marriage, Miss Flesh showed her behind! My, my, my!
Endurance, Perseverance, Obedience, Determination. These qualities are CRUCIAL in a marriage.
Stay tuned for Spiritual Warfare in Marriage
Wow...divorce is everywhere and closer to home than I care to imagine. I recently read an article titled, Guarding Your Heart in Marriage, and wondered why we don't guard our marriages more. We guard our homes by making sure the doors and windows are locked. Some couples live in gated communities. We guard our cars with car alarms. We guard our belongings by keeping them locked up! We should definitely be more aware of guarding our marriage!
Read the article here.
Tingles can occur with a co-worker, a church member, a neighbor, or a complete stranger. If you're feeling the tingles for anyone except your spouse, it's time to run the other way. Tingles produce other feelings that lead to physical touch. I told hubby I wanted to feel the tingles again from him - nobody else. He seemed surprised when I told him I didn't always feel the tingles with him. Uh...sometimes I can't stand being around you! Hubby SAID he always feels the tingles with me and although that was so sweet to say, I find it hard to believe. I'm sure when I get on his nerves, tingly is not the feeling he feels! LOL
Time is invaluable in marriage and often taken for granted. We put a lot of time in our careers, school studies, children, church, hobbies, sports, friends, etc...How much time do we invest in each other? Spending time together (like we did when we first met) is when the tingles are created. Focusing on each other and MAKING time to be ALONE is tingle time! It's okay to go out with other couples and have family nights (hubby is excellent about family nights), but a flower not watered will die.
Make time to spend time alone with your spouse and feel the tingles!
Sex is waaay more important to a man than a woman will ever understand. We've all heard the phrase saying the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, right? Well, I recently read an article that agreed with me that the way to a man's heart is NOT through his stomach...go a little lower! SEX, SEX, SEX....do I need to say it again? Okay, SEX! One track minds, thinking with the wrong head, or however you want to say it, men want SEX....waaay more than most wives want to give it.
Below is an article from Focus on the Family that I'd like to share.
Understanding Your Husband's Sexual Needs
Snoop Dog was on The View recently and was asked about the secret to keeping the spice in his 13 year marriage. Snoop's answer was to have a lot of arguments. That's what I'm talking about...keeping it real.
Snoop Dog and his wife were in the middle of a divorce when Snoop decided to reconcile. Thank God they did because they are stronger than ever as they deal with their daughter's challenging disease, Lupus.
This is definitely one couple that has been through more than a few storms. Snoop's music and videos alone is enough to argue about, but to each his own. He obviously is married to the woman that was chosen specifically for him - one that can deal with his career, the videos, the women, the long hours, the media, etc...
Oh yea, guess what Snoop Dog calls his wife? Boss Lady! Gotta love it!
Wow. It's been a while since I posted!
What have hubby and I been up to? Not much. Just living life and taking our unhappily moments as they come and loving each other through each one.
I've been learning to not have to have the last word when we have heated discussions. I know I'm right, but I'm learning I don't always have to prove it. LOL! I'm not being silent in an ugly way (I don't think I am), but in a way to show I can disagree without being disagreeable. I'm surrendering my words, my pride to be right, and my opinion. I hope I'm making sense.
Through my surrender of opinion, we both have time to process what is being said and how crazy both of us sometimes sound. This definitely invites more peace in the home and withing MYSELF! It's almost scary to know that most of the heat from our heated discussions was coming from me. WHAT?! It takes two to tango, so if one shuts up...there is no tango - only sweet tang.
It comes a time in a couple's marriage that some things just have to die - attitudes, pride, selfishness. I guess this is why older couples always seem to be at peace with one another. They've had all the arguments and heated discussions. They've dealt with selfish ways and prideful point making in conversations. They've realized that what is important is harmony and happiness in a marriage. They've realized their time together is limited and tomorrow is not promised.
Marriage is definitely an evolution and it makes a happy oneness when we learn to surrender ourselves and let our spouse win. I surrender!
I spoke with a woman yesterday about an upcoming writing workshop I'll be hosting for aspiring authors. I asked her what her book was about and she said it was regarding husbands not loving their wives. Hmmm... She continued by saying the husbands she'll be referring to are those in the church claiming to love God, but mistreat their wives at home. Hmmm....She also added that many of these men hold leadership positions in the church and her knowledge of countless women (herself included) who are in these marriages and feel compelled to stay in the marriage because the church says they should.
Hmmm...didn't I recently write something about why women stay in unhappy marriages? Wow. This is so sad, but obviously holds more truth than I care to believe. This woman is in her late sixties and has dealt with an unloving husband for many years. She is unable to verbally express herself, so she wants to write it.
She is a church going woman and led me to believe her husband holds a position in their church.
Enough is enough....I say again....the husbands aren't crazy for how they treat their wives. The wives are crazy for allowing it and for believing God wants them to remain in an abusive relationship. This is called brainwashing - programming - CONTROL. This is WRONG and not even a little bit of it is right. Don't try to validate it - ABUSE IS WRONG. I don't care if it's mental, physical, verbal, or emotional - abuse is abuse and NO ONE should HAVE TO stay in an abusive relationship.
A dear friend of mine has been unhappy in her marriage since the beginning. Trying to do the right thing and make things work, her husband never responded. She couldn't take it any more, so she packed up a few things and left. Not knowing where she was going or how long she'd be gone, she found the nerves to leave.
As I mentioned in the previous post, my father shared with me that sometimes you have to leave a man to get
his attention. Guess what? Three days later, she returned. He had not called to see where she was nor did he call friends or family to inquire her location. He didn't know if she was dead or alive, BUT....
He changed! Can you believe this? He's showing initiative with physical touch, washing a few dishes, PLUS going places and doing things with her. He didn't believe she would ever leave and that's the problem in many marriages. Men think women will continue to take their mess year after year and they don't believe we have the nerves to walk out.
Surprise, Surprise, Surprise! (Gomer Pyle voice)
Anyway, my dear friend says she will stay on her toes and not get comfortable with the 'happy' moment in their marriage. Time has a way of .....well, you know. Things can be okay for a while and before you know it, things go back to normal.
The key is to stay on top of the marriage.
- Stay prayerful - don't wait for confusion to pray.
- Love your spouse - even when they act unlovable (just do your part)
- Out-serve your spouse - place his/her needs before your own
- Don't be so predictable! Spontaneity is spicy - samo samo is boring
Why do unhappy wives stay married? Obligation, Religious Views, Guilt, Children, etc...
Lately, a few wives have been sharing that their husbands won't attempt to communicate with them, won't respond to their physical advances, won't take them anywhere, but go places with friends and other family members, won't talk except out of necessity, and just being a down right dirty dog.
These same men expect their wife to stay in the marriage and perform so-called wifely duties. Hmmm...I completely understand and support staying in a marriage through thick and thin, but when a man is mentally abusive or just plain mean, uh...we have a problem.
After going through this for a year or two, it's time to get the heck out of dodge. It doesn't necessarily mean divorce, but my own father told a friend of mine that sometimes in order to get a man's attention, you gotta leave. A woman has to find the nerve to walk away from the mess and give her man time to think about their dirty work and the 'good thing' they are mistreating.
What gives anyone the right to think they can mistreat someone and expect them to take it day after day, year after year. This is crazy! They aren't crazy for doing it, the recipient is crazy for allowing them to do it. How long will you allow this to go on? For some women, it's best to leave before you reach a point and snap. Then you'll regret either hurting him or yourself.
No, I'm not telling anyone to file for divorce papers, but when you've done all you can do in the name of praying, forgiving, showing compassion, understanding, and everything short of kissing butt, it's time to STAND DOWN- GET OUT OF GOD'S WAY - LET THE CHIPS FALL WHERE THEY MAY.
No person deserves to be mistreated!
I couldn't wrap my mind around her comment, but continued to listen. I mean, my goodness...why at 60 years old would you want to complicate your life? She mentioned having companionship and how the marriage would definitely have to be about compromise. She said a few other things that made sense. I begin to process her words in my peri-menopausal mind and thought....well, once in my 60s, I have no idea what my emotions will be. You sure can't throw people away and pick them up based on emotions.
The word that stuck the most in my head was compromise. As couples grow older and change, compromise must definitely play a major role and this only comes with communication.
With age comes wisdom.
Sigh...nothing at all against my husband who provides for his family and loves us, but I'm not sure I want to be married anymore. I pray this is menopause and the thought will pass. It's not a funny situation, but believe me, I'm laughing out loud! Me? Previous facilitator of our church's couples' ministry? Me? Founder of Momsweb? Me? Encourager to many wives in struggling marriages? Yep, I'm LOL for sure!
I now understand why couples who have been married for 20, 30, 40 years get divorced!
Wives get tired of being wives! For over half of our life, we've nurtured others. When peri-menopause hits, some things happen in a woman's body and mind that gives her a desire to want to nurture herself the last half of her life.
To be continued....
In the evenings, Kevin and I would do something special and guess what it was?
Yep! We sat in front of the television like professional couch potatoes. I think we've got it down! In Kevin's
defense, he did try to take me out to dinner, but my behind was so glued to the sofa, I didn't want to move.
I was happy and content. Mom's Taxi was put to rest and I took advantage of the rest.
The children are back now and things have gotten back to normal, but we enjoyed our couch experience and our alone time!
"Where did that come from?"
This is a question I hear from my husband a lot lately because peri-menopause has taken over the part of my brain that controls my mouth. I thought I spoke my mind before, but NOW I really, really speak my mind.
Knowing what is going on with my peri-menopausal mind and body allows me to at least try to control my free tongue, but oftentimes it gets away from me.
"Where did that come from?" I ask myself this question when uninvited words and emotions fly without control. My goodness...I thought PMS was bad.
Thank God there is medicine and other alternative products to assist women in getting through this life transition. Me? I'm trying to do it without the hormone replacements and concentrate on good nutrition, exercise, soy products, prayer/meditation, and whatever else offers peace of mind.
Kevin is truly a trooper as I go through my life changing symptoms such as night sweats and mood swings. I asked him what he thought about this whole menopause matter and he said, "Just teach me about it, so I won't have to hit you in the head." Ooookay...but not if I hit you in the head first, dear hubby!
Uh.....this is another topic rarely discussed among women and it's something we will ALL experience on some level.
I'm in the peri-menopause stage now and let me tell you....this is not a fun ride for me or Kevin. Peri-menopause is the looooong journey before full menopause (end of menstrual flow) occurs.
Young women, take notes! Take care of your body NOW!
The next few posts, I'll share my own experiences plus a few experiences of close friends as we endure peri-menopause and menopause in marriage.
Symptoms will be discussed and resources will be shared.
Stay tuned....stay informed....and stay married through your menopause!
Hubby is an extremely hard worker and it is funny as heck to watch my 6'3" man turn into a baby when he becomes ill. It's tooo funny! I have a hard time adjusting to his child-like ways and he definitely looks for the motherly compassion that I have to dig deep to deliver.
It comes natural for me to play nurse maid to our sons, but a man in pull ups is hilarious to me. Is he serious? What ever happened to, "You're not my mother." Make up your mind...do you want me to be your mother or not?"
Not all men are like this - some are just the opposite. You can't get them to admit they feel bad, take medicine, or go to the hospital.
I think the funniest part about men getting sick is that they are never too sick to get busy in the bedroom. Wait a minute...I thought you were sick!
By Robin Weidner
"He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me." – Psalm 18:19
Almost every week, I receive an e-mail from a woman from somewhere across the country whose marriage has been shaken to the very core by impurity. With a note of desperation, she expresses her anguish, fear and anger. Each of these women explain their mate's plunge into impurity – everything from addiction to pornography to being arrested for voyeurism.
Why do they contact me for help with such heart-rending struggles? Not because I'm a professional counselor (which I'm not). Rather, because I'm a fellow struggler who, through many tears, much prayer and abundant mercy from God, has found a good and spacious place.
There have been moments where I didn't think my husband Dave and I would make it. Although he had fought impurity since he was 12, his battle with sexual addiction took him places I never dreamed could be part of a Christian marriage. And as the firstborn daughter of an alcoholic, I was well versed in codependency. Eventually, the near break-up of our marriage thrust us both into recovery, including extensive counseling.
Yet, priceless gifts have resulted from our battles. Sexual addiction drove me to the depths of insecurity, but also into the arms of my God – culminating in my first book. I've traveled extensively, speaking and hearing women's stories. Eventually, Dave and I decided to come forward with our battles, and we started doing purity seminars.
The journey has been one that I would have never chosen for myself, but nonetheless a testimony to the redemptive power of God.
Ditch the Dream
My unrealistic expectations of my husband took me to a pool of dissatisfaction and I began to ask the question, "What happened?" Not only were these expectations unfair to him, they were damaging our marriage. I began planning my dream wedding when I was in high school by purchasing brides books and imagining exactly what my wedding would be like. Little emphasis was put on my marriage because all my attention was put on the wedding ceremony. I had a dream and expected my husband to help make my dream come true. He didn't have a chance! I set him up for failure from the very beginning. When I shared my feelings of discontent with him, he was confused.
Today (5/4/10) is the last day for shipping "We Snap in Silence" to arrive by Mother's Day! Order via Paypal and it will be shipped today!
Hubby and I were recently talking about second marriages and I said I didn't understand why people remarried. You couldn't pay me enough to marry again if hubby and I divorced or if he died. Yeah, I know...I say that now, but I honestly believe this is one thing I'm veeery sure of.
Anyway, after I expressed my very strong feelings, hubby said, "I don't understand why people remarry either." I laughed soooo hard because he was so serious, BUT this is hubby's second marriage!
After I composed myself, he said, "I'm for real, this (our marriage) is nothing but God.
Never say never!
It's been waaaaay too long since I checked in or given an update on the love challenge. Needless to say, I failed the love challenge. Sure, I can pick it up again, but had to let you know the real deal.
Our sons had basketball tournaments over the weekend and we were at the gym aaaaall day long on Saturday and Sunday. Hungry, tired, winning, losing, yelling at refs, yelling at the boys on the court, sleepy, buying junk food, etc....Everything I mentioned is BAD food for any relationship and an open playground for Mr. and Mrs. Flesh to surface. It got reeeeal ugly. I can laugh at it now, but I wished I was Bewitched and made hubby disappear. LOL!
We're back to normal now...the way we were before the love challenge - enjoying each other and dealing with married life - the good and the bad - the happy times and the sad - the laughter and the "that's not funny" moments. Do I feel bad that I messed the love challenge up? No. Actually, I'm relieved because that was A LOT of work. Now, I can exhale and just love hubby my way. Wait a minute, who said I messed the love challenge up? It wasn't my fault! He started it! Humph.....Well, no need to point fingers....it takes two to tango, right?
"Although, I'm not married. I must admit I do enjoy reading your blog. It is easy to read and often times very thought provoking. It makes me realize no matter how wonderful we (single people) think marriage can be, it is not without its challenges. But, I do believe with hard work and two willing participants. It can work."
The above was a comment on my Facebook page. I'm thankful that even the single readers benefit from the blog. It is my goal to share how to be happy even in the unhappily moments of marriage. The blogs that share all the lubby dubby stuff make me want to throw up. No marriage is always happily married UNLESS you've already been through the storms and have finally learned how to be married. It takes TIME and a good marriage evolves, it doesn't just happen when you say, "I do."
It's been sixteen years, and I'm just learning how to freely love my husband in spite of past abusive relationships. No human being should have to pay for another's actions, but we are products of our childhood, environment, peers, parents, relationships, and so many other factors.
I'm enjoying this love challenge I've taken, and I must be honest. I would not have been able to do this five years ago - it wasn't time. Now it is time for me to enjoy my husband and show affection without reservation. I thank God for mercy and another chance to show and receive love. Good grief, after 16 years, I think we deserve to be lubby dubby for a minute!
I'm laughing just wondering what the next post will be about. Will hubby rub me the wrong way tonight or will I open my mouth and insert foot? I'll be sure to keep you updated on our love challenge.
Until next time....show your spouse some love!
|What is your marriage built on?|
Liking each other is so key - friendship is what brought us together and our friendship will help keep us together. A man will leave you in a hot minute, but a friend will be with you through thick and thin. Think about it ladies...where are all those men who SAID they loved us or those men who didn't express their love, but we gave ourselves to them anyway. That wasn't love, that was LUST!
Many couples brag about having a great sex life, but what if that sex drive decreases as age increases? What if the sex drive just disappears? Life happens, you know!
Prayerfully, your marriage is built on a foundation of spirituality, friendship, or something a little more solid than sex or money.
If you have a rocky foundation, love conquers all. Try it with the love challenge! Although things are going fine in the love challenge, I'm staying on my toes through prayer and being attentive to hubby. You've heard of the calm before the storm, right? I've got my umbrella ready juuust in case.
Kevin recently changed the breaks on the car as he always does, but yesterday, I noticed the breaks were squeaking - loudly! What in the world? Every time I pressed the breaks, it sounded like the loudest, most irritating squeal. Grrrrr
If I had a cell phone, I would have called him ON HIS JOB and allowed those choice words to surface and destroy. I was only thinking of myself and forgetting all the other times he has saved us money by changing the breaks and doing a wonderful job. Fortunately, I was able to suppress my dissatisfaction and keep my ugly words to myself. I probably would have sounded worse than the breaks.
Believe it or not, Kevin came home from work without me saying a word and fixed the breaks. I haven't driven the car yet, but we'll see.
So, did I fail the challenge because I had a mental argument in my mind without him knowing about it? I don't think so. This is what it takes sometimes to keep my mouth shut. Thank God spouses can't read minds!
On with the challenge!
So far, so good.
Kevin and I are like oil and water. We disagree on more than we agree on. We are opposites to every degree, but it's been great experiencing the love challenge.
This morning, we had a discussion on how Kevin makes a mountain out of a mole hill. I was able to express my honest feelings without going off. I told him a wife wants to feel secure when problems in life arise, so as the head of the household, a husband needs to be that strong figure - the security blanket - not somewhere biting his nails.
No, Kevin isn't that bad, but you get the picture.
If you've decided to accept our dare and join the love challenge, send me an email and share your experience.
About a week ago, I set myself up to take a love challenge. I was going to be completely loving, forgiving, and attentive to hubby without any reservations. I would speak his love language and give him all the physical touch he wanted. I would smile at him when I wanted to frown. I would uplift when I wanted to tear him down. The challenge was going to be for a full month, but after thinking about it, I knocked it down to two weeks. After thinking some more, the two weeks went to seven days, then I thought I'd just take the challenge day by day. The mere thought of the challenge exhausted me. Whew! That's a lot of work and it was definitely a set up - for failure. I know myself.
Needless to say, I've been challenging myself on a daily basis to immerse myself in loving hubby, putting his needs first, and loving him without reservations. It's actually been fun and getting easier everyday. It APPEARS that hubby has joined me in the challenge although he hasn't verbally said it. Love is contagious and habit forming.
I'll keep you posted and will definitely let you know when I slip up. It'll be kinda funny when my SELF gets in the way. I'm full of attitude and will be the first to admit it.
How about you? Are you up for the challenge? We dare you!
Hubby and I had an interesting conversation about television couples and sex. I told him he watched waaaay too much television if he thought our intimacy would be anything like the tv shows. I'm sorry, there isn't a tv show on that portrays the reality of a married couple and sex - especially a married couple with children - well, maybe Everybody Loves Raymond.
Most wives don't go to bed with make up on nor do they wake up looking like they walked out of the beauty salon. Give me a break!
Most wives are so tired when it's time for bed, they simply want to roll over and go to sleep - not roll over on their husbands and initiate sex.
It would be nice to use the rest of the house to enjoy intimacy, but with children, you better be behind closed and locked doors. The kitchen counter is just not happening.
Men are visual and this is probably why they watch so much tv, but expecting the sex life to measure up to what they watch on television is a set up for disappointment. Even adult movies are a lie. Lies - lies - lies, but men enjoy watching...for the thrill?
I guess wives are just as much to blame by watching soap operas. I use to be a soap addict, but knew then that I wasn't watching the real world!
Turn the television off and enjoy the reality of sex in marriage.
A couch potato spouse can be hard to peel away from the sitting position, but keep in mind...for a man to work all day, he believes (in his mind) that it is his divine right to come home and Assume the Position! Not only does he believe this, but he also believes he is the King of the castle and he expects to be served!
Your spouse may not have the same wants as when you first married.
Needs and wants are obviously different with men and women, but with communication, I'm sure you and your spouse can find the merriment in the middle.
The true story we've been following about a wife who is traveling the road of forgiveness and trust offers a few tips for wives who have discovered adultery and chosen to stay. When time permits, read I don't believe dad. I think he's still cheating on you.
I hate to bring sex into the picture, but it sure is a driving force in marriage. If sex isn't happening, the marriage isn't happening and guaranteed to suffer in some form or fashion.
However intimacy is defined in your marriage - have it - lots of it. Remember....sex is a man's medicine and he'll die without it. Yeah, I said it.
I really should open the floor for comments on this one. So many different opinions based on experiences. The only experience I have is my own and I vote NO - no such animal as a platonic relationship in a marriage. I've tried it and it doesn't work.
Sure, if you have friends of the opposite sex that you only see or speak to once every blue moon then this type friendship is safe - it can exist, but to see a friend of the opposite sex OFTEN and meet for an occasional dinner or drink and chit chat on the phone - NO WAY!
Someone's emotions will cross the magic line. Someone will fall in love or desire more time. Someone's attraction will grow waaaaay past the friendship attraction line. It's the nature of - human nature - it's bound to happen!
Years ago, I listened to a conversation with a married couple I use to babysit for. The husband believed a platonic relationship could work and the wife disagreed. After listening to both sides, I agreed with the husband. I was only in high school, but my young mind couldn't understand the wife's reasoning. Good grief woman, you can't have friends? What's wrong with you? Well, a few years later I joined the Navy and realized why this wife felt the way she did. A man's definition of 'friend' is different from a woman's definition. Men SLEEP with their friends! LOL!
Unfortunately, while overseas, I also received news that this couple divorced. Hmmm....wish I could share the details with you, but let's just say...platonic relationships in a marriage DO NOT work!
I had a friend from high school contact me and I was thrilled to hear from him. We were great friends in school. The phone calls became more frequent and I begin to feel uncomfortable. I had to end the calls. I was married and so was he. It just wasn't right. Although he didn't see any harm in our talking, I followed my instinct. I thought about hubby's feelings and better yet...how would I feel if some woman kept calling the house for him? Excuse me? You MUST have the wrong number! There must be a high level of respect in marriage.
Remember the song Just a Friend?
Oh Baby, yooooou. You got what I neeeeed. But you say he's just a friend, but you say he's just a friend. Oh baby yoooou. You got what I neeeeed. But you say he's just a friend, but you say he's just a friend.
Masturbation is more common that I was aware of in my private, little reserved world and it seems many therapist encourage couples not to make a big deal about masturbation if both husband and wife communicate their needs and accept that masturbation is okay and healthy for THEIR marriage, yet another group says masturbation is wrong and unhealthy in marriage.
"Masturbation is a very good thing! My husband travels and I would NOT have made it through months of separation and he wouldn't have either! Masturbation is MUCH better than turning to someone else for satisfaction and I'm so glad there is that option."
Below are a couple of websites I came across as I did some research on masturbation in marriage before sharing this post. There are pros and cons, so once again - find out what works best in YOUR marriage. Communication is key!
Can Masturbation Ruin a Marriage?
The Marriage Bed
- Do you daydream about other women/men?
- Are you finding your wife/husband to be less sexually satisfying?
- When making love to your wife/husband, does another face flash across your mind?
- Do you flirt - and know you're doing it?
- Have you told your wife that she is too overweight to turn you on?
- Do you have sexual interests or behaviors that you can't share with your wife/husband?
- Do you communicate deeply with a person of the opposite sex in an Internet chat room?
- Do you channel-surf hoping to glimpse something racy on television? Do you catch yourself watching voyeuristic shows like elimiDate?
- Do you watch women's figure skating or women's beach volleyball on television, although you have little interest in these sports? Hmmm....
- Do you turn on exercise shows just so you can enjoy those closeups of participants' breasts, rear ends, and inner thighs?
- Do you rent videos or go to the movies where you can watch other people having sex?
- Do you think about old girlfriends/boyfriends when things aren't going so well at home?
- Do you dream about hot scenes with other women/men at night?
There were more red flags on the list, but I'm sure you get the idea.
Some may disagree with the list or think it's downright ridiculous, but as for hubby and I - our standards are high in the area of respect for one another in our marriage. We've been down this road of sexual immorality in our marriage and trust me, sexual purity in marriage is another world we both enjoy and benefit from.
Your marriage may be more lenient as to what is allowed. As I've stated before, find what works best for your marriage and make it work, but you can't say you didn't know what some of the red flags were!
A wife once told me her husband didn't have this struggle. "Great!" I said, and walked away thinking how deceived and ignorant she was to her husband being a man. Maybe she was in denial or maybe her husband is gay, but I WANT my husband to look at other women. It's when looking turns to lust is when the problem begins.
Hubby mentioned how women are constantly thrown in front of men while they simply try to enjoy a televised sporting event or a good movie. The commercial begins and there she is...licking her fingers while eating a hamburger, lotioning her long legs, washing her hair while moaning, or if they're lucky, the Victoria Secret girls will make an appearance.
Men struggle constantly with uninvited reminders of their strong, sexual desires. I believe it's my role as hubby's helper to help him with this issue. How did I help hubby? I purchased the book, Every Man's Challenge and read it myself. I then gave it to hubby. It took him months and months to pick the book up and read it, but he did - finally. Does he still struggle? Of course, but he knows what to do when those thoughts come. He's more aware and so am I.
More on this topic coming!
"Whew! Get another wife. I'm tired!"
That statement sounds so ugly, but I've said it before - in my mind. Hubby is high-maintenance and I must admit, I've gotten pretty tired of meeting his special needs as a man and as my husband. I mention in my book how a wife is called to be a helper to her husband, but can hardly help herself!
When I think about it, there have been plenty of other projects and endeavors that I've poured my heart and soul into and did whatever it took to make it work. Marriage is no different, but we tend to get comfortable with the one thing most important to us - our spouse.
Marriage requires the same, if not more, energy, time, hard work, perseverance, and determination. How much time did you put in your job yesterday? How much time did you put in your marriage yesterday? We reap what we sow, so if things are not dandy like candy in our marriage, it's time to pull the sleeves up and work a little harder.
The un-happy moments we experience in matrimony are great reminders of the time we put into our marriage. The un-happy moments are like shocks of electricity that we need to do what is necessary to step back and re-evaluate our actions.
Get to work! Don't sleep on the job! Put in some overtime!
Do whatever it takes to make it work!
Of course we'll get tired, but we've got to keep on pushing!
I have to remind myself (still) that I am not my husband's self appointed judge. I use to think I was doing the right thing by quoting scripture, correcting, and being an example to hubby. Oh yea, I was being an excellent example - of how to be a hypocrite. I was so holy that I was no earthly good - to anyone.
I'm much better now. I may not like the horror and guts hubby enjoys watching, but I will sit and watch TV with him (sometimes), instead of saying what the Bible says about it. I have my limits and he knows what they are.
I may not agree with some of the food or the amount hubby eats, but instead of telling him to take better care of his temple, I'll just shut up and not hide the cookies I'll eat later. I don't eat pork, chicken, or beef, but I'll kill for chocolate.
I may not want to try fun things in the bedroom, but the missionary position gets old to a man. Have you ever heard that a man likes a lady on his arm during the day and a freak in the bed at night. Church women don't like to hear this, but many men will agree this is true.
Relax a little, laugh instead of complain, recognize your own faults, throw that stiff necked shirt away, make a mud pie instead of being the stick in the mud, leave God's son ALONE, learn to love and accept him right where he is because this is the example of the love and forgiveness that draws a husband closer to his wife.
If you think I was holier than thou, you must read this true story we've been following.
CONFLICT. Many marriages are ashamed or afraid to admit that conflict lives in their marriage. If you have a normal marriage, you have to have conflict. The only way to not have conflict in your marriage is to be married, but live separate lives - "You do your thing, and I'll do mine." I've actually said this to hubby before during one of our heated
Conflict is a good thing and very important in a marriage! Well, let me put it this way - there is good conflict and there is bad conflict. How we handle our conflict is the key!
Marriage calls for two people with their own brain, ideas, and thoughts to make decisions together, solve problems, handle misunderstandings, and deal with miscommunication. If you sometimes argue, have disagreements, and think your spouse is crazy for some of the things they say and do, then you have a normal marriage - as abnormal as it seems.
Hubby and I are different in MANY areas of our life. When he's hot, I'm cold. When he's hungry, I'm not. He likes to spend, I like to save. He believes in living for the moment, I believe in planning for the future. He eats all types of meat, I eat only fish. He likes kool-aid, I like tea. He's a pack rat, I like to throw away. He likes science fiction, I like true stories. He likes buffet, I like to be served. I could go on, and on, and on, but how we deal with our likes and dislikes and our many differences of opinion on a DAILY basis is what will strengthen or break down our marriage.
Isn't it funny how we turn it on for those co-workers that are difficult to get along with? What about the ones we flat out dislike and wish we didn't have to work with at all. We do what is necessary to get through the day with a half way pleasant demeanor without causing conflict.
At home, it can be a different story. If we feel like being a grump, we're a grump. If we don't feel like talking, we let that be known, but those co-workers will get a fake smile, a decent conversation, and maybe even an insincere laugh or two. Why is this?
I remember having this conversation with hubby one day. He came home from work very tired and I'm sure he just wanted to relax and unwind; he probably smiled and practiced being cordial all day long. His answers were short, so I asked him if we could play the stranger game. In other words, let's pretend we're strangers because we talk to strangers and co-workers a lot better than we talk to each other. Was I being sensitive? Maybe, but it's the truth. If we can turn it on at work, let's turn it on at home.