“Life” – The Marriage Killer

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Remember when you first got married, and it was just the two of you? I know, it’s hard to remember the days without most of the distractions that come with kids and raising a family, but try. Remember how you were able to put time into your marriage pretty easily? I mean, you still had to be intentional, but it was easy to set date nights, and have romantic interludes at any time of the day, because it was just the two of you. If you wanted to go somewhere, you went. Wanna do something together? Let’s go do it! Yep, all that went out the door, when the kids came along.

Now some people would say “come on man, that’s just life!”, and to a point, I guess it’s true. But “life” and all the things that come with it – kids, extra jobs, meetings, school outings, dance classes, baseball practice, band camp, you name it – can be just as deadly to your marriage as a full-blown affair.

It might not be as fast an effect as an affair, but let me tell you, if you allow all those “life things” to sneak in and take over, without really even noticing it, it has just as big an impact.

Your marriage goes from “the two of us are the priority”, to “now that we have kids, we can’t be the priority right now”. And you might even convince yourselves that “it’s only for a little while”, or “when the kids are gone, we’ll pick up where we left off!”, but it’s not, and you won’t.

When all that “life stuff” starts taking over the priorities, you and your wife start what I call a “slow drift” apart from each other. Slowly but surely, “life” starts to sit in between you and your wife, and before you know it, you realize that you haven’t had sex in two weeks, and you’re crabby with each other, but you don’t really remember why, and the kids are acting out, because they’ve noticed something’s up with mom and dad, and life just seems miserable. Ever been there? I know we sure have. And you know what the cause is? Life. Plain, simple, boring, LIFE.

We have not made our marriage the priority. We have not put in the energy required, to stay close to each other. At some point we stop caring as much. We start thinking “marriage must just get like this after a while”.  Without even noticing it, we let the “what’s important needle” slowly creep from the “our marriage” mark, to the “life” mark on the gauge (so I’m a car guy, sorry). We’ve bought into the lie the world keeps telling us that says “You won’t be in love with your spouse your entire marriage!” and “After a while the romance goes away.”. We start to believe it. We start to quit trying.

I have four kids that I love DEARLY. I would lay my life down for any one of them. But they are BLACK HOLES when it comes to sucking the energy out of your marriage. They will ALWAYS need something. They will ALWAYS have an issue they need solved. But you know what? It’s OK to GET AWAY every week for a date night, even if it’s for a few hours! It’s OK to sneak away for a weekend when they get older than the “infant stage”. It doesn’t make you bad parents! It actually makes you BETTER parents, because you’ll come back recharged, closer to your spouse, and ready to face “the life stuff” again! Kids are GREAT, and family time is great, but you can’t make them the PRIORITY over your marriage! If your kids always out rank your marriage, you will NEVER have a close, intimate relationship as a married couple. It’s just not going to happen.

So next time you get home from a 10 hour day at work, and as soon as you walk in the door, you start in on the “life list” that need to be done, helping with dinner, the lawn,  washing the cars, playing with the kids – I don’t need to keep going – REMEMBERwhat you put time into, there your priorities lie.

Grab your wife’s hand, look at your ever packed calendar, and find some time – no MAKE some time, to be together. To date. To have sex. To be that life partner/lover/friend that you promised you would be, way before the “troops” showed up. Be the example that they need, to have a good marriage of their own someday. 

Don’t let “LIFE” sit between you and your wife. Kick life out, and get back over there next to your wife again. “LIFE” has been sitting there long enough.

Wives: 11 Thoughts Out of Your Husband’s Head –

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Ok, I know a lot of wives read my blog, even though it’s geared toward the husbands. I often wondered why, until I had several female readers comment and send me emails saying “I love your blog, because it helps me understand what’s going on in my husband’s brain.” (As if we’re really that complicated, right guys?!) And it’s funny how different the male and female thinking patterns are.

Just the other day, I was telling me wife something, and in the middle of my sentence, she stopped me and said “Wait, you REALLY think that way? Like that’s how a guy thinks about it?!” It amazed her! So I got to thinking, what if there are a LOT of things that wives have no clue about how their husband’s think? I guess then the other question would be “Do they WANT to know what their husbands are thinking?”, but I guess if you’re reading this post, you’re at least curious. ;)

So, with that in mind, here are 11 things that your husband would LOVE from you, but would probably never ask for, or if he did, he would end up doing it in a way that you would probably take offence to. Now here’s the deal though,  don’t read this post and get all bent out of shape. Read it in the way it was meant to be read. Like if you were able to pry open your husband’s head, and read a few of his thoughts. These are not things you HAVE to do, or you’re not a good wife of you DON’T do, they’re just things he would LIKE you to do once and a while. What you do with that knowledge, is up to you. 

1. He needs you to think he’s amazing at things – Your husband LOVES to hear you say things like “Hey hon, the lawn looks amazing!”, or “I can’t believe you came up with that great business idea! I would have never thought of that one!”. He basically needs to know that you aren’t only concerned about the things he may need work on. He wants to hear you believe in him, and even though he might not think he’s up to the level that HE thinks he needs to be, he wants to know that you’re in his corner. You’re pulling for him. You’re shouting down all the naysayers and going “You watch what my husband can do! He can do whatever his sets his mind to!” And though he might pull the “oh hon, stop” thing, inside, he can’t stop smiling. You just made his day.

2. He wants to know you enjoy(ed) sex - Ever notice that your husband may bring up a sexual interlude that you had last night, or the day before, and say things like “Man, that was great the other night!”, or “Did you like when we did (insert sexual activity) a couple of days ago?” Yeah, that’s because he’s hoping to hear you say something like “Amazing? Amazing doesn’t even begin to describe it! When you were doing (insert activity here) to me, I thought I was going to go to heaven right there!” – or something like that. ;) Every man has this deep desire to know that his wife thinks he’s amazing in bed. Don’t ask me why. I just know it’s true. Everything from enhancement pills, to ads on TV is telling him that he “needs to be better/longer/bigger/etc in bed, and in the back of his mind he’s asking “I wonder if she thinks I’m boring, not big enough, or not good at pleasing her?” And if he’s NOT the world’s best lover? Just focus on the things he IS good at in bed, and tell him about those. That will do way more to encourage him to grow in the other areas he’s not so good at, than telling him he is bad at them. Make sure he knows you LOVE being with him sexually, and when he rocks your world, tell him all about it –  in vivid detail!

3. He wants to hear “Thanks” sometimes - This one’s pretty simple. Your husband works hard every day to bring home enough money to either support, or help support the family. He doesn’t need it much, but every 6 months or so, look him in the eye, and tell him “Hey babe, you’ll never know how much it means to me that you work hard for our family every day. Thanks for getting up when you don’t feel like it, for dealing with crabby customers, and going to work for me and our family.” Little comments like that go a long way for your husband.

4. He wants you to sexually surprise him sometimes – Most likely, your husband is pretty satisfied with your sex life. The “normal” thing you do, works great 8 out of 10 times, and for the most part, he wouldn’t change a thing. But every once in a while, surprise him with something different. Maybe it’s YOU coming on to HIM. Maybe it’s a different location. Maybe it’s you texting him at work and telling him you can’t wait to (fill in the blank) to him tonight. Maybe it’s giving him the normal “I’m home from work hug”, but letting your hand slide down a little further then you normally do, to let him know what’s on the schedule later. The little things like that let your husband know that you still like having sexual fun with him, like you used to BEFORE the kids invaded the house. ;) Even if you didn’t come up with the idea, and go along with an idea that is “out of the ordinary” for you two, that’s fine. Just don’t roll your eyes, or give “the sigh” when he says “Hey babe, wanna do it (_______) tonight!”

5. He’d love you to give him a NAKED massage - Yeah, you read that right. A naked one. Here how it works. He gets home from work after having a bad day. You say “Sorry you day was lousy honey. Tonight after the kids go to bed, I’ll give you a massage.” Just leave it at that. Then, when the time comes, tell him to go lay face down on the bed, or wherever you’re giving the massage, because you have to “get ready”. See how long it takes him to notice you’re just wearing panties (if that). TIP: Tell him you can’t quite get his back well enough standing, so you’re going to have to straddle him “for better reach”. Sure, it might turn into a shorter massage session then you might have with a “clothed massage”, but let’s just say your husband will have a hard time remembering why his day was so bad. ;)

6. He loves it when you smell good/look nice when he comes home from work - He will never mention this, but he loves it when he comes home from work, and you smell good, and look like you didn’t just roll our of bed. From the day that he started dating you, he’s always liked how you always smell good, and you know we think you’re the most beautiful girl he knows. Now don’t get me wrong, he knows you’ve been with the kids all day long, and feel like you’ve been run over by a herd of elephants, so he’s not talking 4 inch heels and a dress. Just have jeans and a t-shirt on, run a brush through your hair, and blast a quick spray of that perfume that he really likes. Just this little effort, goes a long way in telling your husband you care about him, and know that he loves looking at you, and being close to you.

7. He loves it when you build him up around friends – Say you’re hanging out in a group, or with another couple. Your husband LOVES it when you compliment him about something in public. Makes him feel about 10 feet tall. For example, say you’re talking in the group with another wife, about what your husbands do for work. Instead of saying “Bryan (your husband) works in construction.” Say something like “Bryan works in construction, you should see some of the work he does. He’s really good at it.” It doesn’t require 10 seconds more to say, but let me tell you, your husband will be beaming. He wants/needs your affirmation that he’s good at what he does, even if it’s working at the gas station. This is HUGE for him.

8. He loves it when you compliment his um, well….his…..oh, you know what I mean. – Another one of the things he’ll never tell you to do, but next time you are in the middle of foreplay, and you look down to see that he’s quite excited to be there, say something like “Wow! You look huge tonight!” Anything to that effect. Just watch what it does to his confidence.

9. He needs you to assure him that he’s being a good dad. - This is one thing a lot of guys (including myself) feel like they never quite measure up to. They really feel the weight of being a good role model, etc, but always feel like we fail when it counts, or shouldn’t have yelled at the kids that time, or maybe I should have acted differently that time, etc. When you notice him doing something good with the kids, say “Hon, you’re a really good dad. Just want you to know that.” Also, if he doesn’t put on the baby’s diaper on quite like you do, or handles a situation with the kids differently than you would have, avoid the urge to jump in and “do it right”. It makes him feel like he’s another one of the kids. He’s doing the best he can. Don’t micro manage  how he does it.

10. He loves it when you ask if you can help - There are a lot of times we feel overwhelmed with life, work, chores, church commitments, etc, but don’t want to ask you for help, because we don’t want to add to your already seemingly massive load. What we don’t realize, is that most times you WANT to support and help us, but are waiting for us to ask you. Well, most times, we won’t. But don’t be afraid to ask! Just say something like “Hey hon, I’ve noticed you’re a bit overwhelmed lately. Can I do anything to help?” Most likely he’ll welcome the help, and appreciate that you noticed.

11. Sometimes he wishes you’d just give him a hand-job - Yes, again, that’s what I said. Hey, I told you I’m being honest here. If you know it’s been a while since you’ve had sex, and you know he’s frustrated about it, but you still don’t feel like having sex (period, bad timing, etc), don’t ask, just roll over to his side of the bed, and offer him a hand-job. I’m telling you, it doesn’t matter if your mind is “into it”, or if your “emotionally ready”, or whatever other thing you might try to throw in there for a reason that you just don’t feel like giving him one. He needs to be with you sexually. You can’t “go all the way” right now. But you CAN help him make it until you feel like it. It may be hard for you to believe, but you will be the biggest hero on earth to your husband if you take the 3 minutes it takes, to help relieve the urge that is ever-present on his mind until you do. Oh, and he will be much easier to live with for the next few days. I know it’s hard for you girls to believe that the whole world can be solved with a hand-job, but sometimes for your husband, it can.

Her Period and You – A few Survival Tips

 

 

Re-posted from a previous post…..

Yes, I’m going where few men dare to go. Believe me, it took some time to talk myself into doing this post, but here I am. Now why would a guy do a blog post about a woman’s period? Well, because if you’re married (and I’m assuming you are if you’re reading my blog), let’s just say your wife’s period tends to “effect” you also (like causing you to hide in the garage for 3 or 4 days). So, what is it about that time of the month that strikes fear into the most hardened “manly men”? It could be the thought of your wife turning into an irrational, irritable ball of emotions, but I think it’s mostly because we don’t understand itAt all. So in the interest of being a “student of our wives”, let’s delve into this “terrifying subject” that few men are brave enough to think about – let alone address – and see if we can’t learn how to at least support her through it, and not lose our minds in the process. Ready? (Um, why are you still hiding behind that chair? You realize I can see you right?) Here goes…

Now obviously I don’t know ANYTHING first hand about periods, but my wife sure does, and after a few years of dreading that time each month, I decided to actually ask her some questions about how she feels during “that time”, and what I could do to help her get through them better, and with less frustration aimed at me. Here’s what I found out – They don’t like them either – You think you’re wife’s period is hard on you? Try being the one going through it! Without mentioning the obvious effects, there’s the bloating, cramping, back pain, and need we mention being the passenger on the runaway rollercoaster of emotions that they can’t find a way off of? Doesn’t sound like something I’d volunteer for.

Don’t run the other way – I know this is like saying to “run towards the house fire, not away”, but understand this – most times when they are “going off” about some little thing, and acting like it’s this HUGE issue, it all comes down to a self-esteem thing. Right now their hormones have them feeling like they aren’t doing well at anything, and everything they do is failing or not working right. So your wife yelling at you about putting one white sock in the dark load of laundry, is really her saying that she is upset at herself that she didn’t get the laundry done, and you had to help with it. I know, you might have you read that last sentence again, but according to my lovely wife, that is how they feel. A normal man’s response to this would be to either blow up back at her, or go “whatever” and try to stay away from her as much as possible. Here’s where we mess up though! Instead – what she needs is for you to go up to her and put your arms around her and say something like “it’s ok hon, I love you”. Remember, her acting out is her insecurity about the issue, so what she needs from you is to re-assure her, and tell her that it’s going to be ok. Now I can hear you saying “are you crazy?! You want me to go up to my wife who is currently yelling at me about the smallest issue, and give her a hug?” Yes I am! I KNOW it’s crazy hard to do, but this is marriage, remember? This isn’t a walk in the park. She knows she’s being irrational and making no sense at all, but right now it’s how she is crying out for you to reassure her. If you run the other way, it’s just going to make it worse.

Realize she’s not herself right now – This is a big one for us guys. As guys we tend to take every thing literally, regardless of what time of the month it is. So when your wife says something like “I never have any money to spend for myself, you always buy whatever you want” during her period, don’t go out and put a “For Sale” sign on the boat. Ask her about it in an hour, and she will probably have totally changed her mind, or brush it off like it was no big deal – leaving you totally confused because what she was just making a huge issue of, is now “no big deal”. Say hello to hormones. During her period, my wife says that there are times she feels “normal”, and other times she feels like she’s not herself at all. We have to keep reminding ourselves that this is the case, and if she makes a comment about a large issue that your “I’m going to fix it” personality wants to jump in and fix right away, wait until after she’s done with her period to bring it up again and see if it really needs addressed.

Do the simple stuff – Show her that you care about her not feeling well at the moment. Sure, it’s easier to just grit our teeth and close our eyes until it’s over, but is that being a servant? Remember the whole “sickness and health” part? Warm up a heating pad for her back, help with the housework, do the dishes, cook dinner. These are all simple little things, but they mean a lot to our wives.

There! We made it through! I told you it wouldn’t be as bad as you thought. Or maybe it was. Regardless, at least you’re a little better prepared to deal with it. Oh, and don’t be afraid to ask your wife what would be a help to HER when those days come around every month. Each woman is different, but the principle remains; just because it’s a hard topic, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be willing to help. We need to stop hiding out, and start helping out. It might not be easy, but you’ll be glad you did. 

Why Valentines Day Makes Me Want To Barf –

Image: A man carries a bunch of ballons as he walks down Union Street on Valentine's Day

 

If there’s one thing I hate, it’s being forced by someone to do something. Not because It’s from my heart, but because that’s what you’re “supposed to do”.

Maybe that’s why I’ve never been a big fan of Valentines day. Now don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a GREAT idea to be romantic with your wife, get her flowers, make dinner for her, put rose petals on the bed, etc, etc – I guess I just feel that you should be doing that ANYWAY, not just on the one day that Hallmark decided we should.

It’s like all the stores that sell all the pink Mylar balloons, the heart-shaped candy boxes, the cards, the 62 inch teddy bears holding a heart that says “be mine”, all got together and said, “What kind of holiday can we create where we force people to buy stuff every year, even if it’s not really something they want to do?” It’s a perfect plan really. Guys feel guilty, and even if their wives say “don’t get me anything this year”, you always wonder if they’re just saying that, and get something anyway. Drives me batty.

All this being said, how do we get around it though? How do we get out of HAVING to do something spectacular on Valentines Day, just because “that’s what you do”?

Well, here’s the funny part. You’d think the wives would LOVE the holiday right? After all, it’s all about romantic things, over-sized cards, girly colors, etc. Sounds like a girl’s dream! Well, here’s the truth – I’ve had a ton of wives say that they “hate” Valentines day. Hate it. That’s a strong word. And you know why? Because they KNOW that their husband is just doing this stuff, not from his heart (or not totally anyways), but because he HAS to. She would much rather have him do/buy something because he saw it, made him think of her, and decided to bring it home for her. Not for the “I have to” reason.

So I would like to pose the question to all husbands - What if we just did the things that we’re “supposed to do” on Valentines Day – the entire year?

And no, I don’t mean you have to bring home a 36″ Mylar heart balloon every day. Please, DON’T do that. What I mean is, what if we keep the romance/gifts/pursuing of our wives going all year-long, when Valentines Day comes around, your wife will be so used to having you do that stuff for her anyway, and actually doing it from your heart, Valentines day, and all the foof that comes with it, seems kind of sad and pathetic.

To me, if we as husbands have to wait for someone to TELL US we need to go out and buy a bunch of roses, or something little that we know she’d like, or light the candles and put rose pedals on the bed every once in a while, we deserve the pain/frustration that comes with heading down to the local Hallmark to find that half-hearted gift/bouquet on V-Day. Don’t be that guy!

Be the husband who thrives on making his bride feel like he’s pursuing her like he did when they were dating. Be the husband that makes sure he knows what his bride’s love language is, and speaks it often. Be the husband who sees something in a store, and buys it, not because it’s expensive, or pink, or is in the shape of a heart, but because he loves his wife, and knows that little thing will make her smile.

What I’m trying to say, is if you’re like me, and get a strange nauseous feeling in your stomach when you think of Valentines day, it’s time to do something about it. Don’t just be part of the “herd” standing in line with 12 dozen red roses on the 14th. Be the one guy standing there with a dozen red roses (or whatever her favorite flower is) on January 11th, and March 1st, and September 15th. You get the idea. Maybe it’s time to decide ourselves, when we buy flowers, or teddy bears, or pajama grams. Maybe it’s time to quit letting a day in February decide when we’re romantic. Maybe it’s time to be the husband we vowed we’d be on our wedding day, all year-long. 

Oh, and Happy Valentines Day. 

Bad Sex Life? Here are Some Reasons Why.

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Not satisfied with your current sex life? You’re not alone. Here are a few things that don’t help it get any better.

Kids in your bed. – Oh I can hear the comments now, but before you try to figure out where I live, so you can slash my tires, hear me out. If you have kids sleeping with you on a REGULAR (in other words more than not) basis, it is having a negative impact on your sex life. If there has ever been a libido killer, it would be getting kneed in the head by your 4-year-old all night long. Here’s the deal – your marriage bed is just that - YOURS. It’s not the community bed, it’s not the “I don’t want to deal with making you sleep in your own bed, so just get in” bed, it’s the bed that you and your wife sleep (and hopefully have lots of sex) in. You shouldn’t have to get through 2 or 3 other small bodies, before you can spoon with your wife. Now I’m not saying there aren’t exceptions – sick kids, bad dreams, etc, but even then, they need to know that this is mommy and daddy’s bed, and they have their own bed to sleep in. Is it easier to just give in? You bet. Have we even done that for a night? Once or twice, yes. But for crying out loud, please don’t let it become a habit. Oh, and it’s MUCH easier to keep it from starting, then it is to stop it AFTER it’s been going on for 6 months.

No LUBE. – Your erection doesn’t always equal her wetness. Sorry, wish it did. Maybe before kids, but not now. And let me tell you, sex without lubrication is just plain painful. Find a lube you both like (The best hands down we have ever found is the Pjur Bodyglide. Best. Lube. Ever.) And then get yourself a small nice looking (could be tinted glass, etc) pump bottle, and keep it on the nightstand beside your bed. Tell the kids it’s hand sanitizer. Or Lotion. Or massage oil. The point is, you don’t want to have to be running to the closet, or lifting up the mattress, to be digging out a lube bottle, during the heat of the moment. Make it easy to access, and ready when you need it.

Not talking about what your expectations are. – If you are expecting to have sex 4 times a day, and she is thinking twice a week, you’re both going to be a bit annoyed/surprised when the other person doesn’t seem to be on the same page. Get it all out in the open. How many times a week would be ok for you? What things would you like to do/try, etc. and be honest about it all! At least then even if you’re worlds apart in your desires/needs, you can at least navigate to some sort of compromise, that doesn’t leave you both wanting to scream all the time.

Porn. – No matter what anybody will try to tell you, porn will NEVER make your sex life better. It if seems to, it is only short-lived, and ends up with one party feeling hurt/not good enough, instead of loved and treasured. You can read more about that HERE. The other thing about porn, is that it turns your “normal” sex drive into a “hyper” sex drive, due to the almost constant mind stimulation. Plus, you’re no longer horny for you wife, you’re horny because you looked at porn, and now you want to use your wife to satisfy that urge. The urge that never started with her in the first place. Take it from a guy who’s been there and has learned the hard way that it’s NOT worth it. I don’t care if your wife never has sex with you, porn is a lie, and while it may seem to satisfy the need, it really just leads to more despair. Don’t use it.

Lack of communication with your wife. – Listen guys, if your wife doesn’t feel like she knows what’s on your heart, shares in any of the things you are struggling with, or that you even care about what happened to her during the day, it’s going to be hard swimming for you later that night when you crawl into bed after watching the 10pm SportsCenter and mention that you’re horny. Yeah, not happening. You have got to keep the lines of communication open with your bride! Ask her how she’s doing. Ask her what’s on her heart. Ask her how you can be a better husband to her, support her more, or take a load off of her. Roll up your sleeves, and get in there! I know it’s hard, I know we hate talking about the little things after a long day at work, but if you want her to be able to respond to you more sexually, you’re going to have to do some of the work to get there. You can’t expect her to not see you or hear from you all day, and then lay back say “take me now” when you crawl into bed.

Staying up until the wee hours of the morning, playing video games. – This one really shouldn’t be hard to understand, but I get emails from wives about it all the time. “My husband won’t come to bed with me, so we never have sex.” Or “My husband is so wrapped up in video games when he get’s home from work, he doesn’t make time to talk to me anymore.” Come on men, we’re not 14 anymore. Video games are cool, but you didn’t marry a video game, you married your wife, remember? If she is begging for your time, or good grief – for you to come to bed and have sex with her, I think you’ve let the video games become WAY too important, and may want to look at taking the wedding band off of the PlayStation, and putting it back on your wife’s finger.

Being BAD at it. – Let’s face it guys, there’s not much to us being satisfied sexually. For us, it’s pretty simple – insert tab A, into slot B, and move back and forth for a while. For our wives however, we need to have a bit of skill, or “know how”, to make sure they are enjoying it just as much as we seem to effortlessly do. (Read more about how to do that HERE) Let me put it plainly – know your wife’s vagina. Yes, I said VAGINA. You need to know what she likes, you need to know where all the pleasure zones are, you need to learn how to stimulate them, etc. Don’t know how? Get yourself a book, or find something online, whatever you choose to do, but it’s time we stop saying “well golly, I didn’t know there was a G-spot!”, and other naive things, and start raising the bar a little. It’s not rocket science, it just takes some effort. If the feeling you got out of sex every time was “that’s it?!”, I’m pretty sure you would have more headaches too.

Too Many Distractions! – Life get’s crazy;  kids running around everywhere, bills to pay, budgets to write, school work to grade, deadlines to meet – the list goes on! Sometimes you need to just GET AWAY for a few days to some little cabin where the cell phones don’t work, and there ain’t no Wi-Fi. Some place where you actually have to be alone with each other, with NOTHING to do. Well, not nothing, but nothing that needs to be done while your clothes are on. Be willing to take those times away, and get to know each other again. Send the kids to the grandparents, or friends, or wherever, and learn to GET AWAY. Sometimes what your sex life needs is just some privacy. Don’t underestimate the power of some time away.

Ok, how about you? What are some things you’ve figured out, that kill the mood, or the chance of the mood happening?

The Journey of Marriage – Some Things I’ve Learned in the First 9 Years.

young-couple-walking

You know the saying “hindsight is 20/20″? Well, it applies in marriage also. The following is a few things I wish I could have gone back in time and told myself when I was first starting out on this husband journey, almost 9 years ago:

When she’s hormonal, don’t take everything she says at face value.  – Here’s the deal, she’s going to get hormonal, and most of the times she has NO IDEA what she just said. Now telling her that at the time is NOT a good idea, but when I was first married, I actually thought she MEANT what she was saying (or ranting about), and what I have come to find out is that while she is forming the words, most times WHAT she is saying is propelled by a huge hormone rush, and she doesn’t mean at all. This is something our wives WISH they could control, but can’t at the time. So, if it’s “that time of the month”, and she says “You need to sell the boat!!”, Don’t put up the for sale sign just yet. Wait a few days and then ask again. (I had my wife read through this post before I published, and she wanted to add the following, addressed to the wives that may be reading this post: Ok, ladies, here’s the thing, I know when I am hormonal I say things I don’t mean, or even remember later. While I am very glad Mission:Husband has learned not to take it personally, please know that it doesn’t give me an excuse to fall into this sin.  Don’t take the statement to your husband as an excuse or someone saying it’s okay.  It’s not!  While I struggle with controlling my words when my hormones are out of whack, I know it is still sin.  I have been working on fixing this.  I’ve been trying to line everything I say up with Ephesians 4:29 “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”  Remember, even if your hubby doesn’t take it personally, it still should be our goal to build him up at all times, and not justify our sin just because it is easier.)

Enjoy the “pre-kids” stage. – We have four kids, and I wouldn’t want to go through life without ANY one of them, but BEFORE I had kids, I didn’t understand that once I had kiddos, the lazy mornings staying in bed with your wife, or the “Hey! Let’s go for a 2 hour drive to the lake on the spur of the moment” days were going to change for a while. Not that they won’t come back someday, but just learn to enjoy the “pre kids moments”, before they’re gone . They will fly by.

It’s not in her “hardware” to be horny like you are, all the time. – Ok, so maybe we’re all a little naive when we first start out, but I had the idea that my bride was going to want sex as much/often as I did. I mean come on, she thinks I’m hot, right? Well, yes, she may think I’m hot, but after a few years of kids, diapers, getting gum out of hair, and trying to keep 4 kiddos alive, fed and bathed, it’s a little harder to get her motor running at the drop of a hat. Here’s what I’ve learned. We as guys go from thinking about it, to wanting to do it. The wives need to be touched/reminded about sex, letting their mind clear the other 10 things off of it, and THEN becoming ready to do something about it. I would spend days wondering why she wouldn’t come on to me/pursue me, and until I learned that it was MY job to pursue/remind/touch her – allowing her to then respond – I was one frustrated hubby. Bottom line, the only time your wife is going to be “aggressively horny”, is when she’s ovulating. The rest of the time, while she’s most likely to not be AGAINST the idea, she’s not going to come seeking it out. YOU have to get through your ego, and play your role in pursuing her.

Your wife thrives on communication with you – So I knew that girls like to talk, but I had no clue that my wife DEPENDS on communication with me, to feel connected, and close to me. Set aside some time AT LEAST every other day, to turn everything off, and talk with your wife. Let her know what’s bothering you, what you’re stressed about, what you need prayer for. And let HER talk about her day, and the things that we guys go “why do I care about what happened at the grocery store?!”. Really listen to her. You are showing her you care about HER and what matters to HER.

Watch out for the “wall builders”. – There are certain issues, or even day-to-day things, that slowly, brick by brick, cause a wall to be built between you and your wife. It may be little things like if she said no to sex, or you blamed her for something she didn’t do, etc. You HAVE to be on the lookout for that wall starting to come up. Keep it torn down by keeping the lines of communication open, and being willing to say I’m sorry often, and really mean it. Life is way too short to try to keep score, and focus on the little stuff.

Find time to pray together in the morning before the day gets going. - This is HUGE, and is something we figured out just recently. Praying together about the day, and things that are on your hearts, keeps you on the same page, and makes you feel like you’re on the same team. It’s like starting your day off on the right foot. Being able to seek the Lord together as a couple, and let Him lead/show you where/what he wants you to lead the family he has given you, is crucial to maintaining the “God first” lifestyle we need to have in our families.

Kids are temporary, your marriage is with you the rest of your life. - Make time for your marriage, even during the “small kids” years. Make time to get away for a weekend. Make time for date nights. Make time for Romantic dinners/picnics. Here’s the bottom line. Someday your kids are going to make it through high school, and then move on, and out of your house, leaving you with either a dead marriage, or a marriage that has been taken care of, nurtured, and made a priority while the kids WERE in the house. Don’t let the kids become your life, and lose the very relationship that the kids were created from. My worst nightmare would be one where my wife and I get all the kids moved out of the house, and are left with trying to live in a relationship where we don’t even know each other.

Sex doesn’t always have to be earth shattering. – Before marriage, (we waited to have sex until our wedding night), I had this picture of sex being something AMAZING every time we had it. And while yes, there are times where it takes 10 minutes to catch your breath afterwords, please hear me when I say this; it doesn’t have to be that way every time for you to feel like you “did it right” or were “successful” or “passed the test”. As men we tend to judge our performance like it’s some sort of competition or something. It’s not. It’s you and your bride, coming together in a way that only you and her can, and if it’s not perfect, or simultaneous, or chandelier swinging, or 4th of July fireworks-e, it’s ok! Don’t buy into the “this is how sex should look/be” world version of it, but instead remember that sex is something that God created for the both of you to keep you close though the hard times, the good times, the exciting times, and even the times when you can’t seem to find the words through the sadness. Sex is so much more than Hollywood. Sex is part of your God designed relationship with your bride. Enjoy it. Learn about it. Treasure it, and fight like hell (sorry) to protect it from the things (porn, affairs, etc) that try to come inside that boundary, and destroy what God created to be so special between you and your wife.

How about you? What are some things that you’ve learned along the way, that you would have loved to learn a bit earlier?

Sex; It’s NOT just about YOU.

This is another “most popular” post from 2012…

As guys, we think sex is pretty awesome. In fact, we’d probably have a hard time thinking of something that we like doing more.

But how long has it been since we took  a hard look at what we’re doing to make sex just as enjoyable for our wives? Whether we’d like to admit it or not, we can get a little selfish in this area if we’re not careful. Part of being the husband God intended you to be, is MAKING SURE that you’re doing everything in your power to ensure your wife is reaching climax (if she desires one – more about that later), and that you are asking her what she likes, what feels good, what things she would like to try, what positions she likes best, etc. So often without even realizing it, us guys tend to do what feels good to us, without taking the time to even ask her what would make it better for her. If we want our wives to be as excited about making love as we are most of the time, I think it would be wise on our part to constantly be working on the following things -

The “Big O” – If you haven’t figured it out by now, women take a whole lot longer to “warm up” sexually, than us guys do. Think of it as a microwave vs. a crock pot. While men can be “ready to go” at the drop of a hat (or panties), and able to climax within a few minutes, most of our wives need some time to get there mentally, before the arousal process can even start. Now here’s the other thing guys -

there are times that our wives are totally happy with having intercourse without having an orgasm. This makes about as much sense to us guys as mowing the lawn without turning the lawn mower on, but it’s true.

Remember, sex is not all about the physical act to them. There is a lot of emotional connecting going on during sex for women too. That said, if she DOES desire to have an orgasm, we need to make sure that we are taking the time to slow down and help her get there. Since most of the time it’s hard for women to climax through penetration alone, this means we need to be ready to help her with our hands, or orally. Also – don’t get in such a hurry to start the “main event” that you make her feel pressured to “hurry up and make it happen already!” or make her think she’s “taking to long“. This will only make things worse. If you are having a hard time finding the right spot or speed, have your wife show you with her hand what feels good. Then try to simulate that. Communication is the key here. Don’t be too shy to ask her what she wants you to do. We’d like to think we are natural “masters” as satisfying our wives in bed, but most times there are things she wishes we would do, and if we’re too proud/shy to ask, we’ll never get any better. 

Vibrators/Toys - There are lots of different opinions out there on whether or not sex toys/aids are good/ok to use in the marriage bed. I’m not going to get into all that in this post. What I am going to do is give you what has worked for us, and then you can make the judgement for yourselves on what works/is appropriate for you.  What we’ve found with 3 small kids, and not always having a large amount of time to have “gourmet sex” every time, is while my wife may be interested/up for sex, the idea of spending enough time for her to become fully aroused, and able to climax manually, is somewhat daunting after a long day with the kids and 10pm approaching rapidly. So, after our first child was born, we decided to look for something to help her be able to “speed up the process” a little for those times when we wanted to enjoy each other sexually, but didn’t have time/energy for the “4 course meal” version of sex. We wanted something that could be used during penetration, but wanted to be careful because we found some medical articles with evidence that long-term use of a vibrator can damage the nerve endings of the clitoris and make it harder for a woman to orgasm without it. So, after quite a bit of research, we found something that doesn’t vibrate, but instead “oscillates” (moves rapidly in a “back and forth” motion) that we really like, and is nice to have when she desires to climax, but may not have a lot of time. Do we always use it when we make love? No. Is it nice to have something that helps her climax much faster when she desires it, but we don’t have a lot of time? Very. I feel that there are times our wives may say “no”  to sex on any given night, due to the pressure they feel from us (spoken or unspoken) to have an orgasm. If they are on the fence already about having sex (long day, tired, etc), the thought of having to spend 20 minutes to “get herself there” may just be the push she needs to say “not tonight”, because it seems like such a daunting task after a long day. This gives her an option where she can still climax and enjoy sexual time with her husband, but not be discouraged, and in turn distracted, because it’s “talking so long”. (Note: If you would like to know what we use,  drop me an email, and we’d be glad to share with you what we found that has helped us. Believe it or not, there are still some things even marriage bloggers don’t feel comfortable sharing on a public blog post ;) )

Lube up! – Another thing that can make sex less enjoyable, or even downright painful for your wife is lack of lubrication. If we rush right through the foreplay, and within a couple of minutes, try to enter her, odds are, she’s not going to magically be wet and ready to go. Remember the crock pot analogy? She needs some time to warm up! Without using any kind of lube, a woman needs between 15 to 20 minutes of foreplay (of course all women are different, but in general) to become  naturally lubricated enough for intercourse. What’s the moral to the story here? Get a bottle of good lube and keep it handy! The best one we have found (hands down) is the “Pjur Eros Original Body Glide Lube”, found on Amazon.com or most other sexual aid sites. It doesn’t dry up, doesn’t make a huge mess, and lasts for a long time. We have been through a lot of different brands/formulas, but always come running back to this one. Oh, and still not convinced you need lube? Try having your wife manually stimulate you without using any - it’s funny how fast you will change your mind.

What has worked in the past, may not work now – If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it will: You’re in bed, doing that thing that you know is always a “home run” in the “what I like in bed” category for your wife. At some point you look up however, to see a “less than thrilled”  or even a *gasp!* bored look on her face. You panic, wondering what in the world am I doing wrong? Relax! You’re not doing anything wrong. This is a really hard one for us guys to grasp sense for us it’s a “one movement fits all” thing, but for our wives it all can change due to pregnancy, time of the month, or sometimes I wonder – the color of the sky that day. (That was a joke) The thing to remember is DON’T get discouraged, or think you’ve lost your touch. Let her talk you through what now feels better, and don’t take it personally. Too often we take any form of rejection in bed (no matter how small), as an attack on us. It’s not.

Be a “student” of your Wife – I mentioned a little bit of this above, but what I’m trying to get at is always be looking for ways you can improve at pleasing her in the bedroom. Don’t settle for “good enough” and stop there. Doesn’t matter if you’re a new husband and don’t have a clue, or a husband that’s been married 40 years, there’s always room to get better! Don’t become complacent!

Don’t be afraid to laugh together! – As guys, we look at things in life as “tasks”. We need to get something done, so we form a plan on the best way to accomplish it, what we need to buy, what tools we need, etc. We know that if we have the “right tools” for the job, and a good plan, we will succeed. We “can’t fail” if we plan carefully (or so we try to convince ourselves). Here in lies the problem: If we try to transfer that attitude to the bedroom, we end up becoming frustrated if we’re doing something during lovemaking, and it’s not working like it was “supposed to”. This leads to an uneasy tension, and that is NOT good in what was supposed to be a time of connection between husband and wife. At this point we’ve lost the whole point. If something doesn’t work, LAUGH a little! This is supposed to be fun remember? We get so lost in “it has to happen this way”, that we lose sight of what we’re really supposed to be accomplishing overall. Sex is one of the greatest gifts God has given a married couple. Let’s make sure we are being patient, and helping our brides get the pleasure that God created her to get out of it. So get out there and get to work husbands! This is not exactly the worst job you’ve ever been given. ;)

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