Posts Tagged ‘ couple ’

“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.

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. 

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?

“What’s the big deal about Underwear?” (A post for the wives)

This is a re-post from 2012 – 

Ok, am I really devoting a whole post to the subject of underwear? Sure am! And here’s why –

I’ve heard a lot of wives say “I just don’t think like my husband does. I wish I could just get inside his head sometimes”. First, I’m not sure you really mean that, since you might find it pretty boring at times (he really only thinks about one thing at a time?!), but there’s also a very good reason you don’t’ think like he does: You’re not a man. Men have a tendency to think thoughts that make wives get that look on their face of “really? when I do that, it makes you feel this way?” Trust me, every husband knows the look. It’s the same look you would give us if we suddenly told you that we wanted to try and build a rocket in the back yard that would put the first man on Mars.

That being said, I wanted to let you amazing wives in on a little secret, and it has to do with your underwear. But first, a little disclaimer – I’m telling you in this post how MOST husbands/guys think. There is always an exception to this rule, but odds are, your husband thinks like this. If you can read the following with an open mind, and with an attitude of “I want to learn how my husband thinks“, you’ll be blown away by how it will affect your husband if you try it.Ok, here goes –

What a wife chooses to wear for underwear, is a big deal for her husband. I know, I can see your eyes rolling already, but stay with me here. What a wife has a hard time understanding at times, is how much  this “talks” to her husband about how much she loves, desires, and cares about not only their sex life, but him in general. For example, if you’re always wearing black or tan “granny panties” and matching very “functional” but not at all “flirty” bra, you’re “saying”  TO HIM that you don’t really care about your sex life much, and you have pretty much given up on being flirty or fun in that area, for the sake of “hey, it’s just underwear, and it works just fine”.

Now don’t get me wrong, I understand that it was much easier to do this kind of thing, and actually think about it, BEFORE those little humans invaded your home called “children”. We get it if you need to wear a nursing bra (and no, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cute nursing bra) for those times in life when you’re breastfeeding. No problem. But the tendency is that once you’ve traded in the “sexy” for the “practical”, it’s just easier to not go back. And it matters to your husband. He may not say it, or even mention it anymore, but I guarantee he notices.

What’s the big deal? It’s just underwear! It’s not like anybody sees it besides him anyway. I don’t want to spend the extra money on cute panties, when I could just go to Costco and buy a 12 pack for $10!”

To a wife, that makes perfect sense, but let me let you in on what your husband is “hearing” when you decide to spend a few extra bucks on the cute, flirty, and a little sexier set. He is hearing things like “My wife knows that I’m the only person that ever sees those parts of her, but still takes the extra effort to know what I like, and wear them for me”. It makes your husband feel like he is still the priority over the kids, over your yoga class, over all the other stuff in your day. It makes him feel secure in knowing that you VALUE your intimate time together. It makes him feel like you desire him. It makes him feel like you VALUE him, and get a kick out of giving him little “thrills” like this. It also drives him crazy (in a good way), guessing on what you might be wearing “under there” that only he gets to see later. I know it’s a hard one to understand, but basically by wearing cute, flirty underwear, you’re telling your husband you love, desire, and take delight in enticing him (even though you may not understand the big deal) in this way. Who knew that underwear could say so much?!

One other thing, because I know you’re thinking it – Cute, sexy underwear, doesn’t have to be uncomfortable! I’m not suggesting you always have to wear some kind of leather thong, or push up bra! What I’m asking you to do, is find out what kind of underwear your husband likes, and to do that, maybe even take him shopping for it with you! Let me tell you, if you have a hard time getting him to give you a clothing budget, you will more than likely have no issue finding the “funding” for this shopping trip, if you word it something like this – “Hey hon, I was wanting to go shopping for some cuter panties and bra sets. Maybe you could even show me some you like. Would that be ok?”  – and watch that man go for his wallet! 🙂 Another thing, guys get a little uncomfortable in “those kind” of stores, so when you go in, YOU have to make it look like it was YOUR idea to everyone watching. Then when you get to the picking them out part, he’s probably going to be a little shy to take the lead, and start picking stuff out, so a way that works good, is to pretend your “browsing” through the different panties/bras, and the whole time be quietly giving him the “yes or no?” look. He’ll be THRILLED that you are letting him have a say in what you choose. And don’t be afraid to compromise! Odds are, he’ll be a little more interested in the lace thong, than you will be, but maybe go for the more “normal” set with a lace back, or something like that. He’s still have a big goofy grin on his face, and you’ll end up with panties/bras you’ll actually be able to wear on a daily basis.

You have no idea how much your husband is in awe of your nude form. It’s hard for wives to understand this, because they sometimes have issues with how they think they look, or are insecure about that little bit of leftover baby weight. But let me tell you without a shadow of a doubt, your husband couldn’t care less. When he looks at you, he sees the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. Please understand this. You are his vision of beauty. Weight doesn’t matter. Stretch marks don’t  matter. All that matters for him is the attitude you set forth when we tries to look at you in that way. He doesn’t want/need you to change anything before you “look good enough”. He’s totally happy with how you look now. Your husband is totally in love with the woman he married, and that is all he’s thinking about when he looks at you. (ok, so maybe a few other thoughts I can’t type out on a blog, but mostly that). When you show him that you not only “put up” with him looking at you in this way, but LIKE, and even ENCOURAGE it, you will have thought you had just given him the world. I guess, Because in a small way, you just did.

Five Things Your “High Drive Spouse” May Never Tell You –

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In most marriages, there is a “higher drive spouse” (HDS) and a “lower drive spouse” (LDS). If this doesn’t apply to your marriage, you can safely disregard this post.

In most cases, the Husband is the HDS, and the wife is the LDS, but this is becoming more and more not the case. A great resource for wives who are the HDS, is  “Spice & Love – A Higher Drive Wife”. Because of this, I’m going to avoid addressing the issue as just one applying to husbands, and address it in general. 

In our marriage, we were pretty typical; for the first year or so, our sex drives were pretty well matched. Most times I initiated, and she was more often than not, very willing to go along.

Then came the kids, and all the “distractions” that come with both pregnancy, and taking care of the little life that is now your responsibility to feed, clothe, and diaper. It was during the 2nd and 3rd year of our marriage, when the bedroom started to be much more of a place to fall into bed and sleep, then a place to have fun together sexually. It took a lot of give on both sides, and keeping the lines of communication open, to get back to where we are today.

But knowing how it feels doesn’t do anybody any good, unless we use that knowledge to help our LDS (husband or wife) understand. That’s what it took in our marriage, to turn things around. My wife had no clue what sex meant to me, and how it was so much more than “just the act” to me, until I sat her down, and lovingly explained how I felt, and poured out my heart to her about the hurt I was feeling from her constant rejection sexually.

So that’s what I want to do with this post. I want to offer the LDS a peak inside the mind of their HDS spouse, without even having to get off the couch (or computer, or whatever you’re reading this thing on). 😉

Five things your “high drive spouse” may never tell you – 

  • It’s part of who we are – As a HDS we need sex and lots of physical touch to feel loved. What does this mean to you? Well, let’s say you do EVERYTHING you can think of for us, that YOU would think shows us that you love us (cooking meals, cleaning the house, working on the lawn, caring for the house, etc, etc, etc) – we will still not feel loved without you being sexually open to us. It just doesn’t work. It’s like trying to put everything BUT gas in a car to make it run. It’s not going to work. We CRAVE the sexual relationship with our spouse, and without it, we feel unloved, un-cared for, and un-important.
  • We can’t just “turn it off” – I know as the LDS, it’s hard to understand this, but for us HD spouses, it’s a constant thing on our mind. It may not always be on the front burner, but it’s always there somewhere. Even if we just had sex, within a few hours, the thoughts like “I wonder when he/she’s going to want me again”, or “how long until I can convince him/her to love me like this again”, start to creep into our heads. We start to wonder if we’re “freaks” or  if there is something wrong with us, because you seem to not (or very rarely) ever NEED it like we do. That’s why we get so frustrated when you exclaim things like “that’s all you ever think about” or “just turn it off!”, because we don’t know how, and it makes us angry that we can’t.
  • The pain of “NO” becomes too hard to hear after a while – When a HDS asks their spouse for sex, it’s a HUGE thing to us. We usually have thought about asking, and what would be the best way, or what would go over the best, or what kind of mood you’re in, or how you may react – for a long time before we ask. It may have also taken us a while to get up the nerve to finally ask. So when we finally do, and you either brush it off, or roll your eyes, or give us a “oh come on, really?”, it hits us pretty deep. We of course don’t admit this most times, and try to make a half-hearted attempt at turning it into a “oh, it’s ok hon, if you’re not into it right now, don’t worry about it”, or something like that, but it hurts. We feel like we just put a very intimate part of ourselves out there, and you stomped on it. After a long period of “not tonight” responses, we tend to stop asking. Not because we don’t long to be with you, but because the pain of being rejected – yet again – hurts too much. To us it’s like burning your finger on a hot pan, and then going back the next day, and doing it again. After a while, it’s just worth it.
  • We don’t expect you to be us, we just want you to be “naked and smiling” – We understand you don’t have the drive that we do. We understand you’re not going to be raring to go at all hours of the day and night. We get that, and we’re fine with it! What we’re trying to ask for, and most times do a lousy time explaining, is we just want you to ACCEPT us for who we are. We already feel like there’s something “wrong with us” for wanting to have it 3 or 4 times a week, and you constantly telling us to “go take a cold shower”, or rolling your eyes like “are you kidding me?” makes us feel that way even more. There was a time where I started to hate my sex drive. I even looked for ways to get rid of it. I thought “if I can just get rid of this, we’d never argue about anything!”. But what we found out is that God created ME to have that drive, and have the not-so-fun-job of being the one that makes sure we don’t go to long without sex, a that we keep that connection, that the LDS doesn’t realize they want/need as much/bad as the HDS, but just don’t have the feelings to do so, without a little “un-burying” of those thoughts from the pile of other things that may still be on your mind from the rest of the day. That’s why if you as the LDS could just make enough effort at the start, to be “naked and smiling”, even if you may not even feel like sex at the moment, you’re showing us that you care about us, and love us enough as our wife/husband to say “I don’t really need it right now, but I realize that you do, and I’m the only one that can legitimately meet this need for you, and so I’m not going to only do it, but smile while I do.” There’s nothing that drives a HDS more batty, and hurts him/her more, then when you are perfectly able (not sick, pregnant, headache, flu, etc) to meet our need, but refuse to do so for no reason. It feels like you are just dangling a treat in front of our nose, and then putting it back in the drawer and saying “nope, maybe tomorrow”. Ouch! And did I mention super frustrating to a HDS? We just need you to be ok with who we are. We need you to love who we are. We’re ok with you saying “honey, I love you and I’ll do whatever you need, but I just can’t get crazy into it tonight”. That still says “I love and accept you”. What hurts is the refusal to love us for who we are.
  • Meeting a sexual need, doesn’t always mean intercourse – Please don’t misunderstand us here, if we’re asking for you to connect sexually with us, it doesn’t always have to mean full-blown intercourse. It can be as simple as rolling over with a smile on your face and saying “sounds like you need something taken care of” and helping us manually, or something to that effect. That does a TON for the HDS, when he/she is wanting to be intimate, but time/desire/energy just isn’t there at the time from the LDS. Don’t expect it to lessen the desire the next day to “fully connect” with you, but it goes a HUGE way in the heart of the HDS in showing him/her you love her, and understand his/her need – and while giving you some time to fully wrap your head around sex the next day.

Hey, you made it all the way to the end alive! Hopefully you’re not thinking you’re married to a complete wierdo after this, but instead have some sort of idea where your HDS is coming from.

What say you? 

 

Sex in Marriage; Are we REALLY willing to work on it?

relationship difficulties

 

Last week I put out the “Sex after kids survey” (head on over and take it if you haven’t, then come back), and while the results are still rolling in (we’ll post the full results in a couple of weeks), there are a few things that are proving overwhelmingly obvious already.

The first thing is when asked “what are the biggest issues in your sex life?” The three biggest responses by large margins are currently (in order from biggest to smallest) “tired”, “frequency”, and “don’t feel my spouse wants to work on it”.

Also, when asked what the current state of their sex lives were, the large majority of people respond “it’s just ok,  I think it could be a lot better if we worked at it more”.

I don’t know about you, but all that sure starts to sound familiar. Basically, what’s being said is “we would have a better sex life if we would work on in, and the number one reason we don’t, is we’re too tired.”

Let me put this another way. So most couples want a better sexual relationship. Most couples feel it could be better if they worked on it. And most couples would do so, if they weren’t so tired. Huh. Go ahead and read that again. I’ll wait. Got it? Ok good, so in general, the biggest obstacle to enjoying the sex life with your spouse that God designed you to have, and you deeply desire (even if you don’t realize it), is that we pack so much into our day, that we are too exhausted to invest in our marriage? Yeah, that really makes sense.

My dad always told me “you probably shouldn’t complain about something you’re not willing to work on. I didn’t like it as a kid, and I don’t really like it as an adult, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

I guess what I’m saying, is that sometimes we don’t really like where we are in our marriage, but we don’t dislike it ENOUGH, to actually WORK on it. This is especially true with our sex lives. We convince ourselves “it’s too much work” to talk about it, and re-hash the “same argument” that always ends the same way (or so we say).

Or if it’s just “being tired” that is holding you back, maybe it’s time to take a serious look at the ol’ day planner, and figure out how big of a priority your marriage really is. Does it come before golf, or video games, or working on the yard, or the house, or hanging out with your buddies, or (insert your own blank)? Maybe it’s time to readjust your schedule a bit as to not leave you totally drained when your finally get around to seeing your spouse.

Sorry if this is harsh, but believe me, I’m talking to myself here – maybe it’s time to “put up or shut up” when it comes to taking responsibility for your marriage, and sex life. If you don’t like where your sex life is right now, are you working on it? Are you taking steps to communicate, and improve?  Or is it easier to just keep channel surfing?

Funny Honeymoon Stories –

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My wife and I will be celebrating 8 years of marriage coming up on May 14th. In some ways it feels like it’s been a lot longer, and in some ways it seems like just yesterday she walked down that aisle towards me to start our life together.

We got married in a small lake town in Oregon called Wallowa Lake. It had always been a special place to us as kids, as both our families would vacation there, and there are a lot of memories for us growing up as kids. Anyway, we got married there, honeymooned there, and are headed back there for our anniversary this year. We were talking about our upcoming trip the other day, and it reminded us of our honeymoon, and the funny things that made it “memorable” 8 years ago. For example –

We rented a pretty nice two-story “cabin” for our honeymoon, and it was by no means a “rustic” kitchen, but for some reason we had a hard time in the “cooking meals” department. The first “incident” was our first night there. We knew we were going to be tired and want something quick to prepare after the wedding and all the stress of preparing for the big day, so we brought one of those DiGorno pizzas from home to just be able to throw in the oven. Well, Val put it in the oven while I was taking a shower or something, and somehow she didn’t get the circle of cardboard off of the bottom of the pizza, before she stuck it in the oven. As you can imagine, about 7 minutes later as the smoke alarm was going off in the background, I asked “what in the world is burning?” We looked in the oven, and the cardboard was just starting to smolder and start to flame up a bit. We quickly got it out, and threw the cardboard into the sink to douse the fire. That was our first “cooking adventure”.

Adventure #2 was on the second day, when we decided to use the BBQ at the cabin to cook some steaks we had bought. This was all fine and dandy, except for the fact that I was used to cooking on a GAS grill, not a charcoal grill. But being the “man of the house” now, I was sure I could remember how my dad used to do it, and I’d show my new wife that I was a grill expert.

So, I went down to the deck and found an old bag of  briquettes that somebody had left from whoever had stayed there before, and began to build a pyramid in the bottom of the BBQ like I remembered my Dad doing. Once I had a pretty decent sized pile, I put a good dose of lighter fluid over all of them, and lit it. With a small “whoosh” it lit up, and I was on my way. Or so I thought.

About 15 minutes later, I brought the steaks down and proceeded to spread out the  briquettes in the bottom of the BBQ, just like dad used to, and put the steaks on the grill. It didn’t seem as hot as I remembered when I was a kid, but oh well I thought, it must just take a little bit longer to heat up.

I set up a lawn chair by the BBQ to keep an eye on the steaks. After about 10 minutes, I checked them, and while they were starting to cook, it had barely even seared the meat on the side facing the coals. Huh. Well, it must just take longer than gas, I thought. Another ten minutes go by, and I checked them again. Still, not much cooking going on. By now my wife is asking if the steaks are almost ready, because the rest of the food is getting close. I proceed to tell her that the BBQ seems to be “broken”, and we are going to have to cook them in a fry pan on the stove. I’m really frustrated at this point, and I grab the steaks off the still luke warm grill, and go upstairs to the kitchen.

Fast forward to about an hour later, after we had finished eating dinner, I went back down to the BBQ to clean it up and put it away. I opened the lid to scrape the grill, and to my surprise the coals were white-hot, and ready to cook an elephant. Turns out I was a little quick on the draw to start cooking.

At the time we didn’t see this stuff as very funny, but now as we look back, stories like this are some of the things we remember most about our honeymoon. (Or at least the memories that I can put in a blog…lol).

I think it’s good to stop and remember the good times you’ve had together. The times that you’ve laughed together. The times you’ve had fun as a couple. There are times for me when life get’s so busy and filled up with work, kids, dinner, dishes, bed, and repeat – that we forget to laugh with each other. We forget how much FUN having FUN with your spouse is. Even if it doesn’t seem great or fun at the time. May we not forget that when life seems to get a little “same old same old”.

Ok, so now it’s your turn. What are some funny memories from your honeymoon? Things that didn’t quite go as planned, or as expected? From your first night together, to finding out your new husband/wife snores so loud,  you couldn’t sleep, to starting the kitchen stove on fire – let’s hear em’!