Posts Tagged ‘ good sex ’

“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.

“She just doesn’t get it!” – and other things we husbands exclaim about sex.

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Ever been there? You’re trying your hardest to explain to your wife that you “need sex more often as a way to connect and feel close to her”, and all she’s hearing is “she’s not good enough” and “no matter how hard I she tries, she’s not enough”. You keep arguing for a while, but after a while, you either decide it’s not worth it to argue about anymore, or you just give up and walk away feeling hurt and like you somehow “don’t matter to her” because obviously if you did, she would see  how much sex means to you, and be more willing oblige you.

Ok, I think we’ve all been there at least one time in our marriage. So what do you do about it? What can you do? After all, if she doesn’t want to have sex, it’s pretty hard to “make her” want you.

Well, first let’s start with what you DON’T want to do:

Shut Down – Don’t pull the “well fine, I’m going to give you the silent treatment” thing on her. I know it’s hard, but be the bigger person, keep your commitment to love her no matter what, and do your best to stay emotionally open to her.

Pout – Kind of like the “shut down” thing, but a little more childish. I don’t even need to explain it – you know what I’m talking about, and it’s not attractive.

Ask, and ask, and ask, and ask – You know how annoying it is when your child keeps asking to play Nintendo, or buy something, and no matter how many times you say “no”, they just keep going? Does it make you want to give them what they want any more? No. Ok, so why would it work on your wife? She knows you want/need it. She hasn’t forgotten. So quit begging.

Watch porn instead “Well, it’s pretty obvious she doesn’t care about my needs, so it’s “ok” if I satisfy my physical need with a little porn. It’s not like I’m hurting anything”. WARNING: That is a LIE straight from hell. Satan would like NOTHING MORE than to see the intimacy in your marriage torn apart, and the fastest way he can do this, is wedge porn in between you and your wife. It DOES hurt someone, it hurts YOU! It might not feel like it at the time, but PLEASE UNDERSTAND it brings nothing but PAIN and DYSFUNCTION to your marriage. Oh, and by the way, it might give you something to satisfy the physical urge with, but it will do NOTHING to satisfy the need you still have to have sex with your wife. Just the OPPOSITE – now, you will be struggling to get the images of other women out of your mind, as you make love to your wife. It’s NOT WORTH IT. Run from it. 

Ok, so those are some things to AVOID, now let’s look at things that might HELP the situation:

Pray for her – There’s nothing more powerful than praying for your spouse. And when I say “pray for her”, I don’t mean “complain about her” in prayer. Don’t start with “Lord, what the heck is wrong with the woman you gave me?” Instead, pour your heart out to God. Ask him to bless your marriage, in EVERY aspect, and show you ways you can be a better husband, even if she isn’t totally meeting your needs right now. Ask Him to soften her heart towards you, and let her see what you’re really trying to get across to her.

Don’t ask more than every 48 hours – Don’t ask me how I know this, but for some reason, if you ask MORE than that, you’ll hear a lot of “that’s all you ever want!” from your wife. Most times it’s better to wait 3 days to ask again, but if you “can’t wait” that long, at least 48 hours is usually good enough to avoid the “you just asked yesterday!” exclamation.

Don’t panic – Since the sex need is most times much more “driven” in men than women, if we feel like she’s rejecting us, and it’s been a few days/weeks since we last had sex, there’s a tendency to panic, and go right to the “she’s never going to want to have sex with me again” phase. Don’t do this! Instead, calmly try to look at the situation, and ask yourself a few questions. What time of the month is it? Is she pregnant? Is she sick? Has she been really stressed at work/home lately? Try and access what may be working against you, besides the “she just hates me” theory. Where she is in her cycle plays a HUGE part in how active her sex drive is. If you’re asking a few days before her period starts, you’d probably have a better chance of being an Olympic gold medalist in basket weaving. On the other hand, the days she’s ovulating, she may be the one asking YOU for sex. And then there’s all the other days between. Do yourself a favor, and learn you wife’s cycle. There are even APPS that help with this. You will save yourself a LOT of pain. The Generous Husband has a great post on this and you can read it HERE.

Watch HOW you ask – If you haven’t figured this out by now a “Hey, I’m horny, wanna have sex?” May have worked on your honeymoon (maybe), but after a few years, it will most likely get you nothing but a rather large “eye roll” from your wife. Asking like that makes her feel like a piece of meat. When you ask, try something more along the lines of “Hey hon, I’ve really been missing you lately, would you be interested in making love later?”. Asking like that gives you a little better odds at a “yes”.

Make sure you’ve got “your end” together – in other words, if the most meaningful conversation you’ve had with your wife in the last week is whether she wants ranch or BBQ for her chicken nuggets, she’s probably not feeling very emotionally connected to you, and in turn, not feeling very interested in having sex with a “stranger” that hasn’t talked to her about anything in over a week. Make it a PRIORITY to SIT DOWN, turn OFF the TV, and actually LISTEN to her talk about her day, what she’s concerned about, etc, on a DAILY basis. And for gosh sakes, turn off Sports Center while you do this. Remember, this makes her feel connected to us, just like sex makes us feel connected to her.

Quit comparing her to others – “Why can’t we just have a sex life-like (insert married couple you look up to, or one you think has a great sex life)?” Let me let you in on a little secret: You’re not them. And even if you were, I’d lay good odds that they’re not quite as “problem free” as you may think they are. Funny how that works. Kind of back to the whole “grass is greener” myth. So stop comparing/wishing you were like somebody else, and make the best of what you DO have. Otherwise you’re just going to continue to be disappointed when you continue to not “live up” to the imaginary standard you’ve set.

How serious is it? – Have you ever seen the “pain scale” that hospitals use in patient rooms? If not, it’s basically a little sign with a series of smiley faces. The one all the way to the left is “unbearable pain”, and the one all the way to the right is “no pain at all”. You can use the same idea to rate how serious an issue the “no sex” issue really is in your marriage. For example, has it been 4 months since you had sex last, and it’s been constant rejection for as long as you remember? Or is this something fairly recent that has developed? Is she just going through a “funk” right now due to health issues, pregnancy, etc.?  Or is bad enough that it doesn’t  matter if she feels good or not, it’s still constant rejection? If your answer if the former, just wait it out for a while, odds are it’s going to get better, and you’ll be right back on track. If it’s the latter, you need to get some help. Start with a non-accusing “pour your heart out” talk with your bride. Explain how much she means to you, and how much you need to feel connected to her in this way. If that doesn’t work, find a good Christian counselor that can work with you guys, and find out what’s at the bottom of the issue. Odds are there’s something buried  or something that’s not obvious to both of you, that may be the very thing that is blocking you from having the sexual relationship God designed you to have. Don’t give up and “just live with it”. Sex is an amazing, and incredibly rewarding thing the He created for husband and wife to share. Take action, swallow a little pride, roll your sleeves up, and get some help with it. Do whatever you have to do to start moving in the right direction. You won’t be sorry you put in the effort. 

What happened to having fun together?

Fun. You remember fun, right? Remember in the “early days” of your marriage, how you and your wife used to go catch a game, or movie, or concert, or even just hop in the car and take a road trip to wherever – whenever you wanted? Remember how you used to laugh together about the dumbest things, or sit and talk about whatever popped into your head? Now you remember right? So what happened to fun?

Life, kids, bills, sports practice, meetings, school – I’m sure you could fill in your own blanks here. Things that we convince ourselves are “more important” than having fun with our spouse. “We’ll have fun when the kids are out of the house” is a common excuse. The sad part is, by then it may be too late. 

It’s funny, if you were asked to form a list of “the top ten things that kill a marriage”, odds are “not having fun with your spouse” wouldn’t make the list. Or if it did, it wouldn’t be towards the top. But I’m here to suggest that it ranks right up there with communication, and having a good sex life. In fact, if you’re NOT having fun with your spouse, it’s going to be a lot harder to HAVE a good sex life, and good communication. Sometimes I think we pull the whole “anytime I’m having fun, I’m not being effective” crap, but we don’t’ realize that NOT making time to have fun and do things with our wives, actually HARMS our relationship. 

“What’s the big deal with having fun? Have you seen the list of things I need to get done?” Fun has a strange way of re-connecting you. It gets you away from the sometimes depressing “real life” doldrums we tend to fall into after a while. It reminds you how lucky you are to have a wife that’s as amazing, funny, and beautiful as you do. There will always be the to-do list, but this life is way more fragile then we want to admit. Wouldn’t you rather spend time with your wife, than mow the lawn anyway?

When was the last time you took a couple of days off of work, and took your wife away for the weekend? Or even just found a babysitter, and took her out for dinner and a movie? Or dinner and a walk by the river? Or dinner and a game of bowling? It doesn’t have to be Disney World or an Alaskan Cruise, it just has to be something you both enjoy, and something that let’s you forget about all the “stuff” of life for a few hours. Sometimes we live life in our normal little “rut”, day in and day out (Get up, shower, breakfast, kiss the wife/kids, go to work, come home, eat dinner, work on the “to do list”, get in a quick few words with the wife, head to bed – then repeat), that we get to feel more like roommates, then husband and wife. 

A few weeks ago my wife and I took at trip to Seattle to watch a Mariners game at Safeco Field. A friend had given us some tickets (first base line!), and we found an inexpensive hotel using a discount hotel website. We ended up learning (ok, trying to learn) the public transit system (that’s a big deal for a couple of “small town folk”), and even though we got lost, and had to ask quite a few strangers where the heck we were, or what bus number we needed to take to avoid being taking to the wrong bus to the opposite end of town from where we needed to be, we’ll never forget those memories!  It was so fun to get away by ourselves for a night, and concentrate on nothing but “us” for a change. No sippy cups, no diaper bags, no “Dad! I need to go potty!” – just my wife and I having fun together. 

It doesn’t have to be expensive! We’ve noticed that if you use hotels.com or other sites like that, you can get a very decent (clean) hotel for anywhere from $80 to $120 a night. Also, PLAN AHEAD! If you put a little aside each paycheck, it will fit right into your budget, and you don’t have to feel guilty about spending the money. Also, weekdays are normally cheaper than weekends, if that works with your schedules.

Whatever you decide to do, if it’s an overnight trip, or just a couple of hours away, MAKE SURE it’s happening, and happening regularly. We try to plan one overnight getaway per quarter, and a “date night” (or lunch, or whatever) every week. Does it always happen like we want it to? No, but we have to at least make the effort! Invest time in your marriage. Time having fun with your wife. You won’t regret it!