Posts Tagged ‘ life ’

“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.

Sex: It matters more than you may think.

 

How’s your sex life with your wife lately? When I was first married I had a friend tell me “if you put a penny in a jar every time you have sex the first year you’re married, and then the second year take one penny out of the jar every time, you will never empty the jar”. It was funny at the time, but i had no idea how true it is. “Life” has a way of creeping in and if we let it, our once passionate marriage bed becomes a place where you collapse at the end of the day, give each other a peck on the cheek, and hope for a few hours of sleep before the baby wakes up. This is not how God wanted our marriages to be! He created SEX as a wonderful gift for a married couple to share together! If you think about it, sex is the ONLY thing that just you and your spouse can do together. You can talk to other people, you can share your heart with other people, you can do different activities with other people. SEX is the ONE THING that God reserved for just a husband and wife. Why is that? Because he knew it was extremely IMPORTANT in marriage! Have you ever read the book in the Bible called “The Song Of Solomon?” Maybe you should take a look at it. The whole book is dedicated to the sexual relationship between a husband and wife. Doesn’t sound to me like something that He wanted us to just do regularly for our honeymoon, and then after that just do on romantic holidays or birthdays. It sounds like something He wanted us to VALUE. 

So how do you keep your sex life going strong? Well, Val and I have been married for a little over 7 years so far, and while we are a LONG WAYS from having all the answers, we have pinpointed some things that come along in life that are like a wet blanket on your sex life.

Here are some the top ones:

  • Kids – Yes they’re cute. Yes they are multi-talented and “perfect” in every way (or so the grandparents say). But they are also needy, whining, energy and sanity draining little “black holes” that ALWAYS need something. Always. You have to carve out some alone time, even when the kids are young! Get a good lock on your bedroom door. Not a little flimsy thing, but I’m talking something you’d find at Fort Knox. You need to know that you are not going to be interrupted during your time together. Give the kids to the grandparents for the night. Not only is it good for the kids to see you making your marriage a priority, but it’s good for them to form deeper relationships with their grandparents. Make hay while the sun shines. In other words, use the little opportunities like nap time to sneak off to the bedroom for some “mom and dad time”.
  • Lack of Communication – Ok guys, I can see you rolling your eyes here, but this is SO TRUE! The closer your wife feels to you emotionally, the easier it is going to be for her to respond to you physically. And this is more than you letting her talk about her day when she gets home. She wants to hear from YOU about things that you have gone through during the day. Believe it or not, she actually cares about the little things you did during the day. Strange isn’t it? It’s so not like us guys, who would rather just come home and zone out for a while.
  • Waiting until you drag yourselves to bed at night – You’ve been there before, all day long you both are thinking about later, but by the time you actually make it to bed at 11pm, you’re so tired, it hard do much of anything besides pass out. Try and “schedule” it for earlier in the night, like right after the kids go to bed, or even earlier in the day while the kids are napping. I know it seems odd to have to “schedule sex” like a dentist appointment, but it’s better than never finding the time, and in turn lacking that connection for even longer.
  • Playing the “she won’t, so I won’t” game. –  If you haven’t figured it out by now, guys and gals have different needs they need to have filled in marriage, to feel close and accepted by their husband/wife. Sometimes we have a tendency to play the selfish card and say “well, if she’s not going meet my sexual need tonight, then I’m not going to talk to her, or communicate like she needs me to. So we just “grunt” in response to her efforts to have a conversation, or if we do talk, it’s short, polite answers that don’t give her close to what she needs in us communicating with us. Instead, even though it’s hard for us guys, MAKE THE EFFORT to put your own needs on the back burner, and really listen to her talk about her day, and try to say more than “oh really” or “uh-huh” to her in return. A little effort goes a long way!

Val and I just celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. The other night we were talking about all the things we have gone through over the past 7 years – the things we have learned, the things we had no idea we would face, the things we should have put more effort into, etc – and we were laughing because the one thing that we had NO IDEA would have such an impact on how your marriage functions, how you act towards each other, and the overall level of fulfillment you feel in your marriage – is SEX! And here’s the good part, once you invest effort into getting your sexual relationship strong, it’s amazing at how easy it is to keep it up now! All of the sudden the husband is on top of the world, and feeling loved and wanted by his wife, and the wife happy as a clam, because for some reason her husband that never talks to her to say more than “what’s for dinner?” is talking and communicating like some kind of “chatty Kathy”  to his wife. It’s like it was meant to be this way?! 🙂

Sex: It really DOES MATTER more than you may think. 

I want to hear from you! What are some issues you have faced in keeping your sexual relationship strong? How have you “made time” for each other in this way?