Help, I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up!

20 Sep

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The other night we were watching TV and a “Life-Alert” commercial came on.  After the line, “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” Ben says to me, “Mom, you should get one of those, just in case.”  We all had a good laugh.  Then I started thinking, what happens if we fall in our marriage?  Who is going to be there to pick you up?  Do you have a couple you could turn to and let them know the knitty-gritty of your relationship?  Do you have a plan for when something goes wrong, when life doesn’t go as we planned? What if there is a miscarriage to deal with? The birth of a premature baby? A parent with cancer? There are so many opportunities in life to “fall” in marriage; to walk away from what you know what God designed marriage to be.  You need a couple you can turn to, a couple that can point you back to God’s design for marriage, a couple who can hold you accountable when they see signs of “falls” in your marriage.

This weekend: Take some time to talk to your spouse, pray together to find a couple who will help you in your marriage like this.  Talk to them and ask them if they will be your “life-alert.”  Meet with them, even if its just for dinner every so often so they know your marriage and can warn you when they see signs of “falls ahead.”

Cruise Control

14 Sep

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Cruise control is a blessing when you are driving on the highway or freeway.  It saves you the pain of trying to keep a steady speed, the pain of continually readjusting your foot because it fell asleep while you were driving.
Cruise control is not a blessing in our marriages.  We can’t just hit a button and cruise through life.  Life is too distracting for that.  We’ll end up making a pit stop, messing up our marriage along the way.  Cruising through marriage is so easy to do!  You have a few good days so you think its ok to not work on it for a couple of days.  What happens is you fall so far away from each other in a SHORT time!  You are suddenly living with a stranger, someone you don’t even know.  (Please don’t think people who ‘have a good marriage’ in your eyes are exempt from this in anyway.  Gerad and I were talking about how we could easily be right there.  We have to make the decision to keep working on our marriage and oneness each day.)

The problem gets really bad when one or both of you just give up … Don’t give up!  Your marriage is worth it!

I challenge you this weekend to pursue your husband.  Find something fun to do together, grab your favorite pint of ice cream and share it, learn about something he’s interested in, watch the game with him (and maybe plan some half time ‘activities’.

(I’ll give you my best tip for watch sports with guys, promise you won’t tell them though! If you read the bottom of the screen where they are running information about the game, you’ll learn a lot and be able to interject into the conversation.  During football it tells you things like, this player has only had 3 sacks this year.  Guys (at least mine) get impressed when we can give them some stats about what they are watching.)

Housekeeping

6 Sep

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This post is to explain to you why I’ve been missing lately, not talk about keeping a clean house (that’s definitely not my forte and something I work on, but in no way should be blogging about). We just started our first year of homeschooling and my goal of posting 3 days a week is not working (I’m sure you’ve noticed by the lack of posts lately).  My new goal is to post every Thursday, if I get another post done during the week I’ll share it with you.  Please give me grace if this doesn’t happen every once in a while, I’m doing my very best and want to give you all good posts to read. Posts take me a while to write, I’m a think it through before I type it kind of person.  Thanks for all of your support, I appreciate all of you.

Withholding Sex, Is It Really That Bad?

28 Aug

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Okay ladies, this post may not be what you were looking to read today, but I feel like I need to address some of these issues.   See, Gerad has been getting a lot of comments over on mission:husband from husbands who aren’t satisfied with their sex lives and feel like their wife couldn’t care less.

Here’s an anonymous email:

Like many marriages, I have a stronger physical desire than my wife. Nothing new there. However, I don’t feel like I put out much pressure toward this. Sure, it is important to me, but I know she needs her space, so many times I let my desires fall by the wayside. Likewise, I am disappointed when I am turned down, which happens most of the time, but I also don’t request it that much (our frequency is around once every 10 days or so). Here’s the problem. My wife recently revealed to me that my desires for her “make me feel like a prostitute” (said with obvious disdain), and that “that is all you need me for”. I love my wife. She is a great person. I do all she asks, provide for what she needs, listen when she needs someone to talk to, and never lay out any requirements for what she needs to do or help me with. However, now I am mostly paralyzed to inaction to the point that I have lost desire for my wife. How can she feel this way? What am I not doing right?

I feel like I can address this because as I was reading this comment my heart broke for the couple, but also, because Gerad could have written that a year or two ago.  I was causing him so much pain and had no idea.  My views on sex in marriage were skewed. I grew up in the “don’t have sex until you get married, at all costs” camp.  Not a bad place to be, but I didn’t have anyone tell me how great it could be in marriage.  I mean I had the normal, “just wait, it’s so great,” comments, but no one really spoke into my life and told me how great it really is, and how important it is, and how much work it is. 

I started our marriage off like every other couple who don’t have sex until they get married, we had a lot of sex. Then life happened and I began to buy the lies.  I didn’t feel like having sex, I didn’t want to tonight and I tried my best to be loving in my rejection.  I didn’t understand why Gerad wanted or needed it all the time.  I bought the lie that says guys are just pigs, they don’t really need sex this often, it’s just their way of fooling us women,” 

I felt like if I was expected to “just give it to him” every 3 days or so because “my body is not my own.”  I didn’t know why didn’t he have to go without when I didn’t feel like having sex then.  I started to get frustrated with certain preachers on the topic of sex because I didn’t want to HAVE to give Gerad sex.  I was tired, I was working full-time, taking care of a 1-year-old at work, keeping a house etc.  You know, life.  Fast forward a year, I was a stay at home mom with 2 kids, under 3 trying to potty train one and clean the house while chasing the other. 

I NEVER wanted to have sex.  I still expected Gerad to meet each and every one of my needs, I certainly made sure he knew if he wasn’t meeting my needs in the way I expected, and it wasn’t usually in the nicest way.  I expected conversation, help around the house and with the kids, and if he even looked at me before that was done, I was irritated that he didn’t care that I wasn’t in the mood and therefore didn’t care about me. 

I started reading some marriage books on sex, hoping they might let me off the hook, they never did.  I started reading Is That All He Thinks About? How to Enjoy Great Sex with Your Husband by Marla Taviano at the recommendation of One Flesh Marriage. This book definitely didn’t let me off the hook, at first it really kinda irritated me.  For some reason I kept reading and it changed everything!

In reference to a man’s heart she says,

It’s give and take.  We women give to a lot of people, but when it comes to our husbands, we often just take. And harp and complain when we think they’re not giving enough. “He’s just using me for sex,” we whine self-righteously.  And what are we using him for? A wedding ring? His sperm? …

OUCH!  I read this and saw myself in her paragraph.  I was the whiner, the complainer, the one who thought all my husband wanted was sex all the time. 

Okay, so you wonder if sex is really a “NEED” for him?  He just wants it to feel connected and for physical release you say? Here’s her reply

Whether or not sex is an actual ‘need’ for a guy is beside the point.  It sure feels like a need to him, and when we willingly meet that need for our husbands, they become very grateful indeed.

Ok, here’s my take on what she says, it may sound harsh but its the reality I’ve come to live with: I AM SELFISH! Utterly and immensely SELFISH!  I wanted to control when we had sex according to how I ‘feel’. 

I didn’t change overnight, it took time.  It wasn’t easy, I had to sacrifice, to choose to put Gerad above me.  I had to learn how God created him different from me, not poorly or needy, just different.  I began to look at Gerad the way God created him and to praise and appreciate the masculinity in him instead of trying to take it away and make him my girlfriend.  (You know, cuddle on the couch, listen to my day and then watch a girly movie with me, maybe have some ice cream and then go to bed type of girlfriend.  Sounds like a teenage girl sleepover to me.  Definitely not the way God wants me to see my husband.) I need to see him as the masculine figure God wants created him to be.  In turn, he treats and pursues me the way God desires for him to.

I belong to my lover, and his desire is for me.
Song of Solomon 7:10

May her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.
Proverbs 5:19

I’m pretty sure my husband can’t be intoxicated with my love if we have sex once a week, or month … I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be satisfied if we only had sex when I feel like it.  I have had to learn it’s not all about me.  Sometimes I wish it was, but it’s not.  And the beauty of God’s creation of sex in marriage is, he knew that once a wife has given herself to her husband that way, life seems to get in the way less.  I’m happier, I have more grace, more patience.  I speak kindly to my children when they annoy me.  Not because of the physical act of sex, but because I am honoring God in my relationship with my husband.

How can you do this? 

  • Pray
  • Pray
  • Learn what God says about sex, not the world.
  • Pray again

I can’t say it enough, pray!  Prayer is such an important tool in changing your attitude about sex.  I know it seems weird to pray about sex, at least it did to me first.  Then I realized it was something God created for our marriage.  When I was willing to be open and honest (not that God didn’t know anyway), the walls in my heart that were holding up the lies came crashing down.  I learned I was being selfish in so many areas, but if you would have asked me I would have never thought I was a selfish person.  I just bought the lies our society has pushed upon us about how guys are pigs…God changed my heart, there is no other explanation.  I dug deep and saw the selfishness, desire to control and have my way in other areas of our marriage and started working on it.  I’m a work in progress, I still have days where I struggle to want sex, or I complain that he’s asking again, it was just yesterday.  But I know this, you can do it!  God can change your attitude about sex, it won’t be easy, but it’ll be life changing!

That’s all I have for now, I’m going to address why sex is so important to our hubby’s in an upcoming post. 

If this is something you’re working on, or worked through I’d love to hear your story.

Linking with To Love, Honor and Vacuum

10 Confessions of Another Sex-Positive Wife

19 Aug

So, I’m joining lots of CMBA bloggers and posting my 10 confessions.

  1. I like sex. Simple enough.

  2. Sometimes I “forget” I like sex.  I know, it doesn’t make sense, but even if it was great the night before I get tired and don’t want to try.

  3. It hasn’t always been like this.

  4. Changing my attitude about sex was HARD (and still is sometimes)!  (I’ll discuss it in a upcoming post)

  5. The more we have sex, the more I want to.

  6. Sometimes I say, “I’m too tired.”

  7. Sometimes I say, “Ok, I’ll try, I know you need it” and usually I end up enjoying myself.

  8. Although our kids take up lots of our time, they caused us to be diligent in getting time away and alone as a couple.

  9. Sex makes my husband chatty (and I like that!)  He talks to me more freely and easily if we’ve recently had sex.

  10. Sex makes me happy! (and my hubby, which in turn keeps me happy).

    Wives:

    10 Confessions of  Wife Who Loves Sex by Julie Sibert of Intimacy in Marriage
    Confessions of a Sex Happy Wife by J of Hot, Holy and Humorous
    10 Confessions from a Sex-Positive Wife by Lori of The Generous Wife
    10 Confessions of Another Sex-Positive Wife by Kate of One Flesh Marriage
    Sex Positive Voices
    from Megan of Do Not Disturb
    10 Confessions of Another Sex-Happy Wife from Alecia of Marriage Life
    10 Confessions of a Sex-lovin Wife from Erin of Mystery32
    Wifey Sex Confessions from Elizabeth of Warrior Wives

    Husbands:

    10 Confessions of a Sex Positive Husband from Brad of One Flesh Marriage
    Confessions of My Sexy and Sex-Happy Hubby from Mr. Hot, Holy and Humorous, aka Spock
    Sex Positive Voices: Part II from Justin of Do Not Disturb
    Confessions of the husband of a sex positive wife from Paul of The Generous Husband

     

     

    Linking with Marital Mondays and Wifey Wednesdays

Saturday Round Up

11 Aug

Here’s your links for the week.  Have fun reading!

One Flesh Marriage
He Works Hard for the Money – What’s our attitude when our husbands get home?  How are we encouraging them?

Hot, Holy and Humorous
Forget the Hedge, Erect a Wall – You may find this on lots of sites this weekend, it is a GREAT post!  Protect your marriage!

Warrior Wives
Lie #1: God Wants me to be Happy – Elizabeth is doing a series on the lies of marriage in our culture.  I am so excited about this series and the discussion that is going on at her blog.  She’s going to discuss some very believed lies in our culture and combat them with the Word of God.  Can’t wait!

Last one, not about marriage, its for all you moms of little ones out there, I read it this week and can’t resist sharing it!

I Can Teach my Child
Will You? – All about the Mommy War and the one question we should really be asking each other!  I hope it encourages you like it did me.

Your Husband: NOT a Mind Reader

10 Aug

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I’ve been hearing from wives about how they are unhappy with one aspect of their marriage or another, their expectations aren’t being met in a part of their relationship.  Sometimes its a big thing; ‘I don’t feel loved because my husband isn’t speaking my love language.’  Usually its a little thing: ‘I wish my hubby would change the laundry around when he knows it needs done, it would save me a few minutes.’  Here’s what I am suggesting.  You need to talk about it.  We women like to ‘feel’ things, and then get emotional about them, complain to someone or think about it over and over and over.

You need to talk, nothing is going to change if you don’t talk about it.  Not yell, not be passive aggressive, talk (wow, that hurts a little, please know I am talking to myself too).  If we are unhappy with something in our relationship we need to take the chance, have an honest conversation and find out where our hubby is coming from.  It’s awkward to be that honest and real, but if we can’t talk about these things with our husbands we definitely shouldn’t be discussing them with our girlfriends because we’re upset.

Before you talk:

  • PRAY
  1. Pray that God will give you the right words, not necessarily the ones you want to say.
  2. Pray that your husband will have an open mind to whatever you have to say.
  3. Pray that you will say the words with a right spirit, no judging or anger.
  • Then, set up a time to have a conversation, don’t interrupt the Olympics or a football game to have a serious conversation.  You’ll both end up frustrated.  Say something like, “Hey hon, I need to talk to you tonight after the kids go to bed, can we work that in?”

When you talk:

  • State your concerns (easier said than done)
  • Use I statements not You statements (once again easier said than done)
  • Listen when you husband is responding, don’t start formulating your next response.

Now, if you read this and thought, ‘wow, she must be a great communicator’ you are, sadly mistaken.  I KNOW the right things to do, but find them terribly difficult to do.

My main point is, if there is something in your relationship you are unhappy about, talk about it, don’t just sit there and assume he knows how you feel, or that time will fix it.  It won’t and unless you bring it up he probably doesn’t even realize the laundry needs changed.

*The points I give are from the marriage classes we have taken and my “take away” from those, they are what work for me (at least when I follow them).  Do you have any other suggestions?

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