Perhaps you haven’t been intimate with your spouse in a long time, for whatever reason. I realize this happens for some of us. And it’s painful – emotionally and physically.
There is hope. And you can still feel loved.
Try a kiss.
Just one. At first. What are you waiting for?
Begin finding a renewed intimacy with your spouse through a kiss. A simple kiss, a lingering kiss. And don’t expect anything else. Just enjoy.
Maybe you need more encouragement?
Robert and I haven’t been called to write about sex in marriage, but we have online friends who write to this need from a Christian perspective. A healthy sexual intimacy between a husband and wife is so important.
Don’t procrastinate – now is a good time to renew your sexual intimacy with your spouse.
Have courage. Be encouraged. Learn and Grow.
Take a look at these wonderful people, who will provide valuable insights to sexual intimacy in marriage.
For most of my marriage, I was so busy loving my kids, my colleagues, the oppressed, and myself that I forgot to be loving my husband. After 20+ years of stubbornness, selfishness, sexual gatekeeping, and discontent, I started to change how I behaved toward my husband. After action came feeling. After all the years of being a poster child for how not to be a wife, I’ve reached a deeper level of intimacy with my husband, emotionally and physically. In refusing my husband sexually, I was denying him my love.
Maybe you’re a wife who’s like I was. Maybe you know that you want to change and just don’t know how. Maybe you know something isn’t working and have no idea what to do. Maybe you’re being told that you’re sinning and are panicking because you need to make a heart change. This blog is for you. I crawled out of the pit of sexual refusal and control and am learning to dance with desire. As I reformed my wifely self, I faced hard truths. I hurt my husband deeply. But now I am the Forgiven Wife. If you are a wife whose husband is sexually unhappy, let me walk with you for a while.
Chris will encourage you as you figure out how to take some steps to move toward improved intimacy in your own marriage. http://forgivenwife.com
My mission is to reclaim sexuality for our marriages as God intended. Thus, my tag line: Sex & Marriage by God’s Design. I wholeheartedly believe that sex is a significant part, and perk, of a godly marriage. I want to help others experience the best sexual intimacy in their marriage they can have, and that comes through believing, pursuing, and experiencing sex as God created it to be.
J writes about sex in marriage with a tongue-in-cheek humor. She says: “It feels good (hot); it honors God (holy); and it’s playful or even funny at times (humorous). Also, I like to add my own brand of humor to posts when the subject matter allows.” http://hotholyhumorous.com
The more I speak with women, the more I hear a common thread — sex is a big issue in many marriages.
I am simply a Christian wife with a heart to offer hope, encouragement and resources on this sensitive topic. I am like a lot of you, in that I juggle a full life.I am a wife, a mother, a friend, a family member…and the days seem to fly by a bit too fast. It’s crazy!
In talking with women, I soon discovered that many felt isolated in the frustrations and struggles they faced with sexual intimacy. They were hungry for a safe setting where another wife would speak compassionately and authentically… and answer their questions.
It’s a call on my heart from God to come alongside women, find ways to strengthen and nurture marriage, and shed light on the great Christian resources available.
Julie writes about sex because she treasures how tender, sacred, endearing and fun it can be. Her book, “Pursuit of Passion” was written to help you experience all the wonder, pleasure and joy that God designed your sexual intimacy to provide. http://intimacyinmarriage.com
The goal at Sex Within Marriage.com is to help Christian spouses in two ways: 1) to dispel the stigma often associated with talking about sex within the Christian context, and 2) to use that new freedom to discuss sex within marriage, facilitating positive change in their Christian marriage in order to further glorify God.
Jay Dee writes candidly about sex in marriage. He’s “just a guy with 14 years of marriage under his belt, who has been both in a sexless marriage and sex-every-night marriage, both with the same wife, and a passion for figuring out why things are the way they are.” http://sexwithinmarriage.com
Being a generous husband requires being a student of your wife – knowing her, learning what blesses her, what comforts her, what turns her on, what makes her feel secure, and so much more. I will discuss all areas of marriage, and the wondrous complexities of the female mind.
Be forewarned we talk about sex from time to time. There is no nudity or profanity, but some of it is not going to get past a strict work-place filter. Most sexual posts are done on Saturday, but there are exceptions.
Paul writes about being a generous husband in all areas of marriage. He’s open and real about sex in marriage, and has been writing/blogging since 2001. He also writes at the The XY Code and The Marriage Bed.
Yup. That’s probably the most we’ll ever write about the area of sex in marriage. Maybe. 😉 Check out the resources above, and learn – grow – enjoy!
Sex in marriage is wonderful! It’s the 20 year warm up!
Don’t procrastinate – don’t put off having a great sexual intimacy in your marriage even one more day! It might not be easy – or quick. It’s worth it. You have an entire future ahead of you – make it count in every area. Learn and Grow. NOW is the time.
you don’t need to know everything to do something!
you won’t be perfect – there’s no such thing as perfect!
you might make mistakes – that’s OK – fail forward!
try something new – start outside the bedroom!
too tired? Take a look at ways to rest & rejunvinate together!
get rid of the distractions – focus!
sex in your marriage is important – it has value!
look at your spouse with a new view: a selfless love
Managing Your Spouse’s Mood. — Sounds like a title from an avant-garde off-off-Broadway independent play, doesn’t it? It would be a tragedy, I’m sure. Everyone would die at the end. And it would not be a romantic Romeo/Juliet-esque finale either…
Are you responsible for you spouse’s mood?
No. You’re not responsible for your spouse’s mood. It’s theirs. They own it. You cannot change your spouse’s mood. Only they can.
It’s possible to take a part in managing your spouse’s mood.
It’s about encouragment.
With a self-less love for your spouse, you can step up to manage life in a way that will make a difference for your spouse – thereby impacting their mood. And impacting their ability to change their own mood. Yes. It’s possible. Not easy – but it’s possible to take an active role in managing your spouse’s mood.
How do I know this? I take full repsonsiblity for my mood, but Rob can have an impact in managing it. He helps by encouraging me.
Hearing when that mood is slipping…
A few weeks ago we were driving together to our small group’s evening meeting. It was the first time we were together for the day, and Robert was telling me about his day. He’d been gazing out our RV’s window and noticed how beautifully the birds, bunnies and squirels interact. He spoke of how wonderful God made his creatures and how they easily share the resources. (Cue the melodious flute music here… )
I responded, half under my breath, “Yeah. And they share the ticks and fleas too.”
Robert turned to give me an incredulous look. Sarcasm isn’t my usual response, so he heard something “off” in my mood. The drive continued, and I commented on a group of guys doing yard work. I wondered what they were planning on cutting down with their chainsaws… Again, Robert looked surprised, as he responded that they weren’t carrying chainsaws, they were holding leaf blowers. Leaf Blowers…. or … Chainsaws. Hmmm.
If your spouse is grappling with their mood, chances are you’ll hear it in their conversation. Conversation choice can be an early warning siren – if you pay attention, you’ll get some clues.
Some people are naturally sarcastic, and they quip back and forth with their spouse. Sarcasm might be a sign of a great mood for someone else – It isn’t for me.
If you know your spouse – if you’re a student of your spouse – you’ll know what their good moods and dark moods look, feel and sound like.*
Another reason to be a student of your spouse, is to know what will encourage her/him – and to use that knowledge to encourage your spouse to grab hold of their own mood.
Encouragement is made up of five ingredients: hope, faith, love and prayer and action. Sometimes they’re all mushed up together when helping managing your spouse’s mood…
Hope: remind your spouse that it’s not always going to feel like this, that they’ve had good times, and great blessings in the past. Assure her/him that their mood will improve. Talk about specific good times. Talk about upcoming things you’re looking forward to.
Faith: use your faith in God as a way to build up your spouse’s belief in the goodness of God. Our God is a God of HOPE. This isn’t about quoting scripture (althought it could be), rather it’s your outlook on how God is in control and loves your spouse.
Love: use your love – without prerequisites or requirements, to encourage and act in loving ways.
Prayer: pray for your spouse. This is a big deal. Your prayers will make a difference! Go to war and fight for your spouse within your prayer life.
Action: take action to make a difference in your spouse’s life – to manage life in a way that will impact your spouse for their good.
Action. Taking Action… what if you don’t “feel” like taking loving action to encourage your spouse and help them manage their mood?
Sometimes you need to act in a loving manner – before you feel loving.
A more marriage friendly way of putting “fake it till you make it” is “Faith it until you make it. — Act the way you should and have faith that God will bless it.” (Thanks Bonny.)
Here’s one example of having a loving feeling after taking action: After I asked our son and daughter-in-love to read the 101 phrases to encourage your spouse on camera, Alisane reported with surprise, that she felt an overwhelming and positive loving feeling toward Alex, even though those phrases were scripted, and they we giggling (off camera of course) over some of the corny statements.
The feeling came after the action.
And then I watched this video about a photographer who asks strangers to pose as though they are couples, friends or family:
“I felt like I cared for her…”
That’s the statement from one young man, posed with an older woman – both are strangers to each other. (At minute 1:50 in the video).
I wonder what would happen if a photographer would spend a few hours “posing” a husband and wife for photographs. If the photographer talked about holding each other’s hands, and how precious it is to clasp hands with the one we love…
and if that photographer posed the couple with their arms around each other and talked about an embrace being love in action…
and if that photographer posed the couple gazing deeply into each other’s eyes with a smile…
If that couple spent an hour or more “posing” in loving ways… would that change a mood? Or help in managing your spouse’s mood?
What do you think?
Are you a photogapher? Have you had any experience “posing” couples? (chime in- comment with thoughts)
It would be interesting to try, wouldn’t it? Just as an experiment in managing your spouse’s mood…
Hmmmm…. anyone want to take some photos of Rob and me?
** NOTE: Talking about moods is not the same as dealing with a serious mood disorder and/or depression. Yes. That’s a huge difference. If your spouse has been diagnosed with depression or a mood disorder, then you’ll need to surround yourself with resources and help. Rob and I recommend NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). If you live in the United States, check to see if there’s a chapter near you, and take advantage of their spousal support groups.
Robert stayed with a couple a few weekends ago, and discovered they’d been married more than 50 years. As is our custom when we meet couples married for more than 50 years, one of the first questions we ask is,
“If you could give one piece of advice to a newlywed couple, what would it be?”
and her answer was the above quote: “Love your spouse more than yourself.”
LOVE is the secret to a long lasting marriage.
Yup. You’re rolling your eyes.
Love. Sounds pretty far-fetched doesn’t it?
Because how can you continue to love your spouse… all those years? How can this touchy-feely stuff be the secret to a long lasting marriage? Your spouse isn’t always lovable, is he? Is she? (I’m guessing you’re not always lovable either, huh?)
I’ll let another couple – Charles and Mary, married 59 years in August – answer that question:
Maybe it isn’t about the Hollywood-style smoochy kind of love.
Consider. Maybe this love – the one that is the secret to a long lasting marriage – is a love with its roots in a wonderful, amazing, ever-renewing Source. Yes. I’m talking about God. One God. Our loving Father. The creator of everything we hear, see, smell and touch, who allowed His ONLY Son to sacrifice His life – for us. For you. And your spouse.
Can we ask that loving God to restore our love – a selfless, Christ-like love – for each other? Or perhaps we need to ask that He helps us build that kind of love between us…
It’s a love that isn’t about human, self-driven emotion. It’s a love that is self-less – making less of yourself – and more of the other one… It’s a love that perseveres. Regardless.
This kind of love serves – without expecting anything in return.
This kind of love encourages – looking for and at the good.
This kind of love forgives – again, and again, and again…
This kind of love shares good stuff – without holding back.
This kind of love sacrifices – knowing what the other person needs.
This kind of love doesn’t change – whether the love is returned or not.
You’ve heard that quote before, haven’t you? Arnold and Rose know the secret to a long lasting marriage. And it hasn’t always been easy for them. Even today, it’s not easy. They still persevere in love.
Why the focus on LOVE?
Why am I writing this post – now?
While a post on the secret to a long lasting marriage might be good at any time, it’s especially important for Robert and me this week. On Friday we’ll be celebrating our 32nd wedding anniversary.
by Elena Creates used with permission
32 years is still a teenager marriage by the standards of those married more than 50 years. However, we still need to keep working on our relationship.
It’s not a “done” deal. We can’t coast.
Love needs to be nurtured in every marriage, regardless of how many years you’ve been together.
Choose 10 Loving & Selfless Things To Do For Your Spouse
Here are 25 options – choose 10. Or make up your own… the point is to do them. And expect nothing in return.
Give him/her a beautiful apple – and say, “You’re the apple of my eye.”
When you know it’s going to rain that day, put an umbrella by your spouse’s bag/purse.
Wake him/her up with kisses – all over.
Make a video/slide show of all your favorite photos together – spend the evening reminiscing.
Tell your spouse that you admire her/him – and why. If you can’t think of a reason… here’s a resource.
Do a load of laundry – fold it – put it away. If you normally do this, then find something that needs to be cleaned/drycleaned of his/hers that’s been overlooked. Do that. Ask first, though, just in case.
Buy some sparklers – go outside after dark and play together. Just the two of you.
Arrange for a night out for your spouse and one of his/her friends. (guy time – girl time)
Put clean sheets on the bed. Wash, dry and fold the others. Put a chocolate on the pillow.
Send her/him a fun post-card in the mail. (Try the app “postagram” – it uses one of your smart-phone pictures & they’ll mail it.)
Make him/her an ice-cream sundae – top it with a cherry and whipped cream.
Buy her/him a “Best Wife Ever” or “Best Husband Ever” T-shirt. (or make one – try Pinterest)
Reminisce about your first kiss together. Then make new memories. 😉
Meet him/her at the car when they arrive home, and help carry in stuff. (Even if it’s only one thing.)
Thank your spouse for being the person God made them to be. (It’s not about what they do.)
Ask your spouse about his/her day – then listen, without talking. (It’s OK to ask questions.)
Massage his/her feet.
Learn how to say “I love you” in sign language – and other languages! Text them – send a video!
If your spouse is fully engaged on the computer/in front of the TV – bring her/him something they like to drink – then walk away without interrupting.
Pray for your spouse. Diligently. With purpose. Use Stormie Omartians’ books for wife/husband.
Ask what you can do for your spouse – then follow through.
Make your spouse laugh. Tell jokes. Or watch a funny video together and laugh. Laughter is good medicine.
Buy her/him a cupcake – add a sparkler – because your spouse needs to be celebrated.
Plant a tree together. Let it be a long-lasting tribute to the two of you. (If you don’t own a piece of ground, then talk with your church. Ask to plant a tree on that property.) The point? Do it together as a symbol of your love.
It’s so easy to get “caught up” – to procrastinate. Remember: every marriage needs nurturing. Even if it’s going well this year, or it’s a disaster-sized year, your spouse needs to feel like you love him/her.
Because you still want to be married next year – and in 10 years – and when you’re married 50 years! So do we.
“It’ll be Fun!” My husband knows me well – he’ll often entice me to an activity or task all wrapped up in a coating of fun. Yes. After 32 years of marriage, Robert knows what’ll motivate me. And I’ve learned to identify my barriers to a task, and he fills in to negate them. So “it” will be fun!
activities that are enjoyable or amusing; playfulness; or therapeutic refreshment.
I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise to you if I share that there isn’t much fun in some work. Taxes. Cleaning out the garage. Some work is just that. Work. However, as a husband and wife who want to embrace the value of fun in their work and marriage, then attitude is the muscle that needs to be exercised. Marriage is a lot of work. Why shouldn’t it be fun work?
(Note: I was going to make a list of all the things in marriage that are work and put it here – but I decided that wouldn’t be much fun… 😉 I’m guessing you can think up your own list if you need to.)
Can you be playful with your spouse as you work? Can you feel refreshed as the work gets done? Sometimes our attitude is the barrier…
Stuff needs to get done – even in a meaningful life as husband and wife. However, if you get the mundane work done with an attitude of playfulness and build in refreshment, then you can keep fun in the work!
5 Ways to Be Playful Even if the Work Needs to be Done
Play energetic music. The most mundane work can be fun with the right music playing! Wear headphones if it’s not appropriate for the environment you’re working in – just start the music at the same time as your spouse, and you’ll be movin’ and boppin’ on the same beat!
Dress the part. Yes – I’m serious! Cleaning is much more fun if you put a bandana around your head, roll up your shirt sleeves and play the part. Dance with the broom as you sweep… (You get the idea, right?)
Use a board game as a marker of getting things done. Think of Snakes and Ladders – every time you get part of the work done (you’ve already determined the way-points), then you get a chance to roll the dice and move your piece. If the game isn’t done before the work is done, then you get to finish the game as part of the fun!
Listen to comedians. (Or tell your own jokes.) SiriusXM Satellite Radio has comedy channel options. Try the library to see which CDs they have of your favorite comedians. (Sometimes you can request that the library purchase some, if they don’t have what you’re looking for.) Or invest in some of your own CDs – or digital downloads. There are lots available in whatever fashion you and your spouse find funny. (Rob and I like Bill Engval.)
Drink! (No – not that kind of drinking… or maybe. 😉 ) Staying hydrated keeps your head in the game and feeling refreshed. Be fun and make different flavors of iced tea, or mix up a smoothy… or enjoy popsicles…
Kiss! Oh, come on – what’s not refreshing about a nice kiss, part way through the work?
Here’s an illustration – it’s pretty simple, and kind of silly, but it’s real. Maybe you wouldn’t find this a problem… Think of something you’re avoiding doing, if it helps.
Robert’s shirt needs a button sewn on. This usually isn’t much fun as a task by itself… and I’ve been procrastinating. Rob would really like to wear his shirt. (And yes, he does know how to sew on his own button, but I offered and I’d like to do something nice for him.)
Yes – I know how to sew on a button, so lack of knowledge isn’t the procrastination problem. Maybe I’ve been been hoarding my energy for something else? (Otherwise known as laziness.) But, after consideration, the real procrastination problem is that I don’t have the button – the washing machine ate it.
Rob removed the barrier for me by suggesting I use the button at the top collar, which he never buttons up. And then he suggested we watch a movie together and I can do it while I’m enjoying the movie.
See? No more procrastination and Fun Work.
Move past procrastination, and add in some fun.
If you’re stuck, or avoiding the work you need to get done – first decide why you’re avoiding it, then add in some fun. Anything is possible if you work together.
As a husband and wife you’re a team… Encourage each other!
When Rob and I talk about how we live in 282 square feet (our RV) and work together all day, every day (or almost), many people respond with, “Oh, I could never do that!” For some reason, some people can’t imagine working with their spouse. What’s the barrier?
Is it an ego problem?
On February 3, 2016, I participated in a twitter chat about collaboration. The topic of ego showed up numerous times. This was a business twitter chat (BufferChat), however, like most things, it can be a indicator for relationships and marriage also.
A number of the tweets mentioned not letting ego be a part of the collaboration… these are two:
A7) TRUE Collaboration happens when you can put aside your ego for the purpose of the project. #BufferChat
As a resource, we recommend the new book, Lead Like Jesus Revisited. On page 63 there’s a chart which details the signs and consequences of Edging God Out (the bad ego). And on page 82 there’s a chart with the details of what it looks like if you Exhalt God Only (the good ego).
Reach out to us – Robert . Lori @ LeadershipCouples.com – we’d love to to come and do a Lead LIke Jesus Encounter with you and your friends/family/church group, with Robert as your facilitator. As you might realize, our sweet spot is working with husbands and wives… imagine what a weekend retreat would feel like if you were together with your couple friends – learning, growing, and enriching your marriages!