Random Massage-Romance Towards Your Spouse

Die on finger © Olegkalina | Dreamstime.com

Put a die on their night table along with a card saying something like the following:

Roll the die for a massage

1=Feet
2=Legs
3=Butt
4=Back
5=Shoulders
6=Your choice

Modify as best for the two of you. Tell them that when they roll, you will massage.

Have a great weekend!

Guest Post: Four Truths to Hold Onto When Family Members Don’t Change by Gary Thomas

Today’s article comes from Gary Thomas.  His writings and books are fantastic.  He has us focus first and foremost on strengthening our relationship with Christ.  His books make us delve into who we are in Christ and thus, we begin to take ownership of that relationship before we get into the habit of blame-shifting. He wrote this on August 18th and as I read it again, I felt led to share this with you all.

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Sometimes those we love most either get in a rut and seem unable to change or they refuse to change. Often we respond by “doubling down” and tirelessly try to change them by our own pleading and actions. But what if we are part of the problem? What if God has other ways to bring about change?

How not to change someone

The woman was adamant: “I just think I need to tell him that what he’s doing is wrong.”

“Do you think it’s at all possible that he doesn’t know you think what he is doing is wrong?”

“Oh, he knows all right.”

“Then what’s the use of telling him what he already knows, as if what he lacks is a shortage of information?”

This mom was frustrated with one of her family members.  With a good heart and good intentions, she was bound and determined to “turn him around.”   But sometimes in our determination we lose all sense of logic.  By her own admission, the person in question knew what she thought and felt but she thought what she needed to do to “change” him was to let him know what she thought and felt.

I understand this frustration.  I really do.  When we are concerned about someone our natural thought is, “What can I do to save them?”

I’m not saying we shouldn’t try.  It’s noble and godly and a testimony to love that we want to get involved when a loved one goes astray. But sometimes, we have to recognize that there are many ways for God to reach a person and often those ways don’t involve us.

For instance: wives, you may have an ongoing issue with your husband.  You may have stated your feelings and concerns so often that as soon as you say the first sentence your husband could give you, verbatim, your next ten sentences.  And yet you continue to think that another “talk” will fix everything.

There comes a time when we have to say, “Lord, apparently I’m not getting through here.  Would you please send someone he will listen to?”

The same is true if you’re trying to reach a child or a recalcitrant wife.  We naturally want to be part of the solution, but we must learn to love the solution more than we love being a part of it.

Hope For Change

Here are four truths that will give us hope:

1) God loves this person more than you do.  He isn’t blind to what’s going on.  You don’t have to convince Him that something needs to be done.  He’s already on it.

2) God knows this person better than you do.  If you can’t get through to them, do you honestly think God throws up His hands in despair and says, “Well, I guess I’m out of bullets?”  Not a chance.  Have faith that God will engineer another avenue of revelation.

3) God can adopt a long-term playbook. In Sacred Influence, I interview a wife who loved her husband well for over two decades before he became a believer. I’ve talked to parents (a very famous one, in fact) whose children terrified them with their actions until they finally submitted to God and became active workers in God’s Kingdom. Any approach you take toward change has to be something you can do for the long-haul.

4) As long as you are fixated on you being the only solution to this family member, you become blind to the fact that there are things that need to be fixed about you as well.  Focus on those things.  You might even be part of the problem.  Maybe you’re only five percent of the problem.  But focus on your five percent.

It’s difficult, but necessary

This is admittedly difficult to do.  It’s painful to intercede for someone and then hear God say, “You’ve done what you can.  It’s time for you to leave this in my hands.”  These four truths, however, should help us do just that.  We must acknowledge God as God and accept that His solution may not involve us.

10 Marriage Tips Every WIFE Needs to Hear

Great Article written from a woman’s perspective. Take time to read this…both Husband and Wife.

Eighth Rising Blog

eighthrising.com

There’s a blog post that’s recently gone viral, written by a divorced man featuring some really sound advice about marriage (click here to read it).  I really have to applaud this guy.  It takes guts to stand up and be transparent about your failures.  It’s equally as commendable to stand up and say how you’d do things differently.

One thing that his post is lacking, however, is the female perspective.  After reading his post, I wanted to take some time and write down some things that I’ve learned in the last ten years.  You see – I’m now in my third marriage.  When people learn this fact about me, their reaction is usually pretty awkward.  It’s almost as if they’re waiting for me to be embarrassed by my admission. While going through two divorces was some of the most painful times of my life, I’d only feel ashamed if…

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Heads Up! Fun Date Idea…

Here is a fun and inexpensive date idea for you two.  Frisbee Golf…Yes, that’s right, Frisbee Golf.

Candytriangle

This is what you do beforehand. Go out to a nearby park and lay out the course. Designate anything that is fixed in the park as a hole. This includes trees, benches, signs, and possibly statues. Select at least 9 holes and as high as 18 if needed. You can even repeat the initial 9 to get in all 18. Either write down or map this course out before your date.

Next, at least a few days before, leave clues as to the impending date. Maybe a golf tee, a picture of a park, a Frisbee, or even a picnic basket. If you really want to go the extra mile for your spouse, leave some love notes at selected holes for them to find as they go around the course.

On the day of the date, pack a picnic lunch or early dinner and head to the park. After your meal, set out on the course you have laid out and have fun.

Remember, this is not so much about keeping score and having a winner or loser, it’s about spending time together and investing in your marriage.

Results From the Poll-“How Often Do You Date Your Spouse”

The results from over 475 votes on the frequency of "Dates" with your spouse.

The results from over 475 votes on the frequency of “Dates” with your spouse.

The results are in. We had 479 votes towards the poll we placed on the web site for, “How Often Do You Date Your Spouse?”

As you can see, the majority, 56.52%, cry out that the thought of date nights seem crazy due to the time of their lives-Families!!  Children will suck the energy and excitement out of our lives…If we let them. Kerry and I know that it is a crazy time, especially with toddlers and young children; however, that is even more reason to make time, at least once a month, to date one another. Reconnect and recharge.

Next in the results were “Once a Month” at 17.39%, then a tie for third with both “Twice A Month” and “Once A Week” at 13.04%.

So what Kerry and I gleaned from this survey, again very unscientific, is that many married couples have placed dating on the back burner.  Which, in our experience as marriage mentors, is not a good plan at all.  So with that conclusion, we will begin to post “Date Night Ideas” on Wednesdays.  These will include ideas that can be done on a dime to those that would require some prep work.  Again, these will be just that, ideas, it will be up to you to chose what you will do and how often. For a jump start you can read our two most recent articles, Romancing Your Wife-20 Ideas or U Pick ‘Em Date Night.

Let’s put it this way…just like it would be to prepare to run a 5K if you have are out of shape- it should be the same as planning date nights if it has been months or even years since those nights have occurred. Start off slowing, focus on at least once a month investing in an uninterrupted time together. Just the two of you, redeeming the commitment that you two shared on the day of your marriage.

Do You Remember “Why” You Got Married? 10 “Excuses” from People Who Forgot the “Why” of Their Marriage…

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“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.”
Psalms 127:1

Think about this, do you remember the where and when you got married? That’s an easy question. Let me ask a harder one, Why did you get married?

Think back to the garden. God created Eve because He knew Adam was incomplete and lonely without a companion. So if one of the purposes of marriage is closeness, then one of the enemies is distance. However, problems will eventually rise up when you expect your spouse to meet every need you’ve got.
Stop right there….Only God can do that! Only God can meet your every need that He deems necessary for your growth towards Holiness. Only God.
There is a story of a guy who never got married. When asked by a friend as to why, he responded, “Because I was looking for the ideal woman.” His friend then responded, “And you never found her?” However, the guy answered, “Oh sure, but just my luck, she was looking for the ideal man.”
Just goes to show that no marriage can ever be perfect; however, when two people make up their minds to give themselves fully to one another they can come pretty close.
The following is the top ten reasons why people said they were unhappy in their marriages. This was a survey of over a thousand married couples.
Curious, are any of these an excuse you are using?
1. We don’t think alike
2. We have very little insight into each other’s feelings
3. My spouse says hurtful things to me
4. I feel unloved
5. I feel taken for granted
6. I can’t confide in my spouse
7. I give so much more to our marriage than my spouse does
8. I very rarely hear a compliment from my spouse
9. I desire more affection from my spouse
10. We can’t seem to talk to one another
So if you recognize one or more of those excuses as it pertains to your marriage, my next thought is, why the focus on you? Let me put it this way…Since God performed the first marriage, talking to Him first about yours is a great place to start. Again, no marriage is perfect, but when two imperfect people choose to give themselves fully to their spouse, it can become pretty close to perfect.
So don’t ask yourself why you got married, ask yourself this, “Am I willing to fight for my marriage by God’s hand and grace?”

Yes, Porn is a Big Deal: A Response to Elite Daily from guest author Ella Hutchinson

I came across this article by Ella Hutchinson, a Certified Clinical Sexual Addiction Specialist from Comfort Christian Counseling. She has a beautiful response to an author who feels that having a husband who watches porn is not a big deal, in fact, the wife should be watching too. The sad and scary fact is that porn addiction is a big deal and it is destroying intimacy in our marriages today. A silent addiction that  no one wants to admit to or seek help for.

So Ella Hutchinson is my guest author today as I share her response.

Yes-Porn-is-a-Big-Deal

Dear Alexia,

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor as well as a Certified Clinical Sexual Addiction Specialist, living and working in Houston, TX. I am writing you in response to your article on Elite Daily, titled, “It’s Not a Big Deal Your Man Watches Porn, It’s a Bigger Deal That You Don’t.”

Initially, based on my personal and professional history, I was angered by your words. But once I had time to mull it over, I am simply profoundly saddened by your naivety.

But more than that, although I realize Elite Daily is small time journalism and likely won’t reach many people, it scares me that this is, as is Elite’s motto, “The voice of generation-Y.” The largest group of people your words will reach are the most vulnerable and the most likely to be damaged by them, college aged and young adults. I don’t fault you for your words. You are too young to know better and life hasn’t yet taught you how very wrong you are. I hope you will hear me out as I attempt to convey why the innocent perspective you shared concerns me so much.

While I can’t say I was ever as “open-minded” as your article suggests, at your age I didn’t see any significant harm in pornography. Overall, it wasn’t something I spent time thinking about. But there were a few occasions in my early twenties when I watched porn with my husband (my idea), thinking it would spice up our sex life. And it seemed to work at the time. It wasn’t until just shy of our ninth wedding anniversary that I learned my husband (who is more than okay with me sharing this information about him) not only had a secret porn addiction, but that the porn addiction had progressed to a full blown sexual addiction that involved several sexual encounters outside of our marriage.

I won’t go into the details here because they aren’t relevant. But I will share that the trauma of this discovery was earth shattering, painful beyond words. After my husband and I spent a couple years picking up the pieces of our broken marriage, with the help of some wonderful professionals and lay people, I turned my attention to other women going through what I went through.

I had quickly learned that I was far from alone. While I initially had doubted that this could possibly be a real addiction and suspected my husband might just be using that as an excuse, several things convinced me beyond a shadow of a doubt that porn addiction and sex addiction are very real and very devastating to both the addict and the partner.

I don’t want to waste your time with statistics. You can find them out there. The numbers you share are nothing short of silly, as I doubt a study conducted by a lingerie retailer is valid, much less representative of the general population.

You and I do agree on one thing though, that stats about who watches porn are wrong and people are “shying away from admitting to watching porn.” However, many are also shying away from admitting the devastating effect it is having on them. Others just haven’t realized it yet. Your friend who said porn is simply “a means to an end” is inadvertently admitting the damage that has already been caused.

Your friend continues to say that, “Guys can’t just press a little button on their genitals to get off. It requires some effort. Porn facilitates that.” Um, say what? I don’t even know how to respond to this because what your friend says can’t happen, absolutely can happen. Surely, you’ve heard the joke about how a guy can just rub against a tree in order to have an orgasm. Sure, that’s an exaggeration, but the point is usually true. Any man under the age of say, 40, who needs more than a little stimulation to reach orgasm either has a legitimate medical condition or has serious brain damage from compulsive porn use.

In your article you say that, “Watching porn with your partner can make your subsequent real-life session filled with much more passion.” This couldn’t be farther from the truth, although at first this may seem to be the case. Watching porn with your partner makes you nothing more than “a means to an end.”You become an object. You are confusing the concept of passion, or intensity, with intimacy. And don’t try to claim you are okay with that. When you have sex with your partner, you want him to be having sex with you, thinking about you, turned on by you. But by encouraging and participating in his porn use you are helping facilitate the damage occurring in his, and possibly your, brain which will eventually cause sex without porn (or fantasy about porn) to become boring and maybe even impossible.

You further make my point about the dangers of porn when you say, “Real-life sex with someone else involves effort, intimacy, some layer of emotional connection and an element of performance.” Is this a complaint? When did this become a problem? Our porn saturated society is prohibiting you from recognizing how ludicrous this statement sounds. Your quote here describes what sex should be! Instead, people are becoming more and more self-centered and lazy about sex.

When did men start seeing “real-life sex with someone else” as just too much work? Answer: When they started watching porn.

Since I said I wouldn’t throw a bunch of stats at you (although if you want them just let me know), I’ll share my real-life experience with countless hurting women. Woman, some of whom used to think just as you do, come to me devastated that their partner no longer desires sex with them. Yet he watches porn and masturbates daily or has chronic affairs even though she is at home available and willing. These are often young, fit, sensual, beautiful women, but they can no longer arouse their husband or partner. Even more women e-mail me daily with this kind of problem. Other women have husbands who need them to parade around in humiliating costumes or perform degrading acts in order to be turned on. And the most common, but perhaps the saddest of all, woman tell me they have sex with their husband but that he isn’t really there. Sex has become robotic and detached no matter what she does to try to get his attention. The common denominator? These men all compulsively watch porn.

This is real life, Alexia. This is what porn, as harmless as you may believe it to be, leads to. I see it every single day. Chances are you’ll eventually see it too. But right now, what you are doing by writing articles like this is contributing to the problem. What a great platform you have to reach young people and make a difference! And this is the topic you choose to address? Young women reading your words who are experiencing what I am describing here are likely to wonder if only they had been more open-minded about porn then maybe their man wouldn’t have strayed. Or maybe he would still desire her. They are wondering if they become more open-minded about these things if they can get him to come back to her. And when it doesn’t work she’ll blame herself. Men reading your article have received the validation they need to ignore their nagging wife or girlfriend and now have a great tool in their arsenal to throw in her face when she tries to convey how hurt she is. I can hear it now, “Why can you be more like the woman who wrote this article. She gets it.” This breaks my heart.

The most compelling piece of evidence against your argument: When men start to recognize this problem and reach out for help, things start to change. It doesn’t happen overnight, but as they rid their lives of porn and learn other tools to help heal their minds, their desire for healthy sex with their wife begins to return. I have seen this happen.

Alexia, before you write your next article for Elite Daily or anyone else for that matter, please consider the impact your words will have on others. Please feel free to contact me if you’d like to discuss this further. You, or anyone else reading this can reach me through one of my websites, wifeofasexaddict.com orcomfortchristiancounseling.com.

Sincerely,
Ella Hutchinson