Our world has changed so much since I was a kid. There is so much to entertain. Sometimes we even need to be entertained while being entertained! It’s literally at our fingertips. With so much to distract, it’s easy to get into some bad habits. How often do we favor scrolling through our phone than paying attention to our spouse or children? What message are you conveying when your child needs something and you take your time to respond so you can finish reading your article or playing your game? Relationships take effort. Being present speaks volumes of love. It says, you are important, and worth my time. We have made a few decisions in our house to help us make time for being intentional with our family.

  1. No devices at the dinner table. We eat meals together as a family, and everyone sets aside their phones (or toys for the younger ones). Mealtime is probably the most important time of the day to engage with each other.
  2. No TV’s in the bedroom. This was a little more difficult to give up, but I’m so glad we did. The bedroom is for sex, and for sleeping.
  3. Play games! Board games are so different from when we were children. There are so many different kinds of games out there. El Fury and I love playing games together, and it’s a great way to engage with each other. We watch TV sometimes, but that feels more like parallel play. There are a lot of cooperative games out there too, so you can even be on the same team.
  4. We often say to our kids “people are more important” when they want to play on their tablets instead of hang out with our family. It’s a good thing for them to hear, and a good reminder for us as well.
  5. We also try not to be on our phones in the evening. After the kids go to bed it’s our time to hang out. We guard that time. We don’t get on our computers or phones, we spend time together.

When your spouse is talking to you, set your phone aside, and look them in the eye. They should be more important to you. Your relationship is with a person and not a device. At the end of your life are you going to be happy for all the time you spent with your spouse, or are you going to wish you would have spent more time on your phone?

We already know that it’s common for a husband to underestimate his wife’s sex drive — women tend to be a lot more subtle than men, to such an extent that your wife herself might not even know when she’s aroused!

Men’s subjective ratings of arousal were in agreement with their body’s level of sexual arousal about 66 percent of the time, while women’s were in line only about 26 percent of the time.

“The general pattern that I have seen in my laboratory is that women experience a genital response but do not report feeling sexually aroused,” Chivers told LiveScience.

So how can a husband know when his wife is interested? Being direct and verbal can be effective, but can also risk “ruining the mood”. Women like to be romanced and wooed — even after years of marriage! — and “Hey, wanna go upstairs and *blank*?” may not make her tingle.

Every husband should be a student of his own wife: learn everything about her, especially her sexuality. Every person is different, but here are a few behavioral signs a husband can watch for that may indicate his wife is more interested in sex than is immediately obvious.

  • Physical touch. Casual touching is always an indicator of affection and openness. If your wife initiates touching then she’s definitely happy with your relationship and receptive to your overtures. Physical touch doesn’t mean that she definitely wants sex — she may just want to cuddle for comfort after a hard day at work. Touches from hands, fingers, and lips — as well as “accidentally” brushing against you — are likely to be greater indicators of sexual interest than are hugs and cuddles.
  • Eye contact is always a sign of intimacy, and longer is better. You should hold eye contact until she breaks away — it will signal your confidence and dominance. If she breaks eye contact with a submissive downward gaze and a smile, she’s practically naked.
  • Posture and attention. Body language says a lot. Look for open postures: face and shoulders straight at you, rather than with a shoulder towards you; arms and legs uncrossed; leaning towards you; shoulders back, breasts pushed forward; close proximity, inside personal space. Also watch for mirroring, which is generally a sign of rapport and intimacy.
  • Self-touching and grooming. Touching her hair, adjusting her clothes, playing with her jewelry, and other kinds of self-touching — especially around the mouth, face, and neck. Licking or biting her lip, or sucking on a straw or toothpick, is a strong sign.
  • Vulnerability shows a desire for intimacy. Signs include: revealing more skin; exposing her underarms, wrists, or neck; submissive positioning or postures.
  • Verbal cues. In addition to non-verbal indicators, your wife’s language can also indicate sexual interest: giggling; using your nickname; playful teasing; mismatched words and body language (e.g., laughing while disagreeing); complimenting you; soliciting compliments or approval; re-starting the conversation when you stop talking.

Husbands, when you learn to read your wife’s indicators of interest she’ll feel like you really understand her, like you’re reading her mind, like you’re in sync. She’ll feel good about your relationship, your intimacy will increase, and you’ll have more sex.

Wives, what do you think? It’s probably pretty easy to know when your husband is interested in sex… or is it? Husbands, do you have any tips to share? Leave a comment!

Even when you have a healthy sex life there are sometimes outside circumstances that can prevent you from coming together with your spouse. El Fury and I recently went through one of these periods. We had family staying with us, both of us were sick, I was on my period, one of our kids was up all night for a few days in a row. We were both exhausted. Our sex life got out of whack for a few weeks and it made our relationship feel strained. We both felt stressed and like we weren’t connecting. I felt like I was being short with him and with our kids.

First Corinthians 7:5 says Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

Now this verse is obviously talking about prayer, but the point is the same. You need to come together regularly with your spouse. If you deprive one another of sex it leaves you open to temptation. This could be temptation other than sexual immorality. When I feel like my relationship with EF is “off”, I am much less gentle, kind and loving toward everyone. I am more easily angered, selfish and self-pitying. Sex with your spouse sets the tone for your marriage.

EF and I were able to get back on track once things slowed down and we were healthy and well rested again. Coming together was a sweet reunion. But I hope we learned from this experience. No matter how crazy your life may seem at the moment, it’s not asking much to find 30 minutes to connect with your spouse. When you do, you can handle all the crazy with a much more gracious attitude.

Athol Kay writes a lot about alpha and beta behaviors in the marriage relationship, and especially the need to find a balance. Women are often attracted to the “bad boy” alphas, but pure alpha behavior doesn’t make for a stable long-term relationship. On the other hand, pure-beta behavior just isn’t attractive to anyone, and if it leads to stability in a marriage it will be a stable equilibrium of a frustrated, dominant wife and a frustrated, sex-deprived husband. As a husband, you have to put some strategic thought into selecting your beta behaviors.

Dude you have to stop thinking that if you mow the lawn, do the dishes, fold the laundry etc etc, that you’re automatically entitled to get laid.

What’s being missed is that often when he does all this stuff, she actually has an unspoken agreement to the validity of the Covert Contract, but she refuses to meet it because she just doesn’t want to. Or she meets the requirements of the Covert Contract with the world’s saddest sexual experience possible. All the Beta he did for her, to make her feel better, only created a huge sense of obligation in her. Which she’s started to dread.

It can get into the situation where when he does nice things for her, all she feels is a gnawing sense that she is a terrible person.

This is why with husbands struggling to attract their wives, I often find out exactly what her love language is, as soon as possible. Then when I find out what it is, I recommend cutting back the expressions of the love languages she doesn’t have.

I’ve got a lot more to say about “the five love languages” at a later point, so stay tuned!