Fix Your Feelings By Disciplining Your Mind and Body 1

Bonnie Wallace has written a couple of posts with some reasons that husbands and wives don’t feel sexy. Some of them are physical/medical, but most of them are mental/emotional. Even some that appear to be physical are really mental/emotional. I won’t excerpt all the reasons, but they’re worth reading and Bonnie’s suggestions for addressing them are very constructive.

Rather than offering suggestions of my own, I’d like to share a couple of verses from the Bible. The first is part of a poem written by King David that beautifully describes the loving care God has invested into the creation of each of his children.

Psalm 139:13-18

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

How precious concerning me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.

God’s thoughts for each of his children are vast and precious. He has intricately woven each of us into exactly the wonderful form he intended.

The second passage is an exhortation for believers to present the members, the parts, of our bodies to God for his righteous use.

Romans 6:12-13

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.

We are commanded to discipline our minds and bodies and bring them into subjection to Christ. We must not only avoid sin, but go beyond that to present the parts of our bodies to God as instruments for righteousness. Included in this preparing and developing your mind and body for sexual relations with your spouse. There are many things your spouse can do to make you “feel sexy”, but the primary responsibility is yours. There are many things you can do to help your spouse feel sexy, but ultimately that responsibility belongs to your spouse and to God.

So if you don’t feel sexy, what should you do? Start with prayer. Ask God to reinvigorate your sex life with your spouse. Tell God that you want hot, frequent, satisfying sex with your spouse. Ask him to change you and your spouse to make it happen.

Second, confront any sin in your mind or body that is inhibiting you. Vanity over your imperfect looks? Gluttony? Lethargy? Contempt towards your spouse? Lust for other people? For husbands, a lack of love and sacrifice? A failure to lead spiritually? For wives, a lack of submission?

Finally, tell your spouse that you’re praying for your sex life and repenting of the sins that have held you back. Pick the right time for this conversation… don’t do it right after an unsatisfying sexual encounter. Don’t put the burden onto your spouse and say that you’re praying for them and their sin. When you bring it up, focus on God and what you’re asking him to do.

If your relationship with your spouse is in such dire condition that you don’t feel that you can have this conversation without it turning into a fight, then just don’t. God doesn’t need you to tell your spouse in order for him to work. Just start praying and confessing, and wait to see what God does.

... But You Were Afraid to Ask 2

Gerad at the blog mission:husband has an insightful post for wives titled 11 Thoughts Out of Your Husband’s Head. Now, one of the best ways to improve your sex life is to improve your communication with your spouse so that there’s nothing you’re afraid to ask… but until you get to that point a list like this can be pretty helpful. You and your spouse might even consider writing lists for each other if it’s hard to say some things out loud (at first).

Here are a couple of points I’ll add to his list.

  • We men like to leave our mark. That’s why we want you to swallow, and we shoot our seed deep inside you. Hours later, we like to hear that you’re sore, your muscles are tired and tingly, and our come is still leaking out. We like to hear that you’re still affected by our powerful lovemaking long after it’s over. This is the same motivation that drives men to conquer new lands and build skyscrapers.
  • Enthusiasm is the key to doing almost anything well with us. Whether its sex or helping to fix the dishwasher, when we’re doing something together your enthusiasm is really important. Even though it wasn’t your idea, and it isn’t very exciting to pass us tools while we’re shoulder-deep under an appliance, your enthusiasm will be greatly appreciated. I’m going to write a post about enthusiasm during sex later.

And finally, a modification to his point 11:

11. Sometimes he wishes you’d just give him a hand-job – Yes, again, that’s what I said. Hey, I told you I’m being honest here. If you know it’s been a while since you’ve had sex, and you know he’s frustrated about it, but you still don’t feel like having sex (period, bad timing, etc), don’t ask, just roll over to his side of the bed, and offer him a hand-job. I’m telling you, it doesn’t matter if your mind is “into it”, or if your “emotionally ready”, or whatever other thing you might try to throw in there for a reason that you just don’t feel like giving him one.

Never really been a fan of hand-jobs… get down there and suck your husband off.

15 Years?!?! 3

El Fury and I started reading “Sheet Music”. The book starts out describing a married couple that used to have sexual difficulty. The problem was that the wife wanted more sexual variety, and her husband was mis-reading her signals. After the husband went to counseling, a light came on, and now they have a fantastic sex life. However, they spent the first 15 years of their marriage not enjoying mediocre sex!

Communicate! It is startling that many people aren’t able to communicate about sex with their spouse. You are already naked, vulnerable, making strange noises, in awkward positions. This is not the time to be shy! If at one point during that 15 years the wife would have said “ooo, that feels good” or “why don’t we try it this way?” Or perhaps the husband could have asked “how does this feel?” or “where do you want me to touch you?” Something so simple could have made that 15 years sexually awesome!

Be bold! The more you communicate, the more comfortable it is to talk about. Being explicit with each other can be a big turn on too.

Stay tuned. I’m sure we will post more as we read more of “Sheet Music”.

Balancing Alpha and Beta Behaviors 4

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!

Marriage Class 5

We recently went through a marriage class at our church that focuses on 7 areas of marriage and how to improve each area. These are topics such as communication, money, conflict, etc. Surprisingly, we found the topic of sexual intimacy to be the best. We have found that this topic in Christian circles can be awkward or only lightly touched on. We were excited to come away from this meeting with lots of good thoughts to discuss. Here are some of the key points:

  • Sex is a gift from God to be experienced inside of marriage. It is meant for physical and emotional pleasure.
  • Men and women are different. We have different drives, different ways of being aroused, different needs. Be a student of your spouse. Learn what each other likes! Talk about it, pay attention to their response in the bedroom, show each other.
  • Communicate about sex! The more you talk about sex with each other, the easier it is to talk about. Praise on another when they do something right. Keep changing and growing. There are lots of ways to spice things up, be open to trying new things!
  • Guard your sex life! Make it a priority.