Friday, February 12, 2016

What to do about his wandering eyes

Have you ever been so hurt and maybe then ticked off because your man's eyes have turned and lingered a bit longer on another woman?  Ouch, right?!  What's a woman to do? (sigh)  Well, maybe....just maybe it isn't so crazy after all.  (What am I thinking!?!). Well, hold on....come and watch this 5 minute video and then tell me what you think.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Physical Touch: Don't caress in public! least in 1938

This 1938 newspaper dating suggestion is pretty funny.  Oh, how times have changed.  What dating couple does not
express familiarity in public these days?  And, for certain, most of us don't consider "any open show of affection" as "bad taste" (within reason).

What's funny is that, though, we expect it from dating couples, many of us drop this open affection after being married for a while.

Why does this happen?

Our experience with couples shows us that it often is a difference in love languages.  Often one spouse feels and gives love physically naturally.  The other spouse often expresses and receives love in another way.

The trouble is this: the non-affectionate spouse WAS affectionate while dating and even early on in marriage.

Two suggestions:
1. The spouse who feels loved by physical touch in public (and at home) needs to express to the other what this provides for them.

This is not nagging.  This is explaining how receiving touch makes you feel emotionally as well as how it makes you respond, then, to your spouse.  Since your other half doesn't feel this way naturally, you have to explain how it makes you feel.

2. The other spouse needs to learn a foreign language.
We each speak different languages in love.  To one person hand-holding is like saying "I love you."  To another if you don't actually say "I love you," hand-holding doesn't rate.  One person's love language is physical touch.  The other's is words of affirmation.  There are many forms of love languages.

The point is, that if you're the spouse who doesn't naturally speak physical affection, you'll need to do what people do when they learn a foreign language: learn how it works and practice speaking it, even when it feels awkward to you.

The goal, of course, is that if you want your spouse to understand your love, then you've got to learn to speak his or her language.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Stop Waiting to "Want It"

For those of you joining us for the first time, we are discussing key ideas about intimacy discussed in the book the Queen's Code by Alison Armstrong.

Are you ready?  Ok, here we go!  :)  (I love that we're doing this together!!)

“Having sex when both of you want to is almost always insufficient, even when you are not trying to
create a new life. Most couples need to have sex more often than that.”

Ok, let's break this apart:  So what Alison seems to be saying is that having sex whenever we are in the mood is not enough.  In this chapter, they were talking about a couple trying to get pregnant.  They were only being intimate when she was ovulating and this was a source of conflict for them.  Whether trying to have a baby or not, sex needs to be more frequent than just that one time each month or when the mood strikes (Seriously, how often does your mood strike at the same time as your husband's, especially if you have kids?!). We need to be intimate way more often than that.  

I recall hearing from Alison when we heard her speak at a conference in LA this past summer,  that a woman is really "in the mood" for only about 30 hrs once a month!! Did you catch that?  That's ONLY 30 hours in a month’s time!  The window is very small for us, as women, for desiring sex!  Alison shared that this time period is our "fertile window".  Doesn't that seem kinda crazy?!  This, of course, is a generality for women, but does that seem about right?  I mean when is sex really on OUR radar?  And, as women, when are WE really interested?  We know it's almost ALWAYS on our men's radar, because....well....that's just how they are wired!  Lol!  

But there’s a catch: I also read that the more often we're intimate, the more we desire sex.  The opposite is also true - the less frequent we're intimate with our spouse, the less we desire it.  Interesting right!

So, maybe the focus today or this coming week needs to be on your own desire for intimacy?  Do you think you have a need for sex?  As women, most of us need to be connected emotionally with our spouse before we can connect physically.  But we also have a need to be touched, for affection...etc.  The greater difficulty lies I think in not communicating what we need in sex to make it more enjoyable, for us to truly be “present” more.

I would love to hear your thoughts if you're willing to share.

Thanks again so much for being a part of this conversation!  I love doing this with you! :)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Words of Affirmation: a hole in your heart shaped like words

When my mom was a young girl in the 1950s she was a top-notch student.  Sharing her straight A report card with her mom, though, was a very deflating experience.  My grandmother never praised her.  My mom was so desperate for affirmation that she made it a habit to take her report card to show to a friend's mom who would lavish her with adulation!

If you can relate to any part of this story, you are someone with a "words of affirmation" primary love

This is not some self-absorbed means of boosting your ego.  Your heart is shaped to be filled with words, and almost nothing else can fill up that spot.

If you grew up with a parent or parents who neglecting this love language, you have probably become painfully aware of your need for it.  On the other hand, if you had parents who spoke it well,  you probably felt very loved, and may even not realize how crucial it is to your sense of wholeness.

Either way, the man or woman you married, if your relationship is at a healthy place, wants to love you, but if he or she doesn't speak words of affirmation readily,  you will need to verbalize your need.

Explain what it does for you when they say "I love you" or verbally praise the work that you did or what you did in bed that really revved their engine.

Don't ask for affirmation as an act of nagging, but as a way to create motivation for your spouse to speak love in the way you hear it best.

Once you have that conversation, hear me saying via the mysterious internet: "Good job!"  

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Are you in the mood? Maybe it doesn't matter.

Imagine your life if you only did the following activities when you were in the mood:

  • going to work
  • grocery shopping
  • spending time with your kids
  • talking to your friends
  • getting dressed

You would be financially strapped, hungry, distant from your kids, friendless, and slovenly.

Yet, isn't it funny that we often feel like sex with our spouse should only happen when we're both in the mood?

Alison Armstrong says in The Queen's Code:

"What is normal for couples is to have sex when you both want to.  That is usually fine in the beginning when sexual tension is high.  The tension gets sex started and that is always the most difficult hurdle.  But as time goes on, two people wanting sex at the exact same moment, when conditions are favorable and the opportunity exits is like trying to line up the moons and the stars.  Especially since sex drives depend greatly upon hormone levels for both men and women....I believe you cannot leave something as important as your sex life in the hands of something as undependable as your bodies' cyclical and circumstantial hormones."

Monday, January 25, 2016

Does it ever feel like you and your spouse speak different languages? Well, you are!

I grew up learning German, but never quite got the hang of it.  With a dad from Germany and my
extended family still living there, German was important to learn.  Unfortunately, I never got past a basic level.

So when my Oma from Germany would call us and I "talked" to her on the phone, I didn't understand much.  She may have been expressing wonderful, touching feelings for me, her grandson, but all I heard was the rough tones natural to the German tongue.

I wanted to express interest and love for my Oma, but without much language ability in German, I was stuck with stock phrases and bad grammar.

This is a perfect allegory for problems many of us have in marriage.

We all feel love in certain ways-typically in one (or a mixture) of these five:

Words of affirmation
Physical touch
Quality time
Acts of service

That's our "love language," a concept developed by Gary Chapman in his groundbreaking book The Five Love Languages.  It's built in to us.  Naturally, then, we give love that way too, because we assume that everyone speaks our language.

And then we get someone who probably speaks a different love language or, at the very least, a different dialect of a similar one.

So here we are loving and loving (in our language), but if our spouse has a different love language they feel like we're not loving them at all.  He's speaking German and she's speaking English!

Understanding this concept of the 5 love languages honestly transformed the way Beth and I reacted to each other.  Over the next 5 weeks we'll explore each one of these different languages.

To start off, here is a fantastic short video that illustrates the 5 love languages without any words.  Check it out.  It's really worth it.

The 5 Love Languages Trailer from Dr. Gary Chapman on Vimeo.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

A Woman Cannot Understand Men Without This! Take a Guess!

So, we're re-reading this book, The Queen's Code, for a book group thing we're doing for a couple of months.  We're super excited to be doing this alongside other couples who are willing to do this adventure with us!  This book is written by Alison Armstrong, whom we have found be amazingly perceptive when it comes to understanding male/female differences.  

Since this is a Sexy Saturday blog, I'm going to focus today on something related to intimacy from one of her chapters.  

“A woman cannot understand men, and bring out the best in them, without understanding their relationship to sex."

Ok, let's start with that quote.  It seems to me that there are three essential points:
1.  As women, our pursuit should be to understand men.
2.  As women, we should want to bring out the best in them.  It may not be our husbands if we're not married, but our brothers, fathers, co-workers, neighbors, good friends...etc.  
3.  As women, we need to understand the value of intimacy for them.

Wow!  That's a lot right there!  I mean, how many of us women are really actively trying to understand our men?  I mean, how much easier is it to joke, put down, ultimately emasculate them?  And then, to bring out the best in them?!  Yes, it's sounds like a good idea, especially if that man might be your husband, but do any of us know how to truly bring out the things that help them be their best self?  (Do we even know that for ourselves?!?  Maybe that should be another blog?!) And lastly, how many of us actively pursue trying to understand what sex means to them?  This seems like a tall order, right?!  Lol!  :)

Well, please don't be disappointed...but I'd rather be honest with you, I don't have the answers.  I wish I did!  It would be a lot easier, right! I could just tell you the magic secret and amazing, conflict-free, super happy marriage!   Well, it won't be that easy...but I am willing to learn and if you'll join me for the next few weeks on this Sexy Saturday blog, we'll explore some answers to how to understand men and their relationship to sex.  

If you have time, I would love your feedback and thoughts.