Jealousy is a word that gets thrown around a lot, and we often treat jealousy like it’s something to be proud of. For instance, if you think you have something that others want to have, you might say things like:
My sister is jealous of me because I’m our Mom’s favorite.
My friend is jealous because I went on a fabulous vacation.
In reality, jealousy is an insidious feeling that can take over how you feel about, see and interact with those around you. At its core, jealousy is created from someone’s fear and insecurity. Fear tells them that someone can take away the most important people or things in their life. Insecurity means someone thinks that you aren’t good enough. And when you combine those two feelings, it’s a recipe for disaster.
It may be easier to handle when you’re the object of someone’s jealousy, but…
What happens when the shoe is on the other foot?
How do you handle it when you are the jealous one?
How hard is it to control jealousy when you’re jealous of that person you promised to love, honor and cherish — your spouse?
Yep, believe it or not, there are times, even in marriage, when jealousy rears its ugly head. And it can become unhealthy pretty fast if you let it.
Maybe your spouse is getting out more than you are and you’re jealous of the time they’re spending at work, with friends, or enjoying their hobbies. You want what they have.
Perhaps you feel like you need some time alone, you feel like you’ve got too much on your plate and your mate just seems to have it easier than you do. You want to be able to relax, too.
Or maybe you really want to be at home with your family but you have to be gone a lot, and it’s hard to feel like you’re missing out on the things you enjoy. You want to be there, too.
It could be a ton of other things you wish you had that you don’t or that you wish you didn’t have that you do. And it can be SO hard to live with that day in and day out, especially if you’re trying to hold it all in. The struggle is all too real.
If you are struggling with jealousy and want to stop being so jealous of your spouse, take a look at these tips. I hope they can help you out.
Look at what scares you.
Fear feeds jealousy, so it’s essential to explore what scares you. Are you afraid that your spouse will be negatively influenced by his or her sizable social network? Are you afraid that your kids like your spouse better because they are the fun parent? When you get to the core of what makes you afraid, you can start to get a better handle on your jealousy.
Discover and deal with your insecurities.
Everyone has areas in their life where they feel less than confident or uncertain about their capabilities. They’re the places deep within where insecurities reside. It’s vital to know what those areas are so you can find ways to minimize your insecurities. Talking to friends or a professional can help you build up your personal confidence. True confidence is a remedy for jealousy.
Understand the impact of jealousy on your marriage.
Jealousy can harm your relationship in big and small ways. It causes your perspective on your spouse to change so that you no longer see them through the eyes of love. Instead, your view is clouded by anger and disappointment. In your mind, they go from a loving spouse to someone who only cares about themselves. It can cause mistrust, misunderstandings, and disconnection.
Talk to your spouse about what you are feeling.
This is an opportunity to share with your spouse about your jealousy. Tell them about your fears and insecurities. Say to them, “I’m jealous of this, and I own it.” Ask them for what you need so they can support you as you work toward a solution together.
In so many relationships, being jealous is bound to happen at one time or another. Some people even view jealousy as a way to prove how deep their love is for someone. Instead, focus on creating an atmosphere of love, trust, and understanding in your relationship. That way, you can both be your best selves and keep jealousy from driving a wedge between you and your spouse.
https://firstthings.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Untitled-7-01.png5001200Gena Ellishttps://firstthings.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/ftf-logo-300x186.pngGena Ellis2021-06-25 12:20:032021-07-16 12:34:11How to Stop Being So Jealous of Your Spouse
There may be more to apology than just saying the words.
Let’s face it — these two little words are packed with meaning, depending on the situation.
I’m sorry I screwed up.
I’m sorry you feel that way.
Iam sorry, but it wasn’t my fault.
I’m sorry you’re a jerk.
Apologies matter in marriage. But we know all apologies aren’t equal. It’s not always whether we use the words, but how we use them that makes a difference.
Stuff happens in marriage.
Words get said. Feelings get hurt. Expectations aren’t met. Misunderstandings occur. Responsibilities fall by the wayside. Someone forgets an anniversary.
All the same, these things cause your marital connection to run off the rails. Even with minor instances, you want to get back on track with your spouse. But how do you do that? Well, research tells us apology is one of the most essential tools for reconciliation in the eyes of both the offender and the offended.1
Last night, my wife and I were going to sleep, and she decided to have a little fun. She put her hand up close to my face, thinking I was unaware of it in the dark. Unfortunately, she miscalculated my ninja-like sensibilities. I felt it, reacted on reflex, and accidentally poked her in the eye.
Was it my fault? No, not really. Was it on purpose? Absolutely not. It was a reaction. Did I apologize? Profusely! I would never intentionally harm my wife, and, taken the wrong way, she might think I wasn’t concerned for her well-being. My sincere apology smoothed out the situation. (Her eyesight is fully restored, by the way.)
Of course, there’s more to an apologythan the words. Most of us were taught the formula: Say the words = everything is okay now.
Did you bite your teacher’s ankle again, Mikey? You need to go and apologize…
And for many of us, that formula got passed down to our marriage. Apology as words-only, at the least, is ineffective. And at the most, it does more damage.
Consider these times when you shouldn’t simply say I’m sorry to your spouse:
To simply end the argument because it’s uncomfortable
When you don’t know what you’re apologizing for, but you know you’re being blamed for something again
To get something from your spouse, like an admittance of wrongdoing or a “return-apology”
To manipulate someone into forgiving behavior you fully intend to keep doing
So then, why apologize? Say it with me:
I apologize when I recognize my contributions to ourdisconnect.
Apologizing isn’t always a matter of something that was “right” or “wrong.” Many times it’s simply a matter of contributing to an issue. There’s a difference.
Think of it like this:
When I do something flat-out wrong. (Duh. That’s obvious.)
Even when it was unintentional.
When I didn’t do something morally wrong, but still, I didn’t consider your feelings.
For miscommunication on my part.
Studies tell us that a genuine apology expresses ownership and remorse for something, seeks to empathize with how it affected the other person, and tries to compensate in some way for the offense. 2,3 In short, apology is about restoring the relationship rather than erasing the wrong.
So should you apologize to your spouse for something you didn’t do?
The bigger question is, What were your contributions to the disconnect? And how did that affect your spouse? And what can you do to restore the marital connection?
Talk about it together. Empathize. Consider your contribution. Take ownership of that. See it from your spouse’s point of view. And then ask, Do I need to apologize?
The result? You move further ahead in your relationship than where you were before the disconnect. There is a deeper right than being right.
I’m not going to share what happened with my spouse after the eye-poke incident. (That’s personal – but let’s just say we weren’t sleepy after that.) But I will tell you that what followed would not have happened without a wholehearted apology. Connection restored.
When conflicts are managed well and effective apologies are made, your marriage can come out even better on the other side.4 And that’s nothing to feel sorry about!
1Fehr, R., Gelfand, M. J., & Nag, M. (2010). The Road to Forgiveness: A Meta-Analytic
https://firstthings.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Untitled-6-01-2.png5001200Chris Ownbyhttps://firstthings.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/ftf-logo-300x186.pngChris Ownby2021-06-25 10:23:022021-07-16 12:22:34Should You Apologize to Your Spouse for Something You Didn’t Do?
If intimacy is lacking, you'll want to find out why.
A healthy marriage is built upon connection and intimacy, but intimacy and sex are not the same. Connection in six types of intimacy (emotional, physical, recreational, spiritual, financial, and sexual) leads to a healthier, happier, more fulfilling marriage. But when one type is missing, it can have a serious negative impact on your relationship. After all, a big part of being married is sharing thoughts, emotions, and physical affection, right? So what happens when one spouse withholds some of those connections?
Every now and again, a new term, condition, or theory creates a buzz in relational and mental health communities. It trickles into social feeds, inboxes, and even everyday language. “Intimacy anorexia” is one of those terms right now. It’s been searched for on Google 345,000 times since January 2021.
Psychologist Dr. Doug Weiss coined the term. He says intimacy anorexia (IA) is the “active withholding of emotional, spiritual, and/or sexual intimacy from a spouse or significant other” without regard to how it affects the other spouse.
Before we dive into the characteristics defined by Weiss, let’s address his use of the term “anorexia.”
First, anorexia can be a deadly eating disorder. Withholding intimacy can be a serious thing. Next, Weiss suggests that those withholding intimacy choose to do so. Let me be clear: I’m not suggesting that anyone chooses an eating disorder or mental health condition. Please understand that I don’t take the term anorexia lightly.
Now, let’s look deeper into intimacy anorexia.
So what exactly does intimacy anorexia mean? And what do you need to know about it?
Weiss calls it a hidden addiction. Weiss has identified four characteristics to help someone figure out if a lack of intimacy is caused by IA.
We’re all busy, especially parents. The difference is that anorexics intentionally stay busy to avoid intimacy. They may fill their time with the kids’ activities, housework, home projects, hobbies, or work. While these are good things, an intimacy anorexic will intentionally exclude their spouse from participating. They’ll do so much that they’re exhausted.
2. Withholding Love.
We all have a way that we like to be loved: our love language. Anorexics withhold that love language from their spouse. For example, a spouse may desire to spend quality time together, hold hands often, or hear affirming words. So what will an anorexic spouse do in that case? They will intentionally withhold affection in those ways.
In a healthy marriage, couples celebrate each other’s successes and accomplishments. They praise their spouse in private and in front of others. An anorexic spouse will withhold this praise. They either won’t see the good in their spouse, or they see it and choose not to acknowledge it.
Sexual intimacy is an integral part of a healthy marriage. Withholding sex is the most apparent characteristic of IA. According to Weiss, withholding sex is “avoiding sex, sabotaging sexual encounters, or not connecting emotionally during sex.” If you question whether your spouse is intimately anorexic, think about the last time you had sex. What was the experience like?
These are just four IA characteristics Weiss has identified. Others include blame, not sharing feelings, withholding spiritually, criticizing, anger or silence, money, and treating their spouse as a roommate.
So, what do you do if you think you or your spouse is suffering from intimacy anorexia?
It hurts when your relationship isn’t all you want it to be. I would highly suggest finding an experienced marriage counselor to help you address intimacy issues. Note: Not all therapists recognize IA as a condition, and this is not a diagnosis. You or your spouse may not be suffering from this. Other problems may be causing decreased intimacy, such as abuse, toxic behavior, health issues, or past trauma.
All of the characteristics that Weiss lists are damaging to a healthy marriage, but this doesn’t mean they are symptomatic of this condition.
Achieving a healthy, intimate relationship isn’t always easy. Just ask anyone who’s married, and they’ll tell you. It requires partners to be intentional and vulnerable. If your relationship is lacking the intimacy you crave, intimacy anorexia seems like a valid explanation. Keep in mind, though: it isn’t a formally recognized condition. The best place for you to start may be counseling. I want you to have the happiest, healthiest marriage possible, and I’m sure you do, too. It’s ok to ask for the help you need in your marriage.
https://firstthings.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Untitled-1-01-1.png5001200Mitchell Quallshttps://firstthings.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/ftf-logo-300x186.pngMitchell Qualls2021-06-24 12:20:412021-07-01 14:17:42What is Intimacy Anorexia and How to Handle it in Marriage
Use these tips to move toward the relationship you want.
You want a marriage where you both work together and are free to be yourselves. However, if your freedom to think and make decisions that reflect your ideas and desires is a little, well, stifled, you may be feeling manipulated. Nobody wants to feel that way. If that’s the case, you’re probably wondering how to deal with manipulation in your marriage. Let me tell you: it may be challenging, and it may take some time, but you’ve got to deal with it. Especially if you want your relationship to thrive.
Being manipulated can really mess with a person. It affects your mental health, self-esteem, and confidence. Manipulation in your marriage can be subtle or direct, relatively mild or emotionally abusive. Regardless, it’s not a good thing. Here’s why: It attempts to control your spouse in an underhanded and unhealthy way.
Subtle and mild manipulation probably happens more than you realize in marriage (which doesn’t make it right).
Take, for instance, the line of questioning from one spouse to another, “Do you have anything to do Friday night?” And when the response is “No,” the spouse says, “Good, we can have your in-laws over to the house for dinner and a game night.”
Though this situation probably isn’t to the level of calling a counselor, it’s manipulative. It takes the spouse’s choice away regarding how they’ll spend their evening. You or your spouse may not even notice the manipulation. But when one spouse makes the other feel like their desires or thoughts don’t matter, and the spouse uses that to get what they want, that’s manipulation. And it’s painful.
Manipulation can also be more direct.
Let’s use the same situation, but this time, one spouse says, “If you love me, you’ll invite your in-laws over for game night this weekend.” Nothing subtle there. Just a direct guilt trip if you don’t respond “correctly.” Not fun.
When you feel manipulated, you may feel:
Guilt, though you’ve done nothing wrong.
Gaslighted or made to feel like you’re crazy.
Isolated if your spouse punishes you with the silent treatment.
Powerless, because your choice seems to be taken away.
Inferior, if your thoughts, opinions, and wants are dismissed or ignored in favor of the manipulator’s.
Blamed, as though any negative results are your fault.
How can you respond?
Well, you’re in a tough spot, for sure. Here are some things that might help.
Self-reflect and know what your own desires and thoughts are. Try taking a step back from the conversation before committing to anything.
Be specific. The point is to understand what each person wants without the added expectation that you must oblige. Ask specific questions to separate their wants from what they’re doing to control you.
Call it out. Your spouse should know it’s not ok to use underhanded or overt tactics to get their way. Explain the manipulation and how it makes you feel.
Set boundaries. Not blindly allowing yourself to be manipulated is key. Boundaries can help you make sure that you both respect different ideas without taking them personally just because they are not the same. Create boundaries to help each person hear and understand the other’s thoughts, feelings, and wants. You should agree that you won’t judge each other.
I know this all sounds easier said than done, and it is. Here’s why: Your spouse may be used to getting their way by manipulating, whether they know it or not. If they don’t get what they want, they may react negatively. Fear is a powerful thing. And the fear of not getting what we want may cause us to be even more manipulative, deceitful, or even forceful.
If your spouse is being mildly manipulative, it might be good to start the conversation with, “What’s the worst thing that can happen if you don’t get your way right now?”
For many situations, though, involving a counselor is gonna be your best bet. A manipulator who suddenly isn’t getting their way may react violently. They may become emotionally or physically abusive, or destructive. It can take some time and therapy to get to a place where they accept not getting their way. (If you’re the victim of abusive behavior, don’t hesitate to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit thehotline.org.)
Knowing yourself and finding security in who you are can help you fight the tendency to be manipulated in your marriage. It will also help you find healthy ways to move toward that mutually respectful relationship you want. In a healthy relationship, manipulation isn’t a weapon, and differing opinions are welcome.
https://firstthings.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Untitled-17-01.png8542048Reggie Madisonhttps://firstthings.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/ftf-logo-300x186.pngReggie Madison2021-06-21 16:45:052021-06-25 15:43:35How to Deal with Manipulation in Your Marriage
I know I’m not the only one who finds the task of hunting down the “coolest” and most thoughtful Father’s Day present superbly difficult. Your challenge has probably been trying to find “The Thing” that perfectly encapsulates how amazing of a father your husband is. IMPOSSIBLE. Sure, there’s the Home Depot gift card, or the steak dinner, or the new grill or gadget (not painting a blanket statement on the guys, this has just been my own experience). However, none of these things ever seem to accurately express the depth of gratitude you have for your man!
I may have a solution that seems simple on the surface but can express what a Home Depot gift card cannot: Words and Actions of Affirmation and Encouragement.
Joel Wong, psychologist and author of The Psychology of Encouragement, says, “Encouragement can be defined as the expression of affirmation through language… to instill courage, perseverance, confidence, inspiration, or hope in a person within the context of addressing a challenging situation or realizing a potential.”
A great dad is living into the challenge of parenting your kiddos. And believe it or not, he probably needs affirmation more than you think he does. (And maybe even more than he thinks he does!)
I don’t know about you, but one of the ways I feel most loved is when I am acting within a challenging situation and someone on the outside takes my chin and tells me that I’m doing a good job.
Simplicity can be incredibly powerful.
So, here are 10 ways to affirm your husband as a dad:
Write down one way he has been an amazing dad for each year he has been a parent. So, if he’s been a parent for 10 years, that’s 10 pieces of encouragement!
This one is for the “physical touch” people. Either take your man’s hands, or give him a hug, or cup his face in your hands and tell him that he is killin’ it as a dad and that you’re thankful he is your partner.
Ask how you can best support him as a father. This question will show your husband that you care deeply about his needs and that you’re there to support him.
Gather your kids and tell stories about all the ways he has been an amazing father. This could become a Father’s Day tradition! Stories could include daddy-daughter dates or help with homework, etc.
Think through the hopes and dreams you had for how your husband would parent your future children. Tell him the ways he has either met or exceeded those desires.
Ask him what his highs and lows of parenting were this year, and then see what conversations this sparks. Listen to him and affirm him where needed.
Since quality conversation leads to quality sex, this feels like an appropriate lead-in. From time to time, get the kids to bed early, just so you and your husband can have some time alone together (if you know what I mean)! It will make him feel like a priority.
Challenge your kids to write down some ways they think their dad is the best. You could fold up the pieces of paper, put them in a hat or bowl, and then read them one by one at dinner time. Have your husband guess which kid wrote what!
Affirm your husband in public as well! An awesome dad friend/co-worker told me that his wife is great at standing up for him when he finds himself at the butt of a harmless joke. “When other moms might make a harmless joke at my expense, like, ‘Oh, he’s taking care of the kids tonight? Think they’ll be in one piece when you get back?’ [My wife] is pretty quick to let them know how capable I am, which tells me she has confidence in me.”
Don’t be afraid to go big for Father’s Day! Celebrate your man’s dadness with his favorite meal, or by doing something he loves to do, etc.
https://firstthings.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Untitled-4-01-1.png8542048Anna Reeves McCutcheonhttps://firstthings.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/ftf-logo-300x186.pngAnna Reeves McCutcheon2021-06-15 14:13:532021-06-18 15:29:0610 Ways to Affirm Your Husband as a Dad
Arguments can feel like a chess match. You both strategically state your case like seasoned lawyers, presenting key evidence to prove you are right. Other times it’s more like a boxing match, verbally duking it out, and sometimes coming away emotionally cut and bruised.
Disagreements happen in marriage. It’s normal. But there are healthy and unhealthy ways to go about an argument. Both chess and boxing matches have rules that guide the fairest, safest way to determine the outcome. No eye pokes. Don’t throw your chess pieces or give your opponent a wedgie.
Marital disagreements are the same way. Ground rules are essential to be sure your disagreements lead to a positive outcome.
Here are eight things you should never do during an argument with your spouse.
1. Never take your focus off the problem at hand.
Arguments are about issues to be solved, but they often become attacks on each other’s character. Don’t let it get there. Focus on finding a solution, not fixing your spouse.
2. Never listen to argue your point.
Instead, listen to understand where your spouse is coming from. Put yourself in their shoes. When you both invest in each other’s feelings, thoughts, and ideas, you can create solutions for the disagreement together. And you can’t do that without listening to your spouse for better understanding.
3. Never say words like “never” or “always.”
You never do such-and-such… You always say or do this… These are exaggerated and accusatory statements. And they imply that a person needs fixing but will never be able to change their behavior. Instead, use “I” statements and say what you observe. For example, I sometimes see you doing this, and it makes me feel this way…
4. Never bring up old stuff.
Churning up what your spouse said at that party five years ago or the dumb thing they did back when you were dating doesn’t work toward a solution for the problem right now. You want to attack the problem, not your spouse. Keeping score attacks the person instead of the problem. And that’s counterproductive.
5. Never call names.
It doesn’t resolve anything, and it’s just plain mean. Name-calling only separates you and your spouse even more. If calling names is a habit, throw it out the window.
6. Never throw around the word “divorce,” also known as the “D” word.
It’s manipulative, and it doesn’t help you find any kind of solution. Maybe if we divorced, that’d show you… if this keeps up, we might need to separate… Unless you’re actually willing to go through with it, don’t use it to win an argument.
7. Never, ever intimidate, manipulate, or threaten.
That qualifies as emotional and verbal abuse, and it’s never a good thing. No one deserves that kind of treatment. (Read
8. NEVER get physically aggressive with your spouse.
Hitting, spitting, slapping, pushing, punching, pinching, or any other type of physical abuse is totally unacceptable. Don’t go there.
Have a good discussion with your spouse and determine the ground rules you’ll follow to have healthy arguments. Use the ones above, and add more of your own — anything to help you attack and resolve the issue without attacking each other. Write your ground rules down, stick them on the fridge, and put them in plain sight.
One last thing: the whole chess/boxing metaphor only goes so far in showing the importance of ground rules. But after that, it falls short. You see, in marriage, arguments aren’t a competition. You and your spouse aren’t opponents, even when you disagree. There’s only one winner in chess and boxing matches. In marriage, when one side wins, no one wins. Follow the ground rules, focus on the solution, and you’ll both be winners.
***If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Hotline for Domestic Abuse. At this link, you can access a private chat with someone who can help you 24/7. If you fear someone is monitoring your computer or device, call the hotline 24/7 at 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***
https://firstthings.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Conflict-01.png10422500Chris Ownbyhttps://firstthings.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/ftf-logo-300x186.pngChris Ownby2021-06-10 13:42:112021-08-24 11:55:418 Things You Should Never Do During an Argument With Your Spouse
Build intimacy, connect and do life well together.
How’d you get stuck in a sex rut? It’s just life. It’s normal and to be expected. More importantly, how do you get out? You know, fun, passionate, surprising, and playful sex!
Here are some tips to keep sex healthy, hot, and happenin’ in your marriage.
1. Talk About Sex.
This is the gateway right here. Many people just aren’t comfortable talking about sex with their spouse. Create an environment where it’s safe for both of you to be honest and vulnerable about your sexual thoughts and feelings. Easier said than done? Probably.
Here You Go:
Option 1. Make a game out of it. Sexual Truth Or Dare.
Pro-Tip: Keep it positive. No complaining. No judgments. Take turns listening.
2. But What About The Kids?
Isn’t it ironic that you (typically) have kids by having sex, but by having kids, it’s harder to have sex? Again, totally normal, but Kids-In-The-House-Sex: Quick. Muffled. Vanilla. It’s like Splenda. Sure, it’s sweet, but it’s not that pure raw sugar.
Option 1. Hotel Sex. It doesn’t have to be a vacation or your anniversary. It can be because it’s Thursday and you have a babysitter. You don’t even have to go out of town or somewhere nice. Make it part of the family budget. Best money you’ll spend. Repeat a couple of times a year.
Option 2. Stay-At-Home Synchronized Sick Days. Or take vacation days. Go through your typical morning routines and dress for work. Take the kids to school or daycare like a typical weekday. Nothing going on here. Then meet back at the house. Take your time. It’s not all about sex. Talk through some “get to know you” questions. Go for a walk, then shower together. Have a great day of which sex is just a part.
Pro-Tip: Tell your spouse to take such and such day off. (Don’t tell them why. Plan a fun day.)
3. Don’t Have Sex. Yet.
Anticipation is a powerful stimulant.
Wait For It:
Option 1. Agree to have sex in 24 hours. Spend that time flirting. Leaving love letters. Texting what you’re looking forward to doing. Engaging in some non-sexual touch. Teasing. Then, finally, pleasing.
Option 2. Same as above, but 72 hours. (Yup.) Crank up that sexual tension. Enjoy it. Don’t neglect the biggest human sexual organ — the mind. Have some great conversations. Do some fun things together. Strengthen your bond. Talk about your relationship.
Pro-Tip: Put your energy into connecting with your spouse in non-sexual ways. Pressure, or wondering if sex is on the table, is off the table. (But you know it’s coming.) Get emotionally intimate in the meantime. When you do connect sexually, it will be more profound.
Roll the dice, feel something nice. Time limit per roll? Hey, this is your game.
Option 2. (I think you can see how this game lends itself to modification.)
Pro-Tip: Roller with the highest score after 4 rounds gets to “make a request.”
5. Play Doctor.
Sorry, not THAT playing doctor. Have weekly or monthly “check-ups” or “check-ins.” Coming full circle, talking about it is the best way to improve sex and keep it healthy in your marriage. Connecting on levels beyond the physical enhances sex. Connected couples who talk about sex have more satisfying sex lives. Talk honestly about your sexual health. Discuss sexual frequency. Talk about what’s working and what might need to be modified.
Don’t turn to the internet with questions like, “How much sex should couples have?” Turn to your spouse. Sex is best when you don’t just focus on “doing it,” but doing life well together.
https://firstthings.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/5-Tips-To-Keep-Sex-Healthy-In-Your-Marriage0A-01.png8542048John Daumhttps://firstthings.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/ftf-logo-300x186.pngJohn Daum2021-06-02 13:53:432021-06-03 12:58:135 Tips To Keep Sex Healthy In Your Marriage
I love talking about sex.No, not in a pervy way. Let me explain: I think more problems happen when sex is not discussed than when it is, especially among married couples. Get this: even nerdy science says couples who talk about sex have much healthier… and dare I say, steamier… sex lives than those who don’t! Kind of makes you want to cue up the conversations!
But just what exactly should you talk about? Uhhh… honey, I like sex… do you like sex?… Ok, cool…
No, no, not like that! There are a gazillion great questions to help couples discuss sex. Questions about likes & dislikes, turn-ons & turn-offs, mood-makers & mood-killers.
So, because I love talking about sex, and because I want you to love talking about sex, here are seven questions every couple (that’s you!) needs to ask to improve their sex life.
1. What makes sex fun for you?
Sex is fun, right? But everyone has their own take on what makes sex fun. Talking this through helps you understand what makes the bedroom romp more enjoyable for your spouse and facilitates the fun!
2. What do you consider be-foreplay?
Some people need certain things to be in place before the room starts rockin’ – perfectly normal. That’s be-foreplay.
Do the dishes have to be dried and put away, the bedroom door double-locked, or a fresh coat of WD-40 applied to the bed frame? Discussing this helps you be more aware of what helps your spouse get in the mood and what you can do to make that happen.
3. What is off the table? (And what’s on the table… if you know what I mean…)
Part of what makes sex in your marriage so adventuresome are the different things you can try. A new position, a new location, a new piece of lingerie, a new piece of furniture… Discuss what you are open to and what isn’t in the cards for your love life.
4. How does stress affect sex for you?
Some people have to feel de-stressed before the lovemaking commences. Others de-stress when they have sex. One isn’t any better than the other. But knowing where your spouse is on the spectrum helps you set the tone.
5. We have different interest levels in sex. How do we meet in the middle with that?
It’s normal for two people in a marriage to have different sex drives. But often, it goes unaddressed, and frustrations can quickly build.
Who has the more active libido?
How can one of you let the other down gently when you don’t want to have sex, and how can you assure them you’re looking forward to the next time?
What are your expectations as a couple as to how often you have sex?
Discussing these kinds of questions helps put you on the same page in how you approach intimacy and improving your sex life.
6. What makes me insecure about sex?
Whether big or small, we all have insecurities about the sexual part of our marriage.
I don’t know if I can be kinky or seductive enough for him.
I’m not sure I will last long enough for her.
How do I compare with popular standards of beauty or body type?
Am I a failure if my spouse doesn’t climax every time?
Call these insecurities out together; work to put each other’s insecurities to rest as you affirm each other.
7. How has sex changed in our marriage over time?
Marriage goes through seasons, and your sexual relationship can change as well.
How have these seasons affected your love life?
Have big life events like job changes, moves, grief, or mental health struggles had an impact?
What effect have children had on sex?
Talking about this helps you work through oncoming seasons of marriage to keep your love life alive and active.
A final word of wisdom: Sometimes, these conversations will be fun, lighthearted, even hilarious. Don’t be afraid to laugh about sex. Other times, your discussions will carry a more serious tone. Some topics can be heavy and difficult to discuss. Either way, talking about sex in your marriage benefits your marriage. And the best way to get the most benefit is to make it an ongoing discussion. It’s healthy to have sex regularly in your marriage, so doesn’t it stand to reason that you should talk about sex regularly? Talk it up, ask yourselves these questions, and watch your sex life improve!
https://firstthings.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/BlogPic-Sex-talk-01.png9172048Chris Ownbyhttps://firstthings.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/ftf-logo-300x186.pngChris Ownby2021-05-28 16:10:252021-06-01 09:35:377 Questions Every Couple Needs to Ask Each Other to Improve Their Sex Life