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Easy Ways to Make Your Wife Feel Loved on Mother’s Day

Celebrate and appreciate Mom for who she is and all she does.

It’s May, and you know what that means… Mother’s Day! Mother’s Day is a wonderful time to celebrate the women who have been influential in our lives. My mom, grandmothers, and mother-in-law have been significant in shaping me into the person I am. 

But, this day is about all the moms in my life. And my wife is the most significant mom (don’t worry, my mom knows it’s true). She’s the one I chose to do life with. She’s the one who made me a dad. So, celebrate your mom, grandmothers, and mother-in-law, but also celebrate your wife. And I don’t mean just helping the kids make her feel special. Guys, you should make her feel all the love as well. 

Here are some ideas to help you make sure that your wife feels all the love this Mother’s Day:

  • Make a video asking your kids what Mom means to them. Here are some questions to kick you off. What does Mom say the most? What is Mom’s favorite thing to do? Of all the things you love about Mom, what do you love the most?
  • Have the kids create a song about Mom and perform it for her on Mother’s Day. 
  • Help the kids make her breakfast or lunch. It doesn’t have to be extravagant… just from the heart. Let the kids lead out and choose what they want to make.
  • Let her sleep in on Mother’s Day. This is a big win in my house. We all know moms need rest.
  • In-Home Spa Day, anyone? My 6-year-old likes to paint nails and give foot rubs. You can all pamper Mom as a family.
  • Homemade cards are always a win. Encourage the kids to make cards that represent their personalities.
  • Does Mom love to travel? Spring is an excellent time for a day trip. What’s within driving distance in your area that she would love to visit?
  • Is Mom crafty? What is her favorite craft? Whether she likes to paint, knit, or anything else, get some supplies together and create as a family. 
  • Does Mom love movies? Watch her favorite movie as a family. Create a movie theater experience for her, complete with popcorn and her favorite snacks.

Here are a few more ideas specifically for you fellas:

  • Plan a date night or weekend getaway for just the two of you. Work out the details yourself.
  • Be intentional about speaking her love language on Mother’s Day. 
  • Give her a massage. I don’t just mean a shoulder rub. Break out the massage oil and pamper her.
  • Clean the house. Moms often feel the pressure to have a clean house. Take care of this for her.

Most importantly, let’s show Mom that she is loved and appreciated.

Research shows four factors had more effects on helping moms feel supported in well-being and parenting:

  1. Feeling loved unconditionally.
  2. Feeling comforted in distress.
  3. Authenticity in relationships.
  4. Satisfaction with friendships.

I’ve learned over the years (from both my mom and my wife) that celebrating Mom is less about the cost and more about the thought and heart that’s put into the gift. That’s what matters most. 

Don’t let anything stop you. Make this the best Mother’s Day ever!

Sources:

Who mothers mommy? Factors that contribute to mothers’ well-being. Dev Psychol. 2015 December ; 51(12): 1812–1823.

Other blogs:

How to Celebrate Mother’s Day With a Difficult Mom – First Things First

Mom, Here Are 5 Reasons Why You Should Be Celebrated – First Things First

To the Husband Who Hurt His Wife

Take the healing process one day at a time.

To the husband who hurt his wife:

Marriage is tough, and we all make mistakes. I’ve made some big ones in my marriage. I don’t know what mistake you made or what you did to hurt your wife, but I do know this: You have a chance to save your marriage. Choosing to do so is a huge first step. 

I’ve been where you are. By our second year of marriage, I screwed up majorly and hurt the one person who matters more to me than anyone else. But, as I write this, we are celebrating our 17th anniversary. So I offer you hope IF you’re willing to invest the time and energy.

I’d like to tell you there’s a quick fix or three steps to healing a broken marriage, but there’s not. If you are committed to repairing the relationship, and your wife is open to it, all you can do is take it day by day.

Let’s start here. You have to own what you did. 

Don’t pass the blame off on anyone else. You made a decision; you did something wrong. Own that. As I said, I made some big mistakes, and I own them. My wife isn’t at fault for my past decisions. I carry the burden of my mistakes, and it can be a heavy burden. But when she sees that you own your mistakes, she may be more willing to forgive you.

Show your wife that you desire to mend the relationship. 

This takes effort. She needs to see that you want to make things right. Gifts and flowers won’t heal these wounds. Depending on the gravity of the mistake, there may be a massive break in trust. You have to rebuild it. You have to walk with her hand in hand. She may need space to process. You may need to seek out counseling. Ask her what she needs, not what you can do to make up for your mistake. What is required to heal both of you may take you out of your comfort zone, too. The best step for us was a fresh start. So five and a half years into our marriage, we relocated 1,000 miles from our hometown. The next five years were about reconnecting with each other and reestablishing who we were as a family. During this time, we decided to use our struggles to help other young couples. It may take years to repair the damage that’s been done, but it’s worth the wait. Your relationship can still move forward.  

Wounds take time to heal. 

Emotional wounds take significantly more time than physical wounds. The deeper the wound, the longer it takes to heal. Stay by her side. She isn’t the only one who needs healing either. The fact that you hurt her enough that you are questioning the security of your marriage means you need time to heal as well. Warning: Guilt is dangerous. Don’t let it consume you. Seek individual help if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

And then there’s pride. For us men, it can be challenging to set our pride aside. If you’re honest, pride may have gotten you where you are. You have to humble yourself enough to own what you did. A healthy marriage takes sacrifice and putting each other’s needs first. 

Your relationship can survive! 

If you’re both willing to work together, you can move beyond this hurt. And you know what? Your relationship will come out stronger. I am still processing and healing from my mistakes. I don’t know that I will ever fully heal. But I do know that my wife has forgiven me. I know I am harder on myself than she is. We are healthier today than we’ve ever been. Our marriage is stronger, and we see our past issues as a way to help other marriages. 

You’ve got this. Take it one day at a time. No matter how hard it seems, don’t give up. I’m rooting for you, and I’m here for you!

Other helpful resources:

How to Rebuild Trust in Marriage

7 Ways to Increase Trust in Marriage

Will My Spouse Ever Forgive Me?

Maximize Your Marriage Course

Why Does My Husband Watch Porn?

The reasons are complex and different from person to person.

Your husband watches porn. I’m sure this has caused some mixed feelings within you. Should you be concerned? Or should you be okay with this? Or maybe you’re concerned about how okay you are with it. And you’re not sure how you feel about that

But your big question is, Why? What’s the allure, the drive, the motivation? Is it something you’re doing or not doing? Regardless, talking about why husbands watch porn isn’t an easy topic. But you’re looking for answers. 

I honestly don’t know why your husband looks at porn. But we can narrow it down to what we know is quite common out there among guys. 

Before we dive in though, let me tell you what more than likely is not the reason he looks at porn: you. Unless you’re force-feeding him to look at those images online, you are not the reason. It’s nothing you did, or how you are, or the way you do things (or don’t do things) in the bedroom or otherwise.

Take it from a guy who’s been in the struggle. Sometimes, I’ve even put the blame on my wife for my online behavior. Thinking things like, “Well, if she weren’t so tired all the time,” or “I can’t even remember the last time we had sex.” Doing this is easier than facing the reality of my own guilt or shame. So, even if your husband tells you it’s your fault, it’s still his decision to look at porn. Let’s just take that pressure off of you.

Now that we can lay that aside, what are some common reasons happily-married guys look at porn? 

They began the habit at an early age.

The younger a guy has his first exposure to pornographic images, the more profoundly it affects him throughout his life.1 Studies have shown that kids exposed to pornography are more likely to want to repeat what they’ve seen without understanding what they’ve seen.2 Think of the weight of that. Their views of sex are easily skewed to focus on power, self-satisfaction, fear, or violence rather than intimacy, connection, and love. If your husband began looking at porn early on as a child, it possibly formed a habit that was harder to kick than if he were first exposed later in life. 

Pornography has deep-seated effects on the brain.

Studies show that the physical landscape of the brain actually changes when a guy watches porn.3,4 It creates neural pathways, making it easier to fall into the trap of desiring pornographic images over and over. It’s like paving and repaving a road to make it easier to travel on each time. Chemical processes occur, which researchers have compared to that of cocaine addiction; the reward centers in the brain are in full-tilt, promising euphoric (although temporary) feelings with each “hit.” The bad news is that with each encounter with porn, it takes just a little more “shock” to get the same amount of high as before.5 The good news is the evidence is strong that the brain can be re-rewired to reverse porn’s adverse effects on the brain.6,7,8



He may be caught in a vicious cycle.

For many men, sex is a short-term cure for anxiety, depression, stress, or insecurity.9 The problem is pornography has been shown to increase these negative feelings.10 Here’s the general idea: Your husband views porn to get some relief from, say, anxiety. And it works, but only for a short time. What comes next, however, are feelings of shame and remorse. Shame turns into more anxiety. And he’s back where he started. If your husband is caught in a negative cycle, it might be hard for him to understand how to break out of it. 

He just doesn’t know it’s unhealthy.

Sometimes what porn provides masks the damage it does to a person, their brain, and their relationships. It could just be that he’s blind to what porn is doing to him, you, and your marriage. 

These four ideas are usually at play among men who watch porn. But reasons why a husband views pornography are complex and differ from person to person. 

One thing we know: pornography can be damaging to a person’s mental health and to their marriage. This is why it’s critical to talk to him about his reasons and seek professional help if necessary. Understanding why he watches porn is the first step; keeping your marriage healthy and protecting it is the ultimate goal. 

***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 that 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.***

Sources

1American Psychological Association. (2017). Age of first exposure to pornography shapes men’s attitudes toward women

2Martellozzo, E., et al. (2016). I wasn’t sure it was normal to watch it: The impact of online pornography on the values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours of children. London: NSPCC

3Hilton, D.L. (2013). Pornography addiction – a supranormal stimulus considered in the context of neuroplasticity. https://doi.org/10.3402/snp.v3i0.20767

4Pitchers,K.K., et al. (2013). Natural and drug rewards act on common neural plasticity mechanisms with delta FosB as a key mediator. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4881-12.2013 

5Love, T., et al. (2015). Neuroscience of internet pornography addiction: A review and update. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs5030388 

6Pfefferbaum A., et al. (2014). White matter microstructural recovery with abstinence and decline with relapse in alcohol dependence interacts with normal ageing: A controlled longitudinal DTI study. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(14)70301-3 

7Yau, Y. H., et al. (2015). Gambling disorder and other behavioral addictions: recognition and treatment. https://doi.org/10.1097/HRP.0000000000000051

8Rullmann, M., et al. (2019). Adiposity related brain plasticity induced by bariatric surgery. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2019.00290

9Perry, S.L. (2018). Pornography use and depressive symptoms: Examining the role of moral incongruence. https://doi.org/10.1177/2156869317728373

10Koob, G.F. (2013). Addiction is a reward deficit and stress surfeit disorder. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2013.00072 

Help! My Husband is Boring

These things may change your perspective.

You probably never thought it would get to this. You always seemed to like the same shows, movies, and activities, and you spent all your free time together. Now, it feels like you NEVER do anything together, or that your husband is just boring and never WANTS to do anything with you. If you’re honest, it seems like all he does is, well, NOTHING. 

You’ve got questions:

When did this happen?

How did I not notice the changes?

How am I married to such a BORING person?

Maybe these thoughts are new. Or perhaps they’ve been nagging you for a while. Either way, it’s gonna be important to get to the core of the problem. 

You can work through this together! Here’s what I suggest:

Share your feelings.

If you’ve thought about how things have changed in your relationship, tell your spouse what you’re feeling. Maybe you’ve learned that your “Love Language” is quality time. If so, let him know you miss spending time with him and give him the chance to meet your needs. Demanding time with those you love can negatively impact your relationship. 

Maybe one or both of you has changed. You may have a need/desire for more in your life. But if you tell him what you need, he may surprise you. And vice versa! Newsflash: your hubby can’t read your mind. You have to tell him!

Seek to understand what’s going on with your man.

Whether you’re still in the honeymoon phase or you’ve been married for some time, find out what’s happening in your husband’s world. He may be processing stress you don’t know about. Whether it’s financial stress, job, or family issues, understanding how things impact his heart and mind goes a long way. He may be trying to protect you, which may affect his willingness to be spontaneous and fancy-free. Could be your husband isn’t as boring as he seems to you right now.

Find common interests.

Spouses will sometimes “claim” to like an activity because it matters to the other spouse. They can go along for a while, but it can’t last forever. Discovering that your spouse participated in an activity that didn’t truly interest them because it mattered to you is swoon-worthy, for sure. Your task now is to find things you can both enjoy together. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but finding new common interests together can be a relationship booster! 

Spend time alone so you can enjoy time together.

Many couples think they need to do everything together. On the contrary! Believe it or not, your relationship benefits when you grow as individuals, too! Everyone needs to have personal space and activities that feed them as individuals. It doesn’t necessarily mean something’s wrong if you don’t do everything together. 

If you’re resistant to your spouse having some alone time, you may want to ask, “Why am I afraid that they want to spend time alone? What makes me uneasy about that?” Having space to do things they enjoy alone may increase their desire to do something with you. 

Here’s an example: I enjoy shopping for a bargain. When my husband encourages me to go find some deals, I’m much more inclined to watch his favorite movie with him. 

Be willing to shake it up a bit.

Marriage is a two-way street. Maybe you like to go, go, go. Your spouse may tend to chill, chill, chill. Neither is good or bad, right or wrong; the key is respecting the differences. There may be times when it’s good to run at full speed (like holidays), but once you’re done, be willing to have some chill-out time. You may have to fight your internal voice saying, “There is so much to do,” or, “This is a waste of time.” Sometimes learning to just Be (spend quiet, quality time with your spouse) rather than Do (Go, Go, Go) builds the connection between you. What can it hurt for YOU to try something new and different? The result may shock you.

Whether you see your husband as boring or not is all about YOUR PERSPECTIVE. You get to choose how you look at him. Being open to a little self-care for yourself AND your spouse can only enhance your marriage relationship. You can continue to grow, learn, and love each other better when you look for excitement in the right places. 

Does My Husband Love Me?

Here's what to do with that thought.

Are you and your husband arguing more?

Does it seem like you are on opposite sides of EVERY issue?

Do you feel unappreciated, unheard and undervalued in your marriage?

Are you all super busy and seem to spend no time together at all?

Do you find yourself asking the question, “Does my husband love me?”

Ways We Experience Love

As individuals, we all experience love in different ways. Dr. Gary Chapman, in his best-selling book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, discusses the 5 ways people receive love. Below is a listing of the 5 Love Languages and how you can be loved the way that you need.

  1. Words of Affirmation—Notes, cards, spoken words, text messages.
  2. Acts of Service—Actions that make your spouse’s life easier. (i.e., wash dishes, dust, vacuum, etc.)
  3. Gifts—Giving your spouse small or large tokens that have meaning to them. 
  4. Quality Time—Spending concentrated and focused time with your spouse.
  5. Physical Touch—Hand-holding, hugging, kissing, etc. 

In addition to the 5 Love Languages, understanding the definition of love can place the picture into better focus.

The dictionary definition of love is “an intense feeling of deep affection.” In other words, love is what one feels. In the article, We Are Defining Love The Wrong Way, Rabbi David Wolpe expands the definition to be “an enacted emotion.Love requires action. If you need more love from your husband, the following questions may help with a conversation. 

How can my husband best show love to me?

How do I feel cherished and valued?

What does loving me look like from my perspective?

Am I not loveable right now?

What do I need from my husband?

Am I struggling with issues of the day? (COVID-19, social unrest, etc.)

How can I talk to my husband about what I am feeling? 

How do I get him to understand what is going on inside of me?

Share your emotions with him. 

Our husbands are not mind readers. Being clear and concise about feeling lonely or disconnected is the way to go. It takes vulnerability to share your insecurities and fears with him, but it can be a bridge to a better and closer relationship.

Recognize that you each receive love differently.

Most husbands have a different love language than their wives. We most often seek to love our spouse in the language we know rather than the love language they speak. Additionally, husbands often want to make sure they provide for their wives and families. This may mean working overtime to get that special gift or go on that special trip for YOU, while you would be fine with him being at home with him. There is nothing wrong with either way. It is JUST different. 

Understand his need to fix it.

We often communicate to share details or process what we think or feel about a situation. While we are processing, he is thinking of a way to fix it in order to make your life easier. His intention is to help what he perceives as a problem, while you see him as not hearing or listening to you. When you share with him how you are feeling, try telling him you just want him to listen and when you feel like he “gets you,” then you can talk about possible solutions.

In the midst of the chaos and distractions of today’s society, it seems easy to get off-kilter in our marriages. Frustration and mixed signals can lead us down a path of feeling unloved, insecure and disconnected. Remembering that how we feel/give love looks different for each of us will allow us to ask for and receive the love that we need. 

***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 that 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.***

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I WAS MAD! Furious, in fact. Bitter and fed up. Totally resenting my husband. This was like the gazillionth Saturday in a row my husband got up and left the house to go do a job for someone. And I definitely felt like he left me with all the laundry and housework. Both of us had full-time jobs and paying someone else to do it was not an option.

This particular Saturday I decided I’d had enough. So, when he walked back through the door late that afternoon, I let him have it. I had rehearsed all day what I was going to say and how I was going to say it to make sure he didn’t miss a thing. The “deer-in-the-headlights” look I got in return let me know he was 100% clueless. He had no idea that resentment had been building up in me for a while. How in the heck could he NOT know?

That happened about three decades ago, but I remember like it was yesterday. That was the day I realized resenting my husband was more dangerous than his cluelessness.

So, here’s what this resentful spouse learned about how to stop resenting her husband.

Ultimately, I had to ask myself, “Are there any ways I am contributing to the resentment I feel?”

I learned that I was following behind everything he attempted to do like folding the towels, vacuuming, or even putting the dishes in the dishwasher and criticizing how he did it. I finally figured out that criticizing him made him shut down, so I decided to stop.

Instead of thinking he could read my mind or SEE what needed to be done, like the laundry basket I intentionally left sitting in the middle of the family room, I started telling him that I needed help with certain things. AND I didn’t tell him “the right way” (i.e. “my way”) to do whatever I asked him to do. 

If I am always at odds with my husband, I’m not very pleasant to be around.

I honestly don’t want to resent my husband. What I really want is for us to enjoy time together. I decided when I felt myself getting irritated and resentful, I would literally stop what I was doing, take a walk around the block, and ask myself: “What is really at the crux of the matter?” 

Sometimes, I actually noticed, I just needed someone to be irritated with and he was an easy target. Other times, something didn’t go like I thought it should—date night, dinner plans, or his arrival time home. Or maybe he didn’t do what he said he was going to do because he forgot or whatever and I felt justified in my resentment. Now what? 

One time when I was ranting about all of my husband’s shortcomings, a very wise woman asked me, “So, I guess he never experiences any of this from you, right?” The fact that she was 90 and I was 30 kept me from losing it. The truth was, she had a great point. I forget, not often, but I do. There are plenty of things I do that get on his nerves that he could resent about me.

Then she said to me, “In the end, what is it you want? I mean, what is your resentment going to accomplish in your relationship? At the very best you will be two people who figure out how to co-exist in the same house. At the very worst, you won’t stay together. Is that how you want to live?” The answer was an emphatic NO! At that moment, I decided I was going to kick ongoing resentment out of our house and relationship.

When I feel resentment trying to creep in, I figure out where it is coming from and if it is worthy of a conversation.

If I believe that it is conversation-worthy, I ask my husband for a good time to talk. PRO-TIP: We have learned that if you are tired, hungry, or angry, that is not the time to try and have a conversation. When I can calmly explain, “I am exhausted and need help with our daughter,” or “I really need time with you—I am missing us,” it is a much better conversation than, “You never help with anything around here,” or “I think you don’t love me because you never want to spend time with me.” Trust me with this.

✭ Let me be straight up with you: if you are experiencing resentment because you are in a physically, emotionally, or sexually abusive relationship, seek help.Abuse is serious and unacceptable. It will be difficult to navigate change in your relationship on your own.

To Be Resentful or Not to Be Resentful?

If I were having coffee with my 29-year-old self, I would have no shortage of lessons learned to share, that’s for sure. Maybe one of the most important lessons I’ve learned when it comes to resentment is this: I have a choice. I can choose to be resentful or I can choose not to be resentful. When I can see clearly, what I know about my husband is, he is trustworthy, hardworking, funny, respectful, honest, a good father, reliable and he really does care about me and us. When I think about those things, often what I am resentful about pales in comparison.

What kind of guy is your husband? Have you trained your brain to only see his shortcomings? Here’s a challenge: for the next 30 days, focus on your husband’s positive character qualities instead of his “flaws.” Appreciation goes a long way when it comes to relationship restoration. How you feel about him at the end of the challenge might surprise you, and how he responds to you just might surprise you as well. 😉

Perhaps you’ve decided to wait around for him to realize that he’s the problem and he needs to change. If that’s the case, I am pretty confident you will be disappointed. It just takes one person doing something different to bring about change in your marriage. The question is, how badly do you want something to be different?


***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 that 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.***

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Eric was married with two children. Life at home was good, and he considered his relationship with his wife to be healthy. They frequently spent time together and intimacy between the two of them was good. He never considered having an affair or needing to affair-proof his marriage until he faced a potentially compromising situation with a co-worker.

“Contrary to popular belief, most people do not set out to have an affair,” says Dr. Shirley Glass, infidelity expert and author of Not “Just Friends”: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity. “Eric’s situation is all too common. It is faulty thinking to believe that being attracted to someone else means something is wrong at home. It is possible to be attracted to somebody else, even if you have a good marriage.”

Appropriate Boundaries Are Important for Affair-Proofing Your Marriage

“The single most important protector against an affair is appropriate boundaries,” Glass says. “In a culture where men and women are working so closely, you must make sure you are not creating opportunities for an affair to occur. Especially at a time when you might be vulnerable—like right after a fight with your spouse. One of the most common doorways into an affair is where a man and woman who are ‘just friends’ innocently begin to discuss problems in their primary relationship. They are doing their marriage work with someone who might not be a friend to the marriage.”

According to research, 25 percent of women and 40 percent of men will have an extramarital affair at some point.

Glass says that openness, honesty and self-disclosure defines intimacy in marriage. Anything that interferes with that creates walls of secrecy and should be a signal of looming danger. For example, meeting the same person every morning for breakfast in a public place without telling your spouse creates a wall of secrecy in your marriage. If you’re uncomfortable talking with your spouse about it, that’s a warning sign.

Interestingly, only 10 percent of people who leave a marriage for their affair partner actually end up with them. Many say they wish the affair had never happened and that they had worked on their marriage instead. 

So, how can you guard against an affair?

  • Establish clear boundaries.
  • Stay connected to each other and keep the lines of communication open.
  • Instead of creating walls of secrecy, talk with your spouse. Eric came home to his wife and told her about what happened with his co-worker. They were able to talk openly about strategies for clearer boundaries. This strengthened their relationship.
  • If you feel attracted to someone else, never let them know.
  • Watch out for outside influences that encourage infidelity. For example, avoid an environment where other people are fooling around. Be on guard at business socials where drinking and dancing happen and spouses aren’t present.
  • If you have experienced infidelity in your marriage, it’s possible to survive it and be stronger than before. Unfortunately, it takes time for the wounds of betrayal to heal, and both parties must be willing to work together to move the marriage forward.

If you are working through infidelity, Glass recommends the following:

  • Stop the affair. The betrayed person cannot begin to heal until the affair is over.
  • Replace deception with honesty. The person who had the affair must agree to be accountable and create a safe and open environment by letting their partner know where they are.  
  • Because someone has violated trust, you must tell the story of the affair. The only way to tear down the wall of deception is to have an open window – no secrets. Usually, partners want all of the details. They need to put all of the missing pieces together and ask questions. The partner who had the affair must be patient, understanding and willing to share information. This is one way to rebuild intimacy.
  • Identify vulnerabilities in your relationship and begin to work on them.
  • Discuss what faithfulness and commitment mean to you. Just because a relationship is not sexual does not mean you are not having an emotional affair.
  • Understand that this is a very difficult process and you may need professional help to work through your issues.

Eric was able to take a potentially harmful situation and turn it into one that fostered more open communication and trust in his marriage. The window of openness and the sharing of uncomfortable situations actually builds a marriage up instead of tearing it down.

***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 your computer or device is being monitored, call the hotline 24/7 at: 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***

In his song Too Cold at Home, Mark Chesnutt sings, “It’s too hot to fish, too hot for golf and too cold at home.” Even if it’s boiling outside, it can be cold at home when it comes to your marriage.

Over time, many people seem to be willing to let sexual intimacy fly right out the window. Yet experts tell us that healthy intimacy is foundational to long-lasting, loving relationships.

In a letter to Ann Landers, a woman wrote about how her parents could not afford a honeymoon so they made a promise. Every time they made love, they would put a dollar in a box and on their 50th anniversary they would take a honeymoon trip to Hawaii. In spite of hard times, they never took money out of the box. Some nights the husband would come home from work exclaiming he had a dollar in his pocket. His wife would tell him she knew just how to spend it!

When each of their children married, they gave them a box and shared their secret. The couple took their 50th anniversary trip to Hawaii for 10 days and paid for everything from the money they saved in the box. As they were leaving on the plane, the husband turned and said, “Tonight we will start working on a trip to Cancun!”

Many pieces of recent research cite how much humans crave intimacy, but many married couples experience a void in this area due to hectic schedules, children (young and old), jobs, stress, etc. Whether you have been married a few months or many years, sex can be exciting, adventurous, fun and creative. 

You may be asking yourself how that couple made and kept intimacy in their relationship a priority for 50 years…

Well, if you’re looking for ways to stoke the fire of passion in your marriage, you might want to think about some things:

  • Do you always make love in the same place, at the same time in the same way? If your answer is yes, consider doing something different to spice things up.
  • Describe what a romantic time with your spouse would be like. What would be your spouse’s description of a romantic time together? If you don’t know the answer to this question, do some detective work and find out.
  • Does your spouse do romantic things that you really like? If yes, tell him/her so. If not, help him/her to know what you like.
  • Consider sending love messages to your spouse during the day. Stick-it notes in the wallet, voice mail, e-mail, lipstick messages on the bathroom mirror, a special delivery, flowers with a message, a snail mail letter, or a note on the dashboard are all great ways to communicate “I love you,” “Let’s get together,” or “Looking forward to this afternoon.”
  • People find all kinds of creative ways to flirt when they are dating. Think about some of the ways you used to flirt with your spouse. Consider resurrecting those that worked best. The outcome might pleasantly surprise you!

According to Dr. Paul Pearsall, author of Super Marital Sex, “The marriage comes first. All other people and events come after the marriage. Children, parents, work and play all benefit most by marital priority instead of marital sacrifice, because the marriage is the central unit to all other processes. If it is true that we reap what we sow, then marriages are in big trouble—if we put as much time in our working as we allow for our loving, we would end up unemployed or bankrupt.”

If the temperature on the thermometer outside is not reflective of the passion level in your relationship, get creative. Be adventurous and take it up a notch when you stoke the fire of passion in your marriage. Even if the passion in your marriage is nonexistent, it can get good. And if it is good, it can get even better!

 

 

Looking for more resources? Watch this episode of JulieB TV for an in-depth look on this topic!

***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 your computer or device is being monitored, call the hotline 24/7 at: 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***