My World (Feminine Style)

Thoughts about love, liberty, disco

A call to helpmate… after your husband’s sexual addiction October 28, 2009

Filed under: Family,Relationships — katiereich @ 7:30 am
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A few weeks ago I started a series of blog posts based off of a sermon that Josh Reich preached at Revolution Church, you can listen to it here. I started to read, Every Heart Restored: A Wife’s Guide to Healing in the Wake of a Husband’s Sexual Sin, By: Fred & Brenda Stoeker, and because of the message, and the questions that I got from other women in our church, I felt the need to blog through most of the book. If any of these posts have hit a cord with you, I strongly urge you purchase the book and read the whole thing. I am not promising that it will be easy reading, but I am sure that it will jumpstart a journey into healing and restoring your heart and hopefully your marriage.

The previous posts are as follows:

Is Porn or Sexual Addiction a Problem in Your Marriage?

Understanding your Man’s Sexuality: Eyes

Understanding Your Man’s Sexuality: He Feels Love in between the Sheets

His Sexual Addiction is NOT about You!

His Sexual Addiction is NOT about you! Part two.

Rebuilding Your Marriage after His Sexual Addiction…

How do you keep your heart and role as helpmate during the road out of your husband’s addiction? That is a great question and one that we will dive into here, on our last blog post from Every Heart Restored.

I would like you to take one more good look into your heart’s mirror and ask yourself this question: How am I doing in my role as helpmate? It is in this roles as helper where most wives make their biggest mistakes in marriage. Let’s return once more to Genesis and review why we were created as women:

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care if it… The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”… For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. (Genesis 2:15, 18, 24)

Why was it not good for man to be alone? I can assure you it was not because Adam needed some help hanging vines or running a backhoe in the garden. And it was more than Adam’s needing someone to talk to or have sex with.

God know what sin was about to do to Adam and to all who came after him. He knew the wounds that would be meted out on innocent bystanders through the sin of friends, families, and even churches. He’s even seen ahead to the days when Internet porn would enslave millions of men. He had to have known all this was going to happen, because that’s what being omniscient means. Given that He knew what the future would bring, He knew it wouldn’t be good for Adam (and his future male offspring) to be alone.

As we’ve said, the word helper in Genesis comes from a Hebrew word that means “a help as his counterpart.” So what does a helper do? Fred explains it this way: as a helper, a wife’s role is to help lift up her husband-boost him, assist him, encourage him- to Christian greatness, whatever that may entail. This isn’t an easy role to fill, even when your husband is asking for your help. 

It is hard to play our helper role when our husbands are asking for help. But what are you supposed to do int that role when your husbands are not asking? What happens then?

It can be confusing, and most of that confusion revolves around the choice between these two courses of action:

1. When your husband needs your help, but he obviously can’t see it, should you simply be quiet and pray for his insight to improve, submitting in silence for the sake of peace?

2. Or should you bravely speak up directly and forcefully in the face of his blindness to challenge him to Christian greatness? What is your role?`

Maybe it would be useful to step back and take a look at the roles your husband should be playing alongside your own. It can be enlightening to see howe interrelated our roles as husband and wife really are.

Each of us has two major roles in marriage. Fred plays the headship role and is the overall leader in the home. He’s also been called by God to be the high priest of our home, the spiritual leader responsible for building a normal Christian home.

As his wife, I play the parallel submissive role to Fred’s leadership at home, and the parallel helper role to prod, lift, and strengthen him to carry out his roles as head and high priest.

Not how God expects the husband and wife to play essentially the same spiritual role for the other spouse. As a high priest, Fred is to lead me into Christian greatness. As a helpmate, I’m to work alongside the Holy Spirit to lift Fred to Christian greatness. Sadly, we’ve noticed that both of these roles are routinely ignored in Christian homes these days, although for different reasons.
It is so vital that we both play our roles well in marriage because sin is rampant everywhere, and the percentage of folks in our pews with little Christian heritage is growing rapidly. Most of us just don’t know what normal looks like anymore.

Brenda knew what normal was, and she love me enough to fight on until I could see it for myself. As my Christian sister, Brenda had a right and a duty to speak out truthfully(and even sharply) to me when I was still living in the futility of my thinking, darkened in my understanding and separated from full life in God because of my ignorance of normal Christianity.

And when it comes to your husband’s sexual sin, you have every right to stand up and help him win. To be a helpmate means that you will never allow your husband to drift to his lowest level. Instead, you’ll help him be great.

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His Needs: Admiration October 26, 2009

Filed under: Church,Family,Relationships — katiereich @ 5:27 am
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Two Saturdays ago, Josh and I taught together in Part 4 our series I Want a New Marriage. We used the book His Needs, Her Needs as the framework for our talk. This week as a way of following that up, I’ll be doing posts through that book, some of the things we said, how to figure out if this is a need your spouse has, how you are doing at meeting that need and how this applies to your relationship.

You can listen to it here.

I’ll be looking specifically at his needs and how a wife fulfills those needs. To see her needs and how a husband fulfills those, check out Josh’s blog.

Need #5 Admiration:

I purposefully waited until today to post this blog about admiration until after Saturday’s message, “From this Moment“, to give it some context. Unlike women, men do not speak or listen in the language of LOVE, instead they speak in the language of respect and admiration. Early in our marriage, Josh and I attended a conference by Emerson Eggerichs called Love and Respect, this changed forever how we communicated and dealt with each other. If you have ever read Wild at Heart you know that a man’s deepest desire is to be used and found worthy of a great adventure. This is one of the reasons that they like to do things at 500 miles an hour and love adventure and risk. So what does this have to do with Admiration? Well, I am so glad that you asked:

  • Your husband needs you to be proud of him. If you fail to give the appropriate words of affirmation to your husband he feels like a fake, and regardless of his true value, will begin to believe that at any moment someone will realize that he is not worth his salt and kick him off the team or fire him from his job or if taken to the very end… will start to look to other women to fulfill this need in their lives. Which will end up with disastrous consequences.
  • Willard states, “Honest admiration is a great motivator for most men. When a woman tells a man she thinks he’s wonderful, that inspires him to achieve more. He sees himself as capable of handling new responsibilities and perfecting skills far above those of his present level. That inspiration helps him prepare for the responsibilities of life.” “For some men admiration also helps them believe in themselves.”
  • For the most part men know that you love them, they do not need the atmosphere of affection that we as women do to feel constantly reassured of our man’s love. But the thing that will speak to him will be words that edify, respect, admire, and lift up your husband. He wants to know that he is worthy of the adventure that is calling, and he can overcome the obstacle that is staring him in the face.
  • “An environment of carping and criticism is dangerous to your mental health. Those who support and encourage you bring out your true potential and spark your genius.”
  • “Never fake your admiration. The first step in learning how to express admiration it so learn how to feel admiration. When you achieve that, you can express these feeling.”
  • For me learning to feel admiration was not something that came easy at the beginning of our marriage. It took practice and an intentionality that I did not think would be necessary. Don’t feelings of love and respect come naturally in the arms of a committed relationship? Unfortunately, the answer for me was no. When Josh and I got married God was working on my heart in a huge way, but it took a few years for God to take my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh. In the mean time I decided to write down all of the little things that Josh did that should have sparked the feeling of Love and Respect in me. After the exercise of writing things down, I was able to more naturally recognize and then express my appreciation and respect toward Josh.
  • Willard says, “Therefore her admiration depends on his ability to meet her basic marital needs.” This statement at the outset may ring true, but it rubs me the wrong way. In Eph. 5:33 we as women are told to respect our husbands. There are no qualifiers to it. Josh says you respect him until he becomes respectable…
  • Willard goes on to endorse an activity to communicate to your husband what you admire and what destroys your admiration for him. I would strongly caution you about taking the step to list out all of the things that destroy your admiration for your husband and give it to him unless it is done in a clinical setting. From the depth of my toes, I believe that this could really destroy your man emotionally. Can you imagine, oh, by the way here are all of the things that I hate about you? Please NO! I would suggest thinking and privately journaling those things that bother you about your husband and try to figure out if there is a common thread throughout. Is it his lack of responsibility with the kids, or time away from the family or you? Next, make it your mission to find him doing right things in this area, if he shows a hint of moving in the right direction notice it, mention it, praise him for it, throw a party about. Also, you should be having those iron sharpening iron conversations where you are pointing out sin and areas that he can improve in his life/walk, but those conversations should not be how you always talk to him.
  • Work on developing an attitude of respect and admiration for your husband. Let him know this week how much you appreciate him working and bringing home the bacon. How much you love the man he is and the man that he is becoming. Start with pointing out those things that he does that communicate love to you and how much you appreciate it. That will go a long way in expressing your admiration for him.
  • In the book Whale Done, they discuss that in order to train a killer whale you have to affirm the things that he is doing well or on track with to encourage more like behavior. I think that the same principle works here, affirm your husband in the things that he is doing that you already like, so you can see more of those same behaviors.

All quotes are taken from Willard F. Harley Jr’s book His Needs Her Needs.

 

Sunday Morning Review… October 25, 2009

i want a new marriageAnd so we have made it to the last week of our I Want A New Marriage Series! Hard to believe that we have spent 5 weeks dealing with all aspects of marriage. If you have not had the opportunity to listen to all of them I would strongly suggest that you do that. I think that they all build on each other in a very strong way without being too obvious.

This week we ended with the topic of Headship and Submission. definitely something that “church people” have an opinion on. In conservative circles men use this passage like a bat, in liberal churches they ignore this passage, and society as a whole does not recognize or understand the importance of roles in marriage.

Josh did an excellent job of explaining what submission is and is not, while holding men up to the very high standard of leading their homes and being responsible to God.

He explained what headship and then gave some very practical ways to gauge yourself (men) on how you are doing at leading your home.

Josh ended with the picture of Adam and Eve and God ultimately held Adam responsible for the sin that entered our world.

All-in-all some pretty heavy stuff. I hope that you enjoy.

PS. This week I will be doing some follow up posts about what submitting and respecting your husband looks like. I will cover the last need from His Needs Her Needs; Admiration, as well as look at your role as helpmate in dealing with your husband’s sin and addiction. Take time to notice your man this week and sing his praises!

 

His Needs: Domestic Support October 22, 2009

Filed under: Church,Family — katiereich @ 5:26 am
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This past Saturday, Josh and I taught together in Part 4 our series I Want a New Marriage. We used the book His Needs, Her Needs as the framework for our talk. This week as a way of following that up, I’ll be doing posts through that book, some of the things we said, how to figure out if this is a need your spouse has, how you are doing at meeting that need and how this applies to your relationship.

You can listen to it here.

I’ll be looking specifically at his needs and how a wife fulfills those needs. To see her needs and how a husband fulfills those, check out Josh’s blog.

Need #4 Domestic Support:

  • He needs peace and quiet. A home that is welcoming and relaxing, it does not need to be fancy, it just needs be calming.
  • This usually is not an issue until the kids arrive: who is going to stay home with the kids, who is going to work, how do we split up the chores, is it fair to assume that all chores will be done by the person who stays at home or works less hours? This has huge potential to blow up in your face!
  • This has less to do with having a white gloved clean home and more to do with how he feels when he walks in the door; relaxation and pleasure.
  • I realize that the house will not be spotless and dinner on the table every night that your husband walks in the door, but again, are you trying?
  • “A revolution in male attitudes in housework is supposed to have taken place, with men pitching in to take an equal share of the household chores. But this revolution has not necessarily changed their emotional needs. Many of the men I counsel still tell me in private that they need domestic support as much as ever.”
  • “They may talk a lot about how unfair it is to expect women to do all the housework, but when it comes to actually doing it, their wives know that it’s mostly talk.”
  • “Children create huge needs, both a greater need for income and greater domestic responsibilities. The previous division of labor is now obsolete. Both spouses must take on new responsibilities. Which ones should they take? In most modern marriages, both spouses opt for income, leaving the domestic responsibilities to whoever will volunteer.”
  • Usually there are no willing volunteers, or one of you does the work because you feel like you have to, but that puts a wedge into the relationship and creates resentment on a regular basis.
  • There does need to be a fair division of responsibilities, but that does not mean things should be split half and half.
  • Harley suggests:
    • listing out ALL household responsibilities and how important each person thinks that they are.
    • Assume responsibility for those things that you enjoy doing or would prefer to do yourself.
    • Assign the remaining responsibilities to the one wanting each done the most.
    • Meet the need of domestic support by assuming responsibilities that deposit the most love units.
  • “In marriage, you do things for each other because you care about each other’s feelings, not just because you want them done yourself. And that can deposit carloads of love units if done in the right way.”
  • “Let me repeat a concept that is crucial to your marital happiness. If you and your spouse are in love with each other, you will have a happy marriage. If you are not in love you will feel cheated. So whatever it takes to trigger the feeling of being in love with each other is well worth the effort.”
  • I understand Willard’s desire to set up a distinction of household chores, but I think that in some ways he is missing the mark by not addressing the deeper issue of the difference in male and female roles. Instead of getting into it here, take a minute to listen to Josh’s talk, after it posts, from October 24th.
  • For those of you with kids: “It doesn’t build character to five your kids jobs that you hate to do; it builds resentment. If you want your children to help around the house, have them choose tasks from your list of household responsibilities that they would enjoy doing.”

 

All quotes are taken from His Needs Her Needs; by Willard F. Harley Jr.

 

His Needs: An Attractive Spouse October 21, 2009

This past Saturday, Josh and I taught together in Part 4 our series I Want a New Marriage. We used the book His Needs, Her Needs as the framework for our talk. This week as a way of following that up, I’ll be doing posts through that book, some of the things we said, how to figure out if this is a need your spouse has, how you are doing at meeting that need and how this applies to your relationship.

CB107484You can listen to it here.

I’ll be looking specifically at his needs and how a wife fulfills those needs. To see her needs and how a husband fulfills those, check out Josh’s blog.

Need #3: An Attractive Spouse

  • What I am saying: How much care do you take about the way that you look? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Do you try to present yourself in the same way that you did when you were dating? Do you take into consideration what your husband likes.
  • What I am NOT saying: You have to look like Barbie, or a super model. You have to look the same way that you did when you got married (Pre-kids, 5, 10, 15 years ago), but you do need to TRY.
  • Just because your husband wants you to look nice does not mean that he is shallow. If you have the emotional need for affection you do not see that as trivial, just like if your husband has the emotional need for an attractive spouse it is not trivial to him. You need to take it seriously.
  • You have to remember that when your husband works, watches tv, and goes about his daily life he is inundated with women who take time to look the best that they can look. Take time to at least brush your teeth and put on deodorant. That is all that he is asking of you, to care. You will never look like the airbrushed models, because in real life, they don’t even look like their pictures.
  • Just because he loves you for you doesn’t mean he doesn’t care what you look like. You may want him to love you for what is on the inside, but you still need to be attractive to him on the outside.
  • Again, Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, you do not need to look like a beauty queen everyday, plus wearing a crown and sash would get redundant, unless you are only wearing a crown and sash. I simply mean that you should try to look the way your husband likes you to look. You should resemble the women he married.
  • A man with the need for an attractive spouse feels good whenever he looks at his attractive wife, why not deposit love units whenever you can.
  • Your husband is worth it. Consult him when you are making a change or getting your hair cut, because isn’t that the whole idea, to be attractive to him?
  • A word about modesty.
  • If you know how to make your spouse feel good, doesn’t it make sense to go ahead and do it-whenever you can?
  • Underwear drawer take time to re-evaluate each year. Replace old worn out underwear with things that he likes. What does he like? Ask him.
 

His Needs: Recreational Companionship October 20, 2009

42-16586087This past Saturday, Josh and I taught together in Part 4 our series I Want a New Marriage. We used the book His Needs, Her Needs as the framework for our talk. This week as a way of following that up, I’ll be doing posts through that book, some of the things we said, how to figure out if this is a need your spouse has, how you are doing at meeting that need and how this applies to your relationship.

You can listen to it here.

I’ll be looking specifically at his needs and how a wife fulfills those needs. To see her needs and how a husband fulfills those, check out Josh’s blog.

Need #2 Recreational Companionship:

  • “It is not uncommon for women, when they are single, to join men in pursuing their interests. They find themselves hunting, fishing, playing football, and watching movies they would never have chosen on their own. After marriage wives often try to interest their husbands in activities more to their own liking. If their attempts fail, they may encourage their husbands to continue their recreational activities without them. I consider that option very dangerous to a marriage, because men place surprising importance on having their wives as recreational companions.”
  • So do you still do things that you make not choose to do, just to be close to and spend time with your husband?
  • Have you tried to clean up your husband’s act? Making him shave, wash his clothes, change his language etc. If you try to do this to his recreational interests, he may feel like you are trying to cramp his style and take away his sense of identity. If you don’t participate in activities with him, some of his most enjoyable activities are done without, you, his wife present.
  •  Instead of making steady love deposits by having fun together, the couple with completely separate recreational interests misses a golden opportunity. They often spend some of their most enjoyable moments in the company of someone else, with the distinct possibility of allowing another person to fulfill the emotional needs of you and/or your spouse.
  • Sometimes you have the option of deciding what is more important, a certain activity or the quality of your marriage. Do you have activities that not only distract from, but take away from the quality of your marriage?
  • Try brainstorming some activities that you both enjoy and can do together.
  • When you enjoy an activity and can share that experience with your spouse, you will associate those good feelings with him and thus your love grows. If your husband shares those feelings with someone else, he will risk developing love for another woman.
  • The couple that plays together stays together.
  • Boundaries will help to establish ground rules for people that you do spend time with when you are not around your husband. Do you or your spouse spend time alone, one-on-one, with the opposite sex?

All quotes are taken from His Needs Her Needs; by Willard F. Harley Jr.

 

His Needs: Sexual Fulfillment October 19, 2009

bedThis past Saturday, Josh and I taught together in Part 4 our series I Want a New Marriage. We used the book His Needs, Her Needs as the framework for our talk. This week as a way of following that up, I’ll be doing posts through that book, some of the things we said, how to figure out if this is a need your spouse has, how you are doing at meeting that need and how this applies to your relationship.

You can listen to it here.

I’ll be looking specifically at his needs and how a wife fulfills those needs. To see her needs and how a husband fulfills those, check out Josh’s blog.

Need #1  Sexual Fulfillment:

  • *Disclaimer: These statements come from a view of marriage that normal. Not plagued with addictions and abuse. 
  • “Affection is the environment of the marriage while sex is an event. Affection is a way of life, a canopy that covers and protects a marriage. It’s a direct and convincing expression of love that gives the event of sex a more appropriate context. Most women need affection before sex means much to them.”
  • Now this does not mean that if you are not getting the affection that you want; you don’t have sex. Quite the contrary; Men feel intimacy in the acts leading up to, during and after the act of intercourse, but just because you have sex with them and make yourself available to them it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will spend more time with you or pour more affection on you. But it is worth a try!
  • All of these principles about emotional needs cannot be played out in isolation. If you want your husband to meet your needs, it would be a good place to start to look to see if you are meeting his needs, but you also need to be communicating and actively working on your relationship. 
  • Too many times we look at sex as just a physical and somewhat mental act, but for guys it is the primary way that their emotional needs are met. In just the same way that you feel intimacy through relating he feels intimacy in the acts leading up to, during and after the act of intercourse.
  • So how does that impact how you approach the marriage bed?
    • Frequency: A man has the physical need for release every 72 hours.
    • Availability: You may feel very righteous if you make yourself available to him whenever he wants, but if you are not fully engaged in the experience then it is like him having a conversation with you while watching the tv on mute. Make sure that you are not only physically available, but emotionally involved in each encounter.
    • Variety: Place and Position. That is all I am going to say about it.
    • Quickies: These are totally appropriate and needed, but don’t make this the norm for your sex life.
    • Climax: This is a touchy subject…
      • “His experience is so visceral and almost automatic that he usually does not understand that most women must learn how to respond sexually, and he is not prepared to teach his bride how to enjoy her own sexuality.” But being prepare for sex and being prepared to make love are two different things.
      • “A man cannot achieve sexual fulfillment in his marriage unless his wife is sexually fulfilled as well. Therefore a woman does her husband no favors by sacrificing her body to his sexual advances. He can feel sexually satisfied only when she joins him in the experience of lovemaking.”
      • So you need to know what turns you on and be able to express that to your husband. Husbands have patience as your wife learns to enjoy the sex relationship as much as you do.
      • There are additional resources available to women who have a hard time with this. Start by reading the Sexually Confident Wife and go from there.
  • Men are not dogs or animals, as society tends to paint them, but they “paw and grab” because they desire to connect with you intimately, not just use you physically.
  • When men decide to get married they are also deciding to limit their sexual experience to you, his wife. How are you doing at meeting this vital need? If your husband is not meeting your emotional needs you can put your energies into kids, hobbies, and other relationships, in doing this it may not be healthy, but it is not necessarily a sin. While if your husband tries to get his emotional need for physical intimacy fulfilled outside of the marriage relationship it IS sin.
  • You cannot enjoy your end of the marriage if your spouse does not enjoy his end. Don’t withhold sex as a way to punish or make a point. You will be withholding more than a physical aspect of your relationship, but a vital emotional need.

All quotes are taken from His Needs Her Needs; Willard F. Harley Jr.