My World (Feminine Style)

Thoughts about love, liberty, disco

Relationship Rule #3: What are you talking about? September 23, 2010

Filed under: Relationships — katiereich @ 7:30 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

#3 Learn what you are really talking about. Communication is key.

*Warning: Personal Story* I don’t know why I gave you a warning; other then I thought it would be funny! Josh and I are imperfect people, and this was no more apparent then when we were engaged and during our first year of marriage. I will speak from my perspective, because that is the only perspective I have. When Josh and I got engaged, God was really doing a number on my heart and life, He was replacing my views with His, and a heart transplant is never easy. I came into our marriage with a lot of hurts, hang-ups and silly expectations. Josh was probably expecting me to be more like him, read that emotionally stable! The first year of our marriage was filled with tears… what we realized was that when I was reacting out of proportion to the situation at hand, I was really reacting to a lie I believed about myself, or a past hurt that had not healed.

Pause here to think through the last time you withdrew or blew up and the situation did not warrant the response. Why? What were you responding to? What hurt is plaguing how you feel about yourself, or the people around you? Now ask God to work in your life to heal that hurt, and know that you are not alone, God is walking, no, carrying you through it.

We started to realize that the faster we could decode our anger or hurt the faster we could move on and really know each other.

Typical couple argument: (This is totally made up)

Female: (exasperated tone) Why are your socks on the floor next to the hamper, instead of in the hamper?

Male: (somewhat distracted by the tv) Isn’t that close enough for you. (note the sarcasm)

Female: Well, it is obvious by the way you do what I ask you to, that you only see me as a maid…

Male: (now fully engaged) A maid, huh? Well, I wouldn’t pay you to keep up with the house like you do. Would you just get off my back?

Female: (starting to get indignant) If I stopped doing what I do then the house would look like a frat house.

Male: Now those were the days, no ball and chain…

Decoding the Female: She probably is frustrated by the little things that her spouse does or doesn’t do, but what is going on below the surface? Control maybe her thing… She maybe reacting to a situation in her past that she had no control over, also, she is probably questioning her worth, calling herself a maid.

Decoding the Male: First, he probably doesn’t want to be bothered while watching tv, but he is probably hurt because she is not approaching him in a respectful way, as well as nagging him, which will of course remind him of being scolded by his mother. He already has one, and does not want another.

One of the hardest things for me to overcome was the tape (cd/mp3) that played over and over in my head that said, “You are not worth anyone’s love, outside of what you can earn. You are not enough to love on your own merit, and you are too much to deal with because of your baggage. You are not lovable and will never be able to give or receive love.” Most of my adolescence and into adulthood, I was looking for myself, but believed that to find myself it needed to come out of someone else’s love and expectations for me. You can see how this would taint any interaction that I had with Josh, at the drop of a hat I believed that if he was frustrated with me, it was because I was too much and he did not love me. Thankfully, by the grace of God, that tape has slowly changed, I still fall back into some of those beliefs every now and then, but that is not my normal. My new tape reads more like this: I am a beloved daughter of God, and because of His infinite love was adopted into His family. My worth lies not in what I am or what I do, but who He is in me. I am whole and complete in Him. I am whole in Him…

My soapbox and prayer is that you can find yourself fully in Him. That the lies you believe can be replaced by His truth. Like I said yesterday, you will be paralyzed until you find healing.

Side note: In order to communicate well, you need to figure out how you both argue and then work with it. Josh normally likes room and space to think before we have a discussion, where I just want to talk it out. So sometimes we talk it out right there, and sometimes we wait. I have also learned that there are better times to bring up issues then others. It is extremely hard for me, but I try to wait until an appropriate time to bring up something that is bothering me.

 

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: 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.

 

“Sunday Morning” Review October 18, 2009

iwanm-series-bannerTonight we continued our I Want A New Marriage series with What I Said Yes To, out of Matthew 5: 38-48. Josh explained that when we signed up for marriage it was not to be served, but to serve. We used that as a jumping off point to talk about the top 3 needs of a man and women out of the book, His Needs, Her Needs; by Willard F. Harley Jr. Josh explained to the men that women have the need for Affection, Conversation, and Honesty & Openness. I explained to the ladies that men have the emotion need for Sexual Fulfillment, Recreational Partners, and an Attractive Spouse. Josh did a great job of handling his topics. I did say words that I never thought I would say in front of a crowd like; frequency, climax and position, but I think that it struck a chord with people because of the questions… So before I say too much take a listen, fill out the emotional needs questionnaire with your spouse, and have some great conversations.

This week Josh and I will be blogging about the top five needs of the opposite sex; so stay tuned!

 

Understanding your Man’s Sexuality: Eyes October 7, 2009

eyesThe next step in healing is being able to understand a man’s sexuality, so that you can better help him to overcome his battle with sexual sin. Again, this material is taken from Every Heart Restored: A Wife’s Guide to Healing in the Wake of a Husband’s Sexual Sin, by Fred & Brenda Stoeker. All quotes are from the aforementioned book.

Men are different then women. I know that it is obvious, but when you are dealing with your emotions it is easy to gloss over this fact so that you have more ammunition for your anger and resentment. This post is not to give men permission to use their differences as excuses for sin, but as a way to understand men so that we can help them to move past this addiction in their lives.

Eyes

“Men come hardwired with certain qualities that make it very tough to  remain sexually pure. We don’t need a date or a mistress- our male eyes give us the ability to sin just about any time we want. All we need is a long, lingering look at a partially clothed or unclothed female body to receive a jolt of sexual pleasure.

We aren’t picky either. The jolt can come just as easily from staring at the tight sweater on the girl on the bus to work as it can from a romantic interlude with our wife. In short, we have a visual ignition switch when it comes to the female anatomy, and it takes very little to flip it on.”

Women, on the other hand, need touch and a relational connection to be stimulated in the same way.

Fred goes on to state that this “visual foreplay, without conscious discipline, is rarely confined to the marriage bed, and that’s when it becomes detestable. With abundant sensual images so close at hand, men naturally and easily engage in this visual foreplay and fall to sexual temptation- simply by being male. That’s why God gave us an unusual command when it comes to sexual sin and lust of the eyes:

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. (1 Corinthians 6:18)”

“So why doesn’t marriage stop the habit? A man must train his eyes to flee. If he doesn’t, they’ll just keep doing what comes naturally. Victory wasn’t granted with your husband’s signature on the marriage license. He must fight his battle for purity, and if he doesn’t, he will have to pay the price at the same toll bridge as the rest of us did.”

“What does fleeing look like in practice? Simple: it is cutting off those sensual images that create that mental pop.  While every man has the visual hardwireing, not all men choose the path of lust every time they see an attractive women. Perhaps they were protected from perverted, unhealthy views of sexuality while growing up and never began to objectify women as sex objects. Perhaps they were delivered by God’s grace, like myself.”

Fred goes on to discuss the fact that this “pop” is not in itself an act of lust, but a natural reaction because of the hardwiring of a man. So that begs the question, what are men to do with these pops? He goes on to outline 2 options:

“Does that sexual pop really matter in the battle for purity if it falls short of conscious drooling-at-the-feet lust? Should we try to eliminate it, too?” He cautions that each time a man is exposed to this “pop” he must make a decision about whether or not to lust or not. “Men can’t even envision complete victory over sexual sin because of always having to make that difficult decision about what to do with those sexual pops.” Fred goes on to say that he “had to engage the battle fully. To me it no longer mattered what it would cost me- it only mattered that I would win and win decisively. In short, I moved from the ‘How far can I go and still be considered a Christian?’ mode to the ‘How holy can I be?’ mode.”

The question should move away from “Am I lusting?” to “Is what I’m doing with my eyes costing me anything with my relationship with God and my wife?”