Amazon affiliate link: A Lifelong LoveI totally forgot to announce a winner last week in the What Do I Do With My Husband? Giveaway.

Bonnie was the 43rd poster and has won a copy of A Lifelong Love by Gary Thomas or the book of her choice from the Marriage Book Library. (I’ll contact her shortly by email).

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The Second Horse – Sex

Our culture is particularly rough on sex in marriage. Movies, TV, jokes, and more tell the story that sex in marriage is boring and infrequent at best. In our world many are victims of abuse, sex is distorted in porn/erotica, and we are often taught to be both promiscuous and gate keepers (no wonder we are confused).

By the time we get married, most of us carry significant sexual baggage, are mis-educated, and have unrealistic expectations about what sex in marriage is all about.

The Four Horses of the Marriage Apocalypse - Part 2: Sex

What to do?

I would start with education. Read (and discuss with your sweetie, if possible) a few good books on sexuality or follow a couple of blogs (I often point to sex-friendly posts in my links each day, see below). Allow God to use these resources to help you think differently about sex, and unlearn any lies, replacing them with truth.

As you are reading, begin to look for small ways to be sexual in a healthy way. Don’t be afraid to “trial and error” it. Talk through options with hubby and try a couple of your choices. Reevaluate and change it up a bit or throw it out altogether and try something else. You are creating a safe sexual “playground” for just the two of you.

For when you feel stuck: don’t be afraid to get third party help. A good counselor can be an amazing gift as a part of your journey toward health and growth.

The point is, we all need to challenge what the world has taught us about sex and grow in our understanding of what God teaches instead. With much prayer, study, and practice, we can have healthier sex lives.

Sex is God’s gift to married couples. He designed it to be a beautiful expression of intimacy between a husband and a wife.  Lysa TerKeurst

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you and your husband find helpful resources for any sexual issues.

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howsyourlovelife: Your Move Must read article about dealing with moods.

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Intimacy in Marriage: Inhibition to Intimate Vulnerability A journey of sexual redemption.

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When Paul and I talk to couples about the problems they face in marriage, we are certain to hear about these four problem areas.

In-laws
Sex
Money
Parenting

We call them “the four horses of the marriage apocalypse” because they are the most common problems and they cause the most angst.

The Four Horses of the Marriage Apocalypse - Part 1 Dealing with In-laws

The First Horse – In-laws (I’ll discuss the rest over the next few days)

When you leave your home of origin and marry your man, you become a new family unit (the whole leave and cleave thing). It’s a significant change and one that takes a bit of getting used to by all. Parents can have a hard time stepping away from the parental role. Spouses often confuse honoring their parents with letting them step into their lives to make decisions that are not theirs to make. There is also the issue of valuing your parents opinions and suggestions over your spouse’s.

One word picture that has been particularly helpful in sorting this out is to see you and your spouse as each coming from a house full of furniture. At marriage you leave behind those houses and move into a new empty house. You can bring furniture in from your old homes, but it needs to be an intentional choice by both of you. This is your new life together and you get to make all the choices about what your house will look like. Think through the furniture process instead of trying to cram two houses full of furniture into one.

If you have “leave and cleave” issues I encourage y’all to have a serious talk and decide how you will handle specific situations. Each spouse needs to deal with their own parents (in most cases) as a courtesy to their spouse. Be willing to set down “how things were done” and lean into how things could be done with your sweetie.

difficultStill struggling? Here are a couple of good resources.

Boundaries by Henry Cloud & John Townsend
Chapter 7 (Boundaries and Your Family)

How to Have That Difficult Conversation You’ve Been Avoiding by Henry Cloud & John Townsend
Chapter 18 (Dealing with Blame, Counteratteck, and Other Problems)

You didn’t leave your first home in terms of love or communication, but you did leave in terms of authority and priority.  Dr Randy Carlson

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you graciously and kindly set healthy boundaries with your family of origin.

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I’m going through my photos.

Yup. Scary.

Many of my photos are hard copy and aging. My plan is to sort them by date in file folders, then scan the nicer ones and create photo books for my kids and some general ones for me and Paul. Now that I have grandkids, I’d like to do a yearly book of the best photos and try to stay current (we’ll see how it goes).

As a suggestion (now that most of our photos are digital) why not have a picture date every year and create a yearly photo album of the best of all your photos.

Pick a Picture or Two - Have a picture date and create a yearly photo album of the best of all your photos.

Shared memories make for a lovely kind of intimacy between husband and wife and photos can be a great gift for family and friends too (the holidays are just around the corner).

A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.  Eudora Welty

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you figure out a good plan for all your photos.

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The Forgiven Wife: Can You Learn to Enjoy Sex for You? I wish I could get every wife to understand God made sex for them too.

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Life Of Joy: Respect, Again Some thoughts for the ongoing journey of learning how to respect.

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Person of Interest

September 16, 2016

in the generous life

When I go into a craft or fabric store I find myself touching everything. That fabric … scrumpcious. Oooh! Look at that stamp.

I think it’s a natural response to touch that which we find beautiful or interesting in some way.

Given that, be sure to touch your hubby often.

Person of Interest - We touch that which we find beautiful or interesting.

It tells him you still find him attractive and a that he’s a person of interest.

A hug delights and warms and charms, that must be why God gave us arms.  AuthorUnknown

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you find little ways to communicate you find your husband attractive.

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The Generous Husband: Are Trivial Arguments Destroying Your Marriage? Is the elephant hiding behind a bunch of little arguments?

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(in)courage: Stay Weird Discover happiness in the life you have.

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THURSDAY THROWBACK – TEA PARTY
(originally posted September 9, 2013)

I was inspired by Lori’s series on soups (Dare to Celebrate) where she modified the “Become a Connoisseur” date idea from Fawn’s post The Fun Dare: 12 Dates in 12 Days (how’s that for a convoluted path of morphing ideas?).

My husband and I live in a small town with very few restaurants, but the idea of becoming a connoisseur of something seemed fun. We’ve done that in the past when we traveled more (looking for the best clam chowder). So what to do in a small town?

Tea Party - Go for a "connoisseur adventure" with hubby.

Tea.

We both like tea and cool weather has arrived in our neck of the woods.

I pulled out all our teas and we are enjoying the variety. We’ll look for something new to try when we go into the nearby larger city later this week or find something online. We’ll have fun drinking our old favorites and finding new ones.

What could you and your husband focus on as a “connoisseur adventure”?

There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.  Henry James

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you and your husband find fun adventures.

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Of the Hearth: Achieving Mutual Victory in the Chore War Some general strategies for sorting it all out.

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The Forgiven Wife: When You’ve Changed and Your Husband Has Stayed the Same Finding balance and peace in the journey.

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Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.  Ephesians 4:26  ESV

Early in our marriage Paul and I would stay up late working through our disagreements, sometimes into the wee hours of the morning. We misunderstood this scripture and thought it meant we had to solve every difficulty in our marriage before our heads hit the pillow.

Time to Call It a Night - Set down your anger and work on the problems tomorrow.

If you look carefully at the scripture, it says deal with your anger quickly. It doesn’t say you have to figure out what to do with your area of disagreement.

Let’s face it, we’re just not at our best when we’re tired and ready for bed. Working on a solution is going to be difficult at best and then you wake up fuzzy and grumpy the next morning from lack of sleep.

Far wiser to snuggle up, reaffirm your love (set down any anger), and make plans to meet and talk through the problem at a time when you are both awake and calm. If you make a habit of this, you both wind up feeling respected and assured the problem will get dealt with (which makes it easier to set down the anger and snuggle in).

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you set down any anger you have with your spouse before bedtime.

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Darby Dugger: When Your Husband Is Stressed Some helpful do’s and don’t’s.

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The XY Code: For Men Sex Is Totally About Connection Nice survey results.

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Yesterday I talked about the importance of building an ongoing friendship with your husband. Danielle responded with this comment:

I’d love tips on how to find a hobbie/pass time to do together. My hubby isn’t adventurous but we need SOMETHING that we share.

What Do I Do With My Husband? + a Giveaway - Share your couple time ideas.

We haven’t had a giveaway in quite sometime. So let’s help Danielle (and each other) by sharing our ideas on activities you can do with your spouse.

Amazon affiliate link: A Lifelong Love What activities do you enjoy with your husband?
 What hobbies do you share?
 What is the substance of your friendship with your man?

Leave your ideas as a comment to this post. I’ll pick a random number on September 17th and the poster in that spot will win a copy of A Lifelong Love by Gary Thomas or the book of her choice from the Marriage Book Library.

Marriage: Love is the reason. Lifelong friendship is the gift. Kindness is the cause. ‘Til death do us part is the length.  Fawn Weaver

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to show you creative ideas for couple time that will work for you and your husband.

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Andrea Dekker: The Importance of Margin Time A few minutes of extra time can make your day that much smoother and calmer.

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Scott LaPierre: What Keeps Couples from Communicating? Look for these possible communication hurdles.

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