Maintaining Your Marriage

S.e.x. {How to Maintain Your High-Maintenance Marriage}

Is this happening?   

Yep.

We are going to discuss this topic. The dreaded and perhaps somewhat taboo topic of s.e.x.  

Why is that?  We should be discussing this topic at length and often!  It is not just a one time conversation. 

Let’s be honest here. 

This is a HUGE subject.  The benefit of this collaborative series is that you have five different women discussing from five different perspectives.  You can pick and choose who and what you relate with.  Be sure to head to the other blogs listed at the end of this post!

**Oh and I’m updating to let you know that the s.e.x. is in an effort to avoid having this post marked as spam.  Our email subject to each other with our links was titled ‘sex link {not spam}’ which was just way too funny.  Thanks Emily for the laugh!! **

HTMYHMM Button

There are multiple directions to take this topic. Here are a few questions perhaps you can ask yourself.  Please, please consider reading these with your spouse and taking the time to discuss it.

  • Do you and your spouse talk about it?
  • Are you both satisfied with the quality?
  • Is the frequency to your liking?
  • Is it a priority in your marriage? 
  • Is sex with your spouse conditional?
  • Is it the first or last thing you think about? 
  • Could television, social media, or something else be keeping you from it?
  • Do either of you withhold s.e.x because of anger or resentment?
  • Are either of you selfish in regards to this subject?

S.e.x in a marriage is super duper, uber important!!!   <—– Tweet it

It just can’t be the last thing on the to-do list.  Clearly there are other aspects of life such as kids, jobs, and other circumstances that demand our time and energy.  It’s important though to make an effort to leave a little something at the end of the day (or every other, or weekly, or whatever the two of you decide).

One way to ensure there is a little something is to keep the spark alive.

Can I state the obvious here?  Men are different than we are.

Let’s have a show of hands.  Has this ever happened in your house?  You have an argument with your husband that goes unresolved.  The two of you have been snippy all day then surprise, surprise, he’s somehow still up for bedtime festivities.

Ladies….are they kidding us?

I’ll be a little transparent here.  If we’ve been arguing or snippy with each other all throughout the day, the last thing I’m thinking about at the end of the night is s.e.x.  I’m still angry, hurt, frustrated, or whatever else until it is resolved.

Guys can somehow put their angry feelings aside and still make the magic happen.   I don’t know about you but I’m not built like that.  If I’m angry, I’m angry.  There is no going back just because it’s the end of the night.  

We have dubbed a little saying in our house called ‘prep the engines’ which helps us remember this.  If we happen to get into a little tiff earlier during the day and realize it’s festering into a huge issue, one of us will say this.  Usually it’s me.  It’s me because I know that I’ll be the one not in the mood later on if we don’t fix it.

It’s a gentle reminder that we are heading down a road that could ruin our evening.  It’s also a little reminder that s.e.x doesn’t start in the bedroom. 

I know I’m not alone here.  There is a little thing called foreplay.  I don’t believe foreplay is just what happens ten or fifteen minutes prior to the s.e.x.capades.  

It’s how we treat each other all day.  It’s stealing a hug in the middle of the day, kissing hello and goodbye.  It’s sending an ‘I love you’ text in the middle of the day, dancing to your song, and doing something special for your spouse.  It is going the extra mile. 

It is feeling wanted, feeling needed.  

In a nutshell, it’s prep work.  Being treated in a way that makes you want to jump into his arms at the end of the night (and vice versa).  It’s the anticipation.  It’s knowing that you will connect at the end of the long, stressful day. 

We can’t treat each other like garbage all day then expect to turn up the heat at night.  This will simply make you (or him) feel used which isn’t a foundation for a healthy sexual relationship.   

I know this is a woman’s perspective, well, because I am one.  Also because woman are a little more complicated when it comes to the physical part of marriage.

I will leave you with this little tip I’ve figured out over the years.  It works both ways.  If you prep the engines a little for your husband, believe me when I say that he will love you for it. 

Just because he can go zero to ready in .2 seconds doesn’t mean he doesn’t enjoy the anticipation!  You can make a huge change in this area today simply letting him know you still have the hots for him. 

When is the last time you’ve initiated things?  Have you kissed him a little longer than just a peck recently?   Have you put forth the effort to look irresistible when he walks through the door? 

What can you do today to prep his engines? 

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Kayse @ KaysePratt.com

Monica @ Elevate Ideas

Emily @ Primitive Roads

Jamie @ Brown Paper and Strings

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Laughter {How to MaintainYour High-Maintenance Marriage}

 

Why did you fall in love with your husband?

Have I ever told how why I fell in love with mine?

I fell in love with him partly because of laughter.  That may sound strange but it is one of the main reasons.

You see, I don’t show emotions like excitement well.  I don’t know why.  It’s as if I’m so excited my heart and mind forgot to share the information with my face.

Whether it’s opening gifts on Christmas morning or having something exciting happening in my life.  I talk about it but it doesn’t show through very well.

Now let me tell you a little about him.

My husband might as well have majored in laughter in college.  He is by far the funniest man I’ve ever met.

We met in middle school.  We were inseparable from 8th grade on.  Best friends.  I mean the kind of best friend you do everything with.  We’d go to movies, theme parks, and even carpooled to school every day.

We always had a great time together.

Fast forward to our first semester in college.  He went away.  I stayed home and commuted.  We didn’t see each other as much.   I started to miss him so much, looking forward to the next time I’d see him.  I realized how much I wasn’t fulfilled in the relationship I was in.  I realized how much I loved him.

Why? 

When he was gone, I didn’t laugh as much.  I didn’t have as fun a life without him as I did with him.  Of course he was still in my life but in a different way.

He always made me laugh.  When I say that he made me laugh, I mean made me belly laugh.   I’ve already told you I don’t do that very often. 

Laughter is such an important part of life, let alone marriage.  It can help keep our marriages fresh.  It’s one way we can relieve tension during the rough times.  It’s how we can keep ourselves from stressing out during busy times of our lives. 

As I’ve said before, things have been a little crazy this past year. 

These days I am sometimes so stretched that I feel like ElastiGirl from the Incredibles.  I feel like if I stretch one more inch I may burst.

What keeps me going?

These days it’s looking forward to an evening of comedy-watching with my husband.  A few times a week we have date night in our living room.  We put on our favorite television comedy, forget for a moment about the world, sit together, and just laugh.

Have you laughed with your husband recently?  Do you joke around?  Play games?  Watch funny movies? 

 

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Check out other perspectives on laughter below!!

Kayse @ KaysePratt.com

Monica @ Elevate Ideas

Emily @ Primitive Roads

Jamie @ Brown Paper and Strings

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Service {How to Maintain Your High-Maintenance Marriage}

A little background on me.   Since I was probably ten years old, I couldn’t wait to be a wife and mom.  I wanted a family of my own.  I would spend days upon days at my grandmother’s house and loved every minute of it.  She didn’t drive and she didn’t work.

I found her life to be so fulfilling.  She waited on my grandpa hand and foot.  She raised her kids and helped raise her grandchildren.  We’d bake apple pie, homemade twinkies, and cookies every single time I was there.  We’d play several games of scrabble in a day and turn in exhausted from a day of homemaking.

I wanted this in a marriage.  I wanted to keep the house.  I wanted to not work, bake, cook, clean, be a wife, and raise children.  I still do.

Fast forward to the here and now.

Last year we were caught in the midst of a conspiracy.  It was a leap of faith for him to leave a job after nine years to start a new career.  Then, suddenly, less than a year later unfortunate events forced the owner of his new company to close the doors. 

We were thrown into a new season of life.  A season we were unprepared to deal with. 

The decision to go back to school was one I encouraged.  It was an ideal opportunity and one I completely support. 

You see, I could have been more concerned about what I wanted or discouraged him from following his dream.  I could have whined about the effect it would have on our family.  I could have moaned about how it would disrupt my being home with the kids. 

Had I done any of these things he would have taken another mediocre job to support us for the next 30 or so years.  If I hadn’t supported him in this he could have pushed his dream to the side to do what he felt obligated to do.    

I know this because he did exactly this when we had our first child.  He stayed in a crappy job because it was steady and secure.  In an economy like we’ve had the past few years, it was safe. 

I could have stomped my feet, thrown a fit, and chosen to be selfish.  I could have.  At times I wanted to. 

Instead, I chose to put on my big girl panties and decided to step up to the plate.  <— tweet

The past year has been stressful.  I have stepped into the role of provider while he is completing his schoolwork.  I don’t mind it.  It’s something I can do to support him right now.  A year or two is nothing when looking at the rest of our lives.  

I decided it was my duty to do whatever it took to allow him to fulfill his dream.  Sure, it’s hard on me at times.  It’s true I rarely sleep because of juggling the house, the kids, and two jobs.  The good news is this will be a short season and I can do anything for a short period of time. 

Sometimes being of service to our husbands is more than laundry, making dinner, and caring for the children. <—  tweet

Sometimes it is supporting him in a new endeavor that will forever change the path of his life. 

For better or worse includes anything that falls in between.  Right now we are somewhere in between.  It has been better and it certainly could be worse.

No matter where in that spectrum your marriage may fall, remember that for better or worse isn’t always worse.

I’ll leave you with a few questions I asked myself.

  • Are you feeling like you are smack dab in the middle of the worse?  
  • Could looking at your situation through another perspective help you make it through? 
  • Is there something you could do to be of service to your husband during this season? 

 

Check out a few other posts in this series with the ladies below! 

Kayse @ KaysePratt.com

Monica @ Elevate Ideas

Emily @ Primitive Roads

Jamie @ Brown Paper and Strings

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Communication {How to Maintain Your High-Maintenance Marriage}

Communication in a marriage can mean a number of different things.  It can mean not holding a grudge (talking it out), sharing feelings about potential miscommunications, or even withholding information (ex: a purchase that should not have occurred). 

A little background….

I always wanted to be a stay at home mom.  I wanted to raise a family and run a household.  Nothing else really.  I still feel that way at times although I do feel fulfilled by a few things I love to do on my own. 

In the beginning, it was pretty rough.  I felt as if all the housework fell on me.  I was working full time but then also suddenly had this household to run in my spare time.  Needless to say I started to burn out. 

I didn’t communicate to my husband that I was exhausted and needed help.  I should have.

Instead I started to feel resentful.  My husband didn’t know I needed help.  I hadn’t communicated this to him.  I kept my feelings to myself hoping and praying that he’d ‘see’ that I could use a hand.  Well, he never did see it.  I wanted him to read my mind and know exactly what I needed.

someecards.com - My husband is not a mind reader. My husband is not a mind reader. My husband is not a mind reader.

To him, he figured if I needed help I’d ask.  Yes, that does make perfect sense.  Am I the only one that wishes their husband would just figure it out?  I hope I’m not the only one.

Here was my beef. 

Let’s start with a show of hands.  Does your man notice when the toilet needs to be cleaned, remember the last time the sheets were changed, or even think about cleaning out the fridge?  Mine didn’t either. 

He hadn’t had this experience before either, yet I somehow expected him to jump into and know what it took to run a household.  As women, I think we see things that need to be done while guys tend to wait until someone asks them to do it.

So we’d go round and round about why he didn’t notice that the garbage can was filled to the brim.  We’d argue about why he couldn’t see that the bathtub needed to be cleaned out.  I’d sit in silence and fume about all the things that needed to be done yet I’d say nothing about it. 

I didn’t want to be his mother and by giving him ‘chores’ but I felt this was what our relationship had become.  So, I waited and fumed. 

In a marriage, I can tell you this: silence is NOT the answer.  <– Tweet this

So fast-forward almost 12 years.  We have figured out what works for us.  It took us a few years after we got married then once we had kids we had to figure out the new responsibilities too. 

So…here is what works for us communication-wise. 

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After multiple arguments about him not helping as much and my not volunteering that I actually needed help, we finally  have a system. 

I create a to-do list of things that need to be done.  We have one list of items that we each pick and choose from, then cross off when we’ve completed them.

I no longer feel like I’m the mom giving him chores.  He feels more organized that he knows what he can work on to help out around the house.  It’s a win-win. 

It works for us.  It works really well in fact!!  It works so well that he doesn’t use the list as much.  He now notices when things need to be cleaned, straightened, or fixed. 

If you are newly married, take it from me.  It does get better!   It’s an adjustment period for both of you. 

Oftentimes we want our knight in shining armor to be perfect.  We want him to know our every need, cater to each and every one of our moods, and have no imperfections of his own.

Obviously this is not reality.  If it were, I think life would be pretty boring!!

Is expecting your husband to read your mind something you need to work on too?  I’d love to know I’m not alone! 

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I’m linking up with some amazing ladies for this series on marriage.  

Take a moment to read each and every one of them and let us know if you learned something along the way!! 

Kayse @ KaysePratt.com

Monica @ Elevate Ideas

Emily @ Primitive Roads

Jamie @ Brown Paper and Strings

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How to Maintain Your High-Maintenance Marriage {Collaborative Series}

Are any of you like me?  You take on too much,  try to be too much to everyone, and pack your schedule so full you aren’t sure you’ll be able to fulfill all your obligations? 

Well, I’m doing it again but this time for good reason.

My dear friend Kayse over at KaysePratt.com is running a special four week series about marriage.  It’s streamlined with specific topics and although it is only four weeks, it will be a power-packed four weeks. 

She asked if I’d be interested.  My initial reaction was yes, yes, yes.   Then I started to wonder if I’d be taking on too much.  I already write a marriage post or read and highlight marriage posts every single Monday.  This would make two similar pieces of writing due on the same day each week. 

I was all prepared to say that I’d have to decline.  But that isn’t what He had in mind.   I’m sitting here now at the eleventh hour writing my welcome post about the series. 

I feel very strongly about marriage.  I’ve seen my fair share of marriages end.  I don’t want to end up a statistic.  My husband and I work hard at our marriage.  We’ve not had any catastrophe fights, times of separation, or thoughts of divorce.  We have, however, had our ups and downs just like many of you probably have.

I couldn’t write the words in an email to Kayse that I wouldn’t be part of this.  Then I took a few minutes to write.  In about 15 minutes, I basically had half of the posts already outlined. 

I took it as confirmation that I’m meant to be part of this no matter how hard it might be to make happen. 

We will be discussing four separate topics in February.   They are: 

  •  Communication ( Feb 4th )
  •  Service ( Feb 11th )
  •  Laughter ( Feb 18th )
  •  Sex ( Feb 25th )

So, won’t you stop back here next Monday and learn a little about me and some of my friends?  In the mean time, if there is anything you’d specifically need discussed based on these topics, please feel free to email me! 

Oh, and check out Kayse‘s, Emily‘s, and Monica‘s welcome to the series posts and learn a little about why they are joining in!

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