You make me better

Following up in on the idea that you and your wife make each other better:

Make a list all the ways/reasons you are a better person because of your bride. Then share the list with her – idealy reading it to her before giving it to her.

1 + 1 = 1

Chalk board © chalk text effect | picturetopeople.orgNo, it’s not “new math”, it’s God’s marriage math.

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” [Mt 19:5 NKJV]

While I certainly see a sexual component in this (in 1 Cor 6:15-16 Paul says that having sex with a prostitute makes a man “one body” with her) it is so much more. When we marry, God wants us to lose who we are. Both husband and wife should change, becoming something different than either was alone.

Does this mean you each give up half of who you are? I don’t think so – this is certainly a case of the whole being greater than the sum of parts. What’s more, the whole can be things that neither of the parts were and do things neither was able to do.

Can I explain it?  No, not even close. But I have experienced it in my marriage, and seen it in the marriages of others. In a good marriage, both individuals are better and more capable than they would ever be separate. If you are not seeing that in your marriage, I suggest focusing on your marriage and making it a top priority.

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What I said, what I meant, and what I thought I said

Isn’t communication a wonderful thing? We speak the same words, but we mean different things by them. We also take language short cuts and expect those listening to us to know what we mean.

Last night I thought I communicated something to my bride – turns out I did not. Suddenly she is doing something on her blog that requires an hour of my time. Of course, she had no idea it would take that long – in fact until I got into it, I thought it would take a few minutes.

So my choice was to tell her “no, put it off” because of my failure to communicate, or to assume responsibility for my failure. Yes, I did it, and without (too much) grumbling.

My other choice is to learn from this or not. I’m pretty sure I’ve had that opportunity before, wonder if I will do better this time?

Bride and Bible

© Dvest | www.dreamstime.comDo you regularly read and/or study the Bible with your wife?

I know some men are shy about discussing spiritual matters, sometimes especially so with their wife. It’s a deeply private thing for many of us, sometimes even more private than our sexuality. And yet, much like our sexuality, our view of and experience with God is a deeply foundational part of who we are. If we hide the deepest parts of ourself, how can we know and be known?

If you have limited discussion of the Bible with your bride, I encourage you to make a change. Start slowly and build gradually.

Why she almost always needs foreplay, and you rarely do.

In Sex on the Brain: 12 Lessons to Enhance Your Love Life , Dr Daniel Amen lists the “Nine common questions about differences between men and women.” Question #4 is on foreplay (punny?) – “Why don’t men need foreplay like women do?”

Dr. Amen says lower activity levels in the male brain, combined with higher testosterone levels, mean men are “always idling, waiting to get taken for a ride.” Not so for women – their brains are always busy, usually with a number of things.  Dr. Amen says “…they need to be soothed, courted, and encouraged to be in the mood. They need a method to calm down their brains.”

This is so true.  No matter how much she loves you, how much she wants you, and no matter how much her body might even be screaming for sex, it takes time to get her brain in sex mode. If you don’t give her the time she needs to make the change to sex mode, she will not enjoy it on any level. If you give her some time, but less than she needs, her body may respond and climax, but she won’t be satisfied mentally and emotionally. This is a bad thing; if she often climaxes without being fully into sex, it will feel empty, cheap, or dirty.

What does it take to get her brain into sex mode? First and foremost, it takes time. There are no short-cuts, and giving her 90% of the time she needs is  not much better than giving her 19%. Since the issue is her brain, not her body, trying to arouse her body too soon is actually counter-productive. You may well be able to get her body aroused before her brain is there, but it will not end well. She may decide she is ready because of her body when her brain needs more time. If she often says, “go for it” and then has trouble for reasons she does understand, this may be the issue.

A few ideas:

Get out of other modes early: If she has half an hour to relax and read before you get into bed with her, she will already have put aside a lot of the thoughts and distractions of the day. If you take care of the kids at night, it helps her a great deal. If she always cleans the kitchen, or anything else, just before bed, suggest a change of schedule so she can relax instead (or do it for her!)

A place without distractions: Her mind is easily distracted, so do what you can to remove distractions. Any visible clutter is going to draw her attention, and will probably also draw her mind to all the things she needs to do. If the bedroom is used for all kinds of activities, all of those activities are vying for her attention when she is trying to have sex.

If you can’t move other activates to another place, find ways to make these other things less visible from the bed. Soft light near the bed and darkness in the rest of the room, can help a great deal. Simple things like closing doors to closets and the bathroom, as well as any drawers, will remove places for her mind to go. A screen blocking part of the room (a folding screen can be easily moved as needed), or some other form of visual blocking can also help. (Maybe this is why women like canopy beds?)

Sounds can also distract her. White noise or soft music (preferably without words) can help with this.

A pattern to fall into: The mind likes patterns, and once it knows a pattern it easily flows through the steps. If sex always occurs after a joint shower and a back rub, and if these things don’t usually occur other than when sex happens, her mind will pick up on the cues and start moving into sex mode as you shower together.  By the time the back rub is done, she may be fully into sex mode – or at least well on her way. What you do is not important, as long as it’s enjoyable and relaxing; it’s the predictable pattern that matters.

If you don’t know if sex will or won’t occur soon enough for something like the above, find something to do once yo both know sex is going to occur. Talking is always good. Avoid stressful topics (but be sure to deal with them at another time). A simple game the two of you like (such as cards or backgammon) can  be a way of relaxing, connecting, and telling her brain it should be moving into sex mode.

Don’t be in a hurry to get her naked. Slowly undressing her is another pattern that can help her brain move from “1000 things” to “sex, sex, sex, sex”. Very slowly unbuttoning her blouse, or taking a full minute to undo her pants, will build anticipation and help her want to go where you are taking her.

Least sexual to most sexual: As touching begins, move from the face to the breasts slowly, and on to the genitals just as slowly. It’s tempting to move between her legs when it seems she’s not “getting it”, but this may make things worse. If you can get her mind into sex, her body will follow, getting her body aroused too fast may leave her brain stranded.

KISS: That’s not an acronym – it’s the most important act of foreplay for most women. Most women find kissing extremely arousing. Start soft, and work up to more passionate kissing. Learn to know when she wants it gentle, and if/when she does not. Do more kissing and odds are she will get where you want her to go more quickly.

Know how far her mind has to go: The more she had on her mind, the more difficult it will be for her to move to sex mode. There will also be days when she just is not going to make it; understand that, and either wait for tomorrow, or have sex knowing she won’t be fully into it. Please, don’t make her to feel she is expected to do something her mind is not up to

Not getting all the tips?

Tips are sent daily – are you getting them all?

A number of e-mail systems, including Yahoo, routinely dump so called list mail. Sometimes this is over aggressive spam efforts, other times it is because a companies mail servers are overloaded, and they dump mail to catch up. List mail is high on the list of  mail they think they can dump safely.

The best solution if you are not getting all the tips, is to move to the feedburner system. Feed burner is big enough and motivated enough to go after companies that regularly dump their mail, so they are far less likely to get dumped.  To sign up for tips via feedburner e-mail, go here.

To kill the tips being sent from this system, log-in on the rigth side of any page on the web site.  The click the “dashboard” link – also on the right side, under the “Control panel” heading. Under the “profile” tab click on “Subscriptions”.  Lower left of the next page, check, then uncheck the “ “.  This should clear all the check boxes.  Click on “Update Preferences” and you are done.

Note – I have sent this information now because the most recent tip was sent to most if not all Yahoo users.

Random Massage

Put a die (as in one of several dice) on the night table along with a card that reads something like the following:

Roll the die for a massage

6=Your choice

Modify as best for the two of you. Tell her when she rolls, you will rub.

She may be beat too

05-14-09When you have one of those days at work that sucks the life out of you, it’s natural to feel you deserve a bit of babying or special consideration. But before you start down that road, may I suggest figure out if your wife is also feeling empty. Does she also feel she deserves of a break? Take long enough to find out where she is, and what she may need. If she’s fine, then let her take extra care of you; if she’s not, don’t expect special treatment.

Bonus: If you’re both beat, you have an opportunity to bless her by doing for her what you don’t even what to do for yourself!