Tuesday, February 05, 2013

February MOPS article

Happy February ladies!  I’m looking forward to hanging out with you all on the 12th and having an interesting, and hopefully not awkward, conversation about intimacy in marriage!  I have only been married for 12 short years so I wouldn’t consider myself an authority on the subject of marriage – but I am well practiced in effort…does that count for something?  I do feel incredibly blessed to have a healthy marriage and a husband that adores me even when I am awful.  (which happens more often than I would like to admit)  Here’s some of the inspiration that has been handed down to me or things that we’ve tried in our relationship to keep the intensity there! 
5 ways we keep the fire going!
1.       FLIRT.  Do you remember how to flirt with your husband?  Almost all of us can think back to early in our relationship when we were getting to know our spouses and what kind of flirting happened to create chemistry.  Sometimes when things are feeling blah between us, I think back over the last couple of weeks and realize that we have been so busy we have not taken the time to practice the simple act of flirting.  Forgot what that looks like?  (Have mercy on me ladies, I’m putting myself out here because I love you all) A few examples that can get some flirting started:  
-verbal teasing and keep it nice, not snarky
-a little grabbing of the rear end followed by a certain “look”
- pin him on the couch and kiss him like you mean it and get up and walk away
- be intentional with your body, there are many ways to walk or brush by your                 man and let him know you’re thinking about him.

2.       SPEND TIME TOGETHER.  This one is obvious, right?  Even so, I am surprised every time I hear a friend say they don’t date their spouse.  I know a lot of us have busy schedules or tight budgets, but we can always find ways to spend intentional time together.  When we were first married, we played A LOT of board and card games together.  Over the years, some of the things we’ve done after the kids have gone to bed: games, hobbies (we’ve  sat at the dining room table and I’ve sewed while he’s made duct tape wallets), tackle a big project without the kids at your feet – you might actually have fun and sneak some flirting in there.  Michelle is the queen of stay at home date nights; hit her up for some creative ideas.  Hayden and I were in the habit of sitting on the couch next to one another watching a show and it was fine for a while but after a week or so we realized we don’t connect at all when we do that.  We are trying to be better about spending some time face to face or across the table doing something together. 

3.       SPEND TIME APART.  This stay at home, homeschooling mom often needs an hour, 2, or 48 away from my family to refuel and recharge in a way that makes me a better wife, mom and friend.  I will be honest – it is hard to get more than a few hours away at this stage of life, even with a supportive husband on board.  I am the one in our relationship that needs alone time to recharge.  When I do get away I make sure and show my appreciation to my hubby when I get home verbally, physically and emotionally.  I also often bring him a gift so he knows I was thinking about him.  There have also been times when  I have sent my husband out for some time of his own.  Whether it is a movie with a friend or some cash to go blow at the store, he does not always think he needs it but when he gets back he’s always thankful he took it!

4.       COMMIT YOURSELF TO BEING INTIMATE.  Intimacy includes many areas, but I am referring specifically to sex.  Ladies, our culture does not do us any favors in this area.  TV, movies and media all fuel our excuses and our entitlement to make this area about ourselves instead of about our relationship.  The truth is, maintaining a healthy sex life takes sacrifice from both the wife and husband.  We get to choose how we approach this topic.  I made a decision when our oldest was little (almost 11 years ago) to fight to keep this part of our marriage alive and exciting.  I committed to not letting a certain number of days go by without participating or initiating.  Obviously, there are always exceptions to this, and everyone’s number could be different.  I will not lie.  It has been hard.  It has been a sacrifice on my end many many times.  However, it is a sacrifice that I’ve never once regretted making.  Not once.  I have not done it perfectly, I have failed many times, but I think just having the commitment has helped me maintain over the years.  Part of this commitment is not just physical; it is committing to communicate openly about it.  I will be the first to admit that we have had some awkward conversations on this topic, but we have also had several funny ones too.  If you are not enjoying this element of intimacy I would strongly encourage you to do some reading on the topic.  I also realize that some people have issues in their married sex life that will not be fixed as simply as this – in no way do I mean to minimize that.  I’ve had my share fair of friends that have legitimate issues that this advice would do nothing to help.  My intent is to spark some ideas not to bring guilt or frustration!!
5.        REMINISCE ABOUT YOUR EARLY RELATIONSHIP TOGETHER – We used to do this a lot.  There is something gratifying about walking down memory lane.  Unless of course memory lane is full of sad memories, than this might not be a great exercise for you.  We just cleaned a closet out together the other night and went through a huge pile of pictures.  It was fun to see pictures of us together in our early 20’s and even a few as teenagers.  His memory is so much better than mine is, so it is fun to hear things from his perspective.  Sometimes our stories on things are completely different too.  That always makes me laugh that we could process the same situation so differently.  If you’re having a hard time with your spouse right now, it might be good to think back to what attracted you to him in the first place!  We laugh at ourselves, seeing how much we have grown over the years and how awful our clothes and hair used to be is pretty entertaining!

No comments: