It’s All About Thanksgiving!

It always amazes me how thankfulness impacts my attitude. It helps me shift my head space when I am overwhelmed with negative things that could be distracting me from remembering my blessings and the provision of God in my life.

So I wanted to take some time to join together and celebrate in thankfulness the gift that our husbands are to us. My husband is a hardworking man who can fix pretty much everything around our house and if he doesn’t already know how to fix it, he has the ability to learn how to. He is firm in his pursuit of godly character and seeks to release the presence of God wherever he goes. Despite his faults, he allows God to use the circumstances in his life to teach him how to be a better man. He is far from perfect, but he is perfect for me. I am thankful that he is in my life.

If you are in a truly difficult marriage and seeing your husband as something to be thankful for is too hard at this time, then reframe this and seek to find thankfulness in how the Lord has worked his love and care for you into your situation.

Colossians 3:15

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Oops! Did I say that??

Okay, I am going to start this off by saying I love you, honey, and you’re the best!!  :)  That’s something we should say all the time!

Today’s article is in relation to an article that I read called 8 Things You Should Never Say to Your Husband by Denise Schipani.  As I read through it, I realized that sometimes I have said things to my hubby that I meant differently but they came out the wrong way and it hurt him.   What is it that the Bible says, “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4).   I know there are times when I need to stop crushing my husband’s spirit with my tongue.  The times I do are not intentional.  Anyhow, I thought we could discuss these 8 things that the article  says you should never say, then see if we can come up with some more….

1.  “You’re just like your father.” :  Raising my hand that I have said this one and other variations of this one.   From the looks I get from my DH, you would think I just insulted him.    There are times when he does PHYSICALLY look like his Dad, which is not a bad thing, but when I say “You just looked like your Dad there.”  well, that was probably not the thing to say.  My DH is very different from his Dad, so when I feel that one on the tip of my tongue, I try to rephrase it.

2.  “When are you going to find a new job?” :  that one is not in my que.  I grew up with a Dad that worked because he had to bring in a paycheck.  I want my DH to do what he loves.   He is much happier when he is doing what he loves in his work.  Having a happy Daddy come home to our kiddos and not being in the camp where you need to stay outta Dad’s way when he gets home is so much better in my book.  My hubby has a good reputation in his work.  He may not be a lawyer, doctor or mechanic making big bucks, but who cares!  As long as he is happy with what he does, I support him.

3. “My mother warned me you would do this!” : again, this isn’t relative to me at all.   As you can see from my former article Cutting the Apron Strings Pt. 1 and Cutting the Apron Strings Pt. 2, I don’t share things about my life with my husband to my folks at all.  Why would I?  It makes me look like a whiney little kid and it puts a bad taste in their mouths about him, so I just never do it.

4. “Just leave it!  I’ll do it myself!” : I don’t think I say this one out loud, but I know I do it with my actions.   Or say it in my head.  It’s just the Type A person I am.  I do it at work.  I do it at home.  When our kids were little, I used to get so frustrated when he didn’t do things the way I did it, but I did learn that they did still work out just fine.   I am still learning that sometimes I just need to let it be.  He is a very capable man that can tear a Camaro apart and put it back together again, so surely he can handle other tasks around the house with ease as well.

5. You always _________ ” or ” You never __________”:  Those words…always and never.  Those are absolutes.   I catch myself using them, but they aren’t true.  He doesn’t ALWAYS do something or NEVER do things…. maybe he doesn’t do them as frequently as I would like, but saying, “You NEVER put your clothes in the vicinity of the laundry basket.”  … well that’s not really true.  I am sure he does sometimes.  Maybe not as often as I like, but it is all in how I ask him.

6. Do you really think those pants are flattering?  I know BOTH of us have had our issues with our weight and HE is the better one at working on controlling his weight through diet and exercise.  I am the one who sees a Reeses Peanut Butter cup package in the vending machine at work and I swear I see my name on it.   I won’t say I have never said anything, but I know myself that all I have to do is take a look in the mirror and see that I am no Bo Derek.  I can see the plank in my eye, so I don’t complain about his.   I DO try to tell him when he looks nice.   We need to build up our men and not tear them down.  Ephesians 4:29

7. “Ugh, we’re hanging out with him again?”:  I happen to like all my hubby’s friends.  Now I have been guilty of when a friend texts him at 11pm asking him to ignore it…  Some of his friends actions do bother me, and I have been known to let my DH know it or encourage him to talk to his friends, but I hope that he doesn’t consider me rude or pushy when I do that.

8. “Please watch the kids.  Don’t do this, take them here or forget that….”: When our kids were little, I might have been more inclined to say, or at least think something like this.  I know our kids have fun with their Dad.  My daughter adores him and looks forward to her “Daddy/Daughter Donut Days” My son loves shooting the breeze with him about baseball and learning how to drive 50 mph in a parking lot and learning how to come to an emergency stop in the car.  He’s a cool parent and I let him parent the way he feels natural to do.  I know he would never intentionally put the kids in harms way and I trust his judgment.  Would I do some of the things that he does?  Probably not, but that’s because I am the uncool parent.   LOL!

Okay, reading #6 reminded me of one more that I think I really need to add, so here’s my #9….

9.  “Honey, do these pants make my butt look big?”: All I have to say is if you don’t want to hear the truth, don’t ask.

So….what do you think about these?  Are there others that we tend to say, not meaning to hurt our DH’s, but they end up doing any way?  Advice ?  Suggestions?


Loving By Serving

I received this Love Language Minute in my email inbox, and thought it would be a good article to share if you or your spouse have the “acts of service” love language.

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Get the Facts
Before marriage we are carried along by the emotions of the “in love” obsession. After marriage we revert to being the person we were before we “fell in love.” This reality has implications for the single who is contemplating marriage.

Before you marry, you best find out what your potential spouse was like before the two of you “fell in love.” Ask  parents, siblings,  work associates and friends, but by all means ask questions. Did they have an anger problem? Where they depressed? Were they friendly of selfish? Dependable or irresponsible? Did they have a problem with alcohol or drugs? Get the facts. Don’t let the “in love” experience blind you to the truth.

Request vs. Demand
One of the five love languages is “acts of service”. For some people, this is their primary love language. However, sometimes people make the mistake of demanding “acts of service.” “If you loved me you would help me around the house.” But, true love is a choice and cannot be coerced. Criticism and demands tend to drive wedges.

With enough criticism your spouse may do what you want, but it will not be an expression of love. You can give guidance to love by making requests: “Would you please mow the grass?” But you cannot create the ‘will’ to love. Each of us must decide daily to love or not to love. If ‘acts of service’ is the primary love language of your spouse then ‘mowing the grass’ will be loves loudest voice.

Listen Closely
If your spouse often criticizes you for not “helping them”, they are telling you that ‘acts of service’ is their love language. People tend to criticize their spouse most loudly in the area where they themselves have the deepest emotional need. Their criticism is an ineffective way of pleading for love. If you understand this, you might respond more positively to their criticism.

You might say, “It sounds like that is really important to you. Could you explain why it is so crucial?” Initiating such a conversation may eventually turn the criticism into a request rather than a demand. When you hear a criticism, it’s time to listen. Your spouse is giving you valuable information about what would make them feel loved.

Servant or Slave?
Are you a doormat or a lover? A doormat is an inanimate object. You can wipe your feet on it, step on it, kick it around, or whatever you like. It has no will of its own. It can be your slave, but not your lover. When we treat our spouses as objects, we preclude the possibility of love. No person should ever be a doormat. We are called to be servants.

Jesus said about himself, “I did not come to be served, but to serve.” That should be our attitude. “What can I do to help you?” reveals a loving attitude. “You do this or you will regret it.” Is the language of slavery. There is a vast difference between being a servant and being a slave. The servant acts out of love. The slave lives in response to fear.

Learn to Speak Your Spouse’s Love Language
Recently a wife said to me, “I’m sending all of my friends to your marriage seminar.” “Really, why?” I asked. “Before the seminar, Bob never helped me with anything. We both had our careers, but it was always my job to do all the house work. After the seminar he started asking me, “What can I do to help you this evening?”

“I’ll have to admit that at first there were trying and humorous times. The first time he did the laundry he used bleach instead of detergent. Our blue towels came out with white polka dots. But eventually he learned. It’s wonderful. And, it’s been going on for three years now.” Why was this wife so happy? Because her husband learned to speak her love language.

Adapted from The 5 Love Languages® by Dr. Gary Chapman.

Q&A: Why talk during sex?

“My husband likes to talk and whisper ALL THE TIME when we make love.  Why does he have to do that?  He knows what I like, but he continues to ask me questions (like if I want him to suck my nipples or does he want me to have him pinch and pull on them?)  Also when he gives me oral sex, he tells me how good I taste and how good I smell and how much he wants to taste me.  I am very quiet when we make love.  Do you think he wants me to talk too?  Or do you think he might want me to talk “dirty” to him?”

Some people are definite talkers.  Sounds like your husband is one of them!  Whispering and talking during sex is a complete turn on for many people (myself included).  Hearing things spoken audibly can heighten awareness and arousal.

Just think about it for a minute… when you are making love to your husband, many times you may think “I would love it if he _______ right now.” But you don’t actually say it.  You may hint to him or give him some bodily language that tells him what you want instead.  What do you think would happen if you spoke those thoughts aloud?

For me it was two fold.  When I started talking out loud to my husband during sex, I noticed his arousal increased, his erection became even harder, and he became more passionate with me.  What I didn’t plan on was the second factor.  I became more aroused and I self-lubricated more.  Hearing myself saying things to my husband out loud that I had once hidden in my mind was so invigorating and empowering for me!  I loved the fact that my words had power over my husband.  I loved seeing the physical evidence of his arousal and desire heightening as I spoke.  I loved hearing myself claim words that were once too risqué for me to use.  It felt so freeing to be able to speak in clear terms what I wanted to do to him and what I wanted from him during our love making, and my husband reveled in this new found freedom!

It may be the same for your husband.  You say that he likes to tell you how good you taste or how badly he wants to taste you.  It sounds like he is trying to use words as a part of foreplay.  He is wanting to get you all hot and bothered and at the same time he is probably affecting his own arousal by hearing himself speaking to you in that way.

So, a couple of things come to mind here.  First, does it bother you that he talks like he does?  If this is something that is truly bothersome for you, then you need to talk to him about this.  If his talking during sex is working the opposite way he intends for it to, then he needs to know that it’s a ‘turn off’ for you.  If it’s not a bother, then my second question revolves around you talking.  Is this something that you’d like to be able to do more with him?  Taking that first step is often difficult, but once you break the ice you may find that giving your thoughts a voice enhances your love making experience with your husband.  For some suggestions on how to get started talking, check out:  Oh Yes Baby!  Don’t Stop! or Dirty Words in the  Bedroom.

Q&A: How do I ask for oral sex?

“My husband has never given me oral sex and is uncomfortable talking about sex in general.  I love to go down on him and he really enjoys it too.  Any suggestions on asking him to go down and give it a try?  I kind of feel like if he hasn’t taken the initiative maybe he doesn’t want to do it.  I feel embarrassed to ask but I’d really like to have the experience.”

What a very sensitive subject!  I can certainly understand your desire to want to experience it, but how to go about asking for it can be somewhat intimidating.  Well, let’s talk about a few things that may help to pave the way for your husband giving you oral sex.

Hygiene. If you want your husband sticking his face between your legs, then make sure you are CLEAN!  When you shower, make sure that you are cleaning around your vulva lips, hair (if you have hair), and perineum and anus area.  The simple truth is that we women self lubricate, and when you combine that with sweat and using the bathroom during the day… it can make for some unappealing odors.  If you have hair, be aware that it can trap odors, making them worse.  If you don’t have hair, be aware that the smooth skin can actually sometimes sweat worse because it doesn’t have the hair as a ‘buffer.’  I like to keep myself shaved bare, but I also like to go commando most of the time.  I have learned that in skirts and dresses I may actually need the panties to help absorb sweat and cut down on odors on warm days.  So I compromise with thongs.  :smile:

Opportunity. If it’s cunnilingus you want, then make sure you are giving him opportunities to try it out.  Instead of always kneeling to give him oral sex, which always puts your genitals out of reach, change things up a bit.  While you are lying on the sofa or bed making out, turn your upper body downward toward his feet and lean over and start giving him oral sex with your vulva still up near his face.  Open your legs slightly and let him see.  If you’re daring enough then finger yourself while you are giving him oral pleasure.  These things will be open invitations for him to touch you.

69. You could always bring up the subject of doing “69” together and see what he thinks/feels about it.  You could even bring him to our website and show him our position #46 and ask him if he’s willing to try it out.  This is basically the same thing as asking him to perform oral sex on you, except you are not having to use those specific words, and you will be giving to each other mutually.  I normally prefer the more direct approach, but because you say he is uncomfortable talking about sex in general, I thought that this would be a way to ask for it without having to ask for it.  This would be basically the same thing as giving him a BIG hint that you want to try it.

Be Direct. If you have been working overtime on the cleanliness and have given him opportunities and hints and nothing still seems to be working, then maybe you should just be direct with him.  I know that you said he isn’t comfortable talking about sexual things, but sometimes we need a little encouragement to come out of our ‘comfort zone’ in order to grow.  I would suggest that you pick a time to talk to him outside of your marriage bed.  In other words, don’t wait until you are in the middle of sex to mention it.  Tell him you’d like to sit down and talk to him about something and ask when would be a good time.  Make sure you two are alone and have each other’s undivided attention.  Start off by telling him some of the things that you love about your sex life.  Mention things that he does or says that make you melt.  Then say that you’d like to have a conversation about anything new you two might like to try together, and ask him if anything is on his mind that he’d like to try… maybe a new position etc.  Listen to what he has to say. Then at some point mention that you’ve been wondering what it would be like to receive oral sex.  “Honey, do you think that is something we could try?” Hopefully the conversation will go further and you two can discuss it.

If you absolutely do not think you will be able to get him to talk to you about sexual things, then you could always write it out for him to find.  Two ways are using email or a notebook.  You can write out your thoughts and feelings into the first page of a notebook and leave it on his side of the bed.  Tell him one evening that you wrote him a note and that you’d very much like for him to write you a note back in reply if he can.  That way maybe he will be able to write out his thoughts to you easier than saying them out loud face to face.  (This method has worked for other couples that have the same issues with talking.)  You can keep the journal in a nightstand and write back and forth to each other whenever you need to.

You may find that your husband feels inadequate at giving oral sex.  He may be too scared to try because he doesn’t have any experience with it and doesn’t know how to start.  If that’s the case then feel free to print out any of our articles pertaining to oral sex!  Here are some that you may be interested in:

Husband Brags

Ladies, you’ve got to admit, that it is SO easy to tear our men down.   Really easy.   You get in a disagreement or an argument with him.   Maybe a real doosey of a fight.   Maybe he came home late from work and didn’t call you.  Did he forget your birthday?  Anniversary?  Talk bad about your mother?

I know it is SO easy to go to work and start ranting and raving about your husband.  Do you get on the phone and vent to your best friend or on a message board?

Satan makes it really easy for us to do this.  Gossip on our lips.   Tearing our marriages down brick by brick.  Why do we do this?  Why would  we tear down the hearts of the men we promised to honor and cherish all the days of our lives no matter what?  No one promised us that marriage would be a bed of roses….yeah, those roses might have been on our bed on our honeymoon, but years later, when times get tough, it’s probably been a long time since we’ve gotten any flowers period.   Are we honoring God when we dishonor our husbands?

Ladies, we are definitely dishonoring God’s design for our marriage.  Listen to God’s words in Ephesians  “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)  What benefit is it to anyone that we speak so poorly of our husbands and tear them down?

This is my challenge to you.  Even when the times are tough…even when you don’t feel like it, find one good thing daily to say about your husband.   Post it on his Facebook page…say it to one of his coworkers…let him overhear you telling it to your friends…tell his Mom….tell him how much you love and appreciate him.   Ladies, I challenge you to be a Proverbs 31 wife.   ” A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.   She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. (Proverbs 31:10-12, emphasis mine)  Do you have a spouse that is not a Christian?  Then make your love and devotion to him be a message by example of your love and devotion to God.

What do I do?  Anything I can to help my husband know that he is loved, respected and appreciated.   I am not the best at it all the time, but I do leave messages on his Facebook page.  I make sure that I do whatever it takes to try to make life as stress free for my DH as possible.  We are going through a very stressful time right now where DH isn’t home as often as he used to be due to family matters he is taking care of.  Me…I am at home, trying to keep his house and care for his children, so that when he does come home, he can feel loved and respected.  I try to model Christ for him.   What do you do to lift up your husband?

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Q&A: Intercultural Marriages

Any advice for intercultural marriages?

My fiance and I grew up in different countries or cultures.

Someone emailed in this question and I wanted to take the time to respond to it. I would really appreciate ladies who have first hand experience offering their perspective in the comment section. I do not personally relate to this question, but having said that I have still learned a few things that I would offer as a jumping off point for this discussion.

Of my friends who are in intercultural marriages, from what I observe in their relationships, they do not have a whole lot more struggle than any of the rest of us. The need for effective communication is incredibly important no matter what a couple’s backgrounds are. In addition to that, success in marriage requires respect and maturity, and that applies whether or not a couple has been raised in the same culture.

Having said that, if a couple’s backgrounds are highly diverse, the adjustment towards intimacy may be a little more complicated. What is primarily important is that there is unity on important life issues such as faith and child rearing. If the couple is mutually committed to a healthy marriage, they can work through whatever differences they have. I don’t believe that cultural differences are any more insurmountable than other things. My husband was raised in a very different family than I was and we have had to learn to communicate well with each other, but my friend who married a man from Kenya man has had to learn the same thing. It’s not impossible when the couple is mature and approaches the relationship with a high commitment to loving each other well.

So basically I believe that if you are marrying a man who shares your faith and you approach your marriage focused on respecting each other and employ good communication skills, you are going to have a very successful marriage.

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