Weekly poll #39: Church sex and marriage classes

Monday’s Mission #93

Your mission this week is inspired by all the spring cleaning I’ve been doing lately. My spring cleaning always involves a lot of de-cluttering. I got to wondering about the clutter that ends up in our marriages; extra stuff we’ve taken on that is either simply in the way of us experiencing what we need in our marriage or that is actually taking away from the joy of what we could be sharing with our spouse. It might be something that looks good initially, but it’s become a distraction. If you can relate to the analogy, have a look at whether your relationship could use some things being let go of. Some things might be for others to have and other things just need to be dumped. What’s in the way of you and your husband experiencing all that you should in this season of your lives?

Q&A: Delayed Ejaculation

“My husband and I have been married for only a month, so I know we have a lot of time to work on this and figure it out, but we have sort of a  different problem. Rather than premature ejaculation, my husband  cannot ejaculate until about 45 minutes or an hour into sex. Even on our wedding night, we had sex for 2 hours and he did not even finish. Since then he has orgasmed every time but whether it be oral, hand or intercourse, it takes a very long time for him to finish, making exciting quickies nearly impossible for us. I adore our long love-making sessions, but we both would like to be able to acheive a spontaneous quickie sometimes. Any advice or tips would be MUCH appreciated. THANKS!”

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Again, we turned to our friendly neighborhood Sex Therapist, Lauren Jordan, to answer this woman’s question:

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The problem that you are describing is called Delayed Ejaculation, in that your husband needs an unusually long period of stimulation before he can have an orgasm.  The good news is that it sounds like you two have adapted to it by taking a “whatever it takes” kind of attitude – and he does have his climax every time.  If this is working for both of you, without your getting tired, impatient, bored, or just plain physically sore, then great!  If the length of time that it takes for him to have an orgasm is becoming a frustration or a burden to either of you, it would be a good idea to see a Certified Sex Therapist about it.

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A sex therapist would take some sessions to get a full sexual history for both of you.  Then, depending upon that information, would develop a treatment plan,  which would target the areas that s/he  believes are contributing to the problem.  These could be:  anxiety about performing, body image, difficulty focusing on the sensations during lovemaking, which could all make it difficult to reach climax.  There is some data that suggests that some men who have DE learned to masturbate in a non-typical way, and this has made learning to orgasm with a partner difficult.  The sex therapist might also take you through some exercises that you do at home to gradually move him in the direction of orgasming inside you.

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Unfortunately, I can’t tell you if it will be possible for you to have a “quickie” now and then, so I’m very glad that you both love your long lovemaking sessions.  You might also want to get a copy of Bernie Zilbergeld’s book, called The New Male Sexuality.  It has some exercises that you could do as part of a self-help program.  I do think you’ll likely need the expertise and support of a sex therapist, if this is something that you both really want to focus on changing.

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Lauren Jordan, LCSW
Certified Sex Therapist

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Cutting the Apron Strings (part 2)

This is a continuation of the Cutting the Apron Strings (part one).   In this article,  I will start with the parents.  Do you want to be a great inlaw?  You are in some good and bad company.  In the history of the Bible, there are some great and not so great inlaws.   How about Saul?  How would you rate him as a father in law?  I feel bad for his daughter, Michel.    She is given to David in marriage in hopes that David will be killed while trying to meet her dowry.   When this doesn’t happen, he constantly puts his daughter in the position of “you either side with Daddy or you side with your husband”.    I am sure in the beginning of my marriage, my own dad may have been that way.   Even though he always told me that his job was to raise me to give me away, he still  lost his little girl.    Let’s look at some good inlaws now.  How about Naomi?   When Ruth’s husband died, she was ready to give up her relationship with her daughter in law.  She must have been a darn good one if Ruth wanted to stay with her!   Or how about Jethro?  What kind of father in law was he to Moses?

Parents, if you want to be able to have a good relationship with your child who is marrying and his/her spouse, you’ve got to let them leave.   It is something that I haven’t experienced from the parent angle yet, but as the child who’s parent is hanging on, it doesn’t make things easy at all.   Parents, you’ve got to cut the counseling strings.   If your daughter or son comes to you, spilling their guts out to you, don’t say a word.   Dr. Young suggests these things… back up…shut up… pray a lot… listen and encourage.   Don’t take sides.    In this way, you can be a parent to both your child AND your DIL/SIN (son in law…not sin!  LOL)   Cut the economic strings…you can give economic help, but leave no strings attached to it.   “Since I paid for your marriage, I expect you to take care of me in my old age”or “since I helped pay for all this baby stuff, I need to be the first grandparent called to babysit”…um, no.   You can make an arrangement that it be paid back, but do not put stipulations on it.   Let your kids leave you.  Let them spread their wings and fly.  I know you’ve BTDT, but you’ve got to let them learn how to do it on their own.   It will build a very strong marriage for your children.  It will help them learn to let their own children leave someday when it comes time for them.

Alright, if you are on the “child” side of the coin, here’s my advice for you.  To have a successful marriage, you need to also leave the following things…

1. leave your parents:  Sometimes we need to create boundaries with our parents. Sounds bad, doesn’t it? We need to let them know that we love them, and we are grateful for the love, support and training that they have given us, but once we marry, we have created a new family that needs to be able to spread its wings and fly. This does not dishonor your parents by any means…it can actually honor them by not placing them in the situation where they have to take sides.   And depending on the parent, they might take yours or they might take your SPOUSES!  This can be hard on a young couple in their 20’s, but it can be just as hard for those marrying later in life as well. It is wonderful when you can be bailed out by your family, but the longer you take to learn to bail yourself out, the harder it is on your marriage.

2. leave people/former relationships: your mate is #1.   You can’t keep your weekly pool matches with your drinking buddies.  My own shopping sprees with my mom and sister…I really needed to leave them behind.  Anything that takes a lot of your time, it takes away from your spouse.   Now I’m not saying that a once a month GNO is bad, sometimes we need it, but it needs to be that…once a month.   We should be dating our spouse more than our friends.   Leave your past relationships behind.   There is no reason to compare your spouse to someone from the past…or someone you wish you had married instead…your grass can be just as green as what’s on the other side of the fence if you properly water and care for it.   Leave those emotional attachments in the past.

3. leave problems behind:  when you carry baggage around with you, it affects communication, sex life, etc.   1 John 1:9  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” If there is something to confess about, confess it to God, confess to your spouse, and don’t forget to forgive yourself!

4. leave places, too:   don’t compare to past places.  The good old days are in the past.  You are in the present.  There are good times to come, too with your spouse.

I hope that I have learned enough about God’s plan for marriage that when my two children get married someday, that I can help them leave our home and create their own bond with their spouses without any interference from me. Our job is to raise God fearing children and prepare them to fly out of our nest to build their own.

I would like for you to share your experiences below and any advice you may have for our readers who are engaged or newly married…lessons you have learned from your own experience. But remember this from the Gospel of Matthew “ “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (Matt 19:4-6) Do not let anything separate you from (1) God and (2) your spouse….including attachments to your “old home”.

Weekly Poll #38: Before you became a Christian, where did you find your definition of love?

You may choose more than one answer.

Monday’s Mission #92

Your mission this week is to try to find something new that your husband would enjoy in bed. Spend this week exploring new ideas and new parts of his body. If you’ve never caressed the soft area of skin between his testicles and anus, try it this week with some nice massaging oil. Or try a new sex move or initiate in a new way. Or maybe initiation tends to fall to him so you could step out and try being the one to approach sexually.

Q&A: Getting Over the Sexual Past of Your Spouse

A few weeks ago we discussed Letting Go of Your Past and now I wanted to take some time to talk about the issues associated with having stayed sexually pure while your spouse may not have done the same. We have had many people write in regarding this issue and the circumstances have really run the gamut. Some married just a few years. Some married for decades. It has been mostly sad to me how someone can hold something like this against their spouse for so long. There are some sins in Christian circles that just seem to be “deal breakers” when in comes to grace and mercy, and in particular sexual sins really fall into this category. I don’t know why, but within marriage it is even sadder when I read things in the Christian Nympho email inbox such as:

My wife had several sexual partners before we got together.  She is my only sexual partner.  It’s always been very difficult for me to deal with her sexual past.  I believe it’s because I dont really understand it!  I never had any trouble abstaining from sex, even when I was faced many times with the oppertunity.  She was raised in a christian family, and knew it was sinful, etc., but she still led a very promiscuous life before me.

And:

About six months after we started dating and after we had slept together, she told me she was not a virgin. I was crushed with a tidal wave of grief.

Both of these are from men, but women have written us and struggle with the same thing. There are two common threads in these emails which are important to recognize if you are struggling with this same thing. First of all, although the husband or wife is lamenting that their spouse did not stay pure for them, many times they also compromised their purity with them before they were married and had had some form of premarital sex. If you can relate to this aspect, please extend grace and refrain from attempting to hold your spouse to a higher standard than what you have held yourself to. Ask your husband or wife for forgiveness for not honoring them and ask the Lord to restore you both.

Secondly, it is very common in emails like this for a husband or wife to want to know the details about their spouse’s past. What they did. How many times. Who with. Somehow they think it will help them get some piece of mind, but it really doesn’t. I am not promoting that a spouse be deceitful and present themselves as something they are not, but I would encourage you, if you are struggling with this, to respect that a person who has confessed to the Lord and been forgiven needs to have their spouse be their biggest voice of freedom rather than continuing to bring up their past.

I can appreciate how painful it is to know that your spouse has had sex with other people, but really when you don’t forgive them you are allowing the enemy to have authority in your marriage and rob you of what God wants to release for you. Your spouse can not change their past and it’s too easy to allow these things to become idols in our hearts. As well, forgiving them allows you to become a safe sexual release for them. If they don’t have to worry about what you think about their sexuality, they can be free to enjoy the marriage bed you share.

I know this can be a difficult road, but it’s important for the health of your marriage. If you have encountered this and have some insight to share from your experience, please feel free to participate in the discussion.

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