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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Relationship Therapy: Rock the Boat?

by Michael Radkowsky, Psy.D.

Most of us prefer to avoid conversations that have the potential to disturb the peace of our relationships. Even when we have something important to say, we often choose to keep silent. Why chance having an argument or getting someone else angry at us? People often tell me, "speaking up just isn't worth the risk."
On the face of things, keeping quiet in your relationship may often seem like a wise choice. Shouldn't you do your best to keep your relationship running smoothly? Yet, when we struggle over whether or not to keep quiet, the topic is usually significant. And while speaking up may raise your anxiety, keeping silent usually isn't an anxiety-free choice.
Some examples (with names and details changed): Susan has a strained relationship with her dad, who has strong ideas about how his daughter should live her life. Now 30, Susan has acknowledged that she is lesbian to herself and to her friends, but not to her father. "Why bother?", she tells me in therapy. "It will only upset him, and then he'll be angry at me, which is really unpleasant." Susan thinks of telling her dad "someday", but in the meantime, she puts a good deal of effort into obscuring much of her life from him, and they have a distant, tense relationship. Besides being a tough way to live, Susan is keeping herself a stranger from her dad and limiting (rather than strengthening) her ability to be herself when she thinks others may disapprove of who she is.
Or take Jim, who is annoyed that his wife is seldom willing to have sex. He continually accepts excuses that involve tiredness, wrong time of day, or headaches, rather than pressing Marcy on the larger issue of their anemic sex life. In therapy, when I ask him why, he explains that bringing up his dissatisfaction and seriously talking with Marcy on this issue may lead to the wrong kind of change in their marriage. "Maybe she'll get mad at me and leave. Or maybe I'll find out I am not going to get what I want, and I will have to leave. I'd rather live with the hope that things in our relationship may get better."
Both Susan and Jim are avoiding conversations that will let someone close to them know them better and allow for a more honest relationship. They are both avoiding taking on a situation that they are not happy with, because they are afraid that things will get worse.
Of course, the same may be true for Susan's father and for Marcy. Susan's dad likely notices her distance, but doesn't press Susan for fear of hearing news he may not like. It is probable that Marcy is well aware of Jim's unhappiness, but is afraid, herself, to discuss her lack of desire or her own unhappiness in the relationship. Like her husband, Marcy never brings up the idea of seeking relationship therapy.
So, which is better? Keeping someone you love in the dark about who you really are, or dealing with their disappointment in you? Keeping silent on a difficult topic in the hope that things will change for the better, or speaking up and facing the possibility that things won't go the way you want them to? Such dilemmas may seem like a choice between the frying pan and the fire.
In my psychotherapy practice, I tell my therapy clients that it is worth considering how much your decision to keep silent or speak up is based on your desire to avoid anxiety. Are you choosing silence because you believe that you can't handle discord, disapproval, or change? Or are you acting out of a solid belief that keeping quiet is the best choice?
It is natural and understandable that most of us will try to avoid taking action when we are anxious about the consequences. However, when you make the choice not to rock the boat in your relationship, you are likely to still find yourself in a tough situation. The alternative is to learn how to tolerate the anxiety of speaking up even when you are scared to do so, because you believe that doing so is the best choice.
Although this can be difficult, I know it is doable, because I have worked with many psychotherapy clients on this issue. When you are able to speak thoughtfully about important but difficult matters, you have a better shot at honest communication and more intimate relationships. You are also likely to feel better about yourself, when you behave in ways that you respect.
 
For help with your marriage, click here to learn about relationship therapy in Washington DC with Dr. Michael Radkowsky.
Click here to learn about individual counseling in Washington DC with Dr. Michael Radkowsky.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Guidelines for Christian Sex

Since I speak and write books on sex, I get asked questions—a lot of questions. The most common questions relate to "what's okay in the bedroom?" Questions like: Is oral sex okay? What about anal sex? Is it wrong to role play with my husband? Is it okay that my husband likes to spank me? Do you think sex toys are wrong? What's wrong with a married couple watching porn together? Is masturbation okay?
Before we even get into discussing whether something is right or wrong in the bedroom, I want to emphasize that God's desire is for you and your husband to experience great pleasure! His standards are not to limit your enjoyment, but to heighten it. I think many Christian couples have no idea what freedom they have in the bedroom. They settle for "vanilla" sex (aka, the missionary position), placing self-imposed restrictions on themselves that have nothing to do with God's perspective. God made the marriage relationship a safe place for a husband and wife to explore, experiment, laugh, and get lost in sensational sex.
There is nothing spiritual or moral about limiting sexual pleasure in marriage. God is the greatest proponent of your pleasure—not the pleasure that is sweet for a season, but the deep, profound satisfaction that only grows sweeter with time. Once you understand what God has said "no" to, you are free to have a great time exploring all he has given you to enjoy.
As with all areas of life, God's instructions on sex can be found in the Bible. The Bible talks about sex a lot, but often the answers to sexual questions aren't found in a chapter or verse—for example, you won't find any references to vibrators. But using the Bible as a reference guide for decisions will make you wise in discerning good from evil (Hebrews 5:14) even when something seems like a gray area. Here are three questions that can help you discern whether certain sexual acts are right or wrong:
Question #1 – What does God clearly say "no" to?
There are some things the Bible is very clear about, particularly related to sex. Some women get confused about whether what God said "no" to in the Old Testament still applies in our day. For example, women wonder if it's okay to have sex during their period since the Old Testament law said not to. The Old Testament emphasized being ceremonially pure as a physical way of distinguishing God's people from the rest of the world, but since Jesus paid the sacrifice for our sin, being ceremonially clean isn't an issue anymore. However, all of God's people are still called to be morally pure, and sexuality is a big piece of moral purity.

Moral purity means that sexual expression is reserved for the covenant of marriage between a husband and wife. God says "no" to certain violations and perversions of this. Here is a summary of what God prohibits sexually:
  • Adultery: having sex with someone who is not your spouse. Jesus expanded adultery to mean not just physical acts, but emotional acts in the mind and heart (Matthew 5:28)
  • Homosexuality: The Bible is very clear that for a man to have sex with a man or a woman to have sex with a woman is wrong in God's eyes (Romans 1:27, 1 Corinthians 6:9)
  • Lustful Passions: First, let me tell you what this does NOT mean. Lustful passion does not refer to the powerful, God-given sexual desire for each other enjoyed by a married man and woman. Instead, it refers to an unrestrained, indiscriminate sexual desire for men or women other than the person's marriage partner (Mark 7:21 – 22, Ephesians 4:19)
  • Coarse Joking: In Ephesians 4:29, Paul says, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths." We have all been around people who can see a sexual connotation in some innocent phrase, then begin to snicker or laugh. This is wrong. However, this does not rule out sexual humor in the privacy of marriage, but rather inappropriate sexual comments in a public setting.
What God says "no" to probably didn't surprise you, but his standards are also not very "PC." If you believe that God, the creator of your sexuality, has your best interest in mind, you will understand that these boundaries are to protect you.
Question #2 – How do you keep sex just between you and your husband?
God said "no" to having sex outside of marriage and having sex with someone you're not married to, so why do we even ask this question? Because many people fudge on it.
Reserving sex, sexual fantasies, and sexual expression only for your husband means more than just what you do physically, but what you look at and what you think about. This is what Jesus said:
You have heard that it was said, "Do not commit adultery." But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:27-28

This includes fantasy, pornography, online relationships, and erotica. This seems like a pretty strict standard. Jesus goes on to advise us on how to deal with temptation:
If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. Matthew 5:29
His message is clear: get rid of whatever causes you to sin in your heart! If it is a portal for temptation, get rid of the iPhone, satellite TV, or your Facebook account. Cut off the relationship that is tempting you. If you really want to know what God says, take his warning seriously. Throw out the mommy porn. Stop flirting with anything that causes you to think, lust, or fantasize about someone other than your spouse.
Question #3 – Will this sexual activity be good for both of us?
This is where things get fuzzy. We don't see anywhere in the Bible where God clearly says "no" to things like sex toys, masturbation, or oral sex. In fact, you'll find very different opinions from Christian leaders on all these topics. The Corinthian church had questions about gray areas too. Instead of telling them exactly what to do, Paul gave them guidelines of how to use good judgment when the Bible doesn't clearly state something as right or wrong.
Everything is permissible for me—but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me—but I will not be mastered by anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12
A few chapters later, Paul seems to repeat himself:
Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. 1 Corinthians 10:23-24
Here's what you can take from these passages. There are many things in life that you are free to do and enjoy. When you are not sure whether something is okay, put it through Paul's filter:
  • Is this beneficial? Is it good for me? For my husband? Is it good for our marriage?
  • Does it master me? Can it be habit-forming or addictive?
  • Is it constructive? Does it help me grow and mature? Does it build our marriage?
  • Is it loving? Does this action show love towards my husband or is it selfish?
This may mean that for some couples, a sexual act will be fine, and for another couple, the same act isn't right for them. An example of this is oral sex. Some couples feel great freedom to include this in their lovemaking. For other couples, oral sex is a trigger for memories of sexual abuse or pornographic images. The same act can be loving for one couple and harmful for another.

Do you wish God had given you a list of sexual acts with a clear "yes" or "no" by each one? It sure would make things a lot easier. But God, in his wisdom, has left some things open for a husband and wife to talk and pray through. Ultimately, you have to seek his wisdom for your own marriage. If you and your husband disagree on a "gray area," you will have to listen and learn to love each other through the decision.
After all, sex is a lot more than just sharing your body—it's a journey of intimacy. Figuring out boundaries together gives you great opportunities to seek the Lord's wisdom, and to learn how to love each other more deeply.
Download TCW's "Guide to Sexual Satisfaction" at this link, and subscribe to our free Marriage Partnership e-newsletter at this link for weekly tips, advice, and encouragement in the joys, successes, trials, and tribulations of marriage.
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Juli SlatteryJuli Slattery is a widely known clinical psychologist, author, speaker, and broadcast media professional. She co-founded Authentic Intimacy (www.authenticintimacy.com) and is the co-author of Passion Pursuit: What Kind of Love Are You Making?

Friday, November 1, 2013

What women want from men

What do women find attractive in older men? We asked two women for their dos and don'ts
Couple outdoorsWhat do women look for in an older man?
Trudy Jones* is a leggy blonde who has just celebrated her sixtieth birthday and a divorce from her husband of 34 years.
A forthright Northerner, Trudy offered a succinct assessment when asked what were the major turn-offs in men her age and older:
"Beige!" She explains: "You know those people who go around in a sort of beige burqa of matching windcheater, trousers, shoes and cap. It just shrieks 'pensioner' to me. It says 'I'm old and I've lost interest in being sexy'."


Things to avoid


Included on Trudy's list of no-nos are a bad hairpiece and dyed hair, following a date with a man sporting hair not his own. Her advice? "Just shave your head! It's trendy now".
As an active horse rider and grandmother of five, Trudy has no time for couch potatoes either. But, reassuringly, she doesn't expect perfection in a prospective partner. "As long as your clothes fit and you don't smell you can't go wrong as long as there's chemistry".
She says of her current partner, "When I first met him, he had a terrible old vest and tatty underpants that he washed every night by hand - they've gone pink now - but they're clean and I fancy him so it doesn't matter."
Trudy's partner seems to agree, saying admiringly "I never knew grannies could be so sexy!"


Grooming


Stella Asquith*, 58 and a divorcee, has some sympathy with Trudy's view.
"As long as a man's clean and well groomed, a bit of cragginess can actually look good. I don't mind grey hair or baldness."
She too has an aversion to couch potatoes and a hatred of beige for much the same reasons as Trudy.
"Beige means dressing old, giving up. But I can't bear men trying to look young in groovy clothing either, and I think that white socks should be banned on anyone over the age of 19, likewise white shoes. As for gold, ugh! Gold chains are absolutely out. I prefer classic clothing and I like men to look their age."
For Stella, "The very worst things are personal habits like picking noses or scratching spots…things like bad table manners or strange eating habits are difficult to live with. Good manners are essential."


Nasty habits


In fact, personal traits top Stella's list of qualities for an ideal man. "In the 50s and 60s there are usually quite a lot of things that are dropping off, but personality can make up for much of that.
Kindness, tolerance, consideration for others, a zest for life, intelligence, life experience, energy, enthusiasm, grooming, an openness to new people, places and ideas, modesty, independence, confidence, enthusiasm, being well-read, outdoorsy. These are the ideal qualities. But if someone was overweight for example, that could be counterbalanced with lovely manners."
However, Stella says that although she feels very lucky to have been born a baby boomer, "A lot of men in my age group were brought up in an age when men were much more important and I can't bear to be dominated.
"I always expect to be an equal partner. So that might be the only good reason I can think of for a younger man!"
*All names have been changed.
Find love online by setting up a free profile on Saga Connections.

How sex makes you look and feel better

How sex makes you look and feel better

It puts a sparkle in your eye and a glow in your cheeks, what's more it even counts as exercise

LaughingSex puts a sparkle in your eyes and a glow in your cheeks
Having sex, looking good

People who have sex at least three times a week can look up to 10 years younger than those who make love less frequently, according to Dr David Weeks of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital.
Weeks' study of more than 3,500 people aged between 18 to 102 concluded that genetics were only 25 per cent responsible for how young we look - the rest is down to behaviour.
Dr Weeks says this is partly because sex in women helps trigger the production of a human growth hormone that helps them keep their youthful looks.
Sex also pumps oxygen around the body, boosting the circulation and the flow of nutrients to the skin.
And, of course, being in a sexual relationship can in itself be a good incentive to look after your appearance and stay in shape.

Sex is exercise

Estimates of the number of calories you can burn off during lovemaking vary, but there's no doubt that sex does constitute something of a workout, raising the heart rate and pumping oxygen around the body.
"On a basic level, sex is exercise, which is good for everybody," explains Paula Hall, a sexual psychotherapist with Relate.
"It's good for blood pressure, muscle tone and the cardiovascular system. It also produces hormones, which are good for restoring tissue."
Lovers should also take note that more exercise can make for better sex too. Several studies have shown that regular exercise helps to improve sexual function and satisfaction levels.

In the mood

Sex triggers the release of chemicals and hormones in the body that can relieve stress and pain, as well as making for better relationships.
"Sex is a brilliant stress reliever and releases pain-killing endorphins," explains Paula Hall.
"It also helps both chemically and psychologically to keep a couple's relationship alive. This is because sex produces oxytocin, a chemical linked with pair bonding that helps to produce strong feelings of affection between couples."

Sex forever!

The lack of positive images in the media may lead some people to feel that they are 'past it' when it comes to sex. But the fact is that your sexual life can markedly improve with the years.
"As you age, you have to learn to adapt to your sex life," says Paula Hall.
"But sexual wisdom and sexual knowledge are likely to improve considerably with age and you are likely to be less inhibited. Sexual performance does change, but sexual intimacy can get better and better."
Subscribe to our free  fortnightly health newsletter for more informative health features and news stories delivered straight to your inbox.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

TRUE STORY: How This Lady Was Forced To Maké Lové With A Dog And A Horse For Money

When the Internet first came to the continent of  African society,most people were  very pleased with it because it reduces stress of communication with lové around the world,it also serve as productive purposes like communication.
It served many people for chatting, sending mails and even business. As the time passed by many ladies discovered that they could use the internet to find a chat friend or a life partner.Some girls have greatly benefited just by using the internet to find their dream marriages or relationhsips. Others have fallen into traps in the West and wish they would never have known what the internet was.This is the case of one Cameroonian,Elvire Axelle Tchamakoua. Continue.......
SEE HOW IT ALL HAPPEN....
Axelle is prostituté who is pimped to various men by her main man Jean Claude(French Businessman).She did not mind serving her customers from the front or from behind.The use of condoms during her encouters was the allowed as it brings more money to the table for her and her main man.She has been doing this job for quite a while and was used to this.The shocking part of it is that,Axelle is a 24 year old girl with a Formal Training Certificate in Esthetics and Beauty.Why a young lady in her age would wish for fast cash is the question many people are asking.
According to report Axelle met her pimping Boss,Jean Claude on the Internet in October 2011.They had a normal chat like every other person would have when chatting with a stranger. Jean Claude told her he was a Businessman based in Marseille (frence)and was into import and export. Axelle who thought she had found the lové of her life continued her communication with Jean Claude Fayard and on March 2012 he came to visit her in Cameroon.There was a huge celebration at Axelle´s Aunt´s Residence at Santa Barbara in Yaounde.Two days in Cameroon,Jean Claude proposed to Axelle and got married to her in both traditional and Legal Ceremonies. Both marriages took place on the 18th and 20th of March 2012 respectively.
Jean Claude made all travelling arrangements and the both of them flew to France on the 21 of March that same year.He even gave Axelle´s family the sum of 600.000FCFA for their up keep.Not knowing that they were selling their daughter into séx slavery,the family happily bid the couple goodbye as they left for France.
The truth of the matter was that Jean Claude is a pimp who goes to Africa and picks up girls to come and work as séx slaves for him in France. Since Axelle did not know about this, she would wish she never used the internet in her life.As the couple arrived France,they lived in a town called Clermont Ferrand for about 9 months after which they moved to a new place called Lourdes. It is in this place that Axelle had the worst experience of her life.
A few days after their arrival to Lourdes,a man knocks on the door saying he wants to see Jean Claude.Little did Axelle know that,he would be her first client who had already paid into her husband´s bank account.When Axelle called her husband´s attention to the guest, she was shocked when her husband told her to do whatever the guest tells her to do.
A few days later after coming home from work,Jean Claude sits Axelle and laid down the rules and regulations of the job.He told her she has to pay back all the money he spent on her in Cameroon.He calculated the amount to be more than 3,000 euros and she will also be working for him for the next two years. Axelle who became speechless thought she was dreaming. It was  worse when Jean Claude collected her personal belongings and all her documents.She was also prohibited from making any calls to the outside world.
Every day she had male customers who would come for her service taking her from front and behind all the time. She was mandated to do whatever they wanted.They would not use any protection during intercourse. One day Jean Claude came home with a customer accompanied by a dog.The man whose name is Loiseau had deposited some money into Jean Claude´s account. Axelle who didn't see this coming was pushed into the room and forced to have séx with the dog which she did. It is said that Jean Claude made more money when Axelle sleeps with an animals so these deals became the order of the day.
After her encounter with the dog, Jean Claude left with Mr Loiseau leaving Axelle alone in the house. After numerous trials,she broke down the door and ran into the street where she met a Cameroonian couple living in the town.They helped her to get to the Embassy where she narrated her ordeal.The Police was immediately dispatched to Jean Claude´s house where they found evidences linking him to kidnapping and other serious allegations. Jean Claude was immediately arrested and is waiting for judgement.Meanwhile Axelle flew back to Cameroon and was immediately taken to the hospital for further examinations and treatments.
See what the Internet can do to the youths of a country. all that glitters are not  Gold, my dear brothers and sisters.If some of you could hear the stories of some Africans in the Diaspora,you will not envy them at all. After everything, home is the best even when our government and politicians fail us.What do you guys think.I need your contributions.

Monday, October 21, 2013

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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sex Can Be Addictive .

In the movie Blades Of Glory, the character Chazz Michael Michaels, played by actor Will Ferrel, was a self-confessed sex addict. For those who do not believe in the possibility of people being addicted to sex, Will Ferrel’s character would surely be just fictional. However, one episode of The Tyra Banks Show also discussed sexual addiction and even had guests who openly admitted to being sex-addicts. What was more surprising is the fact that one of their guests is only 14 years old and she confessed to being a sex addict since she was 12. Though hard to believe, it is actually true that some people get addicted to sex. How or why this happens will be discussed later on in this article. A person, especially those who engage in frequent sex, might wonder how he or she can determine if his or her behavior is already considered an addiction or not. Characteristics that differentiate sex addicts from those who are just sexually active are also included in this article. Sexual addiction is considered a mental health problem and is very similar to other forms of addiction such as those with alcoholics and drug addicts. Like most health problems too, sexual addiction can be managed or treatment using a method very similar to that used among alcoholics.

Addiction is usually said to be associated, if not a result of, stress and anxiety disorders. A tragic or traumatic event may cause a person to feel self-hatred, extreme anger, loneliness, and depression. In search for an event or situation to change these negative feelings, they seek for things that would can give them pleasure. Substances such as alcohol, amphetamines, and cocaine have a component within them that causes a person to release more dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is the primary neurotransmitter responsible for the good or pleasurable feelings that most people experience. Engaging in some activities such as sex and having an orgasm trigger the same reaction within the brain. Because of the satisfaction, relief or escape that these substances and activities provide to a person who is already psychologically troubled, he or she will seek to experience the euphoria some more. As a result, an addiction develops as well as feelings of obsession and compulsion.

Engaging in sexual or romantic activities is considered natural among humans. The moderation or frequency among each individual, however, varies. Some people do these activities more frequently compared to others but that does not necessarily make them sex addicts.

Some of the characteristics that should be observed in a person to consider him or her as a possible sexual addict are listed below:

l He or she must have a pattern of failing in resisting his or her impulse to engage in specific sexual behaviors;

l He or she must frequently engage in those sexual behaviors to a greater extent or longer period than what he or she is intended;

l He or she might experience a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to stop, reduce, or control those sexual behaviors;

l He or she spends an inappropriately large amount of time or resources spent in obtaining sex, being sexual, or recovering from sexual experience;

l He or she has a certain preoccupation with certain sexual behaviors or preparatory activities;

l He or she still frequently engages in sexual behaviors even when expected to fulfill occupational, academic, domestic, or social obligations;

l He or she still continues to do the sexual behaviors or activities despite knowing that he or she will have a persistent or recurring social, financial, psychological, or physical problem that is caused or made worse by the behavior; and

l He or she feels distressed, anxious, restless, or irritated if he or she is unable to engage in sexual behaviors or activities.

There are also different levels of sexual addiction. Level one is being engaged in compulsive sexual activities or thoughts only. Level two already includes acts of voyeurism, exhibitionism, and rubbing against people in public places. Level three is when a person already commits much more serious and intrusive sexual offenses that have more harmful consequences.

Sexual addiction, like most other addictions, have several negative consequences. Someone who engages in sexual activities frequently with other people has a greater tendency to acquire infections such as AIDS for example. A female sex addict also has a higher chance of getting pregnant. Sex addicts usually have financial problems because of their uncontrolled expenditure to satisfy their addiction. They will also have social problems such as difficulty relating to their family and their friends primarily because they already have a sense of shame being aware of their problem and the inability to control it.

Professional help is very much needed in order for a person to recover from this kind of addiction. Therapy sessions with professionals may either be done individually or in a group. Several organizations such as Sex Addicts Anonymous and Sexaholics Anonymous already provide programs and support groups to help a person who has an addiction to change and get better in avoiding the compulsion. Some medications can also be used to treat not necessarily a person’s sexual addiction but his or her co-occurring psychological problems.

Monday, August 26, 2013

How to Stop Premature Ejaculation - 3 Easy Tips to Last Longer in Bed and Not Climaxing Too Soon


Premature Ejaculation happens to each and every man in different phases in his life. Of course it is something he is hoping to forget and get over and done with but there are times when a person has to take matters into his own hands and how to stop premature ejaculation should be the utmost priority.
This is not your usual chocolate moment - relax and ease out. It should not always be a quick masturbatory element on your part. What you have to do is experiment on how to stop premature ejaculation by finding out your boiling point. You have to understand the movement of your penis from stiffness to eruption. Even though it is your body, there are times when listening to Anatomy 101 would be a little helpful since you have to know that there Erection Stages that completes the whole process. It is about growing, filling lengthening, hardening beyond measurable doubts and the last part which is ejaculation.
Step #1: Experiment, Awareness.
The tip here is to go through the usual process of getting comfortable and close your eyes. When you feel that your legs are about to have muscle cramps, stop, relax and resume the masturbation. You have to be conscious of what you are doing here since the need to know how to stop premature ejaculation can be achieved just by paying attention to your movements and breathing.
Step #2: Positions to Avoid.
There are two major sexual positions you have to stay away from. Although for you to last longer, know how to stop premature ejaculation by not participating on the Missionary and Doggy Style. These two positions make you thrust a little stronger and not control your muscles.
Step #3: Pressure Points to Touch.
You have to master this technique on how to stop premature ejaculation by knowing where to apply pressure when you think you are about to ejaculate. These are areas near your perineum or that portion just in the middle of your scrotum and your anus. You could also apply some gentle tugs on your scrotum. Don't allow your partner to apply circular movements on it since you will erupt in no time. Should your partner do this, squeeze the head part of your penis in a gentle manner to help prevent having fireworks.
Try these steps to how to stop premature ejaculation to have a longer and lasting pleasure.

Monday, August 19, 2013

How to Deepen Your Relationship with Touch and Sex


“Passion comes easily in the early days of a relationship. Almost every word, glance and touch vibrates with lust. It’s nature’s way of drawing us together. But after the captivating rush of desire, what is the place of sex in a relationship? Besides pulling us in, can sex also help to keep us together to build a lasting relationship? Emphatically, yes. In fact, good sex is a potent bonding experience. The passion of infatuation is just the hors d’oeuvre. Loving sex in a long-term relationship is the entree.” Dr. Sue Johnson in Hold Me Tight.
Much of what we hear in popular culture and from some self help gurus is that passion is a passing sensation, which fades as a relationship matures. The high intensity of sexual desire that characterizes the beginning of your relationship is thought to inevitably diminish with time. Unfortunately, too much emphasis has been placed on the mechanics of sex: positions, techniques, and toys to enhance physical bliss.
When couples feel secure in their relationship, then emotional connection creates great sex and great sex deepens the emotional connection. For emotionally accessible, responsive and engaged couples, sex becomes intimate play where sexual needs, deepest joys and vulnerabilities are shared. Sexually satisfied couples are truly ‘making love’.
Happy couples attribute only 15-20% of their happiness to a satisfying sex life. On the other hand, unhappy couples believe that 50-70% of their unhappiness is due to an unsatisfying sex life. (McCarthy & McCarthy, 2003). The reason sex is such a big issue with unhappy couples is because it is the first thing affected when a relationship begins to falter. It is not usually the real problem, but more of a symptom. It is a bit like the “canary in the mine” warning a couple of danger. It signals that the couple do not feel emotionally safe which each other. The security of our emotional connection defines our relationship in bed as well as out.
The most common physical sexual problems are low sex drive for women and premature ejaculation for men. This is not surprising. When women are unhappy in relationships they typically feel alone, emotionally disconnected. If they are seeking reassurance that they are valued for who they are as a person and do not receive it they shut down sexually. When men are unhappy, they often focus more on their sexual performance and their own release rather than focussing on pleasing her. When she senses this, it can make her feel more alone and sex becomes less pleasurable for her. This reinforces his sense of inadequacy, and the sexual issues continue, increase and then are seen as ‘the’ problem for a couple. Most often, when couples can create a secure emotional connection, their sex life improves automatically.
Deepening Your Connection through Touch and Sex
If you or your partner is not feeling emotionally secure and safe in your relationship, it will not be possible to have a constructive conversation about improving the quality of your sex life. I have written in previous articles about how to create a greater sense of security by learning how to stop destructive conversations and how to de-escalate conflict. Appreciating the vulnerabilities of your partner is also a prerequisite for deeper conversations. For those of you in more secure relationships, you must have the courage to reveal your own deeper desires and needs and have the courage to ask your partner for the love you need.
If you and your partner are feeling emotionally secure, then below are a few suggestions to deepen your connection through touch and sex. Some of these may be very hard to do. Perhaps more attention on touch than sex would be good place to start. Remember to stay open, responsive and engaged as you have these conversations. Try these and have some fun!
1. With your partner, recall a time in your relationship when sex was really satisfying. The person who tends to initiate sex less goes first. Share the story of this pleasant and happy experience with your partner in as much detail as possible. Talk about what you think made it so memorable. Then the other person shares a different story.
2. Have a conversation about “If I was perfect in bed.” One person begins by saying: “If I were perfect in bed, I could, I would______________, and then you would feel more______________.” Share at least three responses with each other.
3. Think of all the ways touch can show up in your relationship. For example, holding hands while out together, a spontaneous hug while making dinner together, giving a shoulder or back massage or brushing her hair. Take turns telling your partner your favourite nonsexual ways of being touched.
Touch can be enjoyable in and of itself as a way of connecting emotionally. It does not always have to lead to sex. Spontaneity, anticipation, surprise can create the right mood. Touch is a powerful expression of love. Sex can then be simply for fun, as way of getting close, a straight forward release, a way to deal with

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Good Sex Is a Good Thing

Sex. It can ignite our senses, fill us with ripples of pleasure and awaken a new dimension of feeling for our partner. Lovemaking doesn't require extraordinary skill, nor is it limited to young couples in the throes of passion. Couples of all ages can cultivate sexual bliss for the duration of their lives together.
So what's the trick? One of the most important and often overlooked components of a rewarding sex life is exercise. Regular exercise can pique sexual desire and make sex more enjoyable.

Good Sex Is a Good Thing

Though definitions vary, "good sex" might be thought of as an act of intimacy that promotes health and well-being. Good sex provides significant physical and physiological benefits. Enjoyed in the context of a happy relationship, "sex boosts chemicals in the body that protect against disease," says Paul Pearsall, Ph.D., author of the book "Superimmunity."
Research also suggests that sex and masturbation can help ease joint and muscle pain, combat depression, promote heart health and lengthen life span.
All too often, however, we haven't the time or energy for sex. According to the Masters and Johnson Institute, at least a third of American couples experience a lack of sexual desire. After a stressful day at work, it's easy to neglect the ultimate celebration of human pleasure.
There are ways to ensure that lovemaking remains a passionate, intense and regular part of our repertoire no matter what our age or how busy our lifestyle.



Create Energy for Sex

The surest way to whet sexual appetite and increase sexual activity is through physical exercise. Potent medicine, aerobic exercise revs up hormones, flushes stress, whittles away fat and rejuvenates the body, filling us with renewed vigor, greater confidence and the glow of good health. Regular exercise also increases blood flow to the genitals, priming men and women for sex.
"Beginning a fitness routine has made a difference in our sex life," remarks 42-year-old Mary Jane Platt, a mother of three. "Since we began biking together, we have so much more energy for each other. It's wonderful."
Mary Jane's experience isn't unusual. A University of California study of middle-aged, sedentary men found that after just one hour of exercise three times a week, the men demonstrated improved sexual function, more frequent sex and orgasms and greater satisfaction.
Similarly, researchers at Bentley College in Massachusetts found that women in their 40s engaged in sex more often (about seven times per month), and enjoyed it more than a sedentary group of peers. Since sex can be an act of endurance, improving cardiovascular fitness with aerobic activity such as walking, running, cycling or swimming for at least 30 minutes, three times per week, will help both partners perform longer and more often.
Push-ups and sit-ups or crunches are also beneficial exercises to add to an aerobic routine. They strengthen the shoulders, chest and abdominals, all of which are utilized during sexual intercourse. Keeping these muscles strong helps increase strength and stamina, adding to prolonged, more pleasurable sex.


Warm Ups for Sex

Unlike the muscles in our arms or legs, sex muscles are rarely active during the course of the day. However, by strengthening these "secret" muscles, couples can enjoy more intense sex. Kegel exercises firm the muscles of the vagina, helping women gain muscle control (to grip the penis) and reach orgasm more easily.
Men can use this exercise to delay ejaculation by contracting the pubococcygeal (PC) muscles just before orgasm, then fully relaxing them. Named after Los Angeles physician Arnold Kegel, these exercises strengthen the PC muscles in the pelvis. Though sometimes confused with the abdominal muscles, PCs are the muscles used to stop the flow of urine midstream (not the muscles used to hold in your stomach or tighten your buttocks).
Here's how Kegels work: Contract your PC muscles by clenching, as though stopping urine, and hold for at least two to three seconds per squeeze. Inhale as you squeeze each time and try to fully relax your muscles between each contraction. So you don't get sore, start with just 10 or 20 squeezes. Kegels can be practiced nearly anytime and in any place.
Try them in the morning with each bite of breakfast, while chatting with a co-worker, while watching television or flipping the pages of a magazine until you can do at least 100 to 200 each day. "The squeeze" is fun and easy, and can stimulate erotic feelings. Daily workouts for about one month should yield results.


Stretches for Sex

The following pelvic stretches will help keep the muscles used during sex limber and flexible and help facilitate orgasm. Each stretch can be done in the bedroom on a firm mattress or on the floor. Wear either loose clothing or nothing at all, and consider playing your favorite music. As these exercises can arouse strong sexual desire, you may wish to try these with your partner.

Pelvic Lifts

Lie on your back with knees bent and slightly apart. Feet should be flat on the floor and arms at your side. Inhale, clenching your abdominals and buttocks and lifting the pelvis until your back is straight. Take care not to arch your back. Breathe as you hold the position for at least 10 seconds. Exhale as you lower your body and repeat the exercise.
After you complete your lifts, try a few pelvic bounces, an exercise that can "evoke powerful sexual feelings," according to sex therapists David and Ellen Ramsdale.
As with the pelvic lift, knees are bent and slightly apart. Your palms should face up. Inhale and lift your pelvis just slightly off the ground. Then, exhale and let it down so your lower back bounces gently against the floor. Experiment with variations. Your goal is to feel a sense of openness and release.

The Butterfly

Lie on your back with knees bent. Feet should be together and flat on the bed. Next, pull your feet in until they touch your buttocks. Turn your ankles so the soles of your feet are facing each other and touching. Your knees will point out to the sides of the bed.
Lower your knees toward the bed taking care not to force them down. You or your partner may gently press downward on your inner thighs. When your knees are as far apart as is comfortable, hold for 60 seconds. Gently bring the knees back together with your hands and relax.
This exercise can also be done sitting up, back-to-back with your partner. Sit up as straight as possible with your spines pressed gently together. Relax your shoulders and keep your head in line with your spine. Bring your feet in as close to your body as possible, and turn them so your soles touch and knees point out. Clasp your feet. Breathe deeply and watch as your knees begin to lower, taking care not to force the knees down.
The butterfly is also beneficial for menstrual irregularities urinary problems and is thought to help ease the pain of childbirth.



Sexual Fitness

There are many other exercises and stretches that can enhance not only our sex lives but our mental and physical health. Yoga and dance classes offer great workouts and help stretch the pelvic region. Swimming and other sports that involve kicking motion, are also beneficial.
Regular exercise of almost any kind helps elevate energy, stamina, passion, pleasure...all aspects of our sex lives. So exercise and enjoy! The benefits are many.



Friday, July 19, 2013

Counseling for Marriage


One of the first things that one needs to do before entering marriage is to understand one’s self. I’ve devised this instrument that may help with this.
What or who comes first in your life? This is an important question in every relationship. If you were to list the three most important people in your life, the three most important ways to spend your money (after marriage), and the three most important ways to spend your time what would they be? Below there is a "his" and "hers" list. Starting with the most important in each category list the things that pertain to you.
Your priorities in life indicate your loyalties to people. One of the major tasks of marriage is the shifting of your loyalties from the family in which you grew up to the new family you will be creating with your spouse-to-be. This shifting of focus may be as difficult for you as it will be for your family. However, it is essential so you and your mate may develop your own family unit.
Your priorities also give you direction and goals you feel you must achieve. This is the direction --- the path--- you have chosen to take you where you want to be. One of the important ingredients in a good marriage is a couple’s sharing a common direction in life, a desire to travel the same paths in finance, family, and faith and achieve the same goals.
The important people in HER life. The important people in HIS life.
1. ______________________________ 1. ______________________________
2. ______________________________ 2. ______________________________
3. ______________________________ 3. ______________________________
  
HER ways to spend money HIS ways to spend money
1. ______________________________ 1. ______________________________
2. ______________________________ 2. ______________________________
3. ______________________________ 3. ______________________________
HER ways to spend time HIS ways to spend time
1. ______________________________ 1. ______________________________
2. ______________________________ 2. ______________________________
3. ______________________________ 3. ______________________________
Do you want the same things out of life? Your priorities will change over the years as you grow and develop. And if the two of you communicate well, you will find your priorities growing, developing and changing together.

Communication

"I see communication as a huge umbrella that covers and affects all that goes on between human beings. Once a human being has arrived on this earth, communication is the largest single factor determining what kinds of relationships he makes with others and what happens to him in the world about him."
Virginia Satir.
Good communication is the art of sending and receiving a clear message. We are all continuously sending and receiving messages to and from one another. Even when we don’t talk or write, we are sending a message through our body language or with our eyes or even by what we don’t say or do!
One of the largest problems that new couples (and sometimes old couples) have is communication. It’s a two-way street. It requires both a sender and a receiver. The problem comes when there is only one or the other, or even worse, when there is neither.
You have come from two different families. You have learned how to communicate by the way your family communi-cates. Some people come from families where it’s common to speak loudly or even yell during heated discussions and others are appalled as such behavior for they come from a quiet acquiescent family. The most important factor in a good marriage is good communication. While finances, sex, or other issues may be the topic of heated discussions, marital dissatisfactions, and even breakups, the inability of a couple to communicate and find a solution is the root of the problem. So, you must convey a clear message.
In having a happy cohesive marriage it’s most important to give quality time to your spouse. Quite often I hear one or the other person saying, "I’m just taken for granted." Or, in other words this person feels that they no longer have any value to the other person. Now is the time to set aside time to share with one another those precious moments and to share in the things in life that have happened apart from one another---through good communication.
Always remember that your partner may see things differently than you do. Different doesn’t necessarily mean "wrong"; it doesn’t mean "bad"; it just means different and you should respect the other person’s opinion. Listening is the key to understanding and love is the key to patience.
In the worksheets that I’ve provided, I want you to read each statement and then answer quickly "True" or "False" on your own worksheet. Your first response should be your answer. Each of you do the work alone and then compare your answers after you have both completed the worksheet. There are 20 questions relating to your family.
1. T     F The hardest topic for my family to talk about is sex.
2. T     F In my family when my parents were angry, they would hit or slap each other.
3. T     F In my family I often heard the phrase "I love you" spoken among family members.
4. T     F In my family each person’s feelings were important, and we were encouraged to share and talk about them.
5. T     F My father would say one thing and do another.
6. T     F In my family, yelling was one way of getting what we wanted.
7. T     F There is a great deal or arguing and fighting in my family.
8. T     F My parents listened to my opinion and tried to understand me.
9. T     F My mother was the parent in charge and her word was law.
10. T     F My father had to have the last word on everything.
11. T     F It’s important in my family to respect the rights and privacy of each other.
12. T     F In my family, God and Christ was the center of everything.
13. T     F My parents would go for hours without talking when they were angry.
14. T     F In my family, everyone was encouraged to express their thoughts openly.
15. T     F Honesty, integrity, and truth were at the forefront of our lives.
16. T     F My family enjoys playing together.
17. T     F My mother frequently complimented my father.
18. T     F My father frequently complimented my mother.
19. T     F I frequently saw my mother and father kiss and make up after fights.
20. T     F It was OK to cry in front of each other.
In this next set of questions, you should respond to how you want communication to be between the two of you.
1. T     FIt’s very important that you accept my feelings.
2. T     F I think that we should be able to disagree without fighting.
3. T     FSometimes I’m afraid to tell you what I really think.
4. T     F I believe that arguing is bad for a marriage.
5. T     F I believe that both the man and the woman should be able to express their feelings.
6. T     F I think I am an attentive listener.
7. T     F I think that it’s alright to talk about our married life with whomever I please.
8. T     F Sometimes I need "space" before I can discuss something I’m upset about.
9. T     F I find it difficult to share my feelings.
10. T     F When I have a problem, I believe you’ll be there to help me.
11. T     F Loud yelling bothers me and I withdraw when it occurs.
12. T     F I find it difficult to criticize you without your getting angry.
13. T     F Sometimes I need time to myself but that doesn’t mean I don’t love you.
14. T     F I think that we should be able to put each other down and tease each other.
15. T     F The hardest topic for us to talk about is religion.
16. T     F I think that you frequently talk down to me.
17. T     F I’m willing to compromise to keep peace in our relationship.
18. T     F I would like to have our serious talks just before bedtime.
19. T     F Sometimes I can be very pushy and to the point.
20. T     F Disagreement can be healthy in a marriage if both people fight fairly to resolve differences.
21. T     F It’s very important to me to know how you feel and what you think.
22. T     F I’m very sensitive to criticism.
23. T     F I believe that it’s important to you to be right all the time.
24. T     F When I get angry and you ask me what’s wrong, I will answer "Nothing."
25. T     F I think the man should be the head of the house.
26. T     F It’s very hard for me to change my mind once I’ve made a decision.
27. T     F I believe that it’s OK to keep secrets from each other.
28. T     F I think that you often interrupt me and try to dominate the conversation.
29. T     F I believe that if you don’t get your way, you’ll be angry with me.
30. T     F I feel close to you when you let me help you.
Now that you’ve finished both parts of the communication work sheets it’s time to compare. This is not the time to find fault with one another, but a time to find what you have in common and to find the strong and weak points on which you can build.

Communication Covenant

Marriage is a special kind of relationship. It’s a covenant to be open, honest, faithful, and it’s permanent.
Place your initials in the space following the responsibilities you agree to in this Communication Covenant. You have the freedom, of course, to make any changes to fit your own personal relationship.
I understand that communication is the key to a successful marriage, so I agree to the following responsibilities:
1. I understand that communication is the key to understanding and agree to be as clear and open as possible. ______    ______
2. I agree to find a special sharing time each day to give my spouse my undivided attention. ______    ______
3. When there’s something important to discuss, I agree to turn off the TV, turn off all other distractions, and turn my attention to my spouse. ______    ______
4. I agree to share my thoughts openly and honestly with my spouse and give him/her my approval to share openly and honestly with me. ______    ______
5. I agree to share my feelings openly and honestly with my marriage partner. ______    ______
6. I agree to be an attentive listener. ______    ______
7. I agree to never to call names, hit, or say "I don’t love you" to marriage partner. ______    ______
8. I agree that it’s OK to disagree about some things. ______    ______
9. I agree to take responsibility for what I say and do. ______    ______
10. I agree to never speak for you unless I’ve consulted you. ______    ______
11. I agree to be truthful with you. ______    ______
12. I agree to hug you every day of your life. ______    ______
13. I agree to spend time with you each year that will enrich our marriage. ______    ______
14. I agree that if, for any reason, our communication seriously breaks down, I will go with you and get professional help. ______    ______
I, _______, agree to this Communication Covenant because I love and respect you and want only the best for us in our marriage relationship.
Signature: _____________________________________
I, ________, agree to this Communication Covenant because I love and respect you and want only the best for us in our marriage relationship.
Signature: _____________________________________

WHO DOES WHAT?

This next section will deal with "who does what?" It’s to get the idea of how you feel the way the marriage responsibilities should work. Even these small issues are important for it lets each of you know what is expected of the other. After answering these questions and comparing answers, you will need to identity the "why" and then decide as to the "who". The answer key will be: H- husband W- wife B-both N- neither.
  1. Do the grocery shopping.
  2. Take care of children when they’re sick.
  3. Decide what insurance to buy.
  4. Decide what TV programs to watch.
  5. Go to P.T.A. meetings.
  6. Do the lawn work.
  7. Help children with homework.
  8. Repair household appliances.
  9. Is the boss.
  10. Do the hugging in the family.
  11. Decide which church to attend.
  12. Take out the trash.
  13. Make the beds.
  14. Choose a house.
  15. Set up social activities.
  16. Do the ironing.
  17. Decide where the family will go on vacation.
  18. Will work for the family income.
  19. Vacuum the house.
  20. Keep the cars running.
  21. Wash the cars.
  22. Arrange the furniture in the home.
  23. Shop for clothes.
  24. Cook.
  25. Do the laundry.
  26. Choose what to do for entertainment.
  27. Do the budget and pay the bills.

Answer sheet for "Who Does What?"

(Answer on separate answer sheets)
     Husband     Wife        Both        Neither
  1.    _____    _____    _____    _____
  2.    _____    _____    _____    _____
  3.    _____    _____    _____    _____
  4.    _____    _____    _____    _____
  5.    _____    _____    _____    _____
  6.    _____    _____    _____    _____
  7.    _____    _____    _____    _____
  8.    _____    _____    _____    _____
  9.    _____    _____    _____    _____
  10.    _____    _____    _____    _____
  11.    _____    _____    _____    _____

Religious Orientation

When you include God in your relationship, you will have a covenant relationship that will not be taken lightly or broken easily.
In the scriptures, Jesus spoke about how His relationship to His people is like a marriage. That relationship is special, a covenant, in fact, a "oneness". This oneness, this compatibility, is only achieved when you share the same basic beliefs. These are the very foundation of your marriage relationship. From this foundation come the building blocks of how you conduct your-selves, your moral standards, values, and ethics.
How compatible are the two of you in your religious beliefs? How do you see God? Who is God? Is Jesus Christ your personal Savior? And what does that mean to you?
Will you, as a couple, go to church? Which church? How often? On what day—Sabbath or Sunday? How involved will you be in the church? And how about baptism? When do you believe a person should be baptized, as an infant not knowing what is promised for you or as an adult making your own decision and vows; and how—by sprinkling or actual baptism?
These are only a few questions that can be important issues in a Christian relationship. How will your basic differences in religious beliefs affect your relationship and the relationship with your families? Denominational teachings and doctrines can vary to such a degree that a couple’s understanding of God and life, thus their compatibility, are directly affected. And these doctrinal differences can involve their complete family systems.
Enclosed is another worksheet to help you determine what you have in common in your faiths and how to cope with your differences. It is, of course, the best of all situations if you both will come to the true understanding of God’s word. Each of you should do your work alone and answer "True" or "False" on your own sheet and then come together for comparison and discussion.
1. T     F My family is actively involved in teaching and leadership in the church.
2. T     FMy family believes that right after you accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior you should be baptized.
3. T     FMy parents prayed with us before we went to sleep at night.
4. T     FMy family believes the Bible is the true and only Word of God.
5. T     FMy family prays only at meal times.
6. T     FMy family believes that attending church on the Sabbath is important.
7. T     FMy parents believe that marriage is permanent.
8. T     FMy parents believe that children are a precious gift from God.
9. T     FMy family considers water submersion the only form of baptism.
10. T     FMy parents made me attend church whether I wanted to or not.
11. T     FMy parents believe that God and Christ should be the center of one’s life and the center of the family.
12. T     FMy family prays together at times other than mealtimes.
13. T     FMy family attends Bible Study regularly.
14. T     FI believe that my parents are Christians: they have received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
15. T     FI believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
16. T     FMy parents believe that there is a heaven for the righteous that one goes to at death and an ever-burning, torturing hell that the unrighteous goes to at death.
17. T     FMy parents have strong religious beliefs.
18. T     FMy parents believe that Jesus was born of a virgin.
19. T     FMy parents believe in praying to the dead.
20. T     FMy parents observe the Holy Days of God.
21. T     FIt is important to me that I follow my parents’ beliefs for that is the way that I too believe.
22. T     FI believe that there is only one head of the church and that’s Jesus Christ.
23. T     FMy family believes that you should be baptized at birth.
24. T     FI think that it’s important to go to church every Sabbath.
25. T     FI believe that only men should teach in the church.
26. T     FI believe that since God forgives us, we should be willing to forgive each other.
27. T     FI believe that Christmas and Easter are secular holidays rather than religious celebrations.
28. T     FI think that it’s important that a husband and wife pray together.
29. T     FI consider it very important to read and study the Bible.
30. T     FI think that it’s important for us to attend church together.
31. T     FIt’s important to me that my spouse be a Christian.
32. T     FI really do not consider myself a very religious person.
33. T     FI think that a marriage that includes God is stronger.
34. T     FI don’t believe that I have to belong to a certain denomination to be a good Christian.
35. T     FI believe that Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit are one in the same and forming a Trinity.
36. T     FI believe that the church should follow the directions and examples of the apostles and Jesus Christ, which are found in the Bible.
37. T     FI believe that if you’re a "good person" that is all that is necessary as far as God is concerned.
38. T     FI don’t think it’s important that couples have the same religious beliefs.
39. T     FI believe that it doesn’t matter what religion a person is because we’re all headed in the same direction and following all the directions of God is unnecessary.
40. T     FI think religion is an area we need to discuss more.

Money Matters

Another area of contention that causes problems in many marriages is money—too little, too much, how it’s spent, who spends it—and what we feel about it. How important is it? Your attitude about money comes from your religious teaching and your family of origin. The New Testament addresses the subject of money more frequently than any other subject—except the Kingdom of God. The scriptural message on finances is very clear: We should love people and use things, not love things and use people. The Bible teaches that we are to be good stewards of our money and make wise investments. We aren’t to treasure things more than relationships because our hearts will be where our treasure is. The greatest treasure you can have is your relationship with God and with your chosen mate.
Like all other areas in your marriage relationship, it’s essential that you communicate about your finances. Money is simply a medium of exchange, but the use of it gets tangled up in emotional complexities: love, power, family relationships, and self-worth. For some people, controlling the money in the family means they have the power in the family. What does money mean to each of you?
Most of us have received very little training in managing money. But many of our financial problems can be avoided by being aware of several important biblical concepts of good money management. Let God set the standard for the love and use of your money. A budget is a necessity. Establish a simple, flexible financial outline (budget) to help you meet the goals and priorities you’ve set together. Remember that this should be a joint project.
Establish a simple method of record keeping for income tax purposes. Communicate. Along with knowing and feeling that you’re working together toward common goals, communication is essential. Establish how you will use credit cards. Set limits and avoid becoming a "credit card junky." Be open to changing your budget as your goals, priorities, and family change.
The following worksheet is to make you both aware of the other’s feelings and attitudes toward money.
1. T     FI think that it’s OK to declare bankruptcy.
2. T     FIt’s important to me that we have a budget and try to stay with in it.
3. T     FI have clear goals of what possessions I’d like to buy.
4. T     FI believe that we should recycle newspapers, etc.
5. T     FI think that it’s important that the wife establish credit in her own name.
6. T     FCredit card balances should be paid off each month.
7. T     FAll of our money should go into the same pot and all expenses be shared.
8. T     FI think that it’s important that we have our own bank accounts.
9. T     FI think we should have a will drawn up.
10. T     FVacations are more important than saving money.
11. T     FI will go into debt to buy a house.
12. T     FI think that I should be the one who controls the money.
13. T     FI always balance my checkbook to the penny.
14. T     FI think it’s important to save for the future.
15. T     FI think gambling is OK.
16. T     FIt’s important for me to have some money for which I don’t have to be accountable to you.
17. T     FI would not borrow money from my friends.
18. T     FMen should always make more money than women.
19. T     FIt will bother me a lot if I have to ask you for money all the time.
20. T     FI think that I should be able to lend money to a friend or relative without having to ask you.
21. T     FTime together with you is more important to me than a high paying job, as long as we have enough money to meet our needs.
22. T     FIt’s important to tithe at least 10% to the church.
23. T     FI believe that the male has the primary role to provide for the needs of the family.
24. T     FI want to eat at a restaurant at least once a week.
25. T     FI want us to have the latest fashions that we can afford.
26. T     FI think that we should help our parents in their old age if they need it.
27. T     FI think the husband should handle all family investments.

SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP

Touching, holding and hugging are not something you should do; they’re something you must do to communicate your love for one another. Although we know that good communication is required for a good marriage, the one area in which we communicate with each other the least seems to be in our sexual relationship.
No one, male or female, is a mind reader. To meet the needs of your mate, each of you must be free and willing to express yourself openly and honestly in all areas of your relationship.
Over the years our society has made sex something not to be talked about. If sex was discussed, it was usually in an embarrassing, humorous, or coarse context; or it was described as a duty, something you just had to put up with.
Your sexual relationship is much more than just intercourse. Intercourse without the freedom to share, to enjoy, is no longer a sexual relationship. It then becomes a duty.
It’s important to understand that God holds a very high view of our sexuality. The Bible teaches this. The first chapter of Genesis tells us God created us male and female—in His image, for one another and having the capacity to love and be loved in a special way. God gives His blessing on our sexual relationships.
So communicate your needs, what makes you happy and what pleases you. Talk about positions, frequency, where to touch and where not to touch. Give each other the freedom to express yourselves. Enjoy the differences. Your mate’s needs are not statements of your adequacy or inadequacy. As you accept those needs, you will communicate your acceptance of your mate. It’s important to realize that if you’re interested in a good sexual relationship, you must not use sex as a weapon or reward!
The key to sexual satisfaction is taking the time to communicate during lovemaking. It’s a step and signal process. The willingness to guide and be guided to pleasure is part of the process. The greatest secret to sexual satisfaction is to please your partner. In pleasing your partner, your partner will please you. If you both keep this in mind then all will go well. You will learn what to do and what not to do—what pleases and what doesn’t.
Here again is a list of statements that are true or false to you. Answer them by yourself and then return to one another for comparison. Remember, this is not a time for embarrassment or for pointing fingers of accusation. It’s a time of communication through love for each other.
1. T     FIn our marriage the wife should always be willing to submit to the husband’s sexual needs.
1. T     FIf I do something that is displeasing during our lovemaking, I want my mate to tell me.
1. T     FI want to please my mate, so I talk openly and honestly.
1. T     FI believe that it’s important to be physically clean.
1. T     FI believe sex is only for having children.
1. T     FI think that there are some non-acceptable forms of sexual activities.
1. T     FI believe that learning more about my mate’s needs will enrich our sexual relationship after marriage.
1. T     FI believe that we should communicate so that we’ll really know what is pleasing to each other.
1. T     FI think that it’s important to "set the mood" for lovemaking with music, candles, flowers.
1. T     FI was sexually abused as a child.
1. T     FIt’s important to me that we greet each other affectionately after being apart all day.
1. T     FI have some fear of sex.
1. T     FI believe that it’s alright for the woman to guide the man to what pleases her.
1. T     FI think that sex outside of marriage is OK as long as my spouse doesn’t know.
1. T     FI believe that if my mate doesn’t like what I do sexually, I should be allowed to do it anyway.
1. T     FI believe that men think more often about sex than women.
1. T     FI believe that pornographic movies and books are not good for a healthy marriage.
1. T     FI enjoy affection in public.
1. T     FI believe that birth control is completely the woman’s responsibility.
1. T     FI need to lose weight.
1. T     FIt is alright for the woman to initiate sexual activity.
1. T     FI enjoy hugging and kissing passionately.
1. T     FI don’t believe that women should be made to have sexual intercourse during her menstrual period.
1. T     FMen know more about how to please their mate than their mate does.
1. T     FI believe that it’s up to the man to take the lead in sex.
1. T     FI would like to be held and touched without always having to have intercourse.
1. T     FI am easily embarrassed when I’m nude.
1. T     FI will fake orgasms.
1. T     FI am confused about how to really please my mate sexually.
1. T     FI like the use of "dirty talking" during sex.
1. T     FThe "missionary position" is the only way sex should be done.
1. T     FIf I am not satisfied sexually, I will just not ever mention it.

THE END

I hope that these counseling sheets of questions will be helpful to you in establishing a strong and honest marriage. Of course, there are many, many other questions that will come up before and after your marriage. However, if you remember that communication is the key, then I’m sure things will go well for you. Keep Christ in your hearts and God in your future and your lives will be blessed.
In the service of our Lord Jesus Christ,
I am humbly your servant,
John H.Currier, Pastor