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Monday, March 25, 2013

Habitual Adultery - Is There Any Hope?

Dear Dr. David:

I have been married for two years. Prior to being married we were high school sweethearts and had been dating for two years. I recently found out that he has been cheating on me the entire time with several different women. He says that he wants to change and sounds sincere, but he has also said this many times before. I want to believe him and stay with him, but I just don't know what I am supposed to do. He continues to hang out with friends that lead him into trouble. The Bible says to forgive someone seventy times seven, but it also says that infidelity is a reason for divorce.  I do not know which path is the right one to go down.  Please help. ~
Confused and Hurt

Dear Confused and Hurt,
I am saddened by your letter. Your situation brings up some important issues here that beg us to take a step back for a moment and revisit God's design for Christian marriage. Marriage is not merely a legal contract, but a covenant made between two persons; it is a public and permanent proclamation that says you belong fully to one another and only one another. This covenant is meant to be a living representation of Christ's love for the Church (Eph. 5: 21-33). In order to give oneself fully and sacrificially, in imitation of Christ, there must be a commitment to fidelity. Your husband cannot fully give himself to you if he is involved with others. It is even more disturbing that you say he has been cheating on you the entire time - this implies he walked down the aisle with no intention of honoring the fidelity he pledged that day, of entering into a true covenantal relationship. But now that you know the full truth about your husband's affairs, you stand at a crossroads where you have choices. Let's examine them.

I sense that you feel helpless. In fact, you’re not helpless and there are many courses of action, not just one. Let’s examine the problem from a few different angles.

Your letter gives no indication as to the root causes of his infidelity. Have you two had serious, heart-to-heart conversations about why he is cheating on you? He offers easy answers, "sounds sincere," but then does it again. Obviously the "cancer" within him has not been extricated. Both of you have failed to grapple with the severity of the problem.
Have you sought any kind of help for this serious problem? Things will not change by themselves. There are reasons why men, or women, cheat on their mates. None of them are excusable. I think of unfaithfulness as seeking illegitimate expression for legitimate needs. Have you two looked deeply into your relationship to determine relationship problems, as well as individual issues you’ve brought into the marriage? Have you sought in-depth counseling not only to heal from the unfaithfulness, but to strengthen weaknesses in the relationship, or personality, that gave rise to the problems? If not, you’re enabling this dysfunction to continue.
Too often couples seek quick, superficial remedies to deep problems. Having put a Band-Aid on the problem, they seem surprised to find the problems surfacing again. While it takes significant time, money and energy to really heal and solve problems, deep answers are much more rewarding than quick solutions.
You and your husband must seek invasive, emotional and spiritual surgery. You must examine the relational and character issues that give rise to repeated infidelity. If you accept quick, easy answers, you will undoubtedly be disappointed when he cheats on you again.
Some of my most difficult work is working with couples in Marriage Intensives where I challenge them to look below the surface and face painful issues. We explore unexpressed resentment that leads to sexual acting out. We examine poor boundaries, where they choose to associate with others with poor boundaries, leading to the opportunity for unfaithfulness. These couples often naively see these friendships as safe, when they are not. A little resentment, combined with poor boundaries, added to opportunity, leads to disaster. Couples must shore up these weak areas in their marriage if they want to prevent trouble in the future.www.twitter.com/yemlay

Monday, March 18, 2013

Stories and Solutions About Low Sex Marriages

Reason For No Sex

Many of the stories on this site, speak to me of the partner having been sexually abused along the way before marriage. The woman who cries after, or gets violent during is a perfect example. These are definitely signs of prior abuse. Usually they do not tell because they are so ashamed of it. Or when they told as a child, they were not believed. Ask your spouse. I have professional training in this field, and a husband who was not interested in sex. He finally told me, and is now seeking counseling for the problem.
—Guest Lorraine

Help!

Married 27 years. No $ equals no sex. Used to make $250,000 a year and now it's $80,000. Sex only once in past 3 years. Sick of this! She's been weaning me off for years. After marriage she said no more oral from er "becuase we're married now." Stayed in marriage for daughter but now she's 23 years old. Should I go?
—Guest Tired of this

Male in Sexless Marriage

When I went online, I was looking for a way to cope with my wife's lack of intimacy. I was shocked to see how many posts were the opposite way, that being women whose husbands were like this.. Shocked..!! I've been married 20 years, 2 great kids, and have a comfortable lifestyle. I could enjoy sex 1 to 2 times daily. Unfortunately, my wife believes 2 times a year is the proper amount. This has become a bit of an issue. It's been this way for 3 years now, self gratification my only option. I don't want divorce, but am ready to explore other possibilities. It would be helpful to hear how others resolve similar predicaments. I need to find a solution soon. If you'd care to share advice -- Any help is greatly appreciated. Looking For Answers in Chicago
—Guest Looking For Answers in Chicago

No Sex Marriage

i have been married for 33 years and have 4 kids and 7 grandkids, about 10 years ago we stopped having sex i felt ugly and alone i am glad i am not alone, i love my husband and he has health issues. i really miss sex but i am not alone thank GOD
—edema77

I Love My Wife

I love my wife with all my heart. I'm nine years older than her and by the time I get home from work I just have no want for sex. She says that I make her feel unwanted. I love her and want her but I just don't feel like having sex. She is threatening an affair or leaving me. What can I do? Editor's Note: If you haven't consulted a physician, please do so.
—Guest old man

David

For the last 10-15 years I have had no sex whats so ever I don't want it yearn for it. Just not interested, I have high blood pressure and have had a stroke but even prior to that there was nothing. I feel for my wife and all i can give her is warmth, cuddles, kisses and sweet talk communication has also diminished quiet a bit. I do love her and would never concider leaving. I really need help please please
—Guest David

Stuck

I am male, have been married nearly 20 years. Its actually a bit weird seeing the responses above where women are complaining that their husbands don't give them enough sex. I wish I was married to one of these women!! My sex drive: I feel like it every night! So here is my story, even in the good times, even at the beginning, I always felt that my drive was way above her's. It was always like a request, "Can we please have sex," etc. I always felt like she was doing me a favour. So the first 15yrs it was once a week, usually. Which I was "kind of" OK with. But now the last 5 yrs its dropped progressively. The last 12 months, I think 3-4 times! The last 3 months, zero. I feel like quitting, having an affair. Getting revenge. She doesn't give a @£$%. It makes me so angry. She only cares about her family, stuff that is happening to her siblings, parents. But I cant divorce or separate as we have a complex interlinked family. What do I do. She is impossible to talk to. I want to QUIT
—Guest doc

A Month to Fix It or He's Out

My husband and I have been together for almost 4 yrs, 1.5 of which are in marriage. We became pregnant almost instantly after we met. The first month we were together we had amazing sex. I worked midnights so after I got off work I would go to his house and have incredible sex. While I was pregnant I had no sex drive. Had my baby and then got pregnant right away again. No sex for 9 mos again. He asked me to marry him knowing that we never had a steady sex life. We married and ever since we haven't had a great sex life. I have no sex drive. I'm 27 and am fit and attractive but I just want to be cuddled and he just wants sex. I feel used and the thought of a hand job makes me puke in my mouth a little. It bothers me bc he says that he will cheat on me. We go without for 3-6 weeks and then when he pressures me I just roll over and take it and then cry silently after. Then another month will go by. We fight constantly and have tried everything. If I don't give in he will leave me...
—Guest At the breaking moment

No Sex

The most sex I have ever gotten was when I was single the first time and between marriages this time (also single). I read about all the women who don't get enough sex and wonder where were they when I was looking for a partner. Actually, like everyone else, sex was great with my wife early on then kids, work, etc. happened. We are empty nesters and have a great life other than no sex. My urologist asked how my sex life was and I said off-hand it was pretty good (he did not get it). It has been very frustrating like all the other stories I have read and hope there is help somewhere.
—Guest John Young

Is It Worth Staying Together?

We've been married 31.5 years and most of that time, our marriage qualified as a sexless marriage. I've contemplated leaving him about every 5-7 years, but I'm still with him. He's a great guy in so many ways, but he just doesn't seem interested in sex. I asked him a couple times if he was gay, which he denied, but I think he might really be. He's 2.5 years older than me and looks much older than his age while I look much younger than my age. I know I look attractive, but his lack of (sexual) attention still makes me feel unattractive, undesirable, etc. I've tried explaining to him a few times, and he did become more attentive, but it didn't last. I've gone to having virtual affairs, which counter the negative feelings his inattention cause, but it also makes me feel like a louse. I try to stop, but I feel desperate at times and turn to online chats as a way of easing that need, but it's not enough. I feel if I can't get my husband to want me, maybe we shouldn't be together anymore?
—Guest Unhappy in marriage

I Hear Ya

I've made every excuse for my wife and run out. So I have affairs when I can and tell myself it's okay because I'm just relieving her of a duty she cannot fulfill. So doing her a favor.
—Guest theempathiser

Been With Out

Well!!! I've been without sex, intimacy, love for over 45 years. Our sex life started and ended all in the same evening -- our wedding night. After we had sex the first time he just said that it was disgusting, smelly and totally gross. He said he didn't get any pleasure out of it and wondered what the big deal about sex was. I was told that he never wanted to get involved with some thing that gross again. So he moved himself to the basement, and immediately started working the midnight shift. And the rest is 45 years without sex or intimacy. For years he's lived down there like a hermit, no radio, tv, phone, computer -- just him and his shop. Also years ago his personal looks have went down the hill, has a long beard and hair and rags that he must think are clothes. I was upset when this all started but over the years the pain and hurt just seem to have went away. I have to admit that at times I just break down and start crying. I just stay away from the house as much as possible.
—Guest Amy

Lost

Husband and I have been together since high school..and i haven't felt the same attraction to him since we first started dating...i thought getting married and trying to up my confidence level would change it..but i feel no desire towards him. he is the most amazing person and treats me well and i don't know if a sexless marriage is what always happens to people or what.. but I'm just not sure i have ever felt intimacy.
—Guest cort

Emotional Abuse

Thought this was only a problem 4 men. It's emotional abuse. Our vows were consumated 2 nites after our wedding 'cause she was "afraid." Once heard that if you don't consumate on wedding nite the marriage is doomed. Seems true cause it's gone slowly down hill. She says "she never had a sex drive, if I don't ask she won't offer 'cause she doesn't want/need it," w/ a "take it or leave it" attitude. Getting my wife to "make love" feels like i'm coercing almost raping her 'cause she doesn't want it. I always think she's feeling forced out of "duty." She suggests we find "other" ways to be close. Maybe peanuckle? How about I feed her rocks rather than food when she's hungry? She won't touch me sexually & seems to loathe contact w/ me. Our intercourse is like porno, no emotional connection, just sex. She thinks I just want to orgasm. I want my wife to want me like I want her, not "give in" 'cause I want her. I've talked to her w/out success, & w/ her attitude I'm ready to "leave it."
—Guest NowIKnow

No Sex

no sex maybe 4 times a year, wife always tired wtih exuses and lies about going to have sex. hides behind our only child at night to avoid me and constant arguing about romance and sexwww.marriagefamilyalive.gnbo.com.ng

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sex Ed for Baby-Making

When to do it
You’re most likely to get pregnant if you have unprotected sex in the five days before you ovulate, or on the day itself. And the number one mistake women make when they’re trying to get pregnant? Not getting the timing right.
Counting day one of your period as day one of your cycle, most women ovulate about 14 days before their next period. So if your cycle varies between 24 and 30 days, you’ll ovulate somewhere between days 10 and 16. Once the egg is released from the ovary, it’s only receptive to sperm and able to be fertilized for about 12 to 24 hours, but sperm can remain viable for days after intercourse...which is why you can have sex days before ovulation and still get pregnant. If your cycle is very regular you have a good idea when you ovulate. If not, it might make sense to buy an over-the-counter fertility monitor to help you get the timing right.
How often to do it
Logic tells us that if a little is good, a lot is better. But that’s not the case with intercourse when you’re trying to get pregnant. Sperm counts may actually be lower if men ejaculate too often. On the other hand, if men don’t ejaculate for weeks, the sperm are relatively old and may not be as capable of swimming and fertilizing an egg. So many experts have concluded that sex every other day—and not more than once a day—is ideal for baby-making.
How to do it
The good news is, you don’t have to read the Kama Sutra or do any daredevil acrobatics to get pregnant. Nor must you rely on the missionary position night after night. No study has ever found that one position is better than another for conception success.
Some experts still recommend the man-on-top position, so that the sperm is deposited closest to where it’s supposed to be, at the top of the vagina. And some women trying to get pregnant avoid being on top for fear that gravity will be working against the sperm, and that it will leak out immediately. But sperm are speedy swimmers, and once they’re out of the gate they’re on their way to the fallopian tubes within seconds.  The stuff that leaks out after sex is just fluid and some dead sperm.
What to do immediately afterwards
Some experts do recommend staying in bed anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour after intercourse to keep the sperm pooled at the top of the vagina. A woman can put her knees up to accentuate this position, or she can place her feet on the wall with her hips on a small pillow, which works even better.
Don’t feel like lying around? Other experts don’t believe there’s much medical basis to recommend it anyway. So lie around or not—you decide. One big afterglow no-no: Don’t douche, which can increase the risk of pelvic infection and lower your risk of getting pregnant. Another thing to avoid right after intercourse: anything that will raise your core body temperature, meaning no hot tubs, saunas, or long runs.
Making conception sex fun
Trying to conceive can be stressful on a relationship. So anything you can do to make it more pleasurable and fun is great. Sex toys are a good idea, though obviously be careful to keep them clean.
And while lubricants may make intercourse more comfortable, be careful to choose a “safe” one if you’re trying to make a baby. There are now a number of “sperm-friendly” lubricants on the market. Or you can try canola oil, which has no effect on sperm. One other option: Tell your husband to work a little harder!  Make conception sex fun with lots of foreplay, so you’ll get lubricated on your own.
-- Leslie Pepper www.marriagefamilyalive.gnbo.com.ng






Sex Positions to Conceive Baby

Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could boost your odds of conceiving a baby by just performing a few (fun) acrobatics during your next roll in the sack? Well, it’s not necessarily that simple. That’s because there’s not really anything in the way of scientific research that proves that one sex position is better than another for conception (and we think it’s safe to say that babies have been conceived using every position possible). “Clearly, someone needs to write a research grant to study this,” jokes Jean Twenge, who researched the subject extensively for her book The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant and found nada in the way of cold, hard facts. There are plenty of myths out there about the subject though (read about the 4 Biggest Conception Sex Myths here)! But even though science doesn’t offer a solution, you can have some fun trying out some of the best theories about sex positions.
Missionary Position
Some believe that the classic missionary position -- man on top -- is best for conception. The idea is that you (literally) get more bang for your buck by using gravity to your advantage. This may sound boring, but hey -- you’re free to be creative during foreplay!
Hands-and-Knees
If you really want deep penetration, try the position most of us lovingly refer to as “doggy style” (you on your hands and knees, and him behind). Some believe that getting closer to the cervix during sex makes it easier for sperm to swim to their target. But they’re fast swimmers, so chances are, they’ll get there anyway. As another theory goes, if you have a tipped uterus, you might be better off using this position. If you’re having trouble conceiving missionary style, you might want to try switching it up.
Woman on Top
Sure, you’re working against gravity here, but some experts say that may not matter, with the whole fast-swimming thing. Plus, for some women, this is the most pleasurable position, and that may actually be what’s most important. “We tell our patients the best positions for conception are the ones that are most comfortable for the woman,” say The Mommy Docs Allison Hill, MD; Yvonne Bohn, MD; and Alane Park, MD -- ob-gyns who practice in Los Angeles.
After-Sex Position
After sex try this trick: Lie with a small pillow under your hips for 20 minutes. This can help the sperm swim toward your uterus. “Among women who had IUIs, there was a higher conception rate among those who stayed lying down for 15 minutes,” says Twenge. “There aren’t any studies about whether lying down makes any difference after actual sex, but it can’t hurt.” Use it as an excuse to have a little post-coital pillow talk.
Speaking of gravity, you may have heard that standing on your head after sex helps the sperm swim down to their target. But (unfortunately for all you yoga masters) there’s no scientific evidence supporting this.



Sunday, March 10, 2013

Are You Addicted to Anxiety? Learn How Not to Be

Our world is in the midst of an emotional meltdown. As a psychiatrist, I’ve seen that many people are addicted to the adrenaline rush of anxiety, known as “the fight or flight response” and don’t know how to diffuse it. An example of this is obsessively watching the news about natural disasters, trauma, economic stress, and violence, then not being able to turn bad news off. Also, people are prone to “techno-despair” a term I coined in my book “Emotional Freedom.” It is a state of high anxiety that results from information overload and internet addiction. It’s also related to our super-dependence on smart phones and the panic of feeling disconnected if technology breaks down and we can’t access emails or other communications--a new version of what’s clincially known as an “attachment disorder.” I’ve helped many patients address the adverse effects of techno-despair such as insomnia, nightmare, restless sleep and ongoing angst. You too can break your addiction to anxiety and lead a more peaceful life.
To determine your current level of anxiety take this quiz.

Quiz: Am I Addicted to Anxiety?

Ask yourself:
  • Do I worry about many things every day?
  • Is it difficult to stop watching anxiety-provoking news on TV or the internet, though I try?
  • Do I experience separation anxiety when I can’t access my smart phone or computer?
  • Do I make problems larger, not smaller?
  • Do I worry about things that no one around me worries about?
  • When one anxiety is solved, do I immediately focus on another?
If you answered “yes” to all 6 questions, worry plays a very large, addictive role in your life. 4-5 “yeses” indicates a large role. 2-3 “yeses” indicates a moderate role. 1 “yes” indicates a low level. Zero “yeses” suggests that you’re more warrior than worrier! 
To quiet anxiety and turn off your flight-or-flight response, it’s important to re-train your brain to send chemicals to counteract this powerful biological response. Otherwise, anxiety can become an addiction. In contrast, with a calm biology, you can generate endorphins, the blissful natural painkillers in your body. To master your anxiety, practice the techniques below to quiet your system. They will help you achieve immediate and longer term results.

7 Strategies to Overcome Anxiety from “Emotional Freedom

Strategy 1:
Eliminate caffeine, sugar, and other stimulants – these fuel the fight-or-flight response.
Strategy 2:
Avoid people who reinforce your fear whom I call “emotional vampires”--they are biological irritants; stick close to positive people (See my previous blog “Who Is the Emotional Vampire in Your Life?”)
Strategy 3:
Stay away from violent newscasts, arguments, the internet, paying bills or other stress inducers, especially before sleep.
Strategy 4:
Set healthy limits and boundaries. To combat stress, it’s important to realize that “No” is a complete sentence, and a healthy way to set limits and boundaries with stress inducing people and situations.
Strategy 5:
Pause when agitated. Make this vow: “I will never have a conversation with someone, send an email, or make a decision when gripped by anxiety.” No matter what the upset is, do not act until you have gained calm and composure.
Strategy 6:
Use this Progressive Relaxation Technique. In a comfortable position, sitting or lying down, take a few deep breaths while letting your body go as limp as possible. When you're ready, begin by tightening the muscles in your toes...hold to a count of ten... then relax. Enjoy the relief of tension melting. Do the same with flexing your foot muscles, and move slowly through your entire body: calves, legs, stomach, back, neck, jaw, face, contracting and releasing each area.
Strategy 7:
Stay in “The Now.” Try not to project negative scenarios about the future. Stay solution-oriented in the present moment and be grateful for what is positive in your life.
Being aware of what triggers your anxiety and mindfully making choices to cope with them provides emotional freedom. Then you won’t simply be reacting when your buttons get pushed. You will be better able to take charge of your emotions and your life.www.marriagefamilyalive.gnbo.com.ng

Friday, March 8, 2013

7 EASY WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR MARRIAGE by Nancy Wasson

Improving your marriage doesn't necessarily have to involve huge changes on your part or your spouse's. Many times, the cumulative effect of small changes can make a significant difference in the quality of a relationship.

It can be discouraging to only focus on the big, sweeping long-range changes that you feel are needed, such as improved communication or increased intimacy. Instead, focus on making several small changes that can affect the quality of your relationship right away. Once you generate some positive energy flow, it'll be easier to tackle the larger issues. Plus, you'll be more motivated to put forth the effort and to keep trying.

Here are seven easy ways you can improve your marriage:

1) Schedule date nights on a regular basis.  Did you know research by Idaho State University shows that one of the secrets to a happy marriage is scheduling regular dates?

This study involving 132 couples found those who went on dates more often (the average was six dates a month) were more likely to be satisfied with their marriage than those who spent less time together. So get out your calendar and schedule some times for you and your spouse to go out and spend time together doing something you both enjoy.

You might have dinner in a restaurant, go dancing, see a movie or play, or listen to live music. The important thing is you're spending time together and having fun.

If you have children and have been neglecting this part of your relationship for a long time because you don't want to leave the kids with a babysitter, there's probably something else going on underneath the convenient "reason."

Doing everything with the children and not spending time alone with your spouse can be a way to try to avoid sex or to minimize romance. It's a mistake to think this won't hurt your marriage in the long run-because it will.

2) Show respect when you're talking to your spouse.  You may not realize you're doing damage to your marriage when your spouse is talking to you and you sigh with exasperation and roll your eyes.

Psychologist John Gottman has conducted research on what attitudes increase the chances that a marriage will end unhappily. He has found contempt is the most damaging, and he says rolling your eyes when your spouse is talking to you is a classic sign that communicates contempt.

The actual words used in interactions between a couple are only part of what is being communicated. The non-verbal component is also communicating loudly. So you're giving your partner important information about how you really feel about him (or her) when you show disrespect.

Start becoming more aware of your behavior when your spouse is talking to you. You might ask your spouse if she (or he) feels disrespected during conversations and interactions with you. But don't ask for honest feedback unless you're prepared to receive it without getting defensive. The goal is to become more self-aware and improve your relationship with your partner.

3) Take the television out of the bedroom.  You may be surprised at the research findings involving late-night TV.

A survey by Italian psychologist Serenella Salomoni found that among couples over the age of fifty, those who kept TV out of the bedroom had sex an average of seven times a month compared with 1.5 times a month for couples with TV's. The implication is that late-night TV can translate into a lot less sex for many couples.

It's easy to see how this could happen over time without a couple even stopping to think about the long-term effects on their sex life and intimacy. Watching television becomes a habit and the path of least resistance.

If removing the television from your bedroom sounds too drastic, at least consider initiating a conversation with your spouse about these findings and whether your marriage might benefit from less TV watching in the evenings.

4) Make time for vacations.  The Wisconsin Medical Journal reported that women were asked how often they took a vacation, 20% said that it had been six years or more. These non-vacationers were more likely to be stressed and unhappy in their marriages.

Every day life can get so bogged down with details, work, and loose ends that fun and romance can easily become buried and neglected. Remember the old saying, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."

The same is certainly true of relationships - if there's no time to play and have fun, then dullness, fatigue, and boredom often take hold. Passion and romance thrive on stimulation, building positive new memories, and the excitement that change brings.

Just leaving home and seeing and doing different things can be energizing and perk up a stale relationship. The vacations don't have to be expensive or exotic. Consider staying at a state park or camping. Explore off-season rates and advertised motel specials. Put on your creative thinking cap and see what's possible.

5) Remember to hug your mate each day.  Doctors at the University of North Carolina have found that hugging boosts blood levels of oxytocin, a relaxing hormone that is linked to trust.

According to Kathleen Light, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry at UNC and one of the study's authors, "It is safe to say that oxytocin is linked to emotional as well as physical closeness in partners ..."

Make it a point to initiate more hugging, and don't be bashful about asking for what you need and want. Ask your mate to join you in some bear hugs each day or a session of snuggling on the sofa as you talk. You'll both feel better afterwards!

Note: If "hugs = sex" in your marriage, it's time to make a change. Many wives complain their husbands only touch them - hold hands, hug, kiss, snuggle-when the husbands want sex.

These wives often try to avoid physical contact with their husband because they don't want to get him aroused. This leads to a pulling away and a lack of on-going closeness and connection. Thus, it's important that hugging not be just a prelude to sex.

6) Celebrate days that are special to the two of you.  Take the time to record the special days on your personal calendar so you won't forget.

What days should you celebrate? For starters, include the day you met your spouse, your wedding day, your partner's birthday, your birthday, New Year's, Valentine's Day, and any other dates that have significant meaning or cause for celebration.

Through the years, I've heard many spouses express hurt that their mate never buys them a gift, even for their birthday. There's no special dinner or birthday cake-nothing.

They might not receive a Valentine's Day card or a Christmas present, either. I'm always sad to hear this, because it seems like such a loss of an opportunity to celebrate. And the message delivered to the mate is she (or he) isn't valued and treasured Life is short, and you can't take your beloved partner for granted. Look for every opportunity to celebrate your love, your marriage, and the fact that you're alive!

7) Smile More Often.
 A genuine smile can warm the heart and make you more attractive to your spouse.

That's because smiles are sexy as well as contagious, and the energy they produce can give you and your spouse a needed boost just when you need it the most.

Smiling connects you to others so you aren't aloof and separate. A warm smile invites your spouse to come closer, to connect with you, and to linger in your presence. You'll feel better and so will your spouse.

Nancy J. Wasson, Ph.D., is co-author of Keep Your Marriage: What to Do When Your Spouse Says "I don't love you anymore!" This is available at www.keepyourmarriage.com, where you can sign up for a free weekly marriage advice newsletter. marriage alive

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

7 Powerful Ways to Make Your Marriage Last

BigStockPhoto
You can't ignore your marriage and expect it to flourish.


Marriage is supposed to last forever, isn’t it? When we decide to get married, we truly believe that forever will happen. Sometimes that’s easier said than done because most of us don’t have realistic guidelines or tools to know how to make a marriage last. When we fall in love, we usually think that’s all we’ll need to be happy. However, when reality sets in and we have our first real argument, we get hit with the realization that our spouse isn’t perfect.

In the beginning of a relationship we do our best to give our partner the benefit of the doubt, expressing our love and goodwill, even when we’re upset. However, as time goes on it can get harder to resolve arguments and, therefore, harder to feel loving and forgiving towards our partner. It’s at these times that we start to ask ourselves, is there a secret to making a marriage last? Is it really possible to live happily ever after? Can I make my marriage divorce-proof? The answer to all of these questions is, "Yes!" However, the hardest question to answer is: How do we do it? How do I have a lasting, happy marriage that doesn’t end in divorce court?

The first thing to remember is that keeping a marriage healthy and happy requires work and that it will not happen on its own—just like a flower won’t grow if it isn’t watered and fed. Marriages need nurturing, tending to, time and energy! We often forget that a marriage contains two human beings who both need to be appreciated, heard, valued and respected. With this in mind, here are seven ways to make your marriage last:

1. Keep the lines of communication open. If you don’t know how to express your feelings and/or have poor listening skills, learn to get better at both. You can read a book, take a class, or get into counseling. Good communication requires both the ability to express and listen.

2. Don’t sweep your fights under the rug and think they’ll magically resolve themselves. Do your best to resolve your first argument as soon as it arises so you won’t have the same argument for the next fifty years, in different forms.

3. Remember that you love your spouse; therefore, you want the best for her/him. Give her/him the benefit of the doubt when you feel angry, hurt or disappointed. Talk to your partner; don’t make assumptions.

4. Don't take your spouse for granted. Tell your partner every day something you appreciate about her/him and how grateful you are to have them in your life.

5. Your spouse should never feel like your enemy. If they do, something is wrong; remember that you fell in love with this person. If there’s so much anger that you feel like you are enemies, get help somewhere as quickly as possible.

6. Gauge your marriage. Notice and don’t ignore the warning signs if you’re not talking, sex has diminished, you’re fighting all the time and you’re not happy. The sooner you acknowledge you’re having problems, the sooner you can begin to solve them.

7. Always remember that you have the power to change behaviors in your marriage through different tools of self-discovery. You don’t have to stay stuck in unhealthy ruts.

Good, lasting marriages are made up of two conscious individuals that have the desire to work on themselves with the determination to stay focused on the importance of their marriage. They do not take their partner for granted. They have their partner’s best interest at heart and, therefore, build trust with their partner. When arguments come up, they don’t ignore them. They address the issues and try to resolve them. When they see warning signs that their marriage could be in trouble, they act immediately and look for new ways to relate to each other. This can be accomplished by anyone who is willing to take the time and energy to make their marriage a priority in their life. Nurture your marriage as it so richly deserves! You can live happily ever after, not with magic, but with work, awareness and knowledge of yourself and your partner.

Sharon M. Rivkin, Marriage and Family Therapist, and author of "The First Argument: Cutting to the Root of Intimate Conflict," (www.thefirstargument.com) has worked with couples for 25-plus years. Her unique insight into the first argument was featured in "O: The Oprah Magazine" and "Reader’s Digest," and has attracted people throughout the U.S. and abroad for consultation, workshops, and courses. For more information on Sharon Rivkin visit www.sharonrivkin.com.
www.marriagefamilyalive.gnbo.com.ng

Family Values: Today’s Families Diversities By: Marcia Chumbley

There is no doubt about it; the modern day family is different than it was a century ago. Even the past fifty years has brought about significant change to the appearance and structure of the family unit. With the rise of divorce many families are now led by one parent. Single parents understand the burden, stress, and pressure involved in raising a family. Many times, grandparents are actively involved in helping their children raise their grandchildren. The single parent family has helped to redefine the family core unit in modern day society.

In addition to single parents, grandparents may take over the parenting role completely. These family units are referred to as grandfamilies and they are becoming very common in these modern times. Grandparents are vital for keeping family values a priority, but many grandparents never realized that they would be raising their grandchildren. There is no question that this is a hard job for those who are getting along in years.

Finding balance is a growing concern with today’s family diversities. Whether it is the pressures and financial responsibilities of the single parent family or overcoming the grief and emotional upheaval of a recent divorce, to the increasing challenges grandparents face when stepping back into the parenting role, families of all types need support and balance.

It is important that you build up your network of support. Family members and friends are often the first place to turn to when you need support. Others may look to their local communities. One of the benefits of building up a support network is that they can help you reinforce your family values. Instilling family values is a very important aspect of parenting and today’s diverse families may find that they need to find balance and help in these areas. Since single parents and grandparents may often encounter times when they feel alone, or that they bear the weight of parenting single-handedly, the network of support can help greatly.

Turning to your local community can be an excellent way to reinforce family values and provide a way of support for parents and grandparents. Your local church is a great resource that will allow your children to develop their own qualities and participate in activities while giving you the friendships and relationships that you need to handle your parenting responsibilities. Since many single parents and grandfamilies may face financial hardships it is important to utilize resources that are available for free or at low cost. Some great resources may be found in local community groups, the library, and churches. You may even want to find another group specifically orchestrated for single parents or grandfamilies. These groups are an effective way at reducing stress and tension and having someone to talk to that understands what you are going through during the tough times is an amazing tool that will uplift your spirit.

Finally, it is important to realize that the key to remaining balanced and promoting healthy family values in today’s diverse families is to keep a positive attitude. If you remain in good health and have a positive attitude your children will too.
Marcia Chumbley is a work at home mom and grandmother in Minnesota. She is the owner of a Christian Work From Home Moms and Grandparents web site Faithful Grannies and a Work At Home Mom Choices web stie WAHM Choices. They can be found at www.wahmchoices.com and www.faithfulgrannies.com. She has a degree in Business and is a CMOM.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Marriage Family Alive Retreat Programme.



MARRIAGE AND FAMILY ALIVE.
Marriage and Family alive is a retreat program that is meant for the married men and women together with people who is in a relationship hoping to marry and who are looking for an intensive approach to marriage or relationship, Godly counseling, whether they are in a crisis or at a crossroad or confused in their relationship or they are hoping for a connection between each other.
Marriage and family alive is a personalized marriage counseling retreat.
As a pastor, and a marriage consultant/counselor, I have specific training in marriage therapy and repair. I also know about the challenges of our modern day relationships, with this knowledge, I want to bring to marriage and family affairs a blend of perspectives and solution to our modern day relationships.
Our focus is to renew, re-awaken your first love, and to repair a relationship that is about die.
Our one on one marriage counseling is to proffer solutions and the objective of our marriage counseling is to help both partners in your relationship.
In marriage and family alive, we are professional and always ready to work with any denomination or sect, whether Christian, muslim or traditional. Re-uniting and re-newing marriages is the cornerstone of our organization.
Marriage and family alive retreat is a weekend or midweek retreat program for the married and people that is in a relationship that needs a real thorough counseling.
THE MAIN OBJECTIVE OF THIS RETREAT ARE:
1.    To discover and learn the problems of communication and misunderstanding.
2.    To explore and adopt the spirit of forgiveness through tolerance.
3.    To discover character differences that can enhance your relationship and joy in marriage.
4.    How to build your emotional, physical and sexual intimacy, through effective communication.
5.    Your family backgrounds, your root, and things that you see as problems in your marriage.
6.    What are your weaknesses, e.g, anger, lying, nagging, infidelity, and other things.
Call us and book an appointment, our fees are moderate, you too can enjoy what other couples have found to be a pleasurable, enjoyable, cost and time effective experience that will renew, restore and heal your marriage or relationship.
Call now +2348083158569 or+234 8058488685
We are always 24 hrs on the  phone or counseling ready for you.
Because of couples who cannot get to us immediately or living in faraway places or in other countries, through our phone or online counseling, we will be able to counsel them.
We do charge for our services and they are moderate, reasonable and not costly. The reason why we do charge is that we believe whatever that cost you nothing will give you nothing.
Hope to hear from you.
Pastor Laiyemo David A.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Sex in the Marriage: How Important is it?

sex in the marriage

This is one question that surely gets men and women divided into two groups.
When asked, men immediately respond - very important! and women say, 'not very important and certainly not the most important'. Infact, some women may even claim it to be not important at all. Though there are exceptions all around, lets come to face it - Sex IS important in any marriage. How much? It depends.
Before getting on with the discussion, let us get this straight.
Men need to have sex to feel close to their mate while women need to feel close to their mate to have sex.
Different Perspectives
People in west view sex differently from easterners. Similarly, men and women in urban India look at sex much differently than how a conservative Indian talks about it.
This post takes the mindset of an urban Indian working woman but in the comments section, you can add your views. And if you do not want to speak publicly, please choose 'anonymous' profile and no one would come to know about your identity. Not even me.
Men, Women and the Sex
Like I said before, this is one thing that clearly carries different meanings among men and women.
To men, sex is not just about pleasure, it is also about power. Sex inflates their ego like anything. Men are not good at expressing themselves verbally so making love is a way of their expression. They need it to be shown that their wife is attracted towards them. They need to be proud of their virility. So, to men it is just not about love. It is also about prowess.
To women, sex is an act. They need to be caressed, kissed and loved. It is mainly a way to deepen their love for partner, while in contrast, to men it can be even a plain way to shoo the stress away!
Since in a marriage, both a man and a woman are involved, we can say that sex is needed to strengthen the emotional bond and also to drive the rifts and stress away.
Sex or Love?
Men say sex leads to love and women say love leads to sex.
But whatever leads whichever, one thing is sure. A marriage with love without sex can survive but a marriage with sex without love can not survive.
If you do not have enough sex in your marriage but both the partners love each other and are intimate with each other, the marriage lasts longer. But if you have enough sex but little intimacy or very little love and respect, your marriage may not withstand the test of time.
Sex leads to intimacy
Undoubtedly, one thing that sets marriage apart from a committed relationship is sex. Though we can not say this about relationships in today's times where sex begins the relationship.
Making love after a fight actually dissolves the issues and sets upset moods right. You are talking love and think about your first meeting with your spouse and you both feel strongly for each other.
Sex brings a closeness that is beyond words. It relaxes you, puts you in tune with each other, and smoothes over all the everyday trials and tribulations,’ says Rochelle, who runs a dating agency with her husband.
If its not important then what is the deal about infidelity?
Someone once asked me 'we always keep saying, it is not important. But if it is really not important then why do we make a big deal of it if the partner strays away'? I think its a valid question. In marriage, you are not allowed to sleep with someone else. This means sleeping with your partner is something that exclusively you have the right to.
But there is more to life than sex
It is established that sex in indeed a very important part of one's marriage. But yes, there is much more to life and a relationship than just sex.
In final words, sex is the vital component in a functioning relationship, but it doesn’t have to be incredibly frequent. A couple just need to know they have those moments of intimacy which only they share, and which binds them together.
www.twitter.com/yemlay

10 Biggest Myths About Men

What makes a man? The mythology surrounding this question still looms large. So much so that men often experience a hidden battle: whether their decisions should be self-determined or dictated by how masculine they will seem to others. Do I let my wife know how much something is bothering me or will that come across as not being in control? Do I speak my mind at work or does that risk being seen as too emotional? If I take a stand on a principle that bucks the boys’ club, will I lose status? Luckily, women can be strong advocates for change by encouraging men to evolve and expand beyond the stereotypes. Take a look at the 10 biggest falsehoods about men that, when debunked, can lead us to true masculinity.


Myth #1: Men Are Not Emotional
This may come as a surprise, but men are probably more emotional than women. How is this possible? Unlike femininity, masculinity doesn’t permit emoting on a regular basis, so men are like Victorian novels: placid on the outside, but concealing a deep emotional life within. Convincing a man that it is masculine to open up—in fact, it takes more cojones to do so—is a cause women should embrace. By encouraging men to reveal their true feelings, women are helping them release pent-up emotions, leading to a happier and healthier guy.


Myth #2: Sex Is What Matters the Most
Yes, sex is important to men. It’s one of the ways we access our imaginations. (At times it might seem like the only way we do.) But one of the big secrets about men is how much they long for real solidarity with their partner. And sex, because it makes the imagination literal, is something we rely on to achieve that bonded feeling. Next time you see your mate’s desire for sex as chauvinistic, remember that he may be asking for proof that you and he are the team he fantasizes about.


Myth #3: A Man Is His Job
For most men, the pressures of work stem from two things: a desire to excel at something (a principle of manhood we were taught as boys) and a need to contribute to the well-being of our families. But duty is not the same as identity, and what one does is not the same as who one is. This is true for women, too, but culturally men are more defined by their professions, which can keep their passions—what really identifies them—invisible. Talking with men about their interests is a great way to get away from the conventional ways they are seen—even how they see themselves—which will help ensure a more unconventional (and improved) masculinity.


Myth #4: Males Are Limited Creatures
“Men as underdeveloped” is the most effective propaganda the male sex has created. Your belief in our limitations brings certain “rewards” (i.e., expectations are lowered; bad behavior is tolerated; apathy becomes a non-negotiable). Women, the usual victims of these limitations, most likely buy into the idea because it elevates them. The thing is, men are not limited, and if women decide to sacrifice a little superiority they will gain better treatment by men. Just look at the vibrant imagination of any 5-year-old boy or recall the way past boyfriends have courted you—we can be highly animated, curious, loving and devoted. Holding your guy to a higher standard may not get thanks right away, but it will actually liberate him to be a more expansive, and more real, man.


Myth #5: Men Hate to Commit
Masculinity is one of the most oppressive forces as far as behavior goes because it demands that men appear “tough” at all times, thereby avoiding any overt displays of love and affection, which can be detrimental to a relationship. How often have you witnessed a man shut down during a tender moment or make a joke to detour from it? The toll this eventually takes is enormous, depriving men of the riches of intimacy, one of which is completely giving over to a true and loving partnership. While men may appear to prize freedom and independence, in their heart of hearts they truly value loyalty. In standing by her man, a woman can fill a primal absence. And once he realizes you have his back, he will start to show his feelings in his own way—which may not be “traditional” romantic gestures, but they will be gestures nonetheless.


Myth #6: Guys Don’t Communicate
Men like to talk—have you ever tried asking us the best way to get somewhere? But we often censor ourselves based on how we think women might react to a deeper honesty. So, there are times we just don’t bother. This is unfortunate because men’s internal lives are interesting and telling, and getting to know them by suspending judgment will encourage a man to be more open and more revealing to you.


Myth #7: A Woman’s Looks Are Everything
Non, nein, nope. A woman’s beauty is a thing to behold, and sometimes we can behold it at the wrong times (like when passing another woman on the sidewalk). But that’s just visual titillation. The stimulus that matters most reaches our hearts and minds. A woman with a laser-like intelligence, sharp sense of humor and a compassionate soul—now, that’s a centerfold.


Myth #8: Men Don’t Take Things Personally
This is certainly a myth we would like to believe about ourselves. Nothing fazes us; we’re breezy, easy, confident. Yeah, right. The fact is that men take many things personally—the light teasing about our paunch, the less-than-stellar bedroom performance, the snide colleague at work—but the principles of masculinity prevent our admitting them. The problem is, these things come out in ways that truly affect us. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, men commit suicide four times as much as women and suicide currently ranks as the seventh leading cause of death for men. Watching for when a guy might be repressing reactions for the sake of masculine pride, and asking him to forgo that habit, is one way women can literally save a man’s life.


Myth #9: Guys Don’t Listen to Criticism
It’s hard to argue that this one is a myth. But the reason men can be diva-like when it comes to criticism is because said criticism is rarely delivered in a way we understand. Women tend to talk around the problem, but it’s OK to get in our faces every now and then and just say what’s on your mind. Sometimes, the greatest act of love is taking someone seriously enough to risk offending them. In a weird way, those tough conversations get at the truth and, in calling attention to our blind spots, are about helping us. It’s when couples no longer think it’s worth the trouble that they have to worry. So, next time, try some tough love; we can take it.


Myth #10: Boys and Girls Are So Different
Okay, so your son prefers horseplay and trucks, and your daughter likes dolls and playing dress-up. Who cares! The things that matter in life—whether your kids are ethical; whether they are kind to others; how they achieve self-fulfillment—are as important to recognize in adults as they are in children. Just as you wouldn’t indulge your son’s overconfidence because that seems “male,” don’t allow your husband to get away with things that hurt your feelings because “that’s how guys are.” The fact is, when it comes to men and women, our mythologies are—and should be—about living more authentic lives.
- See more at: http://www.womansday.com/sex-relationships/10-biggest-myths-about-men-106408#sthash.Kgc7R4gQ.dpuf