Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Attraction Reaction - The Hot Doc

There are people in this world that attract each other with an undeniable force …like a magnetic pull that cannot be re-directed. People often feel once they are married they should only be attracted to their spouse and their spouse should only have eyes for them. This is a wonderfully romantic notion, but in reality the human psyche isn't wired that way. We notice people and we notice when people notice us. It's like that old song wherein the chorus goes: "I was looking back to see if he was looking back to see if I was looking back to see if he was looking back at me."

Years ago my daughter needed to see an ENT doctor. She was only two years old so she sat on my lap in the examination chair. When the doctor walked in I could not physically take my eyes off this man. He was jump-out-of- GQ – gorgeous! His smile made my knees weak and I found myself suddenly befuddled. Butterflies were dancing in my stomach as if I were a teenager with a crush on the cute jock! With my daughter on my lap, leaning back against me, he began to lean forward to examine her ears. He was literally inches from my face and I found I could not breathe! I was flushed, trying to redirect my eyes and concentrate on anything else. Noticing my obvious discomfort, he looked at me…with a gleam in his eyes…and a half smile… just inches away, and said, "is everything okay?" I about fell out of the chair!

That was the undeniable force of attraction at work. I didn't know this man, but something inside of me leapt to life and I was physically drawn to him. Being a married woman I started to feel guilty, thinking I shouldn't have felt anything for this handsome stranger. Several visits later, the guilt was eating at me, so I came home and told my husband. "I want this man," I admitted. He shrugged it off. "No," I insisted, " I want this man." I explained exactly how I felt and during our heart-to-heart talk I realized that feeling attraction to another person doesn't mean you're unhappy in your marriage… it means you're a human being. Getting all weak in the knees doesn't mean you don't love your spouse…it means there will always be a part of you that wants to be wanted. It feels good when someone wants us. From the time we are children on the playground screaming "pick me" we innately desire to be desired. And it's okay, even when you're married. Being married doesn't mean you gouge your eyeballs out, committing to never look at another person…but it does mean when you find yourself drawn by that undeniable force of attraction, you have the inner fortitude to put on the breaks. Wanting is merely a part of being human, so don't beat yourself up. I encourage you to be wise and be honest with yourself and your spouse. When you confess what is in your heart you allow your spouse the opportunity to know you better, be sensitive to your emotional needs, and engage in a new level of intimacy with you. There is something powerful in facing raw human desires with complete and honest openness.

Attraction isn't damaging…. Your reaction to it can be. So when you find yourself drawn to that handsome stranger, pray for wisdom and if nothing else, say "feet don't fail me now" and run like hell the other way!

Mums the Word

Communication is crucial in any relationship, and though it is important to be open and honest, it is also necessary to choose your words carefully. The terrible thing about words is you can't ever take them back. You can't stop time and suck them out of the person's ears and back into your mouth. The split second a damaging word leaves your tongue, a wound is eminent. Words don't just sting once either…they fester and boil and throb and cause an aching sore deep in the tender spot of your soul. Even an apology can't remove the lesion.

We've all had moments where we've shut our mouth one second too late and hurt someone we loved. Maimed by a verbal lashing we've brought tears to other's eyes, and flooded our own souls with regret. Information we should have kept to ourself has upset a friend. Things we shouldn't have disclosed has harmed a relationship. Angry utterances and frustrated ranting has brought sadness.

How can the tongue be such a fierce and vicious weapon of destruction? There are some secrets not worth disclosing… some truths not worth knowing… because the affliction accompanying them is too great to ask anyone to carry.

Key to remember is before we speak, ask ourselves if what we're about to say is for our benefit or the benefit of the other person. If it's not for them than Mum's the Word!

Weighted Down Attraction

What happens when you wake up one day and find yourself no longer physically attracted to your spouse?

It goes without saying the human body changes with time. Cellulite takes over our thighs, hips widen, butts enlarge, hair thins, teeth yellow, heads go bald, bellies bulge, hair grays, veins you didn't know you had, pop out to add artistic impression, and breasts display a sudden need to reach toward your knees. Metabolism slows and you start to realize you can't eat all the stuff you could before. That mid-night cheeseburger binge now sits in your stomach like a rock and you start to feel you gain weight just by looking at yummy foods! Bodily changes affect all of us and can definitely hinder attraction, reduce sex drive and put distance in a relationship.

When changes in your spouse's appearance begin to negatively affect how you feel about him or her, it's time to take action. First, go look in the mirror and truthfully note all the things you think your spouse may not find attractive about you. We all have areas that need improvement and before you can point out theirs you need to look at yours. Second, focus on the positive things that you love and enjoy about your spouse. Focus on the inner attributes and let those draw you near. Third, and most difficult of all, have an open dialogue about your feelings and devise a plan together. Find ways to increase nutrition, lower fat and calories, and exercise together. Get creative with your ideas as you find ways to get the blood pumping. Tackle this issue with a "you and me against the world" mentality; with both of you commiting to a healthier, more active lifestyle.

Marriage is a commitment "for better or for worse." Sometimes "for worse" entails having conversations on tender topics like weight and aging. How you present your feelings is key to the success of overcoming this hurdle. Tread tenderly on emotional terrain, making sure you don't point fingers but rather take hands and walk together toward a healthier life.

A Little "Somethin' Somethin'"

Numerous psychological studies have shown there is a direct correlation between sexual activity and marital satisfaction. Many studies have concluded that sexual inactivity is a warning sign that something else is wrong in the relationship. You can read thousands of case studies by conducting a simple internet search on marital sexual behavior.

I believe sex is such an incredibly strong component of marriage that God, Himself, addressed it in the Bible, stating we should not withhold our bodies from one another.
I Corinthians 7:4-5 reads: "The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control."

In the Old Testament marital sex is referred to as "knowing" one another. When we make-love to each other it is a bonding that cannot be created in any other way. It is as if the physical connection opens the corridor to a deeper emotional, mental and spiritual joining. When the "two shall become one flesh" occurs (denoting sex) something magically unexplainable happens!

When we allow the external world to limit our internal connection with our spouse, we actively damage the pipeline and communication suffers. The longer we go without physical bonding, the more the marriage stagnates, leaving both partners vulnerable to the forces of temptation. So, in my humble opinion, based on the conclusions of psychological research and the wisdom of God Almighty, I urge you to make-love to one another every possible chance you get.

A little "somethin' somethin" goes a long way!

Innocence and Opulence

I laugh at the comedic picture of the male innocence taking on the female opulence in relationship "how-to's." I believe whole-heartedly that most men are not malicious users of women; that they just can't get their head around what a woman wants. Most women are not coy, manipulators of men. We should all cut each other some relationship slack now and then. Just as men struggle to comprehend the ever-changing mind of a woman, women have difficulty fathoming why men do or say the things they do. The fact that men and women draw each other is testament to the miraculous power of God in his creation of both sexes. Had He not designed us to crave the other, I cannot imagine how we would ever come together. We are indeed a species from Mars and Venus, speaking different languages of the heart. This is why I encourage men and women to talk openly and honestly about everything on their minds. With open communication the games stop and the real relationship begins.

The less "what ifs" in your head, the fewer "tiffs" to be had.

Fanciful Feel or Real Deal

There are many stages of the powerful connection we call "love." There's the butterfly-in-your-stomach, mushy-gushy romantic excitement of falling in love. There's the settled-in, comfortable, old-hat companionship type of love. There's the purely platonic, I-love-you-like-a-brother kind of love. And a gamut of defining characteristics in between. There is a big difference between true love and the fleeting 'in love' emotion. True love is loving someone with unconditional permanence. It is much deeper than a fanciful falling in-love. Over time the "in love" feeling wears off any relationship, but the manifestation of a deeper love remains. If it doesn't the relationship dies. This deeper love is lasting regardless of external circumstances. It is not based in hollow humanity, but in something Divine. This deeper love doesn't exist because it has to, but because it doesn't know how not to.

True love is not defined by the mind nor confined by time. It stretches over miles and reaches beyond years. It is ageless and priceless. It cannot be thwarted because it is interwoven like a lattice structure throughout the heart. True love is a sub-conscious force that accepts the other person wholeheartedly, longs for them enthusiastically, cares for them unreservedly and treasures them undeniably. Even when it hurts, true love remains. Even in anger, true love stays. For those who share it know it is a force that permeates their soul. It is illogical, irrational and yet irrefutably the most powerful connection of the heart.

A fanciful feeling is fleeting... you'll feel the real deal forever!

From Fizzle to Sizzle

What do you do when marital sex feels old-hat and boring? How can a couple rejeuvenate their sex life?

My best advice to take you from fizzle to sizzle in the bedroom is to surrender your inhibitions to each other. Verbalize the things you want. You and your spouse might be thinking the same thing but you'll never know until you talk openly. People often feel afraid to engage in something others may find kinky. They feel too shy to say, "I want to try THAT" in bed. Think of sex like walking into a Baskin-Robbins. You've got your classic flavors (your regular routine positions). You already know which of these you like. Before you order up the usual, take a look around. There's a colorful display of flavors, toppings, and sauces. There's sherbert, ice cream and yogurt. There are even cakes, pies and frozen dessert bars. Instead of the plain old chocolate cone, why not order a "boom chocolacka-lacka" and really tantalize those tastebuds?! If you try something and you don't like it you don't have to do it again. In fact, you don't even have to finish doing it the first time.

The point is, sex is something that can be as creative and exciting as you want to make it. So spice it up by sharing your ideas with each other. Allow yourself and your partner to think outside the box. The rules are, as long as you two are in agreement, there are no rules. You may find that the things that make you blush often bring the greatest rush!

Sex: Conduit to Connection

Human beings, both male and female, were made incomplete. We were conceived with the need for a companion, a counterpart in our life. We were not designed to endure life alone. Anyone who has children can attest to the fact that from the time they are out of the womb males and females are innately different. It's not learned behavior. It's genetic. It's hormonal. It's in our basic biological DNA. Emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually we require bonding and connection with another person. Men connect one way. Women connect another way. Sex is the shared conduit that opens the door to all other means of communication. When you make-love (which the Bible refers to as "knowing" your spouse), you are just that..."in the know." Inhibitions minimize. Communication channels become clearer. Sexual intercourse promotes openness in a relationship and keeps the marital arteries from becoming clogged. It is because of this almost magical power it has that I urge couples to be sexually active in their marriages a minimum of 3-4 times per week. Minimum.

It's a commitment to give yourself to the benefit and health of your marriage even when you're tired. Even when you're ticked off. Even when you'd rather be shopping or reading or taking a bubble bath. It's a commitment you honor because it reaps not just physical benefits, but meets deep-rooted emotional, mental and spiritual needs.

If you don't believe me, try it for 30 days. I guarantee it will change your marriage in a very positive way!

On The Edge

I read something this evening that struck a chord in me that I pray will reverberate in my soul forever, as a constant reminder.

"When God leads you to the edge of a cliff, trust Him fully and let go. Only one of two things will happen...either He will catch you when you fall, or He will teach you how to fly."

The power of God unleashed by the simplicity of the power of fatih. Just be certain it is God leading you to the cliff. If it is, let faith empower you to trust beyond fear, to hope beyond logic, to push beyond limitation, to embrace despite conflict and to love beyond restriction.

Everything happens for a reason. Believe first and then you will see.

Ungrasped Inbetween

Somewhere in unspoken words lies the thread of truth in every conversation. His side. Her side. And the reality is somewhere in the ungrasped inbetween. I cannot find words to describe a feeling I myself do not understand. He cannot find logic in an explanation I am unable to offer. So we stand, face-to-face, in an epiphany of distorted comprehensions. Here we are, angry and frustrated. I teeter on the edge... on the edge of what? That is the question. He watches in the throes of helplessness. How does he fix what he can't see to be broken? When words fail to soothe what is left? Can affection fill in the blanks until hearts learn to connect again? I am understanding now that when a soul is exhausted rest can only be found in the arms of God. All else fall short in comforting a weakened spirit. In the arms of God is a peace that surpasses all he cannot understand and everything I cannot find words to explain. God's hands are the equalizer that sits in the beyond and holds us together, inside and out.

If you're on the edge today, look to the right or to your left and see you are not alone. Many of us from every walk of life are standing next to you, feeling the same stress, facing the same failures, hurting just as you are. Fall today into the arms of your Creator and find the peace and restoration your soul needs to go on. I promise you will stand again, inwardly fulfilled and comforted.


Have you ever been so entrenched in life's circumstances that you feel you're going to smother? Like you're walking in quicksand. The more you fight to get out the deeper you sink. The more you sink the greater the panic. The greater the panic the more you fight to survive. It becomes a vicious cycle of destruction. When all that sticks above the surface is your face, you have but one thing left to do: scream. Aaahhhhhhhhh!! We have all found ourselves knee deep, chest deep, even neck deep in life's quicksand. We have all faced those moments when spewing forth a desperate scream is all we have left. Words have failed. Tears have dried. Reasoning has left. When Sorrowful Crushing Reality Eats Away Meaning in life. SCREAM! Sometimes it takes sobbing to release the emotion that cripples you. Sometimes it is the mere release of emotion that opens the door to restoration. This world is often like quicksand, sucking us in and pulling us under. Like quicksand, the only escape from life's pressures is in the relaxation and release of the struggle. When sorrowful crushing reality eats away meaning, let yourself scream… Seek Christ, Release Emotion and Allow Mercy. Scream your head off! Scream until you have no strength left. In this release you will find the rescue of a foothold in the promise that God's grace is sufficient to carry you through all life's sorrowful circumstances. (II Corinthians 12:9) His grace is indeed enough to pull you from the pit of despair. Life's quicksand has no power in the strength of God's peace.

Going Through the Motions...with no Emotion!

Almost all marriages begin with romance. Somewhere down the road it fades. Daily life often leaves little time and less energy. Thus, we begin to settle for comfort over excitement. To climb into bed and snuggle up is easier than lighting candles, turning on music and pursuing physical intimacy...especially after a long day at work. Exhaustion plays a huge role in marital lethargy. It becomes a trigger for the emotional disconnect between spouses. The disconnect happens slowly over time. One day you wake up and realize you've been going through the motions and it's caused separation and loneliness in your heart.

For most couples, their marriage is not something they would label "troubled" or "bad." It just "is." It exists, but it doesn't live.

I am here to tell you that your marriage can not just live, but thrive again! An old relationship will never be "new" but it can be renewed. The feeling that is lacking right now can flourish in your heart again.

Spouse In My House can help you re-ignite a flame you thought burned out a long time ago.

Are you ready to add emotion to your marital motions?
Marriage is supposed to be the most intimate of all human relationships. It's designed to share the good, the bad, the pretty and the ugly in every aspect of life. It was foundationally formed to endure the test of time. And with a little help and a lot of prayer, it can!

On the intimacy scale is your marriage a one or a ten? Or do you, like most couples, fall somewhere in the stagnant inbetween? Do you suffer from what I call “the Spouse in my House” syndrome.

Do you feel your spouse shares your home, but not your heart? Do you have the sensation that intimacy is so close yet discouragingly unattainable? Is there an emptiness that comes with knowing everything about someone and not having anything new or exciting to say to them? Are you bored in your relationship? Has it become predictable and mundane? Are you too exhausted to even want more? Have you lost hope in the possibility of your marriage improving?

Spouse In My House is designed to address marital emotions and conflicts and open your eyes to the posibility that your marriage can not only be salvaged, but feel exciting again!