FAML300

W11: Transitions in Marriage: Fidelity and Physical Intimacy

Hi everyone!  I hope that each of you is faring daylight savings time better than I am.  A quick little update… I have been in bed since late Friday afternoon with a horrible cold which has been fed by all of the spring tree pollen.  I am drowning in mucus…. so there is my first TMI for you in this post.  And, as you might have guessed, due to the topic of this week’s post, there just might be another one.

I’m just going to jump right in to the topic this week and not pretend that it’s an elephant in the room.  No one wants to talk about these issues, but they are a must.  What I read this week for my class, I want to make sure that my children know.

The home that I grew up in was open.  My parents openly loved one another, we kids saw mom and dad hug, kiss, hold hands, and dance in the kitchen on a regular basis.  I grew up in 80’s not the 50’s and it was a wonderful example.  I want the same for my children, and today… my husband and I kiss, hug, hold hands, and dance in the kitchen in front of whomever might be in our house.  We simply don’t care about showing the love that we have for one another to the world.  We hold hands in public, we sit on the same side of a booth together when we go to dinner which makes the person seating us look at us sideways because they put the menus opposite one another.  We then bow our heads down to pray for our meal, holding hands at the table in the restaurant.  You may be asking yourself, what’s dinner prayer in public have to do with affection?  It’s not the fact that we pray wherever we may be for a meal, it’s the fact that we pray together – wherever we may be.  We are close.  We are commanded by the Lord for husband to leave his parents and to cleave unto his wife, and the wife is commanded to cleave unto her husband and they are told to become one.  That’s the goal.  When we are not intimate, when we allow a wedge to be driven between us, Satan does his little happy dance and hits the head of the wedge with a hammer to drive it in further.  Remember, I don’t have a perfect husband and I am not a perfect wife – we do not have the perfect marriage.  We both do things that drive one another crazy, but we do our best to tolerate our nuances and move forward.  Marriage isn’t about changing our spouses, it is about learning how to deal with the challenges put before us in the attributes that Heavenly Father gave our spouses.  Marriage is the ultimate challenge in this life – and I want to be successful.

Being successful means being honest with my husband.  When I mess up, I know that I can come to him and tell him what happened… even if I know he’s going to be upset about it.  It’s still safe.  Being successful means that both husband and wife are committed to one another in complete fidelity.  We have heard from our modern prophets that we are to love our spouses with all our hearts – and all of one’s heart leaves no room to allow anyone else in to share that intimate love.  Wives should not have male friends that they speak to on a regular basis outside of their marriage without their husbands, husbands should not have female friends that they hang out or have private conversations with either.   Having a quiet lunch with someone of the opposite sex for a married person is out of the question … this is how infidelity starts.  And I’ll just be blunt here:  any touching, holding hands, kissing, sexual intercourse or other sex acts with anyone other than one’s spouse is unacceptable in the eyes of the Lord.  For those of you that are not married – this goes for you too – these things are for married spouses only (well, except maybe holding hands and smooching).  And my last comment here about infidelity, pornography counts.  In my heart and mind, pornography is the worst kind of infidelity.  Pornography is addictive and more destructive to any marriage than anything else that exists in our world today.  Stay away from it 200%.  There are just no exceptions here.

How do we keep infidelity away and intimacy alive in our marriages? I don’t have all the answers, but I’ll tell you what we’re doing here in our house.  First off, we have a copy of Dr. John Gottman‘s book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.  We read it together. … okay, I read it out loud to my husband, but he listens.   We do some of the exercises in this beloved book together.  We started dating one another again.  When we go on weekly dates together (sometimes it’s a pizza and a board game locked in our room), we make sure that before our date is over that we added to our love map.  Even if this means saying – hey wait!  did we learn something about one another on our date tonight?  We just do it.  We don’t care about being corny, we care about making our marriage work.  Learning about one another, understanding where one another is coming from and stands is important – it just can’t be forgotten.  When we love one another and we are adding to our love maps each week, and sometimes even each day – it makes our marriage work better.  When husbands are happy and wives are happy – intimacy happens by nature.

Sex is part of marriage, and it is an important part.  I promise.  There are couples out there that are unable to have intercourse, and that’s to be understood – but if they are to make their marriage happy and healthy they will find other ways to be intimate with one another to fulfill this need.  There are wives that withhold sex because their husband didn’t pick up their socks.  There are husbands out there that withhold sex because their wife was late getting supper on the table.  These scenarios are not okay.  Sex is not a tool – it is a gift given to married couples by God in order to both have offspring and to grow together as one.  We are commanded in marriage to be one.  There is no other way that I can think of that will allow a husband and wife to be one than to be together in a sexual relationship on a regular basis.  When husband and wife are in harmony in life, they are in harmony behind closed doors too.  Is every sexual encounter going to be over the moon wonderful?  Nope.  But when husband’s and wives are in harmony with one another about daily life – sexual encounters will be more fulfilling; if not physically, then spiritually.

Sisters love your husbands.  Brethren, love your wives.  Date, talk, pray, enjoy one another behind closed doors.  This is part of being a spouse – and part of having a spouse.  Love and care for. Be gentle.

In closing, I know that there are those out there that truly feel that they don’t fit into this category.  There are those that think that they are the exception.  For some of you, this may be true – and if it is you, then I can only imagine that your spouse 100% understands and holding your hand down a treacherous path of healing and recovery.  For those of you that think you are the exception – I would urge you to take stock of your feelings and how you treat your spouse.  Are you being selfish and withholding?  Think on it, pray on it – get an answer from God and then act on it.

I leave you my testimony that I know that having a sexually intimate relationship with our spouses is God given.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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FAML300

W06 Cherishing Your Spouse

Dear Readers,

My apologies that I am running a bit behind this week.  This past Saturday was my birthday and as a surprise for the big 4-0, my mother and my two sons flew in from out of state and were here for four days.  My birthday was wonderful and the excitement has dwindled down, but I am behind my usual point for school work, housework, and life in general.  I am working diligently to get to where I need to be, but feel like I’m barely treading water at the moment.  Hang on while I go switch a load of laundry and I’ll be right back to write some more.

Okay, where was I?  Anyway, chores are going and here I am writing about cherishing my spouse, which I really don’t feel like doing at the moment.  You see, he and I don’t always see eye to eye, but isn’t that they way with every marriage?  We had a little spat this morning and he left for work angry and I got left at the house to stew about his bad attitude.  That’s just how life goes every once in a while.  And that is okay.  We have since apologized to one another, because that is how it goes.

As I was reading the assigned text for this week’s work one chapter in Drawing Heaven Into Your Marriage by Dr. H. Wallace Goddard and two chapters in The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by Dr. John M. Gottman I realized something… I realized how much I do cherish my husband.  He is my best friend and I would do anything for him – yep, anything. I take care of him when he has a migraine, I listen to him when he’s had a bad day at work, I listen to him when he had a good day at work, I kiss him good night, I hold his hand at the dinner table during prayer, I go to the store and get him everything he needs for working around our property, and I love him with all of my heart.  If Heavenly Father loves me half as much as I love my husband, I am a blessed girl.

Even though I love him, we have those spats every now and then.  My husband isn’t much of a talker and many times I am left guessing how he is feeling or what he is thinking when he isn’t very happy.  I promise you, Heavenly Father did not provide me with the crystal ball that I need, but we manage.  When things start to go sideways, I let him know that it’s time that he tells me what’s going on in that brain of his so that I’m not lost and confused – and most of the time he does.

In the reading material, there were lists upon lists with games to play and questions to ask your spouse.  As I read through the first several lists that essentially provided a score to let you know how you and your spouse are doing, I was pretty impressed that I “passed” the tests.  There were questions that saddened me too.  I read some of them, like “I can list my partner’s three favorite movies” and “I can tell you the most stressful thing that happened to my partner as a child,” these made tears well in my eyes.  I wish I knew the answers, but I simply don’t.  Some of you may wonder – how can you not know these things?  The answer is simple – I don’t watch many movies, so we haven’t talked about movies very much and my husband is pretty closed up about his childhood – every once in a while I get a glimpse into his youth.  I just discovered a couple of weeks ago that one of our daughter’s friends is the daughter of his high school girlfriend – the girl he went to prom with.  I didn’t even know that he went to his senior prom until then. The bright side to all of this though, is that starting this week, he and I will begin going on date night each week and I will bring my handy dandy books with me and I will get to open it up to all of those pages that I stuck colorful flags on and I can just ask him.

Today is going to be a rough day – it started out with a spat and as I sit here and write, I have tears running down my cheeks as I think of all the little intricacies about my husband that I don’t know, but that I am blessed to be able to ask him.  I want to know these things, tearsI want to continue to care for him when he has bad days or migraines, and I know that he prides himself in the work that he does to provide for our little (or not so little) family. He and I work well, we mesh, we just fit.  He and I love each other, and I know that for both of us our biggest fear is losing one another – having to go on in this life without our best friend to have each and every day.

If you are in a position that you don’t have these little spats now and then, a bad day which you can bounce back from – it’s time to rejuvinate, revitalize, and get excited about loving your spouse.  You married him/her for a reason, relight that candle and get moving.  A great place to start and for pretty cheap is to get yourself a copy of Dr. Gottman’s book.  IT IS WONDERFUL!  I dare you… do it!

With love,

Samantha

PS (this is dedicated to Maryann) How did it turn out?  Well …. I was home and he was at work.  Each day when he arrives at his job for the morning, he sends me three text messages that read: “I’m here.” “Yes,Ma’am.” “I love you today.”  And in reply, I send him three text messages back: “Safe and sound” “Good” “I love you today too.”  Before these messages ever took place yesterday (because he had such a long drive) I had typed out a lengthy text message explaining my frustration and apologizing for what was most likely construed as accusatory.  He then chose to take the high ground (one of his great qualities) and told me thank you for making his lunch and he then apologized for being cranky and rude.  We proceeded with our day and regular routine.  Last night was perhaps a little sweeter than usual snuggling at bed time.  We both realized that we were wrong and we both apologized to one another. . . being married to your best friend is practically perfect in every way.

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The Eternal Family

Sharing Everything

How important is it to share everything?  Okay, not everything.  I don’t need to know when my husband made a left hand turn at the intersection of Main and Bolivar, but everything.  The important things.  Well, important is relative.  Relative to what though?

I was struggling with a personal monster this weekend, and still am.  That being said, my husband kept something from me over the course of the weekend in order to better help me with my struggle.  Is that right or wrong?  Who is to say?  My husband did not tell me something that I view as really important and even urgent in order to better assist me in my own way.  In his mind, he was completely justified in not telling me.  In mine, not so much.

Let’s just start this off by talking about Benjamin Franklin and his discovery of how electricity works.  Okay, we’ve talked enough about that now… because I don’t really know how electricity works, I just trust that it does and when it doesn’t, I call the power company or my resident electrician, my husband.  My sweet husband deals with his own monsters, in the form of migraine and he fought with one on Friday this weekend and was down in bed for the majority of the day.  He was scheduled for overtime on Saturday and he still wasn’t feeling great, but he grumbled out of bed and out the door so that he could work to provide for our little family (mostly because he missed work on Friday.)  He came home on time Saturday evening and he was a little cranky, but nothing out of the ordinary for having to work ten hours on your day off… you know what I mean?  We went to bed at a normal time and when Sunday morning rolled around, I could tell another headache had set in… or so I thought.

I went about my day and took the kiddos to church and came home and he still wasn’t feeling up to par.  I tried to make sure that he was taking his migraine medication, but he was being resistant and I couldn’t figure out why.  I was just getting frustrated with him.  I just wanted to help him be on a recovery path from his migraine… is that too much to ask?

I climbed into bed Sunday evening just after nine and as I’m drifting off I mumbled something about him not taking his meds like he is supposed to.  He then said “because I got shocked yesterday.”  I sat up in bed, threw the covers off, stomped across the room and flicked the lights on.  “You what?”  We talked for a few minutes, the situation diffused and we fell asleep holding hands.

As I got up with the alarm clock this morning and made my husband’s lunch I meandered the kitchen thinking of what had happened.  My electrician, my husband, had been electrocuted at work. When he came out from getting ready for the day, I made him promise me to never hide something this big from me, even if it was for my own well-being while I was fighting with my own monsters.  Husbands and wives should be openly communicating, most especially if we faced death over the course of the day.  Sheesh.  I do love him.  And he loves me.  He didn’t keep it from me because I didn’t need to know.  He kept it from me so that I could be successful in my own endeavor.  He kept it from me because he loves me, as much as I love him.  So, while we should share everything, we should share everything at the right time.

I do believe that my husband was guided to keep this from me when he did, and I put my trust in him and in our Savior, that it was all just perfect… even though I didn’t think so at Mosiah 3 8the time.

I love you mister.

 

 

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The Eternal Family

Peaceful mornings

What comes first, wife or mother?  Well, wife of course.  At least here in my home.  I know that it doesn’t seem like that on many occasions, but wife is truly my primary focus.  You may think… well, you should focus on your children first.  There are hours upon hours in the day that I get to focus on the children, but only so many minutes that I get to focus on being a wife.

The alarm rings… it’s five twenty in the morning.  I struggle out from under the covers to slap that horrid bell and let me sleep for nine more minutes.  It blares again, slap.  The third time I manage to switch it off and I fumble my way to the bathroom.  It’s five thirty-eight.  Who wants to be out of bed at five thirty-eight?  Not a single person.  I don’t care if you are a morning person. . . if you could sleep until six, wouldn’t you?  Of course you would.  (If you wouldn’t, you just shoosh.)

I make my way to the kitchen and flip on the light switch and blind myself for a nanosecond while my eyes adjust, the sun isn’t even up yet.  Open the pantry, grab my husband’s lunch pail and open it up.  What can I toss in there this morning to just be done with this routine?  Ice, water, Gatorade, soda, granola bar, cheese round, chips, dessert… still no sandwich.  Why do I have to make a sandwich?  The sun isn’t even up yet.  Miracle Whip, lunch meat, cheese block, bread. . . gently spread on just the right amount of dressing, three slices of honey ham, cut some cheddar cheese, place it on.  Done.

No, not done.  I pick the cheese knife back up and cut the sandwich lovingly in half and get out the sandwich bag.  I place the sandwich neatly in the bag, zip it closed and place it on top of everything else to prevent it from getting squished.  I love my husband.  This is one of those moments where I get to be a wife first.

The children are still snoozing, and I know my husband loves when I make time for him.  IMG_1500bwEven when that time is just the three seconds it takes to cut a sandwich in half.

You see, I will always have children, but they will only live here with me for a short time in this life.  They each get their time with me, but when they are all grown and begin their own families, I will be here in our home with my husband.

We will sit side by side and share a sandwich.  A sandwich cut in two.

 

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The Eternal Family

How horrible am I ?

Well, let me tell you how horrible I am.  If you are reading this, you are about to be inundated with blog posts for the next week and a half.

I went to class last night, and realized that writing in my blog is my capstone project for Fundamentals of Religion 200, and that I have not been working on the project at all.  As you can tell, from the lack of blog posts.  So, here I am.

I have been doing really well about reading or listening to my scriptures every day, but what I really want to share is a project that I just finished up for my religion course.

I began the project by taking the five love languages quiz for myself.  I then had my two teenage daughters and my husband take the quiz to discover which way each of them felt love.  Armed with this knowledge, I set out to love each of them each day for two weeks in a manner in which they felt love.    I then wrote in my journal each day how I loved each of them.

Let me just say, do not do this the same way I did.  Go ahead and have your family take the quiz.  But DO NOT try to focus on three people at the same time.  I feel as if the project was a failure, but I still learned.

Next up… loving each of them one at a time for two weeks.  Obviously, I am going to make sure that I still love all of my family members, but I am going to focus on getting better loving them in a way that they need one at a time until I have it down.

Husband… here I come. Watch out!

 

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The Eternal Family

Mothers

With all that moms do each and every day, a lot of which goes unrecognized, unrewarded, and is thankless, I would like to take a moment to share with you how important moms really are.  Now, I know that this is my opinion, but I just want you to remember that each of these tiny actions of good amount to a while lot in the eyes of our Heavenly Father.  Nurturing and teaching our beloved children and caring for our spouses is part of our Heavenly Father’s plan.  Being mothers, is who you as a woman, are meant to be.  While being a mother may not be part of your earthly plan, or even be possible for you in this mortal realm, each woman has the potential to be a mom in His kingdom one day.  Take a moment and watch this video from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and realize what it really means.

With love,
Samantha

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