I’d like to thank those of you who gave such wonderful feedback on my previous blog on Mismatched Libidos. Your comments and input made a part 2 necessary.
As I mentioned in my first blog on this topic, Sex can be a difficult subject to talk about. Starting a conversation about it takes courage, trust and vulnerability. The first talk is actually the hardest, but you will both learn how to navigate it once it’s opened up. A great opener is admitting how uncomfortable you feel and then gently forge ahead anyway. It will absolutely be worth it. It has been my experience that just by the fact that you are willing to discuss something that is sensitive and challenging, it affirms your love for each other and for your sex life. (If the truth were told, one or both of you would like to know that sex is important to the other person too). In contrast, many people just avoid it and it lends itself to anger, resentment and rejection, which after a few years can really hurt your relationship. So dive in!
I was happy to hear from women on the physical aspect regarding their desire for sex. One woman shared that her sexual desire for her husband, whom she adored, had all but left her. She thought there was something wrong with her and didn’t feel the confidence to approach her husband about it. She went to an Herbalist who treated her reproductive cycle and her hormones, with some “tinctures and a female tonic”, she felt alive again toward her husband. Her exact words, “It was life changing”. I also had a Neuropathic Doctor, Fayzah Doudak, who has a practice in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, tell me that she has seen many women helped by taking certain supplemental nutrients. Great news for us ladies!
Lastly, sometimes it just comes down to a matter of personal desires. Meaning that if a woman is perfectly satisfied with having sex once a week and does not see that as an issue, but her husband does, what do you do? It takes a conversation about compromise. Do you remember how in previous generations, mothers would tell their daughters to do their “wifely duties”? Well, this is definitely not about that, so fear not, we are not going backwards! I believe there are things in a marriage that can be helped greatly, by looking for the win-win situation. What could be a compromise that you are both willing to make that is acceptable to each of you? After all, you love each other and want one another to be happy, don’t you? Then why wouldn’t you do whatever you could to bring that about? So, if a wife desires sex once a week and the husband desires it three, then both compromise and agree at making room for it to happen twice a week. The foremost important thing that has to happen is the conversation, no matter how uncomfortable you may feel, you can’t begin to move forward without it.
#sex #sextalks #marriage #inittowinit #desires #compromise #winwin #marriagebuilders #rewardscoaching #lifecoach
This question came from one of my readers. They asked for both my husband and my opinion, so that they can get both a male and female perspective. It’s a bit lengthy but the topic deserved it.
Q. Can you weigh in on “mismatched libidos” in marriage?
A. Absolutely! What a pertinent question. It has been my experience that it affects most marriages at some point.
First, I would suggest you rule out any physical reasons why sex is not desired as much, or at all in some cases. Are there hormone issues (his/hers)? Sickness? Medications? You want to be certain there isn’t anything going on physically that would interfere with the sex drive. Assuming all is well physically, I’m going to offer some common reasons we’ve found from our work with couples that may be helpful in exploring this issue. I will also give a few suggestions on how to work it through.
First I would start with some open communication. Many couples get very defensive while dealing with this issue. The only time they may express something about it is after they’ve been rejected or reached a breaking point. This reaction only hinders communication about sex, since it’s usually charged with frustration, anger, and/or hurt. A conversation needs to take place but only when you both are in a good frame of mind, you’re thinking clearly, and your emotions are in check. After you plan a good time to sit and talk, remember to keep it all judgment free. Making a positive connection at this level will be a great precursor in jump-starting those libidos with some emotional intimacy.
Begin the conversation with what you are in agreement on. Highlight your strengths and you’ll gain a sense of empowerment and hope. It could look something like this:
Hopefully, the answers are yes (otherwise that’s a whole other marital challenge to be sorted out). To help you understand the significance of this power of agreement, imagine if you will, the two of you standing in a boxing ring, poised to fight. Coming into agreement would put you both in the same corner of the ring, to face the issue together; as opposed to being at opposite ends fighting each other. This is huge! We all have various challenges in our marriages, and some topics are more sensitive than others. Sex, or the lack of it, being one of the harder conversations to have, the power of agreement really helps. Since our egos are involved we take it very personally. We can easily become defensive and oppositional, if you feel your spouse is no longer attracted to you (which many times is not even the case). More often than not, the issue could be as simple as being exhausted (i.e.; new parents, overload from work and or school). Those are the easy issues; easier to work on that is.
Sometimes, I have seen wives who no longer desire sex with their husbands due to a lack of emotional intimacy. The couple no longer spends time together alone. She can’t remember the last time he looked into her eyes or kissed her, outside of the bedroom. The number one complaint from wives is their heart and emotions have not been stimulated, and then all of a sudden their husband wants them to be physically intimate with them. Women typically need to be emotionally connected before wanting to be physically connected (excluding the spontaneous quickie). It may not make sense to some men; nonetheless it’s how we women are wired. On the flip side, I have also heard from husbands who don’t desire sex with their wife because of how she treats him. All day long they feel spoken to in a demeaning and disrespectful way, and then their wife wants them to be physically intimate as if nothing ever happened. It turns them off and fuels resentment.
Long lasting, healthy, passionate marital relations, have to be nurtured and cared for. Having a somewhat active sex life is a clue to the health of the relationship. It’s actually a barometer of how the relationship is doing. When the relationship is healthy, you want to keep your sex life alive. You know it’s an important part of your marriage and you will do whatever it takes to support it; not to mention its also a great source of enjoyment and pleasure when there’s no strife in the way.
Here are a few suggestions that may help to keep it healthy. For new parents, the solution can be as simple as giving your spouse a little nap or some free time. If it’s a matter of emotional intimacy, regular date nights and personal conversations (other than the kids and bills) are helpful. Date nights are also useful for bringing up sensitive topics that have been on your mind. It’s a time to be open and transparent about how you’ve been feeling (disrespected, unappreciated, etc.) and for the other to find out how he or she can work on changing that. You can also ask for forgiveness or give it in return if needed, affirm your love for each other, or just have some fun together.
Lastly, and just as important, is planning these times to be alone and be intimate. Schedule sex??? No, create the space for sexual intimacy to happen naturally. If you don’t, you will find (if you haven’t already) that life will always seem to crowd it out.
My husband’s opinion (Thomas Stafford):
I agree with everything Regina shared, but would add one more thing. Many professionals recommend watching pornography together for stimulation. You don’t need outside help to fix inside issues. Pornography and sexual fantasy are not going to add to your intimacy, or fix whatever is causing you to be mismatched. Porn usually invites a new set of issues into the mix, such as insecurity, feelings of inadequacy, isolation, and unreal expectations regarding your sex life, which will further increase the divide; not to mention, its also addictive. Don’t look for the quick fix. Do the work it takes to build a fantastic sex life together, which will satisfy both of you beyond your golden years.
#Sex #maritalsex mismatchedlibidos #marriagechallenge #healthyrelationships #emotionalintimacy #rewardscoaching #marriagebuilders #marriagecoaches
Sometimes it’s ok to sit quiet. Sometimes it’s ok to be melancholy. It’s even ok to take a day where you don’t accomplish much, other taking a pause from the norm.
Our society is bent on accomplishment. We work feverishly to stay relevant and surpass others, lest we fall behind. We can find unlimited great Coaches, Entrepreneurs, and Leadership Development Consultants on social media, in print, in podcasts and on videos, encouraging us to keep working, keep hustling, and keep producing. In and of itself, this is great. (I’m one of them) You can find all you need in an instant, to put wind in your sails, ward off discouragement and fuel your belief in yourself, your gift and your dreams. Wonderful!!! It’s a wonderful gift from technology.
The downside of it is, it is not so wonderful on the days where you need to take a pause; the days where you have nothing to pump out. Then it becomes a harsh taskmaster, causing more fear and anxiety than inspiration. Life never happens in a straight line. We can be fired up about our dreams, charging forward, making great strides, and another part of our lives unexpectedly throws a monkey wrench of sorts onto our path. It could be family, finances, health, or anything that drains your mental and emotional energy. Do you continue to pump until you are depleted and burned out?
If you are on stuck on the hamster wheel, the answer is yes. You keep going. You are driven by militaristic terms like; “no pain, no gain” or “sleep is for the weak”, “no rest for the weary”, and “you’ll sleep when you’re dead”? You suck it up and keep going. You work into the wee hours of the morning, crawl out of bed in the morning, grab food on the go, force yourself to the gym and do it all again tomorrow. You can’t allow yourself to pause for a second, the competition is too great and it’s on your tail. Pausing could be the difference between success and failure. We are not in the military and so don’t need to be this rigid. Following our dreams doesn’t have to be exhausting or detrimental to our over all well-being. It just has to be consistent. Although the fulfillment of dreams does take hard work and sacrifice, we should be able to enjoy the building phase of it.
Let’s get a grip on ourselves. Let’s pause and take in the fullness of our lives. Let’s not get myopic about our dreams and forget we are human beings, not programmed robots. We have many moving parts, as well as people to consider that are on this ride with us. Although your dream may fill your heart, it doesn’t need to take over your life.
I recently read about how our “Live your dream at any cost” mentality is actually killing us. I believe it needs to be spoken about so that we can get a good balance into our lives. . Going hard and heavy is taking its toll on our health and well-being. Auto Immune diseases are at an all time high, Adrenal failure is now a thing, and Anti-Anxiety and Depression meds are distributed at alarming rates. What are we doing to ourselves? Does this sound alarming? It should! Sprinting is only meant for a short period of time, not for the whole race. We need to pace ourselves and develop a good working rhythm. If you look at our society as being one big whirlpool (like we used to make as kids in the round swimming pools) then the pause is grabbing onto the ladder and sitting on the deck for a bit. The pause allows you to take a breather when you need it and not feel guilty or feel anxious because you stopped producing for the moment. It allows you to rest your body and your mind when needed, revaluate, strengthen, altar or change course, enjoy your loved ones, have some fun, or just simply be still for a moment and breathe.
All good things will come in due season. Be consistent and trust the process…
#findyourpause #dontbeafraidtopause #dreamsdocometrue
#allinitsowngoodtime #atimetosowandatimetoreap #atimetostopsowing #trusttheprocess #Lifecoachesaregreat #rewardscoaching
Did you ever think of how you’d like to spend your life? I mean beyond just having a job, career, family, traveling, etc.? I believe each one of us carries something on us that can influence people’s lives around us, for better or worse. Whether intentionally or passively, we all bring an essence of what’s inside of us wherever we go. It just emanates from us. Regardless if we are world changers, or live simple lives, it’s there. It can’t be covered up.
We actually were created to carry goodness, grace and kindness wherever we go, which is different than being a Pollyanna or people pleaser. It’s a personal stance that we choose to take for ourselves. We were created for connection. There is truth in the words “no man is an island”. Recent studies actually show our brains feed off each other. Did you know that when you smile at another person, it releases endorphins in that other person’s brain, which makes them feel good? So why aren’t we all living so joyfully? Unfortunately, after life has given us a few hard blows, it leaves us depleted and or jaded. Unable to even find a smile. It’s understandable, but it’s not a healthy place to park long term. No matter what we go through in our lives, we can choose to let it soften, and tenderize our hearts, leaving us more compassionate and empathetic, or harden us, leaving us embittered and angry.
If someone were to mention a name to you, I’ll bet you could immediately say what essence they carry with him or her. I remember a slogan I saw on a plaque one time, it read; “Everyone brings pleasure, some by coming and some by going”. Your essence is kind of like a signature fragrance. It’s all your own. It has your name on it. There are sweet fragrances, pungent, cool, warm, strong, irritating, overpowering, and downright nauseating, to name just a few. What essence or fragrance does your presence bring to our world? If you can’t answer that, but really want to know, you can ask a few close people in your circle. The ones who care about you will be honest and tell you what they’ve seen and felt from you. It’s good to do a heart check up every so often. It will tell you how you are doing emotionally, especially if you’ve been through harsh seasons in life. We may not even be aware of what is festering in there, but our essences will surely reveal it.
We get one go around in this life and it goes by quickly. The works that we put our hands to will always be there, its just work. People, the lives we touch around family, friends, co-workers, even strangers, and us on the street, are what is truly important and long lasting. They will speak of who you are (or were- when you are long gone). You can’t fake it since it comes from your core – your spirit if you will.
What emanates from you? What is the fragrance that surrounds you? What is the aroma that remains when you walk away? Just a thought for today!
The latest topic in the media for the past two weeks has been God speaking to people. Before it is laid to rest, I wanted to quickly weigh in on it.
Here’s the quick recap, in case you’ve been out of the country and missed it. On February 15, 2018, Joy Behar from the popular television show, The View, said of Vice President Mike Pence, if he believes that God speaks to him, it’s called Mental Illness (paraphrased).
Mocking a Christian’s faith has almost become commonplace in recent times. It seems that many other faiths can live out their beliefs without judgment or unkind words, except those of the Christian faith. Regardless of why this happens, here’s how God “speaks”. Really He does!
In the New Testament of the bible we are taught about having a relationship with God, one that consists of a dialog, not a monologue. In more than one place it is written, that we need to quiet ourselves and listen for the voice of God, for He will speak to us. In the Old Testament in 1Kings 18 and 19 it’s described as a still small voice as opposed to thunder and lightening. For a Christian, this is the norm. Maybe Mike Pence was the only one brave enough to say it so openly and matter of fact.
I remember years ago, a friend of mine, a Christian, had to take a psychological exam to be hired for the FDNY. One of the questions posed was if he believed God spoke to him. My friend, knowing what they were looking for, (him hearing an audible voice) said no and he hated having to answer that way. Most of us are well aware, that many mental illnesses present themselves with a person hearing an audible voice from “God”, telling them to do something. This is a sad reality for mentally ill people, but it doesn’t come close to what most Christians mean when they say they hear from God. If more of us spoke about it more freely among, it wouldn’t seem so crazy, or carry such a negative stigma. So just in case you hear it said that God spoke, and they are clearly not suffering from mental illness, this is what is meant.
How does God speak?
This is by no means an exhaustive list after all He’s God and can use anyway He chooses but I hope these few examples have brought a little more clarity and understanding to this latest hot button topic. Yes God does speak and it becomes just part of the Normal Christian Life.
#Godspeaks #really #Joybehar #notmentalillness #Stillsmallvoice #thenormalchristianlife #rewardscoaching #reginastafford
In different seasons of my life, I’ve heard a certain word come to my mind. This word usually winds up being like a guiding force during that particular time. This season, the word focus came to me. As I contemplated this word, it began to speak to me.
This is a busy time in my life. I have professional goals that I am working toward. I have passion in my heart, ideas in my head and the energy to move forward. It would seem easy to keep focusing on them. Especially since I feel clear on what needs to be done. The test of that focus comes from my being in the category of a Baby Boomer which comes with it’s own challenges.
As a Baby Boomer, your parents may have now reached an age where they need more attention from you. You may have to accompany them to their doctor’s appointments, as well as whatever other help and care they may need. It takes focus to be able to keep your own goals in sight as you add this to your plate. You also have to learn the balance between doing everything for them and letting them still do as much as they are able. And, if that weren’t enough, there is a major emotional adjustment, which arises from seeing the changes your parents are experiencing. It too requires focus to not be thrown by the realization that someday, this could be you.
For those Baby Boomers who now have adult children (possibly with children of their own), it’s important to not let the busyness of life rob you of enjoying time with each other. Focus on the importance of these relationships and carve out time for the people that mean the most to you. Life goes by too quickly to not spend time with the people you love.
Add on some more incidentals like caring for your own physical health and well-being. More than likely, you aren’t able to eat the same way you used to. Now it’s time to focus on eating healthy and making better choices. This takes time and attention to actually be successful. Don’t forget to get some exercise too! (If you’ve been doing this all along, kudos to you, you’re ahead of the game.)
As I write, I’m reminded of the words from a song by John Lennon:
“Life is what happens to you while your busy making other plans.”
If you too are in a season where you have plans and goals in front of you, and a lot of life is happening to you, I will gladly share my word with you. Focus on that which is truly important in your life. Plan well and ask for help when you need it. Self-care is crucial. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you need some extra rest. All the pulling in different directions can be very draining, both mentally and physically. Be flexible. You may find yourself having to juggle and rearrange your schedule often. Also remind yourself to keep your Focus on your particular lane only. You are not in competition with anyone. What is meant for you will come to you, if you stay diligent. Refuse to be thrown off track or discouraged by the Millennial’s and Generation Z’s (younger generation) moving past you at lightning speed. With all your life experience, you have to know by now, that all good things happen in their proper time. It’s slow and steady that wins the race. Don’t lose sight of your goal! Focus!!!
Do you remember all the outdated, traditional roles of husbands and wives? You know the stale ones that have been passed down by relatives, friends and old movies and society? Many of them seem almost laughable today. Especially regarding women. I’m sure a little study (or Alexa or Google), could yield the origins of some of them, and it might prove pretty interesting. A very old analogy about defining roles that comes to mind quickly, uses words like: the kitchen, bare foot and pregnant. Talk about oppressive!
Defining roles within a marriage could be confining, stereotyping and restricting for sure, especially since we are all individuals and uniquely created. Roles can actually be good to create lanes without pigeon holing anyone. With that in mind, (In this first part of a two part blog), I’d like to convey some roles for a husband and wife which can actually bring clarity, understanding and some peace within a marriage and a home. Obviously, there are some roles that are defined purely by our design as a man or a woman. Without putting anyone in a box, let’s look at some of them.
Some common characteristics of being female are that we are nurturing. We like things to be organized and run smoothly within our homes. Most of us consider it our responsibility to make sure everyone is cared for as well. Factor in her job or career, and this makes for many moving parts to oversee. (Regardless of whether she works outside or inside of the home, this typically defaults to most women anyway). When the opposite of what this woman wants happens, and she doesn’t feel like she has a handle on everything, it creates undo stress on her, resulting in lots of marital friction. In my 30 years of working with couples, this held true years ago and still is today.
Being married is being part of a team. Being part of a team means everyone has his or her position to play so to speak. When these positions are clearly defined, everyone knows what’s expected from them and what they are responsible for. It won’t make it the perfect running home, but it will become the goal or plumb line for organization within the home. So it is safe to say that the position or role for women today is that of a manager. This requires a conversation for understanding and clarity on how that plays out in your home. (Since every home is different you can tailor it to fit yours). A good manager doesn’t do all the work, unlike the traditional wifely role. Today’s wife is the one who lays out how she thinks things need to go and she delegates (or hires). Again, she is a good manager, so she has respectful and honoring discussions with her husband and family (team mates) when needed, to negotiate ideas and changes, and to keep things on point. In order for her to be the manager, that role has to be defined as such. Then the husband has to support and back her in it. The unity between the two of you will then be seen and understood in the eyes of everyone in the home.
At a time in our lives, where changes in our culture have left expectations and roles blurred, it can be useful to start building some structures in our homes, relevant for today. Every marriage needs a healthy foundation to build upon. I have found this defining role for a wife, both personally and professionally, helpful for a marriage and a home. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water in our evolution.
In my next blog, we’ll take a look at a role of a husband. It’s so much more than just “being the head of the home”.
#Roles #MarriageBuildersGroup #RewardsCoaching #LifeCoaching #Happywifehappylife #Teamworkmakesthedreamwork
If you’ve parented a teenager or are in the throws of it now, you understand the title of my blog. Consider the analogy. Some days are fun and exciting. There are lots of laughs, and your heart is filled with unbelievable love and pride toward them. You want to keep them home, spending as much time with them as possible, before they leave the nest.
In the very same day though, maybe the same hour, you remember you have just entered the Lion’s Den. You see the look on their face. Suddenly they have become distant and closed off. The air now frosty, you begin to question yourself:
You may or may not find out what caused the shift in them, but nevertheless, the onus is on you to be the adult in the relationship (whether you feel like it or not). This is the time to hold onto the reigns and ride out the raging hormone horses so to speak, till they calm down and level out. You then give them space, guidance, love and support.
Some days we just respond to them in kind; they yell, we yell. If they get nasty, we get nasty. All the love and affection we felt earlier has now been challenged; at that moment, we don’t even like them. Again, we question ourselves:
The anger, frustration, guilt and inadequacy you feel can make it extremely hard to handle things in a healthy manner. It’s so important for their sake, for your sake and for the sake of the relationship that you “woman up”- “man up” and parent them with intention.
As they go through their teen years the goal is to train them to make good decisions, as well as to handle mistakes and bad decisions, correctly, while they are still in your care. The letting go process with a teenager, can be a difficult transition for a parent. It is different for everyone, depending on the general stability of your teen (emotional, peer pressure, drugs, etc.). Some may require additional support and help, along with your parenting. Just remember, you are the best mom or dad they could ever have. Everything you have ever done for them was out of love. We all make mistakes, so never be afraid to apologize to your teen if necessary. One day your teenager will grow up and they will thank you for all you did for them. Until then, keep up the good work! This is the hardest yet most important and rewarding job you’ll ever do.
#Parentingateenisnotforcowards #Nomommyguilt #betheadult #prayhard #protecttherelationship #itisjustaseason #theygrowsofast #relationshipcoach
Where do we stand today in regard to our ever changing worldview? Today I saw two different videos on social media that before becoming a Christian could have greatly influenced my views. The first one was on gender. It featured a young person speaking about how being male or female is in your brain, not your genitals. Therefore the term non-binary will now be adopted, for those who don’t identify with either gender. This person’s tone, conviction, and position was so convincing, it could have swayed my own stance on gender. The second video was a priest speaking on the foolishness surrounding saying “Merry Christmas” or Happy Holidays”. He stated how Jesus doesn’t care about which term folk’s use, as long as they were supportive of all religions (never once recognizing the real argument was about the attack on Christianity, not just the words being used).
Both videos made strong compelling arguments for their positions. Each had an undertone of someone being foolish, if they adhered to anything otherwise. As I listened, I felt like I too could be swayed, if I wasn’t grounded in the truth of the word. They were extremely convincing! When you add in the possibility of shame, it becomes the perfect combination for “group think” to be permeated in our society.
Our Christianity is being greatly challenged like never before. It’s causing us to question whether we really believe the bible is the infallible Word of God. Do we believe every word or just the parts we like? Do we espouse to a biblical worldview or one driven by society? The bottom line is, as Christians, is Jesus really Lord over our lives (our thinking, our choices, our opinions and our actions), regardless of the times we live in? Although an argument may be persuasive, as believers, we are to look at things through the lens of the Word. The Word is God’s viewpoint. It is never out dated, old fashioned or irrelevant. When you take the time to study it, you’ll find it is always just, honoring, and respectful of all human life.
The Bible is the example that Jesus modeled for us, showing how it’s done under His domain. Its purpose is greater than making one feel good at the moment, or avoiding conflict. In many instances, it’s contrary to the world’s methods. This, my friend, is where the rubber meets the road, in your Christianity. Are you grounded in what you believe about gender and other hot button topics in our society? Do you believe gender is from God alone? Are you aware of how humanity’s limited thinking is trying to change the natural God ordained order, for one of self-determination? Are you reading your bible to understand what is really going on in our confused and chaotic world? Are you seeing the bigger picture of what’s happening? If not, you may be positioning yourself to be moved by every new dogma, idea and theory that comes along.
Remember, there is a power that exists, to steal, to kill and to destroy. One that seeks to redefine what God has defined. This view includes, a well thought out argument, mixed with subtle cues of shaming and or bullying, designed to pressure us toward compliance. Our God, who is the creator of all things, lays out truths for us, for an abundant, prosperous, peaceful life, and He gives us the freedom to choose what we’ll believe, and how we’ll live. It’s an unchanging anchor to keep us steady in the today’s world. Despite the old corner preachers with their hell, fire and brimstone messages, the Word is filled with God’s loving-kindness, toward a people He loves so dearly. Through this Word, He equips us to govern our own lives and expects us to bring that influence into our society as well.
If you consider yourself a Christian, be well informed. Be knowledgeable about God’s opinion (found throughout the bible) and don’t be led by what feels right at the moment. You cannot securely take a stand on shifting sand. Make your choices based on a firm, unchanging foundation. It speaks volumes when one is willing to stand by his convictions no matter who or what comes against them; they are not moved by passing opinions. They are solid in their belief, their character, and their word. If you’re not a Christian, I challenge you to explore the meaning of the whole bible; it’s intent as well as its heartbeat, before you judge or reject it. For believers, I challenge you too, to be well informed before you go along with anything that seems good but ultimately will destroy, and or replace, the structures and values that our loving and wise Creator “created” for us.
Marriage does not complete you. You complete you. Marriage is an opportunity to compliment each other’s completeness.”
How I love that statement! I heard it a few years back and love how simple and profound it was. As individuals, it is our responsibility to keep growing, watering and pruning our lives. It’s good for each of us to pull aside every now and then to do a ‘wellness check up’ within our hearts; not being overly introspective, but enough to be aware of our own feelings, our needs and our desires. Take the time to retreat, to get quiet, to listen, and to reflect on how you’re doing in the midst of your busy life. This regular practice can help us avoid having something sneak up on us suddenly, and cause needless problems.
All of us experience restlessness at different times in our married lives. Studies indicate certain points in our lives when we are more vulnerable to feelings of dissatisfaction than others. A few are; the first year of marriage, the seventh year, when we have children, when they leave the nest, and certainly the time when we hit mid life. It is in these times of transition that can make us feel off balance and cause us to question ourselves, our marriage, and so on. Sometimes, depending on how intense the feelings are, people can have knee jerk reactions and make drastic decisions and changes based only on their current feelings. We all know the best decisions always come when you listen to your feelings, take a step back from them, and then get your critical thinking involved.
We all know marriage takes work and attention from both husband and wife to thrive for the long haul. It needs both parties putting in 100% each, not the 50/50 commitment that is so popular today. We need to do whatever it takes to keep it strong. The focus of this blog is on only one person, “you”.
How many times have you felt restless or bored? Have you checked Facebook, and found that others seem to have it better than you? The smiling faces, the hugging, the excitement, the travel, and all the friends they seem to have. Have you spoken to single friends and compared your life to theirs? All of this green grass on the other side can wreak havoc in a restless heart. In many cases I’ve seen people begin to expect their mate to know how they feel and do something about it. Maybe be more romantic, adventurous, or be sexier for you? Real life comes up lacking in light of what seems to be “out there”, and somehow it becomes our mate’s job to make us feel better. If they can’t, maybe another person can? No!!! No one else can. It’s not your mates’ job to make you happy, or to make you feel fulfilled. (Again, this is a separate from an obvious situation where it absolutely needs both of you to work on an issue).
This is why I suggest stepping aside every so often to sit with your thoughts, so that you can get in touch with your feelings. If you can quiet the chatter in your mind for a bit, you will hear them. They’re there whether you listen to them or not, and they will find expression. Why not pay attention to what’s happening just below the surface? I recommend prayer, meditation, and journaling as a way of turning inward to check on your heart. Ask yourself some questions like, “what am I not paying attention to that has been rustling around in the back of my mind? Where do I feel unfulfilled? What exactly am I feeling? What would help me feel better? “Don’t stress yourself during this time, just let it all come up. Remember, no decisions have to be made right now! You are just listening and observing for whatever comes up. Sometimes just hearing your own heart can make you feel better. Your feelings have been acknowledged and honored and that might have been all that was needed. Other times it may take much more reflection to understand what’s going on and what you need or want. This is the true essence of self-care; tending to our soul and our emotions.
I once read about a woman who was unhappy in her life. She was irritable and snapping at everyone in her home. She came to a point where she just wanted to buy a motorcycle and take off on the open road by herself. (Boy, have I felt like that at times too). But instead, she took off for the day and sat with her thoughts for a while at a quiet park. She realized she had the power to make one or two changes in how she perceived her situation, and she almost immediately felt much better. Prior to that, it was everyone else’s fault that she was so upset. It’s not always so simple, but then again it actually can be.
We also need to remember that each of us is made of three parts; body, soul and spirit. If we’re not caring for all three parts, we will feel the lack within ourselves. Are we getting some exercise? The exercise does not need to consist of extreme cross fit training, or kick boxing. Good, old-fashioned exercise is just as good, if that’s more your style. The same goes for what you eat. Simply incorporating some foods in and out of your diet, can work wonders! Lastly, the one that seems to lack the most is our spirit; the one part of us where our very essence and inner being flows. The more you invest in your spiritual life the more you will reap its rewards. I have found that looking into the bible, finding out who God says I am and what I need for a healthy productive life. (after all, He created me) This has grounded me greatly. It has also filled me with purpose and passion. After being married for 33 years and having passed through all the stages of life I mentioned, I whole-heartedly can attest to its saving grace.
It is no one else’s responsibility to make us happy but ourselves. Make a habit of doing a wellness check up. When both you and your spouse feel complete in yourselves, you will be free to more fully enjoy the complimenting of each other’s completeness.
#marriage #completeness #retreat #heartcheckup #wellnesscheckup #reawrdscoaching #marriagebuilders #lifecoach
I post my blogs bi-weekly, with a focus on strengthening and encouraging the amazing women and wives that you all are. Please comment and feel free to contact me for a specific topic you'd like me to address or expound on. Like and share too. Don't forget to enter your email below to subscribe for news and speaking events!