Category: Uncategorized

July 26th, 2016 by Julie Sibert

For married couples in Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa, you have a great local opportunity coming up Aug. 6, 2016.

Christ Community Church in Omaha is offering a half-day presentation on improving communication skills in marriage.

Registration is required for the session, but cost is only a free-will donation. To register, email Sue Beed at sueb@cccomaha.org or call Dr. James G. Johnson at 623-202-4037.

This is a great opportunity to spend a Saturday morning investing in your marriage.  Your marriage is worth a Saturday morning!

Couple_Talk 1.0
August 6
8:30 am -- Noon
Christ Community Church
404 South 108th Ave, Omaha NE
(Bagels and coffee will be provided).

Dr. James G. Johnson will offer this session packed with relevant content and humorous and interactive delivery.  He is an author, speaker, counselor and mentor who has a heart for helping married couples.

Topics covered will include:

Successful conflict resolution

Increased relational satisfaction

Understanding and being understood

Increased problem solving

And more!

Take the time to pick up some great communication tips that could transform your marriage!

Posted in authentic, marriage problems, Uncategorized Tagged with: ,

wife-undressing-for-husband
July 12th, 2016 by Julie Sibert

wife-undressing-for-husband

I know what some of you are thinking.

"What's the big deal with him seeing me undress?!  It's not like he's never seen my body before."

Or possibly others of you reading this are struggling with body image, and you're not giddy one bit at the idea of your husband seeing you naked, let alone seeing you get naked.

But letting your husband see you undress might be a bigger deal than you realize.

It might be a pathway to sexual oneness and playfulness that you've thus far left untapped. And you may be surprised to discover that taking your clothes off isn't just arousing for him, it's arousing for you too.

As many a wife has happily discovered, sexual seduction is never just about the person being seduced.

Here are 3 reasons it's sexy to undress for your husband:

1. He Doesn't Get to See Other Women Undress.

Here's the thing gals.  You're it for him.

You're the only woman he gets to see do this undressing thing.  If he is a good upstanding Christian guy, he is trying (and likely succeeding) in keeping his focus on you.  And not that he needs to be rewarded for doing what Christ has called him to do, but for the love of God, reward him already!

Consider it a privilege to undress for him.

If you feel nervous about doing it, ask him to help you undress. That can be quite the turn on all the way around.

2. He is Visual.

If he's like most guys, he is visual.  There's just something about a woman's body that a man finds attractive. Your husband wants to see your curves. Your softness. Your breasts. Your hair.

Everything.

"Yeah, but Julie, my body doesn't exactly look like a Victoria Secret's ad."

Hey, even the women in the Victoria Secret's ad don't look like a Victoria Secret's ad in real life. Our idea of authentic beauty has been hijacked by photoshopping, good lighting and a whole slew of professional make-up artists and hairstylists.

And you know what?  Your husband doesn't want the airbrushed model anyway!

He wants you -- the woman he does life with.  The woman who gave him babies.  The woman who fixed him dinner and dropped the kids off at baseball practice.

He wants his wife, because the most amazing thing about building amazing sexual connection is doing it with the person you literally said you would die for.

There is nothing sexier than a marriage covenant lived to God's fullest imagination.

Your husband doesn't just want to lay his hands on your body. He wants to fix his eyes on it as well.

3. It's Good Foreplay.

Most married couples spend years -- even decades -- together.

That's a lot of ground for familiarity in lovemaking.  It's easy to fall into a sexual routine that we could recite with our bodies without even thinking.

I get that there's a comfort in predictable sex. But there's also excitement and opportunity in sexual play and allure.

Undressing for your husband is good foreplay, because it forces the two of you to slow down a bit, take your time with arousal, and extend an invitation to touch one another.

Still unsure about all this? Just remember that you're undressing for an audience of one, in the privacy of your bedroom. This isn't America's Got Talent. It's sexual intimacy with the man you love.

Let go of your inner critic and stop overthinking it.

Enjoy the journey, because I kid you not, there's a lot of great sex to be had in the journey.

And for more posts on body image, consider these...

A Body that Never Quits (possibly my favorite post of all time)

The Secret to Stopping the Body Image War

Are Body Image Struggles Destroying Sex in Your Marriage?

Body Image: The War Between Feeling Shame and Finding Freedom

Copyright 2016, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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Posted in authentic, body image, passion, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , ,

Hot Holy Humorous Sex Book
July 10th, 2016 by Julie Sibert

Hot Holy Humorous Sex Book

Funny story about J. Parker, author of Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God's Design.

When she first emailed me as a fellow sex blogger years ago, she was still writing her blog anonymously at that point.

She was even writing her email to me anonymously.

Or so she thought.

We live hundreds of miles apart, but when I read her email, I knew we were kindred spirits.

You know, just two Christian wives who have an unabashed appreciation for profound sexual intimacy in marriage, indescribable orgasmic pleasure, and good wine.

J. Parker and I love sex and are on a mission to get other Christian wives to love sex.

If God lays stuff on your heart, you'd be wise to heed the call.  God dealt J. Parker and I the "Be a Champion for Sex" card, and we agreed to play that card.

Can you imagine if she and I lived in the same city? Oh the conversations people would overhear us having in coffee shops and wine bars and farmers markets. Good Lord, if people could hear our phone conversations now. Seriously.

Anyway.

I was super glad she emailed me. Obviously because there aren't too many of us Christian wives who are writing specifically about all things sex.

I happily emailed her back, adding to the end of my reply (with a mischievous twinkle in my eye) something along the lines of...

"By the way, just so you know, you have an auto signature on your email. I now know your full name. So much for being anonymous, eh?"

Here we are five or so years later, and we've forged a really good friendship, complete with shared inside jokes about sex, tough conversations about blog topics, and unbridled support for each other when some readers beat us up.  And honestly, we just click really well.

But that friendship isn't why I'm telling you about her book, Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage By God's Design.

I'm telling you about her book because I know without a doubt it can make marriages better.  I know it.

And the more people (particularly wives) who read this book, the more marriages that can be healed, strengthened and wowed by God's gift of sexual oneness.

So consider this book your opportunity -- your invitation -- to set things right in your marriage bed.  Better yet, consider it your invitation to set things on fire in your bedroom.

Not only is it possible to like sex, it also is possible to savor it, pursue it, value it, protect it and pour into it.

When a husband and wife have this sort of attitude about sex, the impact on their marriage reaches far beyond the sheets, far beyond the intense pleasure of orgasm, far beyond the revelation that God was really on to something when He came up with this idea of sex.

All I'm saying is that this book is a worthy investment in your marriage.  Much to gain. Nothing to lose.

It's $12, people. Check it out:

Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage By God's Design

Copyright 2016, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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Posted in authentic, orgasm, sex education, sexual intimacy, Uncategorized Tagged with: , ,

never-had-an-orgasm
July 8th, 2016 by Julie Sibert

never-had-an-orgasm

I was talking with a friend and she shared with me what it was like to tell her husband 10 years into their marriage that she had never had an orgasm.

I appreciated her vulnerability, because her experience of going years without sexual pleasure is not unusual.

Maybe her situation mirrors yours to a degree, even if the circumstances vary.

If you've never had an orgasm, I imagine it all has played out one of these ways...

You thought at some point you would have an orgasm, but then you didn't, and that's just "how things are" when the two of you make love.

(Your husband has grown accustomed to a quiet wife during sex and assumes your status quo is fine with you).

Or you kind of get "close" to climaxing.  Something good is going on, but you never quite fall over the edge into profound pleasure.

Or you have been faking orgasm and your husband thinks you are wildly pleased sexually.  And that lie is about to undo you -- make you want to crawl right out of your skin with disappointment, confusion and anxiety.

Regardless of what lack of sexual pleasure has looked like for you thus far, you're now ready for something -- anything -- to change.

Maybe you've heard other women talk about orgasm and you are intrigued about what you are missing.

Or could it be you're beyond intrigue?

You're downright frustrated -- months or years or decades of him in you and on you and with you. Yet something is always missing.  Long ago you reduced sex to a task on your "to-do" list, a mere chore you get through to keep the marriage moving along.

Am I making too much of orgasm?  No.

Sure, orgasm isn't everything.  But it's a very important something.

(And it was God's idea, after all, so we can't really skirt past that bit of relevance either).

Your sexual pleasure -- your intense climax -- is this gift that you want to unwrap and revel in, right?

So how do you tell your husband you've never had an orgasm?

1. Bring up the discussion when you are not having sex.

In the throes of lovemaking is not the time to reveal you've never had an orgasm.  Find a different time and place to address the matter, preferably when you both are well rested, well fed and won't be interrupted by little tykes  (I know. Tall order. But find the space to make it happen).

Sometimes side-by-side communication works better when discussing something awkward or difficult.

Go on a walk.

I found this helpful recently when I had to address something difficult in our marriage (it didn't have anything to do with orgasm, but it was something causing division in our relationship).  There's just something about side-by-side communication that feels less confrontational.

Share with him that you've never had an orgasm.  Be honest in a loving, yet clear, tone.

And if you've been faking orgasm, be honest about this too.

Apologize, and in the same breath say, "My heart was in the right place with it.  I was faking because I didn't want you to feel bad or because I thought that's what I was supposed to do. I realize now that me faking it wasn't doing either of us any good."

2.  Learn all you can about orgasm and your body.

If you have never had an orgasm, it's going to take a bit of practice and trial and error to figure out what will help you climax. Just keeping it real with you. That's the truth.

The clitoris is not quite as predictable as the penis, but even so, once you climax, you'll be glad you didn't give up on unlocking its secrets.

If you've never had an orgasm, you're heading into unchartered waters, and it wouldn't hurt to garner some wisdom from trustworthy Christian resources.  I have a whole page on my site about orgasm.

Well. Worth. The. Read.

The more you learn, the more you will be able to get specific with your husband.  Don't assume he knows how the clitoris works. That kind of assumption finds its roots in really unreliable places, like locker rooms, dorm rooms and bars.

3.  Invite your husband on the journey.

Together you can figure this out.  Together you can become more uninhibited in your marriage bed, exclusively pursuing pleasure.  Along the way, my guess is you will find new ways to increase his pleasure too.

He will like this journey.

If your husband is like most, he will be incredibly turned on by you climaxing.  That's the whole reason I wrote the post 3 Reasons Your Husband Likes It When You Climax.  Good read.

And I'm not just saying that because I wrote it.  Or because I really like orgasm.  Or because my husband likes it when I climax.

Okay. Maybe I am saying it because of those reasons, but that's beside the point.

My point is that an orgasm is an indescribably good feeling.  A rush. A release.  An intense physical revelation of oneness in a marriage bed. Seriously.  It's all that and more.

And once you have one, you'll want another.

Don't believe me?  Well. You're just going to have to trust me on this one.

As for my friend, she said she was glad she was honest with her husband and only wish she would have told him sooner.

That's a wise woman, my friend.

Copyright 2016, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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Posted in marriage problems, orgasm, Uncategorized Tagged with: , ,

July 7th, 2016 by Julie Sibert

I'm going to start with a disclaimer.

It's the quickest way I can clarify my audience for this post.  (You may be my audience. You may not. But I figure you'd like to know that within the first few paragraphs.  I mean seriously, we're all limited with time).

This post is not for you if you don't like sex because your husband is basically a jerk.  In a variety of ways, he makes sex less than appealing at best and downright intolerable at worse.

If you are a husband who is not a jerk, don't worry -- I'm not stereotyping. Stay with me.

It's just that this is not my first rodeo and I know there are guys out there who have created the sexual problems in their marriages. They see nothing wrong with looking at porn or having affairs or belittling their wives or rarely taking a shower or being abusive. So on and so forth.

Maybe the wife has even pleaded with him to get help, but to no avail.

Needless to say, if as a wife this describes your situation, I understand why you have a difficult time cuddling up next to all that. You don't like sex and you have totally figured out why. And while I do have other posts that speak into this, this particular post today is not for you.

If, however, you are a wife who actually enjoys a fairly decent marriage, this post IS for you.

Your guy isn't a jerk.

In fact, you might say the opposite if asked by your gal friends or your neighbors or the random grocery store clerk. You'd willingly admit your man is the real deal.  Good man.  Good provider.  Good dad. Romantic. Attentive.

And yet. Here you are.

Still not overly interested in sex with him.

Do you not like sex? Have you figured out why?

It is a freakishly important question. Seriously, it is.

Because if you are willing to look closely at that question, unpack it in the most vulnerable of ways, get at the heart of your indifference and resistance, then there is much hope that you and your husband can build amazing intimacy together.

And amazing sexual intimacy is worth it.

Because here's the deal -- great sex in a marriage is never just about great sex.  Every married person who enjoys phenomenal sexual connection in their marriage will tell you this.

Nurtured sexual intimacy in marriage is particularly generous. Pay attention to it often and it will graciously open doors for you to an overall sense of "We are on the same team! Yeah us!"

If you do not like sex, you and your husband would benefit much if you can figure out why (and then do something about it, of course, but let's first focus on the figuring out why).

Now I know that you may not like sex for serious reasons from your past (past abuse, a skewed message of sex doled out by adults who raised you, your own struggles with promiscuity or pornography use, etc.)

OR maybe you don't like sex because you're not experiencing much pleasure (possibly no pleasure), and you have been timid in clueing your husband in on this.  Whenever you have sex, you're bored out of your mind (and have a mess to clean up afterwards, with not an ounce of orgasmic "wow" to show for it all).

OR maybe there's something wacky with your hormones or other physical issues and you don't like sex because you have no drive or sex is painful. Sure, some physical challenges are more involved than others, but many physical issues impacting sex can be resolved or at least improved with the right professional care.

Anyway, I don't know your reasons for not liking sex.  BUT I would bet my last dollar that you have an inkling of what may be going on.

You have an idea, right, of why you don't like sex?

My heart cry to you, one wife to another, is to figure that out.  Get real and humble with your man -- you know, that guy you love and do life with -- and say, "This is really hard for me to talk about.  But I think I know why sex is a struggle for me."

Then ask him to join you on the journey toward better sexual connection.

It's not going to happen over night.  But offer your heart and intention to it enough, and it will happen.

You'll wake up on the other side of this sexual frustration and drought and you'll both realize that you do have it in you to nurture amazing sexual intimacy in your marriage.

And you'll be glad you figured out the why.

Like super glad.  More glad than you are about all those Pinterest ideas and recipes on Tasty and TipHero.

Yes, more glad than all that.

Copyright 2016, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

PURSUIT OF PASSION:  Now Available in PRINT and Ebook!

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Posted in marriage problems, orgasm, sexual intimacy, sexual intimacy struggles, sexual struggles, Uncategorized Tagged with: ,

June 17th, 2016 by Julie Sibert

I've been meaning to do a follow up post on my earlier female ejaculation post, and then I stumbled across Shannon Ethridge's post, where she includes info about the wetness many women experience with a G-Spot orgasm.

Gotta love Shannon Ethridge! Such a genuine person who has such a beautiful and authentic heart for marriage!

Shannon's post is great and I've added it to my orgasm pageI'm not sure if anywhere else on the web you are going to find a list of so many posts about orgasm, written from a perspective of healthy sexual intimacy in marriage. Seriously. Good stuff.

And I'm not just saying that because this orgasm page is here on my site.

I'm saying it more so because I enjoy climaxing. And I genuinely believe the more a married couple can grow in helping each other experience orgasm, the better.  Win-win for both of them.

I also want to share a post over on Paul and Lori Byerly's site The Marriage Bed, where they share results of a survey they did on female ejaculation.  Great info that gives insight to what the respondents experience with those orgasms that result in wetness for a wife. I so respect the Byerlys and the years of effort they have dedicated to helping married couples in their sexual intimacy.

On a personal note, when I first experienced such wetness, I was a bit caught off guard.  But I find G-spot orgasms incredible and now experience this nearly every time we make love.

As I said in my previous post, though, I don't think we should ever view sexual pleasure as a gage of our sexual ability.

What I do think is that the more a husband and wife can nurture and value each other's sexual pleasure within the safe and healthy confines of exclusive marital lovemaking, the more such pleasure nurtures the overall strength of the marriage.

Let's not forget that God is the author of sexual arousal and orgasm. They are part of His handiwork, meant not only to increase the sexual bond in a marriage, but also to reveal His generosity and compassion for marriage.

Copyright 2016, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

PURSUIT OF PASSION:  Now Available in PRINT and Ebook!

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Posted in body image, intimacy, orgasm, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , ,

June 14th, 2016 by Julie Sibert

 

If you were hoping for a post on mind-blowing orgasm techniques, you'll have to wait for another day. (I promise. Because as we all know, I do like to write about pleasure).

Today, though, I'm going to bear my serious side a bit on a post I've wanted to write for awhile.

Maybe because it's the time of year when a lot of weddings happen.

Maybe because I was just digging through my deceased grandmother's photo albums and came across the sweet wedding images of what are now four failed marriages (My first wedding. My brother's first wedding. My sister's wedding. A cousin's first wedding.  Eh.)

I began blogging about sex six years ago, and I learned quickly to check my naivety at the door.

And the longer I've been married and the more I scroll through the emails and comments in my inbox from readers and the more I glance out at society, I've grown numbingly alert to what it takes to build great intimacy in marriage.

Numbingly alert.

Sounds just like clever word play, but it's not really.  When you speak and write about one topic as long as I have, a few common themes emerge.

In my humble opinion, great sex in marriage all comes down to a husband and a wife walking in that direction.

Ta-Da!  There you have it.  (I know. Mind blown, right?  I make it all sound so simple.)

The recipe for great sex (mutually nurtured, valued, satisfying, tender sex) is the exact same recipe for -- wait for it -- a great marriage.

And great marriages are hard to come by. Trust me. I have a failed marriage on my resume, and my current marriage has had its fair share of ups and downs.

Great marriages are hard to come by, because they take effort -- ongoing effort.  Sure, some marriages begin with and journey through easier cards than other marriages, but even the "easier" marriages take a fair amount of work.

And truth be told, no marriage is great all the time. (Two sinful people just aren't equipped to pull off that kind of phenomenon).

The hopeful part is that if both people want indeed to put effort in, they will see progress. Even greatness.

Who among us hasn't heard of marriages that were mediocre or on the brink of disaster that then were healed, redeemed and strengthened, all because the two people took even baby steps in the right direction -- and kept walking (sometimes crawling) in that direction?

My current marriage is evidence to this, with its own periods of greatness that ebb and flow and encourage me and humble me.

Of course, the excruciating part -- the flip side to what I just described above --  is that if one person wants to nurture intimacy (emotional, physical, spiritual) and the other person does not, the quandary is deafening loud in the heart of the person who is hungering for intimacy.

Deafening loud.

Sometimes there is a third scenario where neither the husband nor wife really care about the marriage and neither wants to stack their odds in the direction of growth.  I don't put too much faith in these situations, because few survive for long.

Where my heart grieves the most are the marriages where one person wants growth. And the other does not.

And I will be honest.  I never have easy answers.

I have no magic words that will spur action within a marriage to compel both people to both want healthy growth at the same time (or at least in close proximity to each other's timing).

The insight I offer is what virtually every other Christian marriage writer and speaker offer.  When I blog or speak about sexual intimacy in marriage, I'm simply saying try this or try that.

Nearly every post I write has some element of try this or try that.

And there are no guarantees that this or that will work (I know. Another excruciating reality).

Yet, sometimes what I write or another author writes or another person speaks into the marriage or the way God motivates a person does indeed bring about healthy change.

Hallelujah.

Thank you, sweet baby Jesus.

Lord have mercy.

Progress. Hope. Glimpses of goodness out of what seem like impossible scenarios.

And those are the reasons I still write and speak on sex in marriage. Because -- not gonna lie -- I've been tempted to throw in the towel on all of it.  All. Of. It.

But then I get an email from someone sharing that God used something I wrote or said to help their marriage grow in intimacy.  I'm inspired to carry on.  To keep speaking hope into desperate places.

Great sex -- great intimacy of any kind -- in marriage all comes down to a husband and a wife walking in that direction.

Whether you are single and want to be married someday, engaged or currently married, aim for greatness in marriage.  Go into it (or begin where you are if you are already married) with the raw recognition that it's going to take effort.

Because. Well. It is.

A lot of effort.

But the reward for all that effort?  Wow. Just wow.

Copyright 2016, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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April 28th, 2016 by Julie Sibert

 

It's wedding season.

And I can't help but to reflect back on a wedding I attended years ago.

The pastor looked at the groom during the ceremony and boldly said, "Son, you better satisfy her sexually. Or someone else will."

Wow.

You could hear the collective gasp in that sanctuary.

But you know what?!

That pastor was full of profound insight.

Sure, we can think of a few other ways he maybe could have said it (like maybe that they should both satisfy each other sexually).

BUT, honestly, I passionately believe his point was spot on.

Sex matters in a marriage.

And the sooner we help young marriages realize this, the BETTER.

I'll be headed to my niece's wedding early this summer, and I can't help but ponder about what young marriages really need these days.

Actually, it's what young marriages have ALWAYS needed.

Solid information about sexual intimacy in marriage.

Think about how much better off marriages would be if they could start with a healthy perspective on sex?

Think how much heartache would be prevented?  How much sexual struggle could be minimized if a couple could build a solid sexual foundation from the get-go, rather than try to repair the sexual disconnect years or decades later?!

No, I'm not so naive to believe that building a strong healthy marriage all comes down to sex.  I know full well that marriage is hard and takes tremendous commitment, sacrifice, compromise and investment on all fronts.

But still this truth remains: When sexual connection is ignored, downplayed or relegated to the "we'll get to nurturing it someday," the marriage suffers.  There is no question about this.

Don't even get me started about the infamous "someday."  I remember telling myself that in my first marriage.  You can read more about my story here.

Sex matters in a marriage.

Today, I encourage you to do a brave and wise thing.

Invest in the young marriages you care about -- the ones that are about to begin and the ones that are still in their early years.

When I co-authored the book Pursuit of Passion: Discovering True Intimacy in Your Marriage, my heart was to make a difference in marriages -- to help them be PRO-ACTIVE in pursuing amazing sexual connection.

pursuit-of-passionMy book is available in eBook, audio book and PRINT, so you have many options.

It's comprehensive and biblical and specific encouragement, so I have no doubt that ANY couple could glean nuggets of gold from it.

Even if you don't want to buy my book, there are countless books out there by Christian authors.  We really have no excuse for not helping couples discover true intimacy in their marriage.

You can find out more about the various buying options for Pursuit of Passion at this link.  Or if you are an Amazon fan, you could just go directly to the Amazon link.

At any rate, give the perfect gift this wedding season.  Invest in the marriages you care about.

Copyright 2016, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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April 23rd, 2016 by Julie Sibert

emotionally-abusive-marriageNearly every post I write is aimed at nudging individuals or couples toward deeper intimacy and healthy sexual connection.

Maybe their sexual intimacy is already pretty good, but they are looking to strengthen it more.

Or maybe their sexual intimacy is slightly off track (frequency, variety, miscommunication), and they are looking to shore up those aspects that have been neglected.

Occasionally, though, there are days when I must -- absolutely must -- write specifically about marriages that are crumbling under much more than occasional sexual disconnect.

Some marriages are struggling (often in secret) with the devastation of emotional abuse and/or spiritual abuse.

Such struggles tend to be harder to identify, because the symptoms are less obvious than what we find with physical abuse.

Add to this that in situations of emotional and spiritual abuse, wives in particular are more likely to receive guidance that may sound biblical on the surface, but really isn't.

Maybe she reaches out and vulnerably shares her pain, fear and concern with a church leader, Bible study group or another Christian, only to be told to simply "pray more" about her marriage or "study the scriptures on what it means to be a godly wife."

In emotionally abusive Christian marriages, one spouse is likely using God's Word manipulatively to threaten, coerce or demand compliance (sexually, emotionally, financially, etc.)

I'm not an expert on emotional and spiritual destruction in a marriage, but I want to point you to someone who is.

Over the years, I've grown to greatly respect the work of Leslie Vernick.  She is a Christian counselor with extensive understanding about emotional and spiritual abuse, particularly in Christian marriages.

She has helpful ways to discern if something truly is abuse, as opposed to dissatisfaction with marriage.

Her work has hit home with me as of late, because I sometimes receive emails, comments and questions from people who find themselves in situations that are textbook examples of what Vernick has found in her work.

A common feeling of people who are emotionally abused is that they have no voice, have "lost" themselves, and do not have the freedom disagree with their spouse on anything.

If you or someone you know is being emotionally abused, I HIGHLY encourage you to get Vernick's book "The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your Hope."  She also wrote the book "How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong."

Even if you only suspect emotional abuse is happening, get the book. With great clarity, Vernick walks the reader through signs to look for, as well as ways to respond.

Vernick also blogs and offers other resources at her website www.LeslieVernick.com.

She's the real deal and offers godly wisdom that is needed in too many marriages.

I have no doubt God is using her to equip emotionally-abused spouses to navigate and, in some cases, break free from dangerous situations.

Copyright 2016, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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Posted in marriage problems, sexual intimacy struggles, sexual struggles, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,

April 22nd, 2016 by Julie Sibert

Our youngest cub screamed "MOM!!" at the top of his lungs. (And I was a mere 20 feet away, mind you).

Obviously, I was going to walk into the living room and find a severed limb (which has never happened in my house) or a broken big screen TV (which has happened in my house. But that's a story for another time).

Takes a lot to rattle me, but I got up from my chair at my desk and nonchalantly responded to what must be a life-or-death situation.

Nope.

It was dog puke.

There's much truth in that saying that once a woman becomes a mother, her tolerance for gross stuff goes way up.

Out of necessity.  Out of frequency of said scenarios.

Out of reality that as her tolerance is rising, the tolerance of every other capable person in the house seems to systematically plummet.

So I pulled the carpet cleaning machine from the closet to clean up dog puke from carpet that I think was installed in the early 80s. (That's no lie.)

Always the optimist, I rationalized it was a good time to clean the carpet anyway, because there were already muddy prints on it.  (Thanks to the pup. And the rain.)

What could all this possibly have to do with sex?

Well, nothing directly per se.  I mean, after all, cleaning up dog puke hardly could be considered foreplay, even with the loosest definitions of foreplay.

BUT, life is messy, right?

And it's more often messy than it is crisp and clean.  Messy hearts. Messy emotions.  Messy calendars. Messy floors. Messy jobs. So on and so forth.  You know what I'm talking about.

And I have found that sexual intimacy with my husband helps me keep sane amidst all that mess.

Sex builds our resilience to weather the ups and downs of life, the annoying inconveniences (dog puke), the debilitating tragedies (grief, loss, confusion), and the crazy-making that just comes with being human.

And with being married.

This is why I have sex.  Much more than the biblical command behind it, but rather because sexually connecting with the man I love gives me perspective.

Keeps me grounded.

Reassures my heart.

Helps me not be derailed by life's messiness.

I think God just knew -- He knew that when a husband and wife mutually and respectfully and intentionally treasure each other intimately, they would find solace there.  They would be rejuvenated by their sexual oneness in unexpected ways.

So I cleaned up the dog puke. Marveled at my now somewhat-clean 1980s carpet.

And felt grateful my husband and I had made love last night.  God must have known I needed it.

Copyright 2016, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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Posted in authentic, sexual intimacy, sexual intimacy struggles, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , ,