Tag Archives: Marriage

Three Crazy Things That Happen When She Becomes the Initiator

My husband and I do marriage seminars, in a few flavors to meet the needs of the local audience. But no matter what style of seminar we are presenting, the facts are the same. In general men initiate sex more than women. Men everywhere are having a moment of silence for this sad fact. In general, women will be shocked that it even matters. At the end of the day, it may not matter much as long as sex happens. On the other hand, most men get a thrill out of being the one pursued once in a while. It’s not without danger and risk though. Some crazy things can happen when women initiate sex.

1. She often becomes a dictator. When a woman initiates intimacy, she sort of skips that gentle flirtation mode and goes straight for the “we’re doing it right here and right now” mode. It’s a good thing that this is usually a turn on for men, after they catch their breath from being surprised.

2. She stands her ground. Sometimes a couple will agree to an intimate encounter out in the beauties of nature, but women generally crave security and privacy. This means she will decide where she feels safe and she won’t budge. If she decides a nice soft spot in between some trees is perfect, she may not be seeing your view – looking over the cliff’s edge. But she’s going to stand her ground for this safe place for her and you’ll never forget it.

3. Her “rules” don’t apply. Basically, she exercises the right to redefine previously set sexual boundaries when she is the initiator. Perhaps he has been wanting to try a new position, but she won’t budge until the day she takes over and initiates. Then she decides it’s worth a try. At this point, guys can get frustrated that the rules don’t apply to her, or be grateful that it happened. The good news is that sometimes after she rewrites the rules for herself, she’ll sometimes rewrite them for him as well.

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Considering Your Destiny

One of the fascinating sequels in the Bible is the book of Jeremiah, followed by the book of Lamentations. The first book is all about Jeremiah’s pleadings, on God’s behalf, for God’s people to come back to Him. The book is full of recollections of God’s many attempts to get their attention and remind them that they had a covenant. He would be their God, provide all for them, and they would be His people, faithful to Him only. But they didn’t listen. To put it delicately, they pretty much decided to flaunt their unfaithfulness in God’s face. So then comes the book of Lamentations. All God’s warnings ignored, the desolation came. Now begins Jeremiah’s laments over how none of this would have happened, if God’s people had just been faithful.

Tucked in the first chapter of Lamentations is an interesting concept in verse nine. God’s people didn’t consider their destiny.

Think about that for a moment. They were so wrapped up in the here and now, instant gratification that they forgot about their ultimate destiny as God’s people. Remember that ultimate destiny? They were never to lord it over others. God simply chose them to be the ones to share His love with all the rest of the world. They lost sight of that destiny and became an exclusive club for snobs instead. God’s original plan was to save every single person on Earth. The people He blessed to share that good news with others – they failed, because they didn’t consider their destiny.

What is your destiny? Are you so caught up in the here and now, hand to mouth, daily grind and all of that – have you lost sight of your destiny? Is your marriage something you’re just surviving today, or does it have a destiny to be great? Can you hardly wait until the kids are of legal age and out of the house, or does your parenting have a destiny?

Life isn’t just about today. God created you for greatness. You have a destiny – don’t lose sight of that. Today’s decisions affect tomorrow. A score of tomorrows becomes your destiny. Have you considered your destiny today?

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Sex Begins in the Kitchen

Karl and I find ourselves on road trips often, so we take advantage of the time on the road and talk, listen to music, share dreams or listen to a podcast. We’ve started investing in various marriage ministry materials to peruse and share on our marriage website. Check it out at http://www.unashamedmarriage.com.

Dr. Kevin Leman’s “Sex Begins in the Kitchen,” is our latest audio book we are enjoying. I like the way they start it, with a snippet of one of his live presentations so you can see what a dynamic and humorous speaker he is. It helps to set the tone as he reads through the chapters of this book. He covers personalities, birth orders and just the most logical thing ever: timing. He’s right, sex often does begin in the kitchen, if it doesn’t die there.

Karl and I could laugh as we remembered going through the stage where we often killed sex in the kitchen. If we had it to do all over again, there are many times he would have walked in the door, seen what I’d been through that day and said that’s it – we’re going out to eat. You need to get out of the house!

If you are looking for good books for your marriage – regardless of whether you are desperate to save it or wisely investing in your marriage – please consider Dr. Leman’s book. You’ll be glad you did.

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On Our Own

Karl and I have been working through a large organization for a couple of years now, presenting marriage seminars that are man friendly and fun! We’ve enjoyed the ability to send big stuff to headquarters and we’ve been content (somewhat) to follow the corporate rules. There were a few times where we felt we ought to go off on our own at some point, but it was just a thought in the background.

Everything changed in November when we got a phone call saying the corporate program was completely done away with and now all of us trained “local” presenters were either on our own. Now that thought in the background was right in our faces. Time to get cracking on putting our own program together! It’s a good thing we’d been working on it, piece by piece, for a few months. It will still be some time before our own presentations are completely ready.

In the meantime, we have permission to keep using the material we used before, just without the usual support from headquarters. But the game is all changed. We are having to pay the sales tax. We are having to make sure we are licensed to do business in our state and we are the ones opening a business checking account.

The process of setting up your own business really makes you appreciate being under the umbrella of a large organization. Funny how we appreciate things more after the fact. Everything is different now. But one thing has stayed the same. We are still in ministry to not only save marriages, but make them awesome!!

So, please check out our website, still under construction, and our Facebook page – Unashamed Marriage.

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I was at a wedding shower recently. I love these more modern events where both the bride and groom are present. There weren’t any games planned, but we did go around the room a couple of times sharing advice for the young couple.

There were several other young, newly married couples there and they had some really good advice. I was glad to see such wisdom coming from these young ones. They were really going to work on their marriages and make them something to enjoy and be blessed in.

One of my final words of advice was to the bride. Every once in a while, just lift up your shirt and flash him.

The room exploded in laughter, surprise and one woman shaking her head no. She later explained it almost got her in trouble when she was prepared to flash her husband when the truck came up the driveway, but it was one of his workers instead. Yes, caution is advised, but don’t forget to flash your spouse. Keep that spark alive and let your lover know his needs.


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True Romance

This is put so well, I just had to share it!

Please don’t wait for one airport moment, when you could have a lifetime of devotion, romance, and amazingness!


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Vanilla Spice!

My husband and I administer a Facebook page, Unashamed Marriage. One of my husband’s latest finds that he shared on the page is about scent and sexuality. Evidently part of Cleopatra’s appeal to get two world leaders in her arms was her arsenal of aromas.

In my experience with the wonderful company, Discovery Toys, I learned about the power of scent even for children’s playthings. Vanilla is actually the scent that most closely resembles mother’s milk. So DT found a way to produce a soothing, textured ball with a light vanilla scent. The answer is yes, it was a hit among babies. It was comforting and reminded them of being at mother’s breast.

Getting any ideas here? There are many perfumes that feature the vanilla scent, in a variety of packages, formulas, and prices. Husbands, bring home some vanilla scented perfume for your lovely wife. Ladies, wear the perfume and drive your husbands crazy! If vanilla just isn’t your thing, take the time to learn what scents you enjoy.

God didn’t limit flowers to just a few scents. Neither are pleasant aromas limited to coming only from flowers. There is quite a lot of variety out there. Enjoy exploring all the things designed for our pleasure.

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Flag Day

Tomorrow, June 14th, is Flag Day. I really didn’t pay too much attention to this date, shame on me, until I decided to use that date 22 years ago to get married. Now I can’t forget Flag Day.

So along with proudly displaying flags in our yard, we also celebrate this amazing journey called marriage that God has blessed us with. There have been days that the Marriage Flag looked as if it would be blown right off of the pole, because of wind storms that had come, but it still flies. Some days there wasn’t even a little breeze, so you couldn’t see the full display of the flag, but you saw enough to know it was there. But most days, the flag flies proudly to say, marriage rocks!

Thanks Karl for 22 awesome years and looking forward to so many more of proudly waving the banner for an Unashamed Marriage.

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Men love curves. Want proof? Just give a man an agile sports car and a curvy mountain road and it will look like one of those Geico commercials.

So the nicest thing my husband texted to me today: Your smile is the sexiest curve on your body.

I think God knew what He was doing when He created and blessed marriage.

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What Kind of Married Man?

What kind of married man doesn’t even notice when another woman is attempting to flirt with him?

A man that is married to a woman that is also his lover.

At a doctor’s office I worked at once, a Mr. ?? came in one day and behaved quite badly. I ignored him. I changed the subject and I was going to ask the doctor to get rid of him. After Mr. ?? left, I asked why he behaved so badly. They assured me at the office that he was married. The next words out of my mouth: well then Mrs. ?? needs to do a better job at home.

Ladies, when a man is thrilled about what he has at home, there is no need to stray.


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Say Ahhh

Yesterday I was sitting in a doctor’s office signing my life away, again. I had started an experimental study for Crohn’s Disease, but I had to be taken off due to an infection. So yesterday we went through the process again and I had to sign papers all over again.

The specialist I see has to ask questions about where I am at and how I feel. Obviously if I’m feeling great and have no symptoms, they want someone else for the study. She asked about mouth ulcers, known to happen in Crohn’s patients and very common to me. I admitted I had a few recently. Then came the exam.

She listened with her stethoscope, examined my eyes and finally looked inside my mouth. “Oh, I can see where you had one on your tongue and it is healing.” After the exam was over and we were on our way to get some healthy lunch, by the way Jason’s Deli offers a variety of  healthy options, Karl apologized, even though it wasn’t his fault.

“I didn’t know you were struggling with mouth ulcers. I’m sorry I keep trying to kiss you right now.” What was wrong with my voice? Why didn’t I just admit that I was in pain in my mouth and just didn’t care to be kissed right then? It wasn’t his fault, it was mine for not speaking up. Even though we’ve been married for more than 20 years, sometimes I still don’t want to admit when the Crohn’s Disease has done one of its things to me and I just don’t want to be kissed right now. It’s a part of my life. I need to quit pretending that it doesn’t happen and just be open and honest with the one man who won’t laugh or shame me for what I’m going through. Lesson learned, I hope.

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He Can’t!

Presenting marriage seminars is amazing. What a blessing! To see and hear of lives impacted and knowing these couples will never be the same, wow! What a privilege.

We managed to include a marriage seminar during our stay with family for the holidays – not for the faint of heart. At each seminar, we give away some t-shirts that help the couples remember some basic nuts and bolts things of understanding each other. Believe it or not, we need to be reminded at times that men and women are different in how we think and act. We play a game to see which guy gets the t-shirt.

We ask elimination questions until there is only one guy left standing. One of the questions was: did you go to the store for your wife this week? I noticed the man in the wheelchair, but I didn’t think about the question we just asked until his wife blurted out, “He can’t!”

Karl and I looked down the list of remaining questions and realized a lot of them would exclude someone with limited abilities in a wheelchair. We skipped a lot of questions and tried to be inclusive as much as possible. What if that woman hadn’t spoken up? I’m determined to take the time to notice obvious disabilities (not all can be seen) in the future and alter the game we were given to include everyone.

What if that devoted wife hadn’t spoken up? What if you and I don’t speak up? Find your voice and look around for those who may have lost theirs.

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If You’re Happy and You Know It

We did one of our “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage” seminars this weekend. Love seeing couples laugh and nod their heads – oh yes that’s right- as they listen to the practical marriage building truths packaged in humor and common sense.

One man took it to a new level. He laughed and stomped a foot. He loved it! If you’re happy & you know it stomp your feet!!

Take time to openly express joy and laughter. It feels great!!!

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Today I am counting my blessings.

Three children, all from the same father.

A son who turned 17 and has always known a two parent family and will take this with him into his future.

An opportunity to share with others that an incredible marriage is possible and it is fun!

I am truly blessed. Thanks, many thanks, God.

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Exceeding the PEL

I work for a general contractor. The main part of my job is to maintain his safety grading on a third party website for safety review and verification. One of our clients requires monthly safety meetings. Another client requires documentation that we have covered specific safety issues with our workers. So I spend my time making sure the boss is in compliance with his clients through this third party safety network. Fun times.

As we go through these safety meetings, discussing how many parts per million (ppm) of certain chemicals are allowed within a given work environment before safety measures have to be taken, it is always interesting to learn the levels of safety. If the chemical is within the permissable exposure limit (PEL) then little or no safety gear or personal protective equipment (PPE) is required. If it slightly exceeds the PEL, then perhaps a small face mask is required. Greater amounts lead to a mask with a respirator and of course the most dangerous levels require you to look like something from a B movie with all of the required safety gear.

It made me wonder about our marriages and our kids. Do we realize that there are certain things that if we are exposed to greater amounts of them; they could potentially put our marriage or our relationship with our children in jeopardy? How many parts per million is allowed before we realize: hey, I need some kind of protection here or I’m going to lose my family!

How many long, lingering looks at that flashy coworker before you need to put on an eye patch to block your vision? How many times will your brush off your kids and stay on your computer or smart phone before you realize you need to shut it down and spend time with them?

Here’s a challenge: sit down with your spouse and you children and determine what is your family PEL and then make sure you have safety measures to make sure it is never exceeded.

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Deja Chick Flick

My husband and I have a page on facebook called Unashamed Marriage. We post things from real life experiences of our own, friends, family and any other true story we can get our hands on. Karl is especially good at finding little nuggets of research on the internet that make you want to stand up and fight for your marriage! This is one of them.

Google marriage and chick flicks and you will eventually come across ten things you can do to improve your marriage, including putting the brakes on chick flicks. What? Manly movies are full of blood and violence. What is wrong with a tender chick flick? Well, let’s go back to science class. The human body is amazing. A study of physiology will leave you marveling at God’s creativity. While you cannot put all men in a jar and all women in a bowl, there are some basic physiological differences between them – almost universal. Men are visually stimulated. Women are impacted by words and affection.

So give a happily married woman a steady diet of romantic comedies (chick flicks) for a few months and you may discover something: she begins to become dissatisfied with her marriage, because it’s not like it is in the movies. Her need for words and affection has been met with the tenderness of the romantic comedies and the oaf she is married to suddenly becomes everything the hero in the movie is not. Are all chick flicks bad? The study said to limit the amount of romantic comedies. Let your marriage be the center of tenderness and affection in your wife’s life, not something from the big screen.

Don’t believe me? Take another look at how art imitates life. The movie Sleepless in Seattle with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan was a hit. But you may notice throughout the plot line, there is is the reference to another movie. The main female character is constantly comparing her life to scenes from An Affair to Remember. Okay Sharon, big deal, this is a movie about a woman caught up with the plot line of another movie. It’s still just a movie. Yes, and I still know a couple of women who named their children off of favorite characters from movies and television.

Just something to think about.

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I’ve been accused of many things in my life, but I must admit, one of my favorites is being called a newlywed – after being married for 16 years! Karl and I don’t have all the answers, not by any means, but we’ve been greatly blessed and we are so thankful! But it wasn’t always easy and sometimes there was a lot of tears and misunderstandings along the way.

By the time we reached our 16th anniversary, we truly felt like newlyweds again, because of some amazing changes in our relationship. Those changes had to do with the various connections in our lives. We are a lot more related to the things around us than we like to admit. We had a few things that we considered to be non-negotiable. One of those was attending church together as a family. My husband wasn’t pastoring at the time, and the church we had as our home base was sucking the life out of me. The people weren’t bad. The people weren’t mean, but it wasn’t a good fit for me and my needs (and our family’s as well). I had to take a stand. I felt my salvation was at stake.

It was a difficult step, to tell my husband that the kids and I would visit another church and he could get a ride to go to the same one we’d attended for years (we only had one car), since it was the closest one. That was his wake up call. The family needed to stay together. Once this change was made, amazing things began to happen. I came alive. In so many areas in my life, I came alive. I started writing again, something I had always loved to do. Karl could see a difference in how I interacted with him and the children. His favorite benefit, however, was the fact that I was also coming alive in our marriage.

As the family soaked up the love, healing and nurturing that our new church family freely gave (it was a good fit for us and them), we in turn were more than willing to do our part and help in whatever way we could. The entire family came alive and my husband was finally able to reach a place where he could take that terrifying step of saying yes. You see, God had been after him to be a pastor for years, but it wasn’t until the entire family came alive that he was in a position to surrender to that task.

So many things changed for our family, when we committed to making one change that was desperately needed. With that one change, I began writing again. I interacted with my children in a much healthier way. I became a better lover to my husband. Karl was able to see that taking the time to help his wife who had been with three children all day long and desperately needed some adult conversation, had amazing results. Agreeing to God’s plan for his life is a step that might not have happened were it not for this one change.

So when friends accused us of being newlyweds, I smiled. When coworkers complimented me on the way I treated my husband respectfully instead of picking him apart like many of the girls at work did; I was grateful they could see the blessings of a thriving and happy marriage. It led Karl and I to joining the Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage team and also helped us to launch a facebook page together – Unashamed Marriage.

You have many connections in your life. Take the time to make sure they are healthy ones. You have great potential – live up to it!

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This Rocks!

Someone is trying to get you to join their club. Which appeal would get a positive reaction from you?

Again! We have to meet for the club again! Oh well, that’s life, so you coming with me or not?

Wow! I can’t wait until the club has another meeting. It is just what I need and everybody has a great time!

Most of us would choose to join club number two, unless of course you just like to be the odd man out for the sake of argument (weird thrill issues there). What if, however, you learned that the person who is a member of club number one really likes his/her club and would never consider not being a member? You might wonder what kind of person likes being in a club then goes around acting as if they hate it. The reality is, it happens, to millions of Americans on a daily basis. Somewhere along the line we learned from someone that the way to talk about your marriage is negatively. You’ve probably even heard (“gasp” or said) words like old man referring to your husband or maybe even ball and chain to refer to you wife and kids.

Marriages do have their ups and downs. Duh! I’m not here to reinvent the wheel or state the obvious. I’m asking folks to really pay attention to the way they advertise marriage. I see so many people shaking their heads and pointing their fingers at couples that decide to shack up together before tying the knot. “Why do they do this terrible thing?” Well, let me see, hmmm, could it be that you were always whining and complaining about your marriage? Who wants that?

Whoa! Hold on! Don’t think I’m advocating the try before you buy philosophy. I’m a definite believer in healthy marriages! That’s why I’m asking folks to stop and really think about what they say. Make sure you can always say positive things about your marriage, especially around younger people looking for examples. If you can’t say something positive because your marriage is having more serious problems than the usual ups and downs of learning to live unselfishly; get help! And by the way, that’s okay to talk about too. “Marriage is something I take seriously and right now it’s not what it could be so I’m willing to do something about it. I want the best for myself and my spouse.” Think of what an example that would be to someone contemplating the big commitment.

We want young people to get married first, not shack up together. We want people to make a lifelong commitment, not get divorced the moment something rocks the boat. We want… Really? That’s really what you want? Then start talking about it! Start advertising marriage as the best thing ever and you’re so glad you made that commitment! You may have no idea who is watching and listening. You just might be the example someone needs.

Say it loud and say it proud. Marriage Rocks!

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It’s been several weeks since the last theft, but yesterday’s caught me a bit by surprise. I expressed my frustration to my husband. “This Crohn’s Disease has stolen a day from me.” He replied with words that conveyed their concern as well as his own frustrations. “No, it stole a day from us.”

It is easy to feel selfish when pain and hindrances hit you hard. For some strange reason we begin to think we are the only ones suffering. My husband’s words, not a rebuke as much as a reminder that we are in this together, opened my eyes to see more of those that suffer indirectly. You see evidences around the house of previous thefts: a few projects I haven’t been able to complete and an emergency supper kit for the kids to prepare in case I’m down for the count and Karl is at a meeting somewhere.

At this point in time I’m still learning a lot about the disease that has had more than 25 years to learn about me. I know one type of medication that doesn’t work. I know of several others that are still to be tried, but they bring higher risks with them. With every passing stolen day and the muddled days of recovery that follow, I’m also learning more about the amazing gift of a husband who’s with me every step of the way, many times picking up the load that I’ve dropped when Crohn’s demands an immediate appearance.

The day may have been stolen from us, but somehow, together, we’ll find a way to get the most out of the days that are ours.

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