An Uncomfortable Truth About Some Sex Sins

This is going to be a difficult and uncomfortable post, but I think its something some of you really need to hear and embrace.

The simple bottom line here is that his sexual sin probably has far less to do with you and your marriage than you think. This is not always the case, but it is true often, and probably the majority of the time.

Man surrounded by darkness and sin

Over thirty years of doing marriage ministry with a focus on sexuality, I’ve had plenty of men confess a really horrible sexual sin*. Many of these were one time events or happened over a very short time period. Some were a one night stand or an attempted one night stand, but others were far uglier and less “normal”.

When it was a one-off thing and not recent, the man had never done it again and was sure he never would. Many were more than a bit ashamed at what they had done. Most had not told their wife and said they never would because it would hurt her deeply he and might put their marriage in danger.

With that as background, here is what you need to know:

  • Not a single one of these men blamed their wife for their sin. Some, but not most, said their sex life was not good when it happened, but that was a statement of fact, not an excuse.
  • The vast majority were in a bad place emotionally when the sin occurred. The reasons for that varied, but these men were in deep pain and/or were depressed. This more than anything else is what pulled them over the line into sin.
  • Many would like to share what they did with their wife but are terrified of the consequences. Most will take the secret to their grave.

Do these things also apply to more long-term sins like a two-year affair or using porn off and on for a decade? Yes, they do. Probably not as often as is true for more significant and one-time events, but more often than not his sexual sin is not because of his wife and is not about their marriage. I’m not saying it has no effect on the marriage, but for him, it’s not about his marriage or his sex life with his wife.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I’ve told my wife things no one else will ever hear!

* Both Lori and I are mandatory reporters. We’ve only had one thing that triggered that. Some of what I have heard was illegal, but was not against another person and was in the past and not ongoing.

A post worth reading:

Honeycomb & Spice | New Year, New Sex Life ◄ Excellent ideas!

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What Does It Really Cost Him?

One of the most common causes of marital friction is underestimating what it costs our spouse to do certain things for us.

Calculate the cost

Usually, this is an honest mistake based on assuming the cost to our spouse is the same as our cost when we do the same thing. A classic example is a man who has no clue how much it can cost his wife to have sex on certain occasions. He assumes it would cost her no more than him, or only slightly more than it costs him, and based on this wrong calculation she seems to be selfish and unloving. 

So where might you be doing this to your husband? If you have greatly misjudged what something will cost him, you are almost certainly being too hard on him and may be mad when you should not be.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I’m not like Lori!

A post worth reading:

The Generous Wife | Happy Nude Year ◄ Not too late to start now! 

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Write On!

For the last week, my clever and loving bride has been leaving me love notes on the bathroom mirror with dry-erase markers.

Inscription I LOVE YOU by lipstick on mirror

It started with “I love you because” and she has added a reason daily. I’m enjoying it, and I bet your man would too.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and my wife is special.

♥ #CouplesQuestion: What advice would you give to someone facing a huge change in their life?

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Porn & Divorce

There’s a lot of debate about if or how bad porn is for marriage and much of the data is so slanted it’s useless. But I found a reference to a study that seems solid. And scary.

For those who started watching porn during the two-year study, the chance of divorce went up from 5% to 10% for men and from 6% to 18% for women. Even more concerning is the case the authors make for the porn viewing contributing to the divorce, rather than just being an indication of problems that lead to the divorce.

Smartphone with porn half hidden bed sheets

As the study notes, 55% to 70% of men said they were using porn when the study started. And the reality is more men come into marriage with a porn problem. While how preexisting porn use affects divorce could not be determined by this study, it seems likely it would increase the chance. I would think an increase in porn use would increase the risk of divorce.

So it’s not just you, his porn use is not only sin, it can contribute to a divorce. It’s an uphill battle, but if you care about your marriage it may be a good idea to fight this battle.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I’m so glad I stopped as a teen.

A post worth reading:

calm. healthy. sexy | How to Create a Mindset that Promotes Orgasm ◄ Do what helps!

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Do You Have the Marriage You Think You Deserve?

Yesterday I suggested you have the marriage you’re willing to have, rather than the one you really want. Today I want to look at the idea that your marriage is limited by what you think you deserve.

There’s what we want and there’s what we think we deserve. Very few people will make an effort to go beyond what they think they deserve no matter how much they may want better. Even worse, I’ve seen people sabotage their relationship because it was better than what they thought they deserved.

While what we hear from our spouse and others in our lives today plays a part in what we think we deserve, the line is primarily set while we are children. We look at our parent’s marriage and see it as the norm, even if they had a horrible marriage. We listen to what our parents, siblings, and so-called friends tell us about who we are and what we deserve. As we become adults we tend to move into groups that agree with our self-perceptions, including what we think we deserve. We also tend to marry someone who agrees with that. Because of this, we think our current situation is the problem when actually the problem is we have been programmed with a substandard goal.

If you look at the Bible, it’s clear God wants you to have a good marriage. In part, this is because He loves you and wants good things for you. Then there’s the fact He uses marriage as a way of explaining our relationship with Him. That sets the bar rather high!

~ Paul – I’m XY, and no one deserves a poor marriage.

A post worth reading:

A Wife Like Me | The Big Deal – Your Purpose ◄ Do you know your purpose? 

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You Have the Marriage You’re Willing to Have

I have a friend, who also does marriage ministry, who says people have the marriage they want to have. His reasoning is if they wanted something different they would work to make that happen.

The apparent problem with this theory is it assumes one we can change our marriage without our spouse’s cooperation. But in truth, this is not usually nearly the obstacle most think it is. There are sad exceptions, but in general, if one spouse makes a real effort to improve the marriage, the other spouse reciprocates. The marriage we have is more a matter of our choice than we think.

The word choice in chrome letters

But our choice is affected by more than what we want and that’s where we get stuck. I’m going to address this in two posts. Today I want to look at the reality that our marriage is the one we are willing to have.

Consider this – we all want to be in shape. We want to be trim and fit. But most of us are not either of these. We have the desire, but we aren’t willing to put in the self-control and work required to obtain those things. Marriage is very similar. re we willing to put in the work required to have the marriage we want? Do we have the self-control, determination, and willingness to sacrifice for what we want?

I think it’s common for men and women to settle for less because they aren’t willing to do what it takes. But often they blame their spouse for the situation. They reason justify there’s no point in trying since their spouse probably won’t change.

If you want a better marriage, start acting like it. Don’t accept what is, fight for more. Start with some of the changes you need to make, then nudge your husband. Then outright ask him. Then tell him you want more and you feel he’s the one preventing it. Make him prove he’s what’s keeping your marriage as it is. Then you can deal with that reality, rather than a guess.

BTW, the fact that your husband proved he was unwilling to change in the past doesn’t mean that’s still the situation. People do change. What we want in life changes as does what we are willing to do for what we want. It’s not uncommon for a man to start to want more out of his marriage as he gets older. 

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I want you to have the marriage you want.

♥ #CouplesQuestion: Courage is the theme for the day. How do you live it out?

A post worth reading:

calm. healthy. sexy. | What Kind of Woman Will You Become this Year? ◄ Always a good question, and especially this year.

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Better Sex For YOU

What would way better sex for you look like? What would it take out of bed and what would it take in bed? If you wanted to enjoy sex way more and your husband was on board, what would have to change?

Woman enjoying foreplay with her husband

Step One:

Figure out what changes are needed. Really think about it and get specific.

  • I need fifteen minutes of downtime after the kids are in bed.
  • I need way more foreplay.
  • I need to make love in the afternoon.
  • I need oral on me every time.
  • I need him to shower and brush his teeth.
  • I need an orgasm before intercourse starts.
  • I need to be on top.
  • I need more non-sexual connection.

Step Two:

Tell hubby you want to work on making sex better for you this year and you have some ideas on how to go about it. Don’t hit him with the whole list, but do let him know there is a list by saying “First, can we work on ____.” I realise some of the non-sexual things on your list are critical, but I suggest you start with something sexual to get him on board.

When he does what you want, thank him. If it makes sex better, tell him, and ask if he’s ready to add something to make it even better. If sex doesn’t get better tell him you expected it would take a number of things and you’re ready for the next one when he is. And either way, this would be a good time to ask him what he thinks would make sex better for him.

I realise some of you have low drive husbands and quantity is a bigger problem than quality. I also understand some of you have husbands who really don’t care if you enjoy sex. But even in those situations what I’m suggesting here might help, at least some.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I know a lot of husbands who would be all about making sex better for their wife.

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A post worth reading:

Intimacy in Marriage | Are You Overthinking Sex Instead of Enjoying It in Your Marriage? ◄ Might help you make your list.

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Why Trying To Calm Has Opposite Effect

Sometimes Lori tries to calm me down. I don’t have a problem with that, in theory. Sometimes I need to calm down and I appreciate her wanting to help. But I’ve noticed her attempts often have the opposite effect from what she wants. 

Have you ever had a man react to you being upset by saying something about you being an emotional female or accusing you of being hormonal? Did those things calm you down or get you even more upset?

When we’re upset we feel we have a justifiable reason to be upset, even if we don’t. If we were calm we might see there is no good reason to be upset, but because we’re upset we’re blind to that truth. When we are upset any attempt to calm us down is seen as accusing us of overreacting (which may be true) or not seeing the situation clearly (which could also be true). It’s adding insult to injury and that’s not a path to calm.

I find women often try to calm by distracting, by trying to move the upset person off of what has offended or upset them. I have no idea if this works with women, but with men, it’s a challenge; it’s saying his reality is wrong. Even if that is true (sidebar, how would you know?) it’s going to escalate the issue. And yes, men have the extra burden of testosterone on this. The reality is our being upset is often a matter of being hormonal or at least is aggravated by that.

A good way to defuse something like this is to first acknowledge what he is upset about. You can do that without agreeing with the details. He’s upset, so clearly it’s upsetting. You can agree with him on that without agreeing on the nuts and bolts of it. Agreeing that the situation is unfair, hurtful, or difficult puts you on his side. And then you have a chance to help him calm down.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and sometimes testosterone is annoying.

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