Sex Life and Spiritual Life Suffering? 5 Ways to Find Balance in Marriage

BY: - 2 Dec '16 | Marriage

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By Dr. Shola Ezeokoli

If you are familiar with the concept of balanced living, then you will realize that anyone who is living a fulfilled life is to some degree living a balanced life. This means taking care of what I call the five pillars of balance: physical health, mental soundness, emotional wellness, spiritual wholeness and relational balance.

Can these concepts be applied to marriage? It is my humble postulation that they can.

Pillar 1. Spiritual

Too often, folks get married in church, and then put God in box, only to remember hastily, during a fight, a few scriptures taken out of context: “The Bible says you have to submit to me!” or “If you loved me like the Bible says, I would submit to you!” * Insert eye roll here *.

People have reduced spirituality in a marriage to: going to church with the spouse, loving your wife and submitting to your husband. There is more to engaging with God in your marriage than the above. It involves praying for and with your spouse, being humble enough to listen to each other, and, above all walking in love toward your spouse.

Walking in love is actions, not feelings. If you look in the Bible in 1 Corinthians, chapter 13 , verses 4 to 8, you will find these different qualities of love ( “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast..). Interesting to note, there is no mention of feelings here.

Prayer should be primarily for each of you to get closer to God and each other. Prayer for the needs of your marriage and each other is also necessary. If you stay humble and listen, you and your spouse will be able to find your way through some of the hardest situations.

Pillar 2. Mental

This involves your thinking and beliefs about your marriage, which can change with the changing seasons of life and with your changing moods.

If you want to have a great marriage, you have to think great things about your marriage. If you think that “all men are dogs” or “ all women are gold diggers,” that type of thinking will not serve you well in your marriage. Think of what you want your marriage to be, and meditate on it constantly.

Renew your mind and thoughts concerning you marriage. Focus more on the positive aspects of your marriage, and they will become more obvious. Focus on the imperfections, and they will become more obvious, too. The choice is yours.

Pillar 3. Emotional

This pillar centers around finding what your spouse finds romantic and making it part of your own “marriage culture.” I recommend the book: The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

Romance is supposed to make your marriage exciting, feel idealistic and feel like a love story. Do not discard romance and romance-inducing adventures after you get married. These are the things that your fondest memories are made of. Go out on dates. Dress up, and go to the opera. Buy her flowers. Cook his favorite meal. Get a stripper pole and dance to each other’s favorite songs. Dress up in costume and role-play. Send sweet romantic texts and emails. Sing to each other. Watch a sunset together. Advance the romance.

Pillar 4. Relational

One of the best things that you can do for your marriage is to sustain your friendship and make that front and center of everything you do. There are some things you would not say to your best buddy—no matter how angry you are. There is a kinship that friendship affords your marriage, which adds another layer of closeness.

Learn to see your spouse through the eyes of friendship. Intimacy and closeness is not all about sex. Good sex in marriage flows from the intimacy that a really close friendship brings. Play together. Talk. Talk. Talk. Then talk some more. Talk about everything. Chat. Share your dreams, goals and ideas. Learn a hobby, sport, game or dance together. Discover new places together. Take time to be alone together. Laugh at life together. Take on projects together. Be each other’s best friend. Be loyal to each other.

Pillar 5. Physical

Sex is like the cement of a house. You do not see it, but it’s hold the building together. So do it often, do it well.

Sex is not so much about proving your “prowess” to your partner as it is about attending to his/her sexual needs. It is less about “wham, bam, thank you ma’am” and more about a slow dance that leads to fulfillment and satisfaction for both partners.

Learn your partner’s likes and dislikes. Vary positions depending on preferences. Read about sex and learn about techniques. But avoid pornography. I firmly believe it does not improve your sex life. It just introduces “another partner” (in your head) into your bedroom, and that gives a false ideal that your or your partner will not be able to live up to. This can lead to constantly being dis-satisfied with your partner, chasing the next high and possible extra marital affairs.

Concentrate on building up and loving your partner OUTSIDE of the bedroom, and there will be a natural flow into sexual intimacy. Do not just remember to show affection to your partner when you are ready to have sex. It makes you look inauthentic, and may be off putting to your partner. Have sexual intercourse on a regular basis and be sure to see a doctor if there issues with erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, lack of orgasms, vaginal dryness or premature ejaculation.

Welcome To The Balanced Marriage!

Shola Ezeokoli is medical doctor, a life coach, author and a public speaker. She works with purposeful women, helping them get liberated from survival mode and truly live the life that they want them to live. Her books include His Delight, Shoetry, You Are The Best You (which has a companion Workbook) and her most recent, which is co-written with her husband  Staying Married: 7 Key Strategies You Cannot Do Without. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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BMWK Staff wrote 1255 articles on this blog.

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4 Marriage Goals for Couples Who Want to Thrive in the New Year

BY: - 2 Dec '16 | Marriage

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It’s that time of the year. The time where everyone starts focusing on goal-setting and things they want to accomplish in the new year. And if you haven’t been including a list of goals for your marriage every year, now is the time to start.

This past weekend, my parent’s celebrated 50 years of marriage (here are the tips they shared a few years ago). When I introduced my parents to a good friend of mine, she let them know they were an inspiration and that their celebration was a part of her “marriage goals”.

But guess what? You can’t get to celebrate 50 years of marriage just because you wish, pray and hope for it. Like any goal, it takes intentional planning and preparation. Most people don’t get married with the goal of going through a divorce. Love is only the beginning of a successful and happy marriage.

You have to be strategic not just in life or your career but in marriage too. And like other areas of your life, your marriage needs clearly defined goals month after month, year after year.

Every couple should strive for longevity in their marriage. What does that look like for you? Don’t wait until things look bad to start thinking of how you want to fix them. As you create your marriage goals for the new year, ask yourself a few questions:

  • How do you want your marriage to improve over the next 12 months?
  • What are some activities you would like to incorporate or get back to doing?
  • What are you willing to start, stop or give up in order to achieve these marriage goals?
  • Why are marriage goals important to you?

Here are five marriage goals to keep in mind when it comes to thriving (not just surviving) in your marriage:

Spiritual goals

Do you want to start praying together? Do you want to start going to a Bible study together or just start reading the Bible together? What are some ways that you want to increase your spirituality as it directly relates to your marriage? Having and nurturing a spiritual connection is important in a marriage.

Intimacy goals

Before you can have a great sex life, your overall intimacy has to be intact. If there are insecurities on either end, it is that much harder to enjoy intimacy in the bedroom. Do you need to check in on your spouse more? Do you need to start paying more attention to their love language? Do they need to hear how much you appreciate and love them?

Dating goals

Finding time to date can be a challenge. But if you’re lacking in intimacy, you may need to focus more energy on creating time to date your spouse regularly. And don’t be afraid to create a new definition of what dating looks like in your marriage. Do you want breakfast in bed once a month, or do you want to take a cooking class? Is there an activity or show you’ve been wanting to do/see but have been putting it off?

Financial goals

Beyond saving for a house, or car, or trip or college fund, what will it feel like to get or have these things once you achieve them? Do you want to make new investments or increase your current ones?

Don’t just talk these goals over with your spouse. Get committed to them. Write them down, and evaluate how you’re doing on (at least) a quarterly basis.

BMWK: Do you create marriage goals every year with your spouse? What else would you add to this list? How does your relationship change when you focus on goals together?

About the author

Christine St. Vil wrote 153 articles on this blog.

Christine St.Vil is co-author of the Whose Shoes Are Your Wearing: 12 Steps to Uncovering the Woman You Really Want to Be. A happy wife to an amazing hubby of 8 years, and homeschooling mother of three, she teaches moms how to FLY (First Love Yourself). She uses her corporate background to work with women who are ready to start a new business, accelerate their career growth & design a life they love. She's on a mission to help moms to battle the mom guilt epidemic, so they can begin to put themselves first on their never-ending list of priorities.


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