Monday, 30 December 2013

Marriage Resolutions

New Year's for me is more than just celebrating a change in the calendar.  It's a time I look back and evaluate the past year and make preparations and plans for the future.  I don't exactly make resolutions but I do make a point of picking one or two things I will focus on improving.  Long lists of resolutions with specific targets is (for me) trying to take on too much at once and then nothing much happens with any of them.

The two biggest priorities in life (in order) are your relationship with God and your relationship with your spouse.  Those should also be the first areas to evaluate and work on.  Our relationship with God is relativly simple to manage.  Repent of your sins, pray, read the scriptures, worship God in your heart and also by attending church.  You can count on God to do his part perfectly in that relationship.

Our relationship with our spouse is often a far more complex thing, since both you and your spouse are imperfect people, each with your own set of needs, beliefs, expectations, weaknesses, inhibitions, fears and prejudices.  We can all probably make long lists of things that our spouse could do to make our marriage better, but we need to focus on ourselves.

What are you going to do to make your marriage better this year?  What change can you make that will strengthen your emotional connection, improve your mutual sexual fulfillment, reduce conflict, and increase both of your happiness?  Consider making a commitment to improve in one of these areas:

You can't achieve real emotional intimacy in a marriage without also having real emotional vulnerability.  That also opens the door for some deep hurts to happen, either through carelessness or personal weakness. Chances are nobody in life will hurt you as deeply as your spouse does at some point, and forgiveness is a must for any lasting marriage.

If there is some hurt you are still holding against your spouse, resolve to get rid of it.  It is a choice to let go of anger and any desire to get them back or make them pay for what they did.  Sometimes that can be hard to do, especially if they do not show a repentant spirit about it.  Remember that Christ already paid for what they did, and his atonement was not just so we can be forgiven of sins, but also so that our hearts can be healed from the pain caused by sin.

The other side of the coin from what I said above is that at some point you have probably hurt your spouse more deeply than any other person they know.  While forgiveness is something that should be freely given, forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation.  To reconcile a relationship harmed by wrongdoing requires the offender to follow the steps of repentance.

Are you aware of how you have hurt your spouse, do you recognize that what you did was wrong?  Does your regret match the magnitude of the hurt you caused?  Is  your spouse aware of your regret and have you made a full confession to them and asked for their forgiveness?  What have you done to make restitution for it or to heal the hurt you caused?

Little acts of service can mean a lot.  Something as simple as bringing them a cold drink when working out in the yard or garden, or going the extra mile for their comfort, pleasure or convenience.  You can only do this by taking your eyes off yourself and focusing on your spouse so you can anticipate their wants and needs and act on that before they can, or before they ask.

Personal Improvement
How can you change to improve your marriage?  Can you get better at speaking your spouse's Love Language?  Is there something you could change to provide greater sexual fulfillment for your spouse, like overcoming an inhibition, or adding more variety and fun into that area of your relationship?  Is there selfishness, pride or other personality traits that keeps your marriage from being all it could be?  Are there things you could do to improve your health or spirituality?

Stop and think of all the things your spouse has done and is doing for you. Have you expressed your gratitude to them for any of that so they feel appreciated?  Gratitude can be expressed in a variety of ways: verbally, written, by an act of service, or even in sexual ways.

Wouldn't it be great to look back a year from now and see that your marriage has become even better?  The path to that starts today with a decision from you on what you will focus on improving.  Make a decision, and make it real by posting below what you intend to work on for 2014.

Have a happy New Year's and all the best for 2014.

Friday, 13 December 2013

What do you REALLY want for Christmas?

I love combining my intimate life with holidays, and Christmas is the pinnacle of all holidays.  Christmas is also about giving, which should be a hallmark of our intimate lives too, so it seems a natural pairing to me.

The last few years I've made a Christmas Wish list that is for my wife's eyes only.  If you don't ask, they may not know you want it.  It's been wonderful to actually be given things off that list too.

I encourage you to make a sexy wish list for your spouse, and ask for them to make one for you.  If you don't have a list from your spouse, here are some ideas on what to give them, or what to put on your own list.

A Love Letter
When was the last time you wrote your spouse a love letter?  If you can't think of it, it has been too long.  Grab some paper and a pen and pour your heart out to them.

You can make it romantic and tell them what you appreciate about them, what they mean to you, praise them, express your love for them, really open your heart.   Or you can make it passionate and  tell them what your fantasies are, what things you most enjoy doing together in private, remind them of great times in the past, tell them how being intimate with them makes you feel and how eager you are for it. Or you can do both in the same letter.

Handwritten is probably better but not required.  It costs next to nothing, just some time, paper, pen, and the willingness to open yourself up and show your feelings.  If you want, you can go to a card shop and write the letter inside a touching, risque or funny holiday card.

An Erotic Short Story
Instead of a letter, you can write a short story for them staring the the two of you.  It's a great way to let your spouse into your head so they can see your fantasy through your eyes.  There are no limits to the setting or situation.  It can be passionate and erotic or light and funny.  You can even just be yourselves in your own lives living out your desires.

Do something new
If there is something you know your spouse would love you to do in the bedroom but you haven't had the nerve to go for it, perhaps make it a Christmas gift.  Push aside your inhibitions for one night and give it a shot.  You can be their Christmas miracle. Or take something you already do up to the next level.

A key turning point in our marriage came one Christmas when my wife decided that her gift to me would be that she would make love with me every day for a week.  This was at a time when she was just starting to enjoy sex after years of not allowing herself to.  Three times a week was a bit of a stretch for her but she decided to do this as a gift she knew I would love and as an experiment to see if she could, and if she could enjoy it.  That week turned the spark of her sexual awakening into a flame that is still spreading. 

Make love by the Christmas tree
It may be hard to arrange things so you have sufficient privacy from your kids or house guests, but it will be worth it.  There is something wonderfully magical about a room where the only lights are from the Christmas tree.  You could even do yourself up as a present and let them unwrap you, just a little paper and ribbon in the right places and gift tag saying you are for them.

Intimate wear
Lingerie, silk boxers, short bathrobes, sexy consumes, fishnet stockings, or just a gift card so they can pick something like that out themselves (although it is fun to shop for it together).

Coupon Book
There are places online you can buy books of intimate coupons, but I think it is better to make it yourself.

You could have coupons for showering together, making out, 60 second kisses, long hugs, special positions, taking intimate photos, oral sex, 30 minutes of caressing with no sex, even being their sex slave for the evening.  You can be as wild or tame as you are comfortable with. 

A 'Couples Only' Game
There are a number of games on the market intended for loving couples to combine both intimacy and fun.  Some are board games, some are card games, some are for playing on your smartphone as a way of keeping in touch while apart. I'm not going to make any recommendations, but it may be good to pick a game that can be customized.

You can also create your own game.  Just add some new rules to a game you already enjoy.  Uno, Monopoly, Scrabble, Settlers of Catan, be creative.  You can also create a game from scratch. It doesn't have to be complicated.

Make the Bedroom a nicer place to be naughty
Nice bed sheets, romantic lighting, mood music or just spend some time decluttering and organizing things in the bedroom.  The nicer the room, the easier it is to relax and enjoy each other there, and the less distractions there are.

Daring accessories
If you are both up for it, handcuffs, blindfolds, soft braided rope and other aids for the adventurous. Don't do this unless you know they are OK with using those things.  You don't want this to backfire on you.

A Weekend Away at a Hotel
A weekend away from everything, with most of it being just the two of you and a Do Not Disturb sign on the door is something that should happen at least once a year if at all possible. Usually we start it off by going to the temple, and after that it's just us.  Sometimes we've just gone out exploring places we've never been and had some wonderful romantic times.

Even if you don't do any of the above, do make sure that you and your spouse use the holiday season to strengthen the bond between you.  Be each others best gift.