For those who ask about lovemaking with a spouse while you're separated: I address this both as one who works with marriage problems and my role as a sexologist. I give only three reasons FOR and three reasons AGAINST.
Though it hurts some whose spouses are in limerence to hear this — and I hate that it will hurt them — I wish to speak to your emotions, not only for you but for others who read this who are in similar situations.
Typically written in female hand, one of the top five questions from Christian audiences goes something like this, "As long as we both enjoy it, isn't it okay for us to watch porn to spice up our lovemaking?" That question from a church audience shouldn't surprise us. In America about 15% of men and nearly 5% of women compulsively use porn. There appears to be many Christians within those numbers.
However, in my experience working with couples, giving up usually occurs far too early. There is a definite consequence when you accept that it's over and emotionally, mentally, and physically disconnect from your spouse. That won't bring him or her back to you.
In workshops for marriages in crisis, leaders often note that those couples in which one mate is very successful or earns quite a bit of money have unique situations that call for unique solutions.
Though no one can guarantee them, they happen quite often. Marriages beyond hope by any reasonable standard turn around, become stable, and grow into a wonderful relationship. Though nearly everyone, especially the couple involved, thought it impossible, war evolves into peace and rage turns into romance.
She didn't hesitate a moment. Yes, she wanted to save her marriage. She and her husband were 40ish, married about twenty years, with a couple of children. One evening he told her he was in love with his assistant, that he already had a lawyer, and suggested she procure one for herself.
"My husband has been 'downsized' and now he mostly lies around the house doing nothing. Every time I ask him if he sent out more resumes or looked for a job, he gets angry and we wind up in a fight. What can I do to help him?"
No matter your love language, nothing speaks love more deeply than someone who knows your deepest, darkest secrets and yet still believes in you. You, along with every human heart, long to have someone who knows you, flaws and all, and still accepts you and cares for you.
I personally think that in most situations it is a bad idea for any married person to have lunch with a person of the opposite gender. Groups are one thing; lunch with just one other is another.
Unfortunately, statements like this have become 'the norm' in modern day society. Lunch out with the girls easily turns into listing all the things they want to change about their husbands. An all-male poker night leads to the unveiling of marital dissatisfaction. Even during workplace conversations and dinner out with friends, people openly reveal what they wish their spouse would change about themselves. What is worse is that spouses even say these things to each other.
Though it may appear minor, this indicates a possible major flaw in your relationship that can lead to extreme trouble. Often when one spouse continually tells the other what to do, or how to do it, he seldom realizes the destructive effect on the other. Every couple in crisis I have helped had one spouse attempting to control the other's actions, thoughts, feelings, or beliefs, apparently never grasping the resentment swelling within the other until it finally exploded into rage, violence, adultery, separation, or a demand for divorce.
If you feel your spouse controls or dominates you, complete the following self-scoring assessment for insight into your situation. Examine each statement above that you scored a 4 or higher. These may indicate areas where you feel your spouse tries to control or dominate you.
"I think he's seeing someone else. My heart says he is but I don't have any proof. I finally asked. Made him mad. Said I was crazy. But I still worry that he is. How can I know if he's having an affair?"
"Couples who've had sex before marriage will inevitably have sexual difficulties in marriage." That's what I, a marriage expert and chairman of MarriageHelper.com, said to a large audience of married couples. Through my work with thousands of couples, I've learned that the emotional results of premarital sex can negatively affect many aspects of a marriage.
Even the greatest athlete benefits from coaching. Though I realize that husbands reading this likely are already awesome, I offer these tips as a marriage coach. Use them to go from great to glorious in seven easy steps.
"Everybody in my family tells me to divorce her. My Mom will be furious if I don't. She called Shelly some pretty bad names. Called the guy she was involved with worse names. She insists that I file immediately." "Why haven't you?" I asked.
"God will bless us if we divorce our mates and marry each other. It's right there in the Bible." "Really?" I replied. "Please enlighten me." "David and Bathsheba" he said. "They committed adultery, which was wrong, but God saw their great love for each other and gave her to David as his wife. He blessed David's life after that." That is when I walked him through that Bible story from first to last.
Divorce breaks the hearts of those involved — couples, children, parents, friends, church, and the heart of God. One of the greatest underlying events destroying marriages today is adultery. The following is a frank and spiritual message on how to save a marriage after an affair.
One unexpected finding was that sex is not happening as much as most folks thought. The research indicates "about a third have sex with a partner at least twice a week, a third have sex with a partner a few times a month, and the rest have sex with a partner a few times a year or have no sexual partners at all." How do those numbers change if you leave out singles and consider only those that are married? It seems that 20% of married couples between the ages of 18 and 59 have sex with each other ten times or less per year. Another 15% have sex with each other about twice a month or less. The "ten time or less" couples are often referred to as no-sex marriages (or sexless marriages) and the "about twice a month" group as low-sex marriages. In this article, we'll combine them into the term sexless marriages.
"I just want to be happy." We hear that regularly from people who want to end their marriages. The premise is simple: I am not happy in this marriage but I will be happy if it ends. Typically, they believe that when freed from this marriage they will develop a new and blissful relationship with someone else.
Limerence is being madly and overwhelmingly in love to the point of obsession. While it incorporates some dimensions of the agape (Ephesians 5:28) and phileo (Titus 2:4) forms of love that Christians are familiar with from Scripture, it also has several shovelfuls of eros mixed in. One in the throes of limerence thinks constantly about the limerence object (LO, the designation used to identify the one the limerent is madly in love with).
He began to weep. Not simply moist eyes or mild tears; he openly sobbed. When I asked what I said that had hurt him so badly, he replied, "I just realized I'm not a fool."
What do you do when you know a couple has marriage problems, but you have no formal training in how to help? The most important thing is to care enough to do something. Far too often, people do nothing because they fear they might do the wrong thing. While it is possible to do the wrong thing, doing nothing is DEFINITELY the wrong thing.
When the subject of controlling relationships came up, he was quick to tell how controlling his wife was. Not unusual: Often the person who is the most controlling is the one who feels the most controlled.