Signs of a Healthy Relationship

Signs of a Healthy Relationship

Psychology Today posted an article on 50 characteristics of a healthy relationship. Below we’ll list out our top 25 signs of a healthy relationship. Go through the list with your partner and discuss.

  1. You and your partner are playful with one another
  2. You think your partner has smart ideas at times
  3. You think about each other when you can’t be physically close
  4. You trust your partner
  5. When you disagree, you’re both able to be sensible and at least see the other persons’ point of view
  6. Your partner is happy when things go well for you, and vice versa
  7. You reminisce about past things that have been positive
  8. You touch each other every day in the form of hugs and kisses
  9. Your partner is a safe place to be vulnerable about fears, worries, insecurities, failures, etc.
  10. You can list positive personality traits your partner inherited from his parents
  11. You both provide each other with a sense of security- knowing the other will be faithful in the relationship and also won’t jeopardize finances
  12. You express appreciation for the other regularly
  13. You sense your individual strengths complement one another
  14. You’re okay taking constructive feedback from your partner
  15. When you hear, You’re Body Is a Wonderland, you immediately think of your partner
  16. You can appreciate the ways you’ve grown as individuals and as a couple
  17. When you’re dealing with life stressors, you can turn to your partner for comfort
  18. You feel as though you’re teammates with your partner, working together to accomplish great things together
  19. You know facts about your partner’s childhood and understand their family relationships a bit
  20. You feel comfortable challenging one another
  21. You view your partner as a warm and gentle spirit
  22. You make each other laugh
  23. You get along with at least one of your partner’s friends
  24. You rarely have contempt for your partner
  25. When arguments happen you still feel as though your partner cares about your feelings

Sexual Motivation – Keep that Hubby Working Hard!

Sexual Motivation – Keep that Hubby Working Hard!

Alright ladies, you’re the boss of your organization, just one of the many responsibilities you have. You know you want your husband to keep performing his job well, but he needs to stay motivated. So what is one of his top motivators outside of money? SEX as reinforcement!

How often should you make sure he is earning his reinforcement? Twice a week is a pretty reasonable amount of time for most couples. How do you make sure you’re getting the top performance for the set wage you’re paying him (again sex twice a week)? Here’s where I need to explain some psychology concepts for you to learn and then figure out how to best apply this knowledge in order to run your organization, um, I mean, marriage and household…

Reinforcement is a term used when describing a stimulus that helps learn a desired behavior or maintain a desired behavior. Positive reinforcement is used to strengthen a behavior and increase the likelihood that the desired behavior will happen again. So say you want to reinforce your husband for working hard as a provider and being a great husband/dad, he needs to be rewarded with sex from you in order to know he’s doing a good job and that he should keep doing those desired behaviors well 🙂

Now that you understand what reinforcement is and why it’s important, let’s talk a moment about schedules of reinforcement.

Really, when it comes to a schedule of reinforcement for sex, you’re going to chose from either a fixed interval schedule or a variable ratio schedule.

A fixed interval schedule is the idea behind earning a paycheck every two weeks. You know exactly when you’ll receive the reward. It usually produces high responding near the end of the interval, like right before you collect your paycheck, and then lower responding right after you earned the reinforcer. So maybe you pay your hubby once every week on Saturday nights.

A variable ratio schedule is what’s used by employers’s when giving out bonuses or special trips for top performers. The reinforcer (sex) is released after an unpredictable amount of responding (working as a provider and being an awesome head of the household). This type of schedule leads to a higher rate of responding (or desired behavior/performance), because you don’t know when exactly you’ll be rewarded so you keep trying hard. A great example of a variable ratio 5 schedule was posted on Psychology.About.com. To summarize you’re hubby may be reinforced with sex after three full days of working and being an awesome hubby/dad, after 5 days, or after 7 days and so on. The delivery of the reinforcer is unpredictable, but it would average out to be every 5 days.

In order to run your marriage and household at maximize capacity, it might be helpful to do a combination here of a fixed interval schedule along with a variable ratio schedule. Hubby gets paid every Saturday night, and also gets surprise sex one other night during the week. Sex the second time of the week is unpredictable when it occurs, some weeks its Monday, some weeks its Wednesday, some weeks its Friday, etc.

Hopefully you get the idea. Keep that hubby motivated work to work like a boss and to be active and present on the home front!

How Regular Exercise Can Improve Your Sex Drive

How Regular Exercise Can Improve Your Sex Drive

Improve your sex drive! As you already know regular exercise has many wellness benefits. We’ve known for a long time regular exercise helps us decrease our risks of developing heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Regular exercise helps us control our weight, improves our mood, boosts our energy, and promotes better sleep.

Improve your sex drive and increase overall wellness. Let’s take some time to review why and how regular exercise can improve your sex drive… 

  1. While you’re exercising your body releases certain chemicals in your brain called endorphins. Endorphins being released in your brain has many benefits, but one is that they can increase a person’s mood by releasing more “feel good” messages to your brain. The release of this “feed good” chemicals combat feelings of depression and anxiety. I don’t know about you, but I’m more likely to want to get frisky when I’m in a good mood 😛
  2. Exercise increases blood flow throughout your body. More blood flowing to your genitals means an increase in arousal response! Get that body moving so your sex organs are extra sensitive and responsive.
  3. There’s a relationship between a man’s bulging waistline that puts him at higher risk of developing Erectile Dysfunction. No physician wants to come out and say this, but I wonder if more doctors were this blunt, how a man might change his diet and exercise habits! Yes, this site is focused on women and their sexual functioning, so let’s use some deductive reasoning here: if you’re a lady with a bulging waistline, then you might also be experiencing some form of “vaginal dysfunction.” It’s your sexual functioning and overall health, what diet and exercise changes could you alter?
  4. Exercise can greatly improve body image. If you’re feeling fit and healthy, then you’re more likely to feel good about your physical attributes. The more attractive you’re feeling, the more likely you are to feel confident naked in front of your spouse. Get moving so your body image improves! As Michelle Obama suggested, 60 minutes of fitness a day will do the trick!

Female Sexuality

I remember a close friend opening up while we were still in college and she asked, “So do you think it’s okay for girls to masturbate?” Being a professed believer, I knew what response I should give, and what I did occasionally in the privacy of my own home to contradict one another. I gave her the Christian response, “Well no. We’re not supposed to lust after those who are not our married spouse.” But later on I wondered if that was really a beneficial answer.

Honestly, I had masturbated occasionally out of curiosity about how my own sex organs worked. What if I had been honest and said, “I think girls are equally as curious as guys are, and at the same time I know I’m suppose to remain pure in my thoughts until I’m married.” And then maybe offered her some comment to normalize what she may had felt when asking that question, “It’s hard to be a 20 something single person. I don’t know if God had intended us to through puberty and add on 10-15 years with no way to release a desire her created our clitoris for.”

Then that interaction really got me thinking, why have Christian circles framed sexuality as a guy’s only issue. Guys are allowed to discuss in their guy circles their struggles with sexual sin, usually only touching on matters of pornography or not remaining abstinent until marriage. It baffles me that women don’t also talk about their struggles around sexuality.

If you really believe that men and women were designed to complement one another, then if one demographic, men, are struggling with sexual sin, than wouldn’t it be obvious that there is another complementary group that is also probably struggling. Each respective group probably struggles in their in own way, but why not open up the dialogue. Maybe this should just look like ladies talking with other ladies about sexual matters. Later on, maybe mature married believers can share what they’ve learned from both sexes and create some solutions.

If you’ve got a bunch of 20 or 30 something single men and women that are struggling with remaining pure and abstinent until they’re married then maybe our solution should be, get married earlier and don’t let yourself burn with passion with no way of releasing that.

Or if you’ve been married awhile and you’re wife is no longer feeling sought after or no longer feels as beautiful as she once did; maybe those feelings lead to her not being as interested in sex. How might this decrease in sex drive impact both the husband and wife relationship negatively? Maybe she wants to have sex but depends on her husband’s pursuit and desire to increase her libido.

Or what if your husband has been making sexual advances over the last month or 6 months or years without his wife showing any interest. What does that do to his self esteem? He wants his wife, but she ignores him and doesn’t understand his need for sexual connection. Out of those feelings, he starts looking at the Victoria Secret website after she goes to bed because he needs to feel like a man in his mind and also the release that masturbation provides. How does this impact the marriage relationship once she finds out?

Who’s the one to blame? Maybe that’s where husbands are responsible to their wives and vice versa, wives are responsible to their husbands. Don’t lust after someone that is not your spouse, and also be responsive to your spouses’ sexual advances and needs. Think of the other person before yourself. “Reframe” the concept of sexuality to not just be a guy’s issue, but an issue that both men and women were created with. Both sexes were made as sexual beings and in order to rightfully use this part of our being, we need our spouses.

Selfies: Not Just For Narcissists!

Selfies: Not Just For Narcissists!

SELFIE defined by Merriam Webster as an image of oneself taken by oneself using a digital camera especially for posting on social media.

SELF PORTRAIT defined by Merriam Webster as a painting or drawing of yourself that is done by yourself.

Selfies are the new, updated version of an artistic self-portrait. According to Wikipedia self portraits were not always intended to be on public display, but were intended instead for talking points about the person being painted or as a way to judge the artist’s artistic ability.

We love visual art because of its ability to convey a message without using any words. It’s no wonder when you think about art history why there are so many self-portraits or portrait type art made. Nude portraits in particular have been popular throughout all of history, and have stayed high in demand. Think for a moment about “manly” guy magazines, like Maxim or Playboy. There is a market for nude, female portraits. God has created the female figure to be captivating to the male eye.

Here on our blog we like to take ideas that are in the mainstream, and figure out how the concept can be used to benefit and strengthen the marriage relationship. So in line with this thinking…

Wives could you create artistic, nude self portraits to share with your husband showing off your captivating and awe-inspiring body? This little exercise isn’t just for to beneficial for your husband. You can benefit from snapping some photos of your body and really taking in how beautiful it is? It’s helpful to externalize by capturing images of your body and reflecting on the gorgeous woman in those photos. That’s what positive self-talk is, vocalizing and affirming to yourself what beautiful attributes you do have. Maybe your husband can pick up a camera and share through captured images what he sees when he looks at you too.

Thoughtfully plan out the ways you want to express who you are to your husband and to yourself in these photos. What do you want your nude self portraits to communicate? How often do you want to update these to really capture who you are throughout your life span?

This exercise is beneficial for many reasons. One reason being it can increase your body image when reviewing the photos. Discussing the imagess can be a way of connecting emotionally to your spouse. It’s a fun way to be creative and a cool “gift” to give your husband. If your husband needs to travel at weeks at a time or is deployed, etc, this is a gift that allows him to think of you and focus on you and you alone when he cannot be with you in person.

You can get your own selfie stick here on Amazon.

 

Keeping Her Interested: Prepare Her Emotionally!

Keeping Her Interested: Prepare Her Emotionally!

As a wise person once said, ladies are like crockpots, they take longer to heat up. Men are like microwaves, it takes one minute to turn them on. So getting your lady turned on, is probably an eight hour preparation.

Getting your lady ready for some physically intimacy begins with relating to her emotionally during the day.

  1. How do you start heating your wife up first thing in the morning? Do you remind her you love her and give her a hug before either of you head off to work. Do you show her you love her by helping getting the kids ready for school? Do you occasionally leave her a note reminding her why you’re still pursuing her? It can be as simple as a sentence or two.
  2. How do you continue to prepare her emotionally throughout the day? Do you notice once you’ve made it home and are at the dinner table with the kids, she seems a little stressed? Can you ask her about her day and just listen? Do you offer to load the dishes or offer to play with the kids while she cleans up the kitchen, so she’s not thinking about that later? Remind her she’s still attractive to you, a sincere compliment goes a long way.
  3. The kids are in bed finally and you get an hour or two for yourselves as husband and wife? Do you share about your day? Real stressors, joys, funny events of the day, etc? Do you take time to cuddle a bit before assuming sexy time will happen? Do you occasionally offer a foot rub to just because? Have you reminded your spouse that you love her lately? It seems simple, but can get overlooked. What are you doing as her husband to show her you are thinking of her before yourself?
  4. While you’re out and about do you still hold hands? Remember, how proud you were to be seen with her? She needs to be reminded of that, especially when you’ve been married for a long time. When was the last time you planned ahead and scheduled a date night? If you need help with ideas, just google “romantic date ideas for your wife.” This can be low budget at home ideas or a quarterly date night out.

All of these types of things help your wife feel loved and prepared emotionally for lovemaking.  If your wife feels loved by you and feels that you’ve been emotionally intimate as a couple, then that helps her to want to engage in the physical act of lovemaking.

Ladies, when your husband has been doing a good job helping to prepare you emotionally, it might be nice to thank him for being awesome.

Music Musing: Santa Baby!

Music Musing: Santa Baby!

“Santa baby, just slip a Sable under the tree for me;
Been an awful good girl, Santa baby,
So hurry down the chimney tonight

“Santa baby, a ’54 convertible too, light blue;
I’ll wait up for you, dear; Santa baby,
So hurry down the chimney tonight.

Think of all the fun I’ve missed;
Think of all the fellas that I haven’t kissed;
Next year I could be just as good… if you check off my Christmas list…

Come and trim my Christmas tree with some decorations bought at Tiffany’s;
I really do believe in you;
Let’s see if you believe in me…

Santa baby, forgot to mention one little thing… A ring…
I don’t mean on the phone; Santa baby,
So hurry down the chimney tonight

Hurry down the chimney tonight
Hurry, tonight!” -Santa Baby written by Joan Javits and Philip Springer

Written to Santa from an adult woman who’s made Santa’s “nice” list. Her Christmas wishlist is quite comical because of its extravagance.  She has to remind Santa she’s been a good girl by remaining faithful to him and saving all her kisses for him. The song is sung with a seductive tone and playfulness about it. Personally, the female vocalist sounds like an escort asking for over the top gifts in exchange for some kind of implied sexual favor once Santa hurries down that chimney.

At any rate, there are some things we can take away from this song…

  1. Men, women want gifts on Christmas. Even when women say, “No, I don’t want gifts, let’s just focus on the kids…” Really. women appreciate the cute, romantic, sentimental or even the occasional extravagant gift. Jot down things your wifey has been talking about in the months leading up to Christmas. Are there any visual cues she has conspicuously laid around the house, like leaving a favorite catalog open, and a particular item circled right by the coffee maker?
  2. Ladies, men like a little seduction. Remember how you used to seduce him in your younger days? Bring that alive again! Making out in the car and then not letting him go any further. Gosh that drove him nuts! You were a mystery to be unraveled. Dressing in sexy lingerie during your newlywed days. How about teasing him a bit? Making out, grinding up on him, slowing things down to making out again, before speeding things up again, finally bringing him orgasm.
  3.  Mr. and Mrs. Santa outfits? Spice up the Christmas love making session a bit. Get some fun seasonal outfits. Ladies, create a little simple sexy dance routine choreographed to Santa Baby, tease your hubby a bit and see where it goes. Your husband probably doesn’t care about your dancing ability (or lack thereof), but rather appreciates the effort you put into switching things up. Write a sexy script about Mrs. Claus exploring to Santa’s “North Pole” and then act it out together. Remember, be creative and have fun together 🙂

Below are a few links to peruse sexy Mr. and Mrs. Claus outfits. Hopefully it helps add spice to your Christmas Eve 🙂

Mrs. Claus:

Leg Avenue Women’s Full Body Coverage Santa Costume

Sexy Mrs. Clause Lingerie with Front Corset Outfit 

Dreamgirl Mrs. Claus Outfit

Mr. Claus:

Santa Boxers

Joe Boxer Boxers with Hat 

The Real Deal Santa Suit 

“Help! My Husband Can Be Insensitive, But I Don’t Think He Means To Be.”

“Help! My Husband Can Be Insensitive, But I Don’t Think He Means To Be.”

Girl, I know what you mean when you say your husband can be insensitive at times. This is not an uncommon complaint I hear from wives from time to time.

Please let me give you an example of an insensitive comment and how one wife responded.

Husband soon after he and his wife were first married, and we’re having fun exploring each other until he said this:

Husband: “Your nipples are much larger than I had anticipated…”

Wife: In her head thinks, “How am I suppose to take that?” and then verbalizes to her husband, “Okay, I feel like the mood is ruined now.”

Husband: “What did I just do?”

Wife: “You said there was something wrong with my nipples.”

Husband: “No, I didn’t.”

Wife: “Yes, you did. You said my nipples were bigger than you had anticipated, which to me, implies there’s something wrong with them and me!”

Husband: “That’s not saying there’s anything wrong with them or you!”

Wife: “That’s how I took it. That comment hurt my feelings and made me feel a little insecure.” (Wife being awesome gives her new husband the benefit of doubt, and allows him to remove the foot from his mouth). “So what did you mean then?”

Husband: “I’m sorry that hurt your feelings. That’s not what I meant. I love your nipples, breasts and you!”

This is what we would call a BIG miscommunication between the sexes. What one spouse meant to communicate didn’t translate to other person in the way it was intended. This example could have led to unintentional hurt feelings, and a bit of strife in the relationship; but thanks to some assertive communication, and giving her spouse the benefit of doubt, it didn’t.

The Mayo Clinic gives a great definition of what assertive communication is. Assertive communication is “when you express yourself effectively and stand up for your point of view, while also respecting the points of view and beliefs of others.”  Assertive communication is always direct AND always respectful. It’s not just what you say, but also the tone in how you say it. 

So in the above illustration of the husband making an insensitive comment, the wife used assertive communication to share how his comment made her feel. She didn’t call him a name or lash out at him out of hurt feelings, but instead she labeled how that comment made her feel. She communicated to her husband how she had interpreted his comment, and then followed up with a question clarify what he meant and what the intent was behind his comment.

In summary, it wouldn’t hurt to practice using this form of communication with anyone who may be insensitive at times. Here are some examples of additional questions you can ask using “I-statements” or “labeling the behavior”, that will help with clarification.

  1. I felt _____ when you made this comment _____.
  2. I took what you had said this way, is that how you had intended it?
  3. I felt that behavior was _____, and it made me feel ____. Can you help me understand better what you were trying to say?

Also, it wouldn’t hurt to try giving your spouse (or other people) the benefit of doubt more often. Most people don’t intend to be jerks, and most people have had times were they haven’t communicated an idea or comment with eloquence. Remember, ask for a clarifying response when necessary.


What is a cockblock?

What is a cockblock?

Cockblock is a slang term for an action, intentional or not, that serves to prevent someone from having sex. Such behavior is often motivated by jealousy, or competitiveness, although it is sometimes accidental, or inadvertent. A cockblock or cockblocker is a person who engages in such obstruction or intervention. – GOOGLE

First, apologies for using such vulgar language. It was a back and forth wrestling as to whether this type of language should be used, but the more it was thought on, the more it was realized that this vocabulary word, a word you probably haven’t heard since high school, is a perfect word choice for the context.

Men, please take a minute to think on the definition and begin analyzing. Is there anyone in your life that may be a cockblocker?

This person may not intentionally be a cockblocker, but the truth is some individuals intentionally are this? Who interferes or obstructs you and your wife from having sexy time?

Men, your mom or your mother-in-law, might be a hindrance to you and your wife. She may be a direct or indirect hindrance, let us please explain further …

Sometimes moms can, without meaning to, feel a little jealous of their adult sons’ wives. This can happen because her sons’ wives are now the main women in their life. Moms are no longer in that role and that may sadden her a bit. What emotional intimacy she once shared with her sons, should now be shared with their wives, and your mom may feel a little threatened or jealous of that.

How To Tell If Your Mom Is a Cockblocker:

  1. Guys, if your mom makes rude comments or belittles your wife in front of you and others, chances are she’s a cockblock. Men, please label that behavior for your mom and let her know she can not make derogatory comments about your wife. Let your mom know what consequences will be in place if she continues to insult your wife. This is important to your wife because it shows that you will not allow anyone talk to his wife in such a rude manner, and it also shows your wife that you will protect her and her reputation.
  2. If your mom can not give your wife a sincere compliment, chances are she’s a cockblock. There may be a little jealousy underneath the surface of that behavior. If your mom needs to give unsolicited parenting advice often, maybe she’s looking for validation, and if that’s something you and your wife are okay giving her, then please let her know how she’s done a good job. You may also mention, that although you feel she’s done a good job raising you, you and your wife, will probably do some things differently (which doesn’t have to be a reflection on her parenting, but rather, a way that works best for your own family unit). Guys, help your mom see your wife’s strengths.
  3. Guys, if you go to your mom and share your marital problems with her, chances are she’s a cockblock. Resolve conflicts with your wife and if you need to talk with someone, please go to a best guy friend your trust. Your mom’s biases is to her son, so she probably isn’t the most objective person. This could potentially create an awkward position for both your mom and wife to be in if your mom knows all your marital “dirt.”
  4. If your mom is the main source of conflict in your marriage, then chances are she’s a cockblock. What distance or boundaries do you need to put in place to ensure no one (including your own mother), is putting a wedge between you and your wife? What does setting healthy boundaries look like? How do you enforce these boundaries? What consequences are in place if your mom doesn’t respect newly set boundaries?

 

Music Musing: Look Good For Ya

Music Musing: Look Good For Ya

“Cause I just wanna look good for you, good for you, uh-huh
I just wanna look good for you, good for you, uh-huh
Let me show you how proud I am to be yours
Leave this dress a mess on the floor
And still look good for you, good for you,

Uh-huh, uh-huh, ah…
Uh-huh, uh-huh, ah, mhm…

Trust me, I can take you there
Trust me, I can take you there
Trust me, I, trust me, I, trust me, I…”

So what can we take away from Selena Gomez’s lyrics?

  1. The girl in this song is confident! She knows she looks good, even fully naked, she is confident in her ability to take her man there!
  2. She desires to look good for her man. Ladies, is this an area you could improve upon? Maybe you don’t feel good about yourself in the physical attractiveness department. How can you improve this while building up your confidence? How can you show pride in your appearance for yourself and for your hubby?
  3. Swag or swagger: the way the girl in this song presents herself, she’s definitely got some badass swagger. She’s got an attitude or an aurora about her that exudes sex appeal, not because she’s dressed in the sexiest clothes, but its her confidence in herself and in her ability. Maybe you need to practice some of that with positive self-talk. Remind yourself of the ways your body is looking good, start appreciating the hot features you’ve been given. Maybe that’s nice long legs, maybe that’s a great rack, beautiful teeth, a gorgeous smile or a J. Lo booty. Trust that you’re hot, and know your husband is always wanting to get you naked.

Go ahead and download or YouTube the Selena Gomez song, “Good For You.” Reflect on it and practice swagger!