Are You Boring?

When you and your wife fell in love, one part of your brain that became activated was the area that produces dopamine, a natural stimulant that produces feelings of excitement, craving, motivation and elation,” says Dr. Helen Fisher, author of Why Him? Why Her? How to Find and Keep Lasting Love and Chief Scientific Advisor for Chemistry.com.

Because your dopamine levels were highly active time together was often characterized by intense feelings of joy, intrigue and excitement. But can these feelings be maintained over the years? Fisher and her colleagues also scanned the brains of happy couples who have been together for over 25 years and discovered that the reward systems of their brains were similarly activated when they were together. So what can couples do to make sure their feelings of love and excitement for each other stay fresh over time?

1. Variety, variety, variety
One secret to keeping your love alive may well be adding some variety to your date nights. “Novelty drives up dopamine production in the brain,” says Fisher, “and gives you the same feelings associated with romantic love. In fact, doing any activity that is new, dangerous or exciting will raise the brain’s dopamine levels.” Mixing things up is one of the easiest ways to keep a relationship exciting. So if you’ve got a favorite sushi place, it’s still OK to eat dinner there… just not every Friday night. “It is important to share your favorite places with your partner, but don’t go to the same spots over and over. Choose new things to do — a museum, a picnic, a walk along a new trail,” suggests Fisher. Couples can brainstorm a master list of date night activities together that are new to both people, like tango classes, ice skating, visiting an art gallery or attending a lecture at a local college or library. Even mixing things up in small ways — like taking a new route or making plans with new friends — creates an air of date-night novelty.

2. Take turns planning your date nights
Another way to keep monotony at bay, suggests Fisher, is to take turns planning dates. If one of you always plans the dates, it’s easier to be lulled into a routine. When it’s your turn to plan date night, think of small and big ways to weave the unexpected into your evening. If you normally drive to a restaurant, try walking somewhere closer instead. If you have a standard movie night out, check your local listings for plays and concerts. If staying in and watching rented films is your go-to date, invite friends over to play board games or take turns finding new recipes to cook and enjoy together.

3. Go out without a plan
In the head-spinning start of a relationship, everything feels like an adventure as you discover your new partner’s world — their friends, favorite foods, favorite haunts, most beloved books and movies. Unplanned date nights can help couples foster this attitude of adventure throughout the course of their relationship. “Head out the door without a plan,” says Fisher, “and just see where the evening takes you.” Start by heading to a new neighborhood and taking a stroll, which might lead to dinner in a restaurant neither of you knew existed. Often, our most fun and memorable evenings are born from spontaneous and unexpected choices.

4. Go where no man has been before…or at least, neither of you
It’s only natural to take your new love to all of your favorite places and vice versa. But for at least one of you, these places will be lacking in the novelty associated with dopamine production. After you’ve visited your mutual hangouts, head off to discover fresh locations together. Check out restaurant reviews and try that new Thai place. Hike along on a trail that’s new to both of you. Find a guidebook for your city and read it together, scanning for adventures for you two to embark upon. Remember: keep it new, fresh — and keep the excitement of being in love alive!

So there you have it guys – advice from the doctor. Don’t be boring.

Let’s get those dopamine levels stirred up.

Huz

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PornEffect 1

Most men who dabble in pornography convince themselves that it won’t effect them or their marriage.

After all, I still love my wife.

Yes, the vast majority of men will admit to still loving their wife and being committed to their marriage. They truly believe that this practice, whether random or habitual, will not do any real harm to either.

Researching this for another project, I am flooded with evidence to the contrary. Let’s take a couple of posts to explore some of the many effects pornography has on you and your marriage…

Boredom / Disappointment

Men are easily bored, in many ways but most especially sexually. Having sex in the same place, in the same way, at the same time, etc. – gets boring. We’ll take it, if that’s all there is, but deep down we admit it seems very predictable and that’s not very exciting.

The primary lure of pornographic movies/videos is the erotica. Things are not boring. The lights are on, the woman is desirous of her man, and the long interplay of sexual activities that follow are anything but boring. When a man watches this, a deep sense of loss accompanies the  tidal wave of emotions that he feels.

“I wish my wife wanted me like that.” “I wish she enjoyed sex like that, and responded to me that way.” There is an agreement we make that “Oh well, I’ll just settle for what I have.” So, the next time you get to have sex, in the same place, at the same time, in the same way – it seems even more boring. Happy to have it, for sure, but comparatively – ho hum.

This mental wrestling match leaves us feeling disappointed. No, we’re not disappointed in our wife necessarily. We love her. She looks just great. She is great. You don’t want someone else….. you just wish you had a little more erotic in the bedroom.

The more we justify that we “need” pornography as an escape – the more it wears away at us, like termites gnawing away at our very foundation until one day we will find ourselves with a much bigger, deeper problem. The more we let these images into our mind (Satan’s primary battleground), the more termites we invite over to the house, and the more bored and disappointed we will be with our wife.

She is too special to God to be treated this way. Turning off the images is the only way to begin to restore the excitement we once had  – only with our wife.

This is one major way we can love our wives “as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her“.

Huz

A Great Sex Life

What does it take to enjoy a fulfilling and long-lasting sex life in your marriage? I thought I would go to the source – YOU.

What do Christian husbands say is crucial for all of us to understand when it comes to experiencing what God intended? Sadly, not every Christian husband could be surveyed, but here is a compilation of suggestions and encouragements from authors, bloggers, pastors, speakers and friends:

1. Make Christ your #1 Priority – don’t expect your wife to make you happy. It is not her job. Look to Christ to supply “all your needs through His riches”. Check your priorities to see if your wife, or kids, or job, or hobbies, or fitness, or whatever, is competing with Christ for top spot in your heart and mind. Give your sex life over to Him and pray that He will make it everything He wants it to be. He will do “exceedingly, abundantly above all you can ask or think”.

2. Pray with your wife. We all know we should, but few actually do. Nothing is more emotionally connecting to your wife than to have you take the time and emotional energy to pray with her.  Prayer allows her to see inside your heart and connect with what you are concerned about. As we have already seen, when her emotional tank is full, her mind is more apt to think about your fulfillment as well. Don’t pray to get what you want. Pray because of #1 above.

3. Make sex a priority in your marriage. We need to talk about it more openly with our wives. She obviously must embrace it as well, but will be more open as you pray and talk about it together.

4. Keep pursuing your wife. Most of us quit pursuing something after we get it. It is our nature. We can’t afford to do that when it comes to romancing our wife. Think back to when you were dating. You dressed nicer, shaved closer, wore her favorite cologne and thought of fun things to do together. Obviously, life was less hectic then, but we have got to make romance and intimacy a top priority.

5. Don’t be boring. Do you get in an intimacy rut? Do you always go to a movie on date night? Do you talk about business, or the kids when you are out with your wife? Your wife wants to be courted, romanced, pursued – desired. Just like you want to be sexually desired by her, she needs to feel your desire to be with her – not just for sex so you can be fulfilled – but for talking, walking, laughing, playing together – like the good ‘ole days.

6. Become a student of your wife. Make it a priority to find out what is going on in her world, and in her mind/heart. Ask her how she feels about things. Listen deliberately. Make time alone with her a must-have on your do-list. Find out what she loves, what she fears, what is bothering her, and what brings her great joy. Ask questions. Be prepared to take whatever time it takes. The time spent with her will fill her sails with appreciation and love for you.

A great sex life is a result of loving your wife well. Don’t keep waiting for her to “come around”. Take the initiative. Lead.

Huz

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