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The Family Therapist is In
Behind the Bedroom Door
March/April, 2005 - Issue #6
How was your Valentine's Day? It's interesting how February 14 is equally feared by both men and women. The pressures and the expectations for romance all rolled into one 24-hour period can really put a damper on things. And so many relationships hang precariously based on what happens during the "holiday." Did flowers come? Was dinner reserved? Was a gift purchased? Were the right words whispered softly? Did they remember a card? Wow! No wonder it's a multi-million dollar industry.

I've been married for 20 years and now as a wife and a mom I'm more interested in what's happening for men and women the other 364 days of the year, not one evening

out or one weekend away. What's happening at home, every night, behind all those bedroom doors?

Ladies, although each of our men have their own special personality traits and their own style, they have one thing in common: for the most part, they're much more visual and physical than we are. We respond based on feeling, they respond based on touching.

Several months ago I wrote an article about doing just your 2-percent in your relationship. What I'm going to share now is based on that concept - not doing things in your relationship based on being equal or if your man does it first, or if you "feel" like it, but doing what we can because the only thing we can control is our part. Believe me, if we're always complaining that our husbands never (fill in the blank) and that's why we don't (fill in the blank), guess what - some other woman will (fill in the blank) and then we, our husbands and our families lose.

Many women complain, "I want my husband to tell me he loves me. I want him to show me affection all the time, not just in the bedroom. I wish he'd do more around the house, or help more with the kids." The critical question is, what are we willing to do to help those things happen?

And at this point most women say, "But why do I have to be the one to do something?"

Well, genuine love for someone is not just a feeling when all is going well; it's a commitment and a decision. Love is an act of will, not "I'll love you if..." or "I'll love you when..." So, ladies - what's next? Some basics: forgive, touch, smile, flirt.

You make your love life something very special. Your spouse does want you. He doesn't see all those imperfections you think you have. Do you go to bed together or do you tell him, "I'll be right there," and then shuffle around the house until you hear him snoring? Whew - the coast is clear, he's asleep and we won't have to . . .

What do you wear in the bedroom? Something arousing? Or do you wear an old t-shirt with holes or eau de baby spit? Are the lights on or off? Do you ever ask him, "Is there anything special you'd like to see, to do, to hear?" Recently my husband and I were out shoe shopping. I picked up a pair of boots that had lavender sparkles and lavender fur with a bow. My husband and I were joking about them, but when I said I could wear them for him at home, with nothing else, the price was not an issue!

Do you ever invite your husband to dinner at home? Make arrangements to have the kids stay at a friend's house. Take time for loving. Reaching out to him can radically change the emotional climate of your relationship, if you're willing. I've had women say to me, "He's not the man I married, he's not the right man for me anymore." My response is that he became the right man when you stood beside him at the alter and you're probably not exactly the same woman he thought he married, either. In-love isn't supposed to last forever. In fact, once that stage is over you can start making your love a choice, an attitude, a way of thinking. One of the first places to put that way of thinking to work is in the intimate side of your relationship. You and your husband are worth the choice!

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Comments and questions can be directed to kschafer@insidescv.com.
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