Over the holidays, I was reading Sheila Wray Gregoire‘s book, A Good Girl’s Guide to Sex, and in it she describes the night her son died. In the early hours of the morning, after returning home from the hospital, her and hubby were comforting each other in bed through their grief, and the comforting led to kissing and one thing led to another and they began to be intimate (in the biblical sense). And I read this and I found myself thinking that this was absolutely amazing. Imagine being in so much pain, you’ve just lost your son, and you and your partner share your grief in the most intimate of ways. I was profoundly affected after reading that – because whatever situation arises between hubby and I, it will drive a wedge between us and making love will be the absolute last thing on our minds. And then we have to sit and work through all the stress and issues that have arisen before we feel ready to make love again. Okay, let’s be honest, this is probably more about me than him, BUT I do know our financial stress does cause him to desire making love a lot less.
And we do have extensive financial stress at the moment.
To be honest, we’re about R 5 000 short each month and with Baby Girl starting big school next week, we’re going to be a lot more short each month. I have no idea how we are going to get through this.
But, I really like the idea, as per Sheila Wray Gregoire’s book – A Good Girl’s Guide to Sex, that these situations in life can be used to draw us closer together – not push us further apart. Making love, despite all the pressure we are under at the moment, is an enticing idea that I am slowly but surely getting my head around.
In today’s post at 31 Days to a Better Marriage, Rosann Cunningham gives some great insight on how you can still be intimate and make live, despite your financial stress.
1. Keep Things in Proper Perspective
Whatever you’re going through – it won’t last forever. In Ecclesiastes 3, Solomon teaches us there are a season and a time for everything. Not a single moment of our life happens without first passing through our all-knowing and loving God’s hands. Pray for Him to give you eyes to see how He might want you to grow or deepen your faith through this trial, and ask for courage and guidance to do so. Let your hope rest in knowing He makes all things beautiful and His provision is always right on time. When stress is high, take life one day at a time. Don’t try to control things you can’t. Tackle today’s problem today and avoid worrying about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34). In God’s perfect time, and not a moment before, His glory will shine bright and you’ll be sharing with others how He orchestrated awesomeness into your life!
I know that the Good Lord above will give hubby and I exceptionally more than we can ask for or imagine, because well His word tells me so.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
But, we have been in this slump since hubby lost his job, and then things got even worse when I lost mine. And yes, I do have a lovely new job now, but we have never recovered from this financial turmoil and to be honest, lately I have asked myself, why is God so quiet? Where is He in all of our stress and turmoil? How long will this go on for? And that is why it is so important to remember that although this has been going on for a long time, it is still only a season. And that God does have great and amazing plans for hubby and I.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
So, I need to keep things in perspective. Not so easy to do when you have no money for bread and milk, but something I need to do. And something I need to get hubby to do as well.
2. Find Healthy Ways to Reduce Your Stress Levels
The key to overcoming negative thoughts is to focus your attention on happier, more productive experiences. Get into a regular fitness routine to help burn off stress. Set aside time each day to do something you love. A hobby like gratitude journaling or gardening can be very therapeutic. Practice deep breathing for relaxation. Pray without ceasing, and meditate on God’s word. Listen to your favorite music. Do something fun with your children. Volunteer to help with a good cause. Have a knee-slapper belly laugh with your husband. Join a support group or get involved in a women’s group at church.
As you may or may not know from reading this blog, and my other blog, http://babymamasblog.wordpress.com/, I battle anxiety. And the reason is because I have this tendency to awful negative thinking. What if we lose the house? What if we can’t afford Baby Girl’s school fees and she has to change schools? What if we can’t afford food? All these are very real prospects for us, but it’s no good dwelling on these issues and getting my anxiety levels up – it’s far better simply to trust God and to find ways that work for you to relieve that stress. Even if it’s just simply going for a walk. Or blogging… 🙂
3. Get Your Mind Ready For Sexual Intimacy
In order to get the stressed-out female mind refocused on intimacy, it really helps to plan for it and move toward sex slowly.
First, agree to meet each other in the bedroom every evening immediately after the children are tucked in. Whether it’s for 10 minutes or an hour, this is your time to reconnect as a couple. It doesn’t have to be about sex. Just make it face to face conversation, kissing a little bit, holding hands, catching up on the day’s events. No television or electronics interfering. If it leads to sex, great! If not, that’s okay too. These are no-pressure opportunities to just be together.
As Sheila Wray Gregoire keeps saying, sex for women is all in their heads. So, learn to put aside the financial issues and get it on with your hubby. Not only will amazing sex relieve some of that pressure you’re feeling, but it will reinforce the fact that you and your hubby are in this together – as a team.
Reigniting sexual intimacy in a financially stressed marriage won’t be easy. It can be done though. Be intentional and prayerful, and in no time you’ll feel the temperature rise.