Tuesday, November 25, 2008

fuses that hinder intimacy in marriage

Marriage is obviously a key theme on the Lylah Blog. It's the subject that I am passionate to discuss and to disciple young women in.

One of the things that makes marriage difficult are those unresolved conflicts. Sure conflicts will arise but what do you do when the conflict is over the same issue and it never seems to get resolved?

Unresolved conflicts hinder intimacy in marriage and when marital love (great sex) wanes, the door of temptations can open.

I think of conflicts like bombs in a marriage. And, bombs have a fuse, so the idea is to get to understand what the frequent fuse is so you can put it out before the bomb explodes. So how do you diffuse that bomb before it ignites? What are some possible fuses that ignite them.

Here's some possible fuses in your marriage:

The first fuse is a lack of skill to listen. Listening is a skill to be learned and held like a precious gift. True listening – to hear the words of the heart – takes work. It only takes one in the marriage to really learn to listen.

Good listening can de-fuse a bomb. Don’t wait for you husband to listen to you – you get started and begin to listen to him. This has to be your attitude – that you make it your responsibility to hear his voice, his words, his heart and the language he uses.

Most of us women love to talk – but what about listening. I heard a quote recently, "There is not greater lie than a truth misunderstood."

Men speak a different language than women. They are typically linear in thought processes while we as women are integrated meaning we can generally integrate feelings and facts at the same time.

Men generally have to process facts before facing feelings and women generally – have to process feelings before they can face facts.

As a wife – discover and renew all those good reasons to praise your man – especially before you give him your well-thought out and prayed about suggestions for his improvement. Practice the James principle – found in James 1:19 -be quick to listen, sloooooowwwww to speak and slow to anger and if you do get angry – don’t sin in it and if you do sin in your anger – deal with it – confess and repent before the next day is over.

We do well when we quiet the myriad of thoughts and feelings in our feminine souls to hear even his choice of words – the tone of his voice and even observe his body language. Men, generally, use fewer words. If we’re not careful and don’t listen – we’ll miss all of them.

Listening is not only a bomb de-fuser – but it’s a tool for intimacy. A good friend is a listener and I read once that the basic ingredients for a good marriage – which has sweet intimacy – is friendship plus sex.

Components of intimacy include closeness, bonding, warmth and affection, openness and honesty. If good listening skills aren’t learned and practiced then intimacy has a weak platform on which to develop and thrive.

When listening – avoid mind-reading – don’t assume you know what your husband is thinking or feeling. He’s the author of what he’s saying.

Failure to understand the message is the beginnings of a fuse for a big bomb. Some other fuses within communication can be poor timing, any non-verbal signals that conflict with verbal messages, all sarcasm and all threats.

So, go - look your man in the eyes and listen to his heart - not necessarily his words.

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Marlo said...

Such a good reminder. You know, my husband was actually first attracted to me b/c I was the only one at our college dinner table listening to him.
I really enjoy reading your blog!

Tara said...

Thanks for your post.. a good reminder.. I think as a wife... I tend to become selfish at times and needy wrapped with HIGH romantic expectations .. when really all I need to do is the simple things like listening..drowning out my need to NAG lol :)

Heather @ The Striving Wife said...

Great post - thanks for sharing! I, too, have found that listening (without mind-reading, as you said) is so important!

It shows that we respect and admire our husbands enough to stop what we're doing and LISTEN (not nag, finish his thoughts for him, or cut him off). It shows that we care about what HE thinks!

Great blog... look forward to reading more! :)

Keep on Striving,
Heather :)