How Compatible are We? Ready for Intimacy? Commitment? The Marriage Bed? In-laws or Out-laws?
Food for thought Before You Say; I DO
Let’s ponder and delve into ways to improve your upcoming or current marriage!
Many couples spend a great deal of time planning their wedding, but little time planning their marriage. They have not taken the time to have candid open discussion as to what happens after the wedding. Planning your wedding is important, but so is planning your marriage.
How Do I Love Thee:Food For Thought Before You Say “I DO” is a mini-premarital guide to be used by couples, counselors, and clergy. It addresses many of the major subjects couples should discuss prior to marriage.
Included are interactive lessons and assignments for the couple which are designed to motivate serious thought about love, compatibility, commitment, finances, accountability, responsibility, dealing with the in-laws, the marriage bed, and more.
Enter the Goodreads Book Giveaway below for a chance to win a FREE autographed copy.
Marriage & Addiction
How drugs affect our bodies and your marriage?
Drug abuse continues to escalate and take its casualties all over the world! Drugs change the natural chemistry of the human body! Drugs for some are necessary therapeutic medicinal healing aids to facilitate improving ones health! For millions of people they help to sustain a certain quality of life. Diabetes, heart disease, cancer, infections, viruses, broken bones, sprains, pain and arthritis are just a few of the plethora of ailments that are usually controlled by drugs. In these cases they are usually necessary and beneficial!
Doctors treat many illnesses, diseases and conditions with medical drugs every day! Drugs may be swallowed, injected, inhaled or sniffed! There are legitimate as well as illegitimate uses for drugs! One can become addicted in both cases. The use of drugs illegally is far more dangerous. When one has a spouse who engages in drugs it is much harder to establish intimacy! Their need for drugs is more important than their need to be emotionally available!
It is not wise to use drugs that are not personally prescribed for you nor those purchased illegally! Drugs alter the chemistry of the brain and make you feel different. A physician takes into consideration your current health status, your weight and symptoms when prescribing a prescription! The more you use drugs the more your brain chemistry becomes altered!
When a person becomes addicted they are out of control! The drug or behavior of choice now has taken over and the desire to “fix” the way they are feeling takes priority over everything! They will quite often do whatever is necessary just to “feel good!” This is why it is so important to be under the care of a trained physician who knows how to properly prescribe the proper medication to address any physical or mental ailment! Even under the care of a qualified doctor one can still become chemically dependent and addicted to drugs!
Pain is real! The addict is in pain and has lost their ability to cope with reality unless they are under the influence. They have developed an unhealthy habit and desire to experience a level of pleasure and/or the need to escape from reality. Life can be difficult and often people are thrust in to situations and terrible living conditions that are unbearable. Childhood trauma and cumulative issues not dealt with fester and cause emotional pain. People often carry many unresolved issues into their relationships… This can forbid them from being transparent. The marriage then often suffers from neglect and lack of intimacy! The spouse with the addiction is often emotionally unavailable. It is important to seek help!
To some marriage is a game rather than a sacred union. Recently there was a man in the Sacramento area who was arrested for participating in numerous marriage unions! He also arranged as many 39 bogus marriages for others for which he profited for a fee at the expense of others unhappiness! It is important to take time to get to know who you are marrying… This man’s selfish deceptive actions hurt many people. He had no intention of making a virtuous commitment. It is evident that he had an unhealthy addiction to the idea of marriage.
Trust can be shattered like a glass vase! Leaving one traumatized! Trust can erode when one is not attentive to the needs of their spouse creating an abyss. Marriage is about coming together and building a great partnership! It can be tedious regaining trust again but it is possible! It is always important to be honest about your pain and how you are feeling! Disillusioned by a break in trust usually leaves the spouse empty and needy. Which also makes them vulnerable… Building or establishing an ongoing relationship with the Lord will build a stronger foundation that will help to keep you anchored! God is available 24/7! God is true to His Word! “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight!” Proverbs 3.
Sexual addiction is quite threatening to a marriage! It is an intimacy problem. Millions of people in the U S suffer from sexual addictions. The person with a sexual addiction has a hard time connecting to and making a monogamous commitment. They are caught up in a vicious cycle of having their own needs met at any cost. The spouse’s needs are usually ignored and neglected due to the spouses self-indulgence. Addiction that is not addressed will not just go away. Restoration is a choice; it takes a lot of work but it is possible!
Godly counsel and much time spent in fervent prayer are needed along with a necessary redemptive confrontation. The confrontation means I care enough to “speak the Truth in Love!” Confrontation brings the issues to the forefront! It is important that the issues are then addressed immediately! Keep it real! If you or your spouse has an addiction of any kind; Please DO NOT delay seeking help! The longer you wait the harder it is to make the necessary lifestyle and environment changes! A couple that has a strong marriage bond can be a great mentor and encouragement! You have vowed to be there for one another for better or for worse…? Take care of yourself and make it a point to look your best! If you are reading this and you are single. Start dealing with your issues now before you commit to marry! It is important to know that a good strong marriage is built on TRUST! If necessary recommit to your vows and start anew! Now let’s get busy moving forward building better, stronger, satisfying, trusting enduring marriages! Be encouraged A great marriage (without) is truly still possible!
Causes of Addiction
When you feel good your brain releases a neurotransmitter that reaches a receptor and tells you to feel good… The limbic system is the center where our feelings originate. It is activated by our brains. Drugs that affect the brain are called psycho active because they are mood altering. This is why one refers to being under the influence as being “high!” However after prolonged use the brain chemistry becomes altered and adjusts, it gradually takes more in order to achieve a “high!” The more one uses, the more they begin to crave, the more they use! Guess what? This is the road to Addiction! So now we have a vicious self-destructive cycle!
Addiction affects not only the mind but the body and spirit as well! Addiction takes on many forms. When addiction involves, overeating, caffeine, nicotine, gambling, promiscuity, shopping, workaholic, cultish, religion, exercise and hobbies society has a tendency to accept them a tad more. An addiction can also be of a sexual nature. There are serious consequences when one becomes addicted! The addiction itself is a symptom of an underlying unresolved issue. Which is really “A plea for help!”
Emotional pain that is suppressed and has not been properly addressed is often the root cause. One who has low self-esteem lacking coping skill will sometimes turn to drugs. Someone who has been abused or molested will turn to drugs. Domestic violence can cause someone to turn to drugs. Someone who has been abandoned will turn to drugs. Someone who is grieving a loss or grieving may turn to drugs. One who may have been injured in a fall or accident and is prescribed pain medication can also become addicted! They often use the injury to rationalize the addiction. There is a plethora of reasons for addiction…
Finding better ways to cope is crucial. One must come out of denial and take ownership of their behavior. When an addiction becomes full-blown it affects everyone involved. For instance cigarette smoke impacts others as they breathe in the secondary smoke. It also results in low birth weight in babies whose mother’s continue to smoke. It has now become clear that cigarette smoking causes cancer therefore smoking has been banned in many public buildings, restaurants and places… After many years of smoking cigarettes it can result in health complications as well as cancer that can eventually cause death. What is so very interesting the number of people who continue to smoke anyway knowing that smoking is not good for their health! This is also due to the fact that smoking has been socially accepted to a large degree making it easier for the addiction to persist!
Drugs usually make us feel good! This in itself makes it hard for the addict to simply just say “NO”! Feelings dictate their behavior and due to their lack of self-discipline they usually succumb! The addictive drug user seeks the euphoria that the drugs or smoking provides over all else at the expense of their health and wellbeing. Momentarily they are able to escape and numb their inner pain.
Addiction affects, mind, body and soul. The reasons why people become addicted are complex, vast and each individual is different. Addiction is being out of control and accompanied with compulsive behaviors. Next we will discuss; some of the ways drugs affect you body!
Marriage & Addiction
Marriage & Addiction
Step 3 Regular Usage
When addiction progresses it requires a regular fix. The substance abuser will now use others in their attempt to satisfy their addiction. This often leads to a multiplicity of dysfunction on many levels. Satisfying the addiction is often done in secrecy as well as with others. The frequency in which they do so has now escalated and impedes on their day-to-day life. The addiction can still go undetected because they cleverly camouflage or conceal their addiction of choice! As one looks closely the signs are all there. A spouse may not be aware because they can appear normal to a degree. A multiplicity of excuses is rendered when they are questioned? Deception comes along with addiction it can destroy your marriage and other relationships as well
Truth and intimacy are important components in building a good strong marriage!
Step 4 full-blown
Day in and day out the addiction has now taken over. The addict will now do whatever to satisfy his or her obsession that has completely taken control. Their life cycle is getting, using, doing drugs, alcohol or whatever the addiction is… They are now compulsively spiraling increasingly downhill… For many it takes hitting rock bottom before they will admit they need help!
They have indulged themselves to the point that their brain chemistry has changed! To attempt to stop means that they will go through a period of painful withdrawal! The high that they used to receive is now an insatiable voracious uncontrollable craving! A mere ferocious “monkey on their back!” They cannot feel normal unless they are under the influence or indulging in the activity! Their family, friends, job, talents, resources are all being destroyed by their inability to control their compulsive need for a fix!
How interesting that they so paradoxically “Need a fix!” What really needs to be fixed is their deep cavernous inner pain… Addiction is a vicious cycle. If your spouse is in any of these stages it is important to confront them in love. Redemptive confrontation is a way to begin to address whatever the addiction is. If not confronted your love one’s life will spiral out of control if in fact that is not the case already.
Marriage is a wonderful relationship God has created for us to learn how to properly relate to our spouses. It is the ultimate monogamous sacred co-worker relationship! It is through a committed marriage with God as the center one can learn how to overcome their weaknesses. Addiction is a weakness. Drugs, alcohol, illicit sex, pornography or whatever … are all used to help them feel good! However as an addict they have no boundaries and they are constantly seeking more ways to alleviate their uncontrollable desires. This only drives them deeper into despair and uncertainty. Marriage was wonderfully designed by God so we could get some of our needs met. There are some needs that can only be met by God!
A spouse can facilitate the cycle of dysfunctional addiction being broken!!
An intervention is necessary! Once the addiction has been confronted it is important to seek healthier ways to cope. Remember there are many forms of addiction! It can be an addiction to just about anything! Remember; Addiction is a plea for help! There are healthier ways to fill that inner void! There is absolutely nothing in your life that God is not aware of! He Loves you! He wants you to reach out to Him!
Developing a genuine intimate personal relationship with the Lord will help you begin to better cope! Here one must be careful as well! There are those who develop an addiction to religion. They become very religious which also creates a void! It becomes just another escape! This is not the same thing as having a personal relationship with the Lord! It is important to spend time in His Word getting to know Him through His Word! Here you can discover what life is really all about!
One must seek to discover who they are without the addiction! Now that it is out in the open the addiction is exposed! This is what the road to recovery is all about. One must begin to monitor their feelings to see what triggers their desires. What is the root cause of them losing themselves into addiction? How do I begin to move from the addiction being the center of my life? God does have a better way! There is a way out of addiction. Focusing now on your spouse’s strengths is very important! God wants to be the center of your life. “Jesus came that you might have life and has it to the full.” John 10.
Next we will discuss some of the causes of addiction!
See Part 4
Marriage & Addiction
Steps To Drug Addiction
Addiction is not a behavior or goal that a person usually sets out to acquire intentionally. Addiction happens when there is an unhealthy dependency formed upon a substance, activity or habit which is gradually developed over a period of time. This time varies for each individual. Addiction is considered a disease by many in the medical profession. Some have a predisposition to being addicted that makes them more susceptible! One then usually seeks to cope with their inner pain depending upon an eternal source, eventually resulting in a dependency on it for an unhealthy comfort. Unknowingly they often compulsively indulge themselves without restraint and become seduced! More and more they gradually enter a world of escape!
Step 1 Experimentation
The first step into addiction is when someone experiments and there becomes a gradual progression. For some it becomes a beloved affair and they readily fall into dependence upon a particular substance or activity! Alcohol and pot are usually where they start? It has been said that cocaine is quite deceptive and after one try many become “hooked!” One will never quite experience that first climactic high! However they will incessantly try again and again to achieve the euphoric exhilarating high! Some have even declared that they have “fallen in love” with rock cocaine only after the very first use!
Addiction can happen faster for a teen because they have not yet developed strong restraints. Their brain and nervous system is still developing. Therefore they can fall into alcoholism, pot smoking, drugs or pornography easier than an adult!
If you don’t experiment; Guess what? You won’t get hooked! Often when someone tries drugs and don’t like them they will not continue. They don’t like how they feel when under the influence.
Food is a hard addiction to overcome because it is vitally necessary to sustain one’s
life. Therefore they must learn how to get their addiction under control and live with it daily! Be encouraged! It is possible to master any addiction!
Step 2 Occasional usage
This is when drugs or alcohol are used in social settings! They allow themselves to be influenced by their peers and opt to go along with the group. There are some users who stay here and do not go on to daily use. There are some who only use alcohol and drugs on the weekend and don’t consider themselves to have an addiction.
Addiction is so widespread in this 21st century that just about everyone has been impacted to some degree. It crosses all socioeconomic boundaries and is in all colors, races and cultures! This is true both inside and outside of God’s Church! Addiction within marriage can go undetected. It really is important to be transparent with your spouse in order to build a safe intimate marriage. It is also important to educate yourself about addiction. It is important to pray for your spouse relative, friend, coworker or love one!
A treatment program can be very expensive. Later on we will discuss outpatient, in patient, and residential programs. Know that having a personal relationship with the Lord makes or can make all the difference in the world! He can work through Christian and non Christians to help you through the recovery process… Keep in mind doctors and therapist treat and practice; God heals!
Next we will discuss advanced steps in addiction
Marriage and addiction
Addiction is something few want to readily discuss. Having an addiction will inhibit intimacy within the marriage. Transparency is necessary in order to build intimacy. Love, transparency, trust and intimacy are essential components in building a healthy strong satisfying marriage. Addiction prohibits you from being transparent.
Addiction is a clear indicator that you are hurting. You have simply found an unhealthy way to cope with your deep pain. Your addiction can be alcohol, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, uppers, downers, prescription drugs, caffeine, illicit sex, people, pornography, food and even shopping! Yes and there are more… Even approval from others. Guess what? You have only found a way to momentarily relieve or somewhat ease your infuriating inner pain; it is still there. The addiction is a flag that something is wrong. You need to seek a healthy resolve.
I say momentarily because while under the influence or indulging in the activity of choice you are able to somewhat escape. However the systemic cause remains because the pain returns. Often more vehement than ever before. This causes you to each time pursue passionately that which you are addicted to. Addiction of any kind can be life threatening because you are out of control. Your desires consume you and disables your ability to be responsible or demonstrate genuine love. Instead the activity controls you and you will do whatever it takes to get a “quick fix!
How does this impact my marriage? Good question. Marriage is a partnership and when one has an addiction they are not able to fully commit because the addiction is often their main priority. The spouse that is unaware is kept in the dark. Secrets, lies and deception accompany addiction. The addiction is used to fill the insatiable void in the addicted partner’s heart. It instead becomes their companion. This leaves their spouse out in the cold.
A disordered family, peer pressure, cultural influences, abuse, incest, rape, molestation, lack of self-esteem and a weakness to experiment can all contribute to one developing an addiction.
We live in a drug friendly worldly environment. Daily we are bombarded with the invitation to take this pill or that pill. Notice how many television commercials attempt to sell you something to feel better! Notice how the dinner hour has become the prime time for commercial pushers. There are a multiplicity of pushers of all sort. Doctors also oblige patients with tranquilizers, stimulants, pain pills, sleeping pills even pills to wake you up!
Keeping your commitments are important. One thing that needs to be promoted more is a personal relationship with the Lord! Marriage is ordained by God. It was designed to be the ultimate sacred relationship between a man and a woman. It can also help you prioritize life and put all your other relationships into their proper perspective, it can help you develop a healthier living environment.
Building trust is an important part of marriage! As we commit to building healthier home environments we contribute to lessening the number of addictions continuing to escalate. A safe home environment does not exclude addiction; but it does serve to nurture those who are… The possibility to break the generational cycle of dysfunction becomes attainable.
It is important to seek ways to validate one another. To develop and ongoing healthy support system that says I love and sincerely care. This does not mean you support the addiction. No! You separate the behavior from the person. You encourage them to be the best they can be and find ways to help them become who they were created to be!
God created each of us uniquely and we have varying temperaments. Our needs are different when these needs are not met a void is created and therefore one seeks to often erroneously fill that void. Marriage is about working together to find healthier ways to fill those voids with a committed partner…
Your partner is not responsible for your addiction you are. Both must hold one another accountable for their actions! You both are accountable to God for the vows you made… Remember, “for better or for worse…”
In this 21st century emotional gasoline has flamed the fires of addiction. Pain, grief and stress not dealt with properly are great contributors that drive unhealthy desires. Addiction is big business therefore it is often rationalized and one can easily find access and support. Addiction does not usually happen overnight it is a gradual process that begins with a series of steps…
Next we will discuss some of those steps;
Every woman does not want to have children
Having children is a choice as well as being married is a choice. Being single is a choice as well as not having children is a choice. We are all unique individuals with varying temperaments some of us more complex than others. Keep in mind for one reason or another we make different decisions to have or not have children that may not be readily apparent.
Motherhood can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. It is one of the most hardest jobs that requires an inordinate amount of patience and the ability to multitask. To do so effectively one must be willing to be flexible, resilient, firm and consistent as well as make many personal sacrifices all at the same time.
If you decide that you do not want to have children there is absolutely nothing wrong with that as well. You may opt to extend yourself in other ways. As a matter of fact if you are sure that you do not want to have children you are being very responsible not to have children. Remember that there is always an exception to the rule.
There is nothing worse than a woman becoming pregnant who does not want children. If you do become pregnant; remember you laid down to enjoy one another for a moment to have intercourse; so taking their life because of that decision is selfish. There are extenuating situations that present themselves when possibility of motherhood has been forced upon a woman due to rape. Weigh your choices and please get some personal counseling to help you through your decision… If you decide to have the child you could always give it up for adoption? There are plenty of great couples who want children who will make great parents. If you do want children but not immediately; then you need to keep in mind that whenever you have sex there is a possibility that you could become pregnant even if you use a form of birth control.
Abortion should not be used just for birth control purposes. If you have had an abortion take some time to heal from your choice. You cannot change what has happened but you can reconcile with your choice if you are experiencing anxiety. This will help you make better choices in the future.
God really designed sexual intimacy to be between man and woman within the confines of a committed marriage. If you are not married please think for a moment, is this the person you would actually want to father your child or children? If so where are the two of you in the area of commitment?
You might want to think about having sex without being married? Especially if you do not want to be a parent. Think about it; do you know that you are actually giving a part of yourself away that is invaluable? There is something mystical that happens in the physical sexual exchange. There really is nothing “casual” about sex its serious. Under adverse circumstances you can encounter some serious consequences… Keep in mind that STD’s are rampart within this 21st century.
If you are single keep in mind that there is a likely possibility that you can become a single parent whenever you decide to have sex. Children are not mistakes. They deserve to have a father and a mother. If you are a single parent you really will need to build a healthy support system. Lord knows it’s hard enough when there are two parents; so make it your goal to be a good one even if you are alone!
Being responsible is always good. The world is becoming an increasing difficult place to live and establish a healthy home environment. This generation is seeing a host of confusing relationship scenarios happen before them all throughout the world. I think we all should commit or at least consider being better consistent examples for all children whether if you have children or not and are married or single.
I have thoroughly enjoyed raising my children and I have learned some invaluable life lessons. Personally I believe that raising children is one of, if not the hardest job on the planet. You have to wear many hats to do it effectively. Each child is unique and their temperaments vary. Becoming a parent single or married also requires putting aside doing some things that you would like to do for a season. The more time you invest in your children that you bring into this world or adopt the fewer problems you will have in the long run.
I also believe that you have a right to focus your gifts and talents in other areas of life if becoming a parent is not your desire. You still have a lot to contribute to making our society better as a whole.
Ladies I respect your personal responsible decision to not have children. Thank You for sharing your concerns. I really do realize that not every woman wants to have children.
Lord Bless You!
Every woman does not want children
Not having children does not mean you are selfish
Family for one woman may mean to have a host of children. Family for another woman may be to have one or two children. Yet, another woman may choose to not have any children at all. Does this make her any less than a woman because she decided to not have children? No!
I had the opportunity to have a lovely insightful heart to heart talk with a group of women who decided that they did not want to have children. They were open and quite frank with me. They felt that there is often a stereotyped stigma when you decide not to have children. It was important that they share these general concerns. These were intelligent, pleasant, compassionate, fastidious, loving, well rounded professional women who loved their husbands and had great caring empathetic relationships with children within their extended families.
Not having children does not mean that you do not like or care for children. Nor does it mean that you are self centered or selfish. For their own personal reasons they had responsibly made a conscious decision that was best for them.
A few things to think about!
What is important as a woman is that you take responsibility for the well being of the children you do bring into this world. Children do not belong to us as our property. They are entrusted to us by God to love and nurture them and prepare them for life. We are to give them healthy boundaries that make them feel safe. We are to be sensitive to the unique needs and dispositions of their particular temperament. It is imperative that you are firm and consistent. This helps them to feel safe secure.
When you raise them as your possession you raise them selfishly. They are more like an attachment to you and are usually unable to grow up and become autonomous and secure in who they are. They will have a tendency to follow the crowd and lack healthy self esteem.
Children who are raised to be accountable for their actions tend to become responsible adults.
Whatever you do please ladies do not have children to try and hold on to a man. If you do, just know that you do not have him anyway. You have his child and children should not be used to keep a relationship temporarily glued or to try to control or manipulate your spouse. On the other hand if you decide that you do not want to be married anymore. Please do not use your children to get back at your ex. Try to keep your problems between the two of you as much as possible.
Whenever you talk down to your children about their father or mother you risk impairing their emotional development. You cause them to doubt who they are. They will find it hard to trust others as well. Do not project your own insecurities upon your children; if you have; please put yourself in check and begin anew right where you are. You can’t change what has happened but you can move forward making better decisions. Disengage yourself from any destructive behavior. Get help if necessary. It is your responsibility to help your children to become whole! If you did not have a father or mother, if you had poor relationships with your parent or parents all the more reason to help them build one with theirs!
How Compatible are We? Ready for Intimacy? Commitment? The Marriage Bed? In-laws or Out-laws?
How Do I Love Thee:Food For Thought Before You Say “I DO” is a mini-premarital guide to be used by couples, counselors, and clergy. It addresses many of the major subjects couples should discuss prior to marriage. Included are interactive lessons and assignments for the couple. The lessons are designed to motivate serious thought about love, compatibility, commitment, finances, accountability, responsibility, dealing with the in-laws, the marriage bed, and more.
A Kindle Countdown promotion will run on Amazon from 1/2/2016 – 1/9/2016. During this period you can get a limited-time discount on this premarital book.
Starting 1/2/2016 you can download a copy of the book starting at $ .99. Click on the book to visit Amazon and pick up your copy. The sooner you purchase, the larger the discount.