Archive for the SEX Category

UNLEASHING THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE – Breaking Bad

Posted in Communication, companionship, Conflict, counsellor, God' Love, Good Marriage, love, Making Wise Choices, messes, Pain Pleasure, Pleasure, pornography, Prayer, secrets, SEX, technology, Valued with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2013 by hmclaughlin

Hidden HeartWe all have a dark side. Sexual scandals are rampant. Anthony Weiner, a former U.S representative and candidate for the mayoral race in New York is now called a “Sexter”. This was the second time he was caught in a sex scandal and it has probably ruined his reputation and career. Bob Filner, the 35th mayor of San Diego just stepped down, in disgrace, from his office after eleven women came forward and alleged he was a “serial sexual harasser.” Jerry Sandusky, the retired football coach who was an idol to thousands of young boys and men, is now in jail for being a “convicted serial child molester”. What a tragedy. Lives ruined forever.

These men were exposed for their dark side. Many people are still seeped in their secret, destructive, addictive lives. If this is part of your story in your marriage…run for help.

None of us can be self-righteous and judge. Every one of us is probably just a movement, sentence or step away from something that could potentially destroy any one of our lives. We need to have the eyes and heart of compassion of Jesus to help each other, especially the spouses, who are caught in the chains of their own prison.

The world and social media makes it to easy and accessible to receive free drugs. The next pleasure is just a click away. Violent games and gambling are at everyone’s fingertips. Any addiction is destructive but there is help and new hope for everyone. Every one of us is God’s creation and He will help us if only we turn to Him.

My heart aches for husbands and wives who are living the secret lives of a spouse who is battling a secret addiction…whatever it is. Please don’t despair. But you can’t do it on your own.

The bible tells us over and over again that we are to “help each other.” The first thing you need to do is break the darkness of the secret and seek help.

1. Tell someone. There is no shame in this, we are all broken people.
2. Get help. I read just recently that there is now a Rehab home for people with computer game addictions. There are programs, counselors and people who are willing to help.
3. Pray and ask God to direct you to someone who will help you, walk with you and cover your back.
4. Something happened in your past that triggered this addictive need inside of you. Find out what this is and ask God to heal you.
5. God is in the “heart transformation business.” You cannot change yourself. Only God can heal your broken heart and restore your health.
6. Don’t condemn our spouse. Help him/her. But also don’t enable them in their addictive patterns.
7. This will take time…don’t despair.

Yes, there are horrific stories of addictive behavior that has destroyed lives. But there are also stories of victories, of families restored and lives healed. I pray that you will have a story of new hope and victory.

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UNLEASHING THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE-“Predictable Patterns”

Posted in Anticipation, Balancing life, Beauty from the Inside Out, Communication, Encouragement, Expectations, Freedom from Busyness, Friendship, Good Marriage, Intimacy, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, Pleasure, Resentment, SEX, Understanding each other with tags , , , , , , on March 14, 2013 by hmclaughlin

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Some predictable patterns evoke a sense of pleasurable anticipation. For example. My husband and I can’t wait for golfing season to start so that we can golf on every available Friday. This pattern is full of joy and freedom because it is something Jack and I love to do. But there are predictable patterns that turn into boredom, rob us of all freedom, suck away our joy and may leave us feeling depleted and even resentful. These are the patterns that evolve from repeated and endless duty and obligations. Once an obligation or duty becomes predictable…be prepared for the danger signs.

Let’s be realistic. In all marriages there are obligations that must be met every day. But there comes a time when we have to change our routines or pull away from them for a short time so that we don’t turn into time management robots. As I observe marriages these days, my heart aches for couples that are caught into the predictable pattern of work, driving children to activities, paying bills, going to meetings and the myriad of tasks that endlessly fill their days. We cannot experience the joy and fullness of marriage if we don’t break away from these predictable patterns and get reaquainted with the person we said “I do” to. Relationships cannot survive without eyeball to eyeball conversations and heart connection intimacy. Here are a few suggestions for breaking the patterns:
1.Unplug. Put away your phone, I-pad, computer, game boy and anything that resembles a piece of technology. Yes, those pieces of plastic and wire are important, but not more important than answering your child’s question, or your spouses plea for an important conversation. Pour your favorite drink, sit down, look each other in the eyes and talk.
2.Go away. Do something different. If you go to aunt Sophie’s house each summer, it may be nice visit, but over the years this may have turned into another assumed predictable pattern. Go to the mountains..the ocean…explore an area that you’ve never seen before. Try golfing, playing a new game, go to a different restaurant, try a new ice cream, buy coloured shoes, a different coffee shop or maybe it’s time to attend a marriage retreat.
3.Laugh. When was the last time you laughed? I mean belly laughed! Laughter has the power to heal wounds, it breaks down tension, and puts a new perspective on our relationships. Go to a funny movie..or download one on your tv or computer. A quick and easy fix is to watch some Brian Regan (the comedian) clips on utube…together. They are guaranteed to make you laugh out loud.
4.Prepare a Romantic night. Yes, get dressed up and go to a romantic restaurant where you have to sit across from each other and talk. Talk about your future. Dream about possibilities. Remember how funny you once were!
5.Give each other freedom. Tell your wife to go shopping for as long as she wants. Tell your husband to go golfing and not worry about rushing home. We all need to know that we are not TRAPPED into a certain time frame all the time. Because when we begin to feel trapped, we will find other means of pleasure.
We are living in a time in history where many marriages are struggling to survive the many demands that bombard us every day. Please do not be one of those that thinks it will be easier to walk from the marriage than to fight for it.

God made us to be fulfilled in our relationships. The only way we can thrive is to spend the most valuable commodity we have to succeed. TIME.
Please take the TIME to break some predictable patterns and change them into freedom finders. Freedom to be who God created you to be as your own person..and a successful spouse.

UNLEASHING THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE – 8 MORE THINGS MEN DISLIKE WHAT WOMEN DO. (Part 2)

Posted in Beauty from the Inside Out, Communication, Encouragement, Expectations, Finding Truth, Friendship, Good Marriage, Intimacy, Kindness, Life of Jesus, Listening, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, Pleasure, Power of the Tongue, power of words, Respect, SEX, Tension, Understanding each other with tags , , , , on February 7, 2013 by hmclaughlin

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I have had some very interesting conversations with men in the last couple of weeks. My dear reader, if we truly pursue to understand what is going on in a man’s mind, we can build bridges to greater understanding and in turn we will receive the love we so desperately need. I believe most women are eager to please our husbands, children, family, boss and friends. If we have a clearer picture of what is expected of us, and in turn make the men in our lives aware of our needs, this knowledge builds a great foundation for loving and joyful relationships. So let’s take another glimpse into the mystery of a man’s mind. Today these points are in not in any order of priority.
9. The Beauty Queen-These women think their looks will get them whatever they want. They can’t walk in front of a mirror without constantly primping. Unfortunately this behavior is due to their insecurities and they often have no personality of depth of character due to their superficial nature. (Their exact words).
10. Sanctimonious Susie-She proudly wears her purity like a coat and looks down her nose at anyone who is not as righteous or proper as she is.
11. Come Lately-Women who are constantly late. It’s aggravating. Period.
12. The Bulldozer-Women who have mistaken aggressiveness for assertiveness. They run over others rarely recognizing they are also bullies…in their own way. Some women feel, that to be accepted into a man’s world, they need to act tough and loud.
13. Selfish Sally-When a woman won’t support her spouse during a rough financial period. She insists on maintaining a certain level of lifestyle even when it becomes a hardship on the whole family.
14. Martha the Martyr-This woman takes on all sorts of duties, responsibilities and chores beyond her normal load. This satisfies her need for attention and accolades but neglects to make her husband and her family the No. 1 priority in her life. It makes the spouse feel that he is playing “second fiddle”.
15. Disrespectful Dorothy-There is probably nothing more damaging and hurtful than when a spouse does not show her husband respect. Each woman needs to know that her spouse needs respect more than anything in his life.
16. The Guild Monger-This woman knows how to ask a question or make a statement so that it evokes guilt. She uses this deadly tool to motivate her husband to do something she needs or wants.
17. Lazy Lottie-When a wife’s main stimulus is TV, romance novels, gossip and social media. And the next words are directly from a man’s mouth….”When they let themselves go to pieces after the wedding.”

My dear friends, if any of these words “fit” I think we need to own them. Even though this is my second marriage, and I have been married for many, many years, I continue to be amazed at how much I can learn about the mysterious opposite sex.

There is truly nothing more fulfilling and joyful than when we are in a harmonious relationship with our spouses and families. We can all have this! When you and I said “I do” on our wedding day, we dreamed of having a blissful life. Yes, life throws us curve balls and our days are full of surprises, but with some hard work, we can have the kind of marriage that God intended when He said, “It is not good for man to be alone.”

Let’s allow the rough spots in our marriages to “sandpaper” us into the beautiful people God designed us to be.

UNLEASHING THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE – 8 THINGS MEN DISLIKE WHAT WOMEN DO. (Part 1)

Posted in Anticipation, Communication, Control, Encouragement, Expectations, Finding Truth, Forgiveness, Friendship, Hope, Intimacy, Listening, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, Power of the Tongue, Resentment, Respect, SEX, Tension, Understanding each other with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2013 by hmclaughlin

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To unravel the mystery of a man’s mind, we women need practical and useful information. That’s what I set out to discover. I conducted a survey amongst some of my favorite men, and asked them to provide me with a list of things they “dislike what women do.” Here are their top responses.
I give credit to my friend Darrell who provided some names for women’s actions:
1. Diva-This was by far the strongest “dislike” amongst the men. This is when women use drama to get their way. This drama can include guilt, exaggeration, tears and acting cute and coy. Women we have to remember that we like to use our emotions; but men are fixers. When we use this drama to get our way, it will either push men away because they don’t know how to handle our emotions, OR they will try to “fix us” as quickly as possible.
2. The Zealot-This woman is a “keeper of the list and rules”, she knows every policy, procedure, collective agreement and statue by heart. She will use her lists and rules to throw the book at you if you have not done your job or broken a rule.
3. Grenade Thrower-This lady will collect the details of all her unmet expectations, each time you looked at her the wrong way or gave a wrong answer, and store them in a box. This box is called “The Resentment Box”. One day you may ask as simple question like: “Honey did you take your car into the dealership for that oil change?” She did not like the question so she opened her box, took out the grenade and watched the shrapnel destroy your manhood.
4. Jail Keeper-Using sex to hold men hostage. You know what I’m talking about.
5. Gossiping Gertie-Sharing private marriage matters with girlfriends. Difficulties in a marriage relationship should be dealt within the context of the marriage, with counselors or mutual close and trusted friends. Men feel disrespected when private matters are hung out like dirty laundry.
6. Assuming Angie-No, men cannot read the assumptions in your head, nor do they understand your facial expressions or body language. If you want a man to do something, ASK HIM…use your words succinctly and kindly.
7. Late Night Fixer-Wanting to “talk about the relationship” at 11:00 p.m. Women we have to find the right time and place to discuss things that will have emotional implications. It’s hard enough for men to deal with emotional, relational issues…let alone when they are being ambushed late at night.
8. 50/50-These ladies expect their spouses (or significant others) to shoulder half of the household chores, child rearing despite having a cleaning lady. However, they do not help with any of the chores around the outside of house. Most husbands to not have a gardener, pool company, handyman or mechanic on site.

Other little pet peeves included:
a. Being asked to pick up their socks.
b. Starting to talk the minute the door is opened at home. Give your husband a few minutes to get settled and anchored.
c. Women who lounge in front of the T.V. in Lulu lemon pants.
d. Comparing your husband to your father.

I am personally grateful for this valuable information because I am on a constant learning curve to have a great marriage. When God designed marriage, He said “marriage was planned for us and that it was meant to be VERY GOOD!” We can all have that great marriage if we take the time to communicate our differences and seek to understand each other. Love is not just a nice fuzzy feeling. It is about learning to accept each other’s quirks and differences. Once we grasp that concept, we can use our differences to make us stronger and better.

Next week I will uncover 8 more great concepts for you to chew on.

UNLEASHING THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE-“What My 2 Husbands Taught Me” (Part 2)

Posted in Beauty from the Inside Out, Communication, Expectations, Finding Truth, Forgiveness, Freedom, Friendship, Good Marriage, Hope, Intimacy, Kindness, Life of Jesus, Listening, Making Wise Choices, messes, Overcoming Struggles, Power of the Tongue, Resentment, Respect, SEX, Tension, Understanding each other, Valued with tags , , , , , on November 23, 2012 by hmclaughlin

 We don’t “fall in and out of love.”  Love is not just a feeling, because our feelings are very fickle and play tricks on our minds. We have a tendency to think that when we lose that glow of pleasure and excitement in our marriage, that we have “fallen out of love.” Not so. We may, temporarily, have fallen out of “like” for each other, but the love is still there. God places that love within us and it needs to nurtured. In the same way that we fertilize our flowers, water them and prune them, in the same way we need to nurture the love in our marriage relationship.

When we fight FOR the values, intimacy and love in our marriages, and do no fight WITH each other, we will begin to experience a deeper level of that strange word called “love”.

Here are 6 more things that my two husbands have taught me about nurturing a deeper love in my marriages.

1.         RESPECT: Our husbands need our respect, respect, respect. They need this more than sex, words or gifts. The biggest issue here is that many women feel their husbands don’t deserve their respect. Obviously it must have been there when you met and dated, or you might not have gotten married. Go back to that original place in your relationship where you had that respect and deliberately find ways to nurture it. This may mean some gut level honesty with your spouse about why you have lost respect for them and something needs to change. For further information about respect, please read my other blogs in the archives, one of them being: UNLEASHING THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE-“Cutting down the Male Species”

2.         ASK… for help. Most men cannot read our expressions, body language or minds. Perhaps we assume that “if they really loved us they would know when we feel overwhelmed, tired or unhappy”. But most men don’t have that gut level, inner intuition that you and I have. We need to clearly identify our needs and desires with words that they can grasp.

3.         KINDNESS…is the greatest gift we can give each other. Small acts of kindness cover a multitude of mistakes and oversights. I have learned that “stopping and showing kindness” literally changes the course of conversations, obstacles…life.

4.         LAUGH.  Laughter is like medicine that can cover awkwardness, mistakes and even mends a broken heart. Seek out opportunities to stop and laugh. Sometimes that means going to a funny movie or talking about a hilarious situation that happened in the past. Just last night I sent my husband a funny U-tube and we watched it together and laughed hilariously.

5.         EAT MY WORDS. That means, to chew on my thoughts, play them backwards and forward then eat the bad ones before they escape my mouth.

6.         FORGIVE. Forgive very quickly. Building up resentment not only poisons my soul, but builds barriers. The number one reason for marriage break-ups is “resentment.” Forgiveness is never a last resort, but must always be a first response. We must remember that forgiveness is very hard because it is not a natural transaction. Forgiveness is a supernatural transaction between you, your spouse and God’s Holy Spirit.

The bible tells us very clearly that when we obey His commands, “our joy may be complete” (John 15:11 NIV). In order to have a thriving, intimate loving marriage relationship we must obey God’s command. The bible puts it this way: “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Colossians 3:13, 14 NIV).

I know from personal experience that if we are willing, with God’s help, to “fight for our marriage”, beyond our present struggles we will experience our greatest power, freedom and joy. What is one area you will work on today?

UNLEASHING THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE- “What I’ve learned So Far-Part 2″

Posted in Balancing life, Beauty from the Inside Out, Encouragement, Finding Truth, Good Marriage, Intimacy, Kindness, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, Pain Pleasure, Prayer, Resentment, Respect, SEX, Understanding each other, Valued on July 2, 2012 by hmclaughlin

I went into my first marriage as a young, insecure nineteen-year-old expecting my husband to love me, fulfill all my desires and complete me as a woman. I was in for a painful discovery that he expected the same from me. I am now in my second marriage and I learned some powerful life changing concepts from my first marriage.

When the policeman stood at my door 2 weeks before Christmas in 1994 to tell me my husband died suddenly while he was playing basketball; I felt like my life had also ended. My future seemed endless and meaningless and when I read in the bible that: “I will turn their mourning into laughter and their sadness into joy” (Jeremiah 31:3), it almost irked me. Well, that’s fine for somebody else, I thought, but I can’t ever imagine feeling joy again.

Looking back I also realize that through our deepest pain, we learn how to have a different happiness…called “Joy”. You see there is a difference. In my first marriage my happiness depended on how my husband treated me. But through the pain that I have experienced, and now that I am in my second marriage, I have learned one of life’s greatest lessons: “Only God can fulfill me and make me joyful.” Happiness depends on my circumstances, but joy comes from the spirit of God. So now that I am in my second marriage, here are some of powerful and life changing lessons I have learned:

1.         I can’t “expect” my husband to make me happy. None of us are wise or strong enough to meet each other’s needs. Most of us are broken people looking for each other to completely love us and fulfill those empty places in our soul. Only God can provide that kind of love. Our spouses cannot possibly be all things to we need for our personal development, and emotional and spiritual health. Our spouses are not the “savior of our soul”. If you and I are not a happy person, nothing in this world will make us happy. We are all responsible for our own happiness.

2.         Let go of resentment…immediately.  We become resentful when we have “unfulfilled expectations” of things we want our spouses to do to make us feel loved, validated, accepted and beautiful. It’s quite easy to keep smiling and let the toxic bile of resentment build in our soul. Yet we have to be aware that resentment is the #1 destroyer of relationships. Immediately we have to confront our own heart with the situation and decide if we are going to let the hurt go, or if we are going to confront it. More detail on how to handle this complicated and painful emotion, is found in my book SAND TO PEARLS: Making Bold Choices to Enrich Your Life (Chapter 5 – Resentment or Sweet Reasonableness).

3.         Men need respect. This is a huge part of being in a loving and successful marriage. I have written about this before in many of my blogs because it is so important. Yet I know it is controversial because many women feel that their husbands don’t deserve respect. But, for men, knowing they are receiving your respect is even more meaningful and powerful than sex, or knowing they are loved. When we know it is so crucial; we have to orchestrate our actions to give our husbands the respect they need. Women need to feel loved, and it is the man’s responsibility to do that for his wife.

4.            Create Story. (This is explained in detail on my blog “Create a Story”). Our marriage is like a book, if the book becomes boring, we put it down. We must create adventure, fun, laughter and stories in our marriage to keep it fresh, and interesting enough to want to be a part of it. We also need to keep ourselves interesting by staying fit, healthy, reading and personal growth. That doesn’t mean when life gets tough and uninteresting we walk away. Absolutely NO! It just means that we all want to enjoy life, and what better place to enjoy it than in the most beautiful union on this earth: marriage.

5.         Praying together. This may be an awkward suggestion for many of you, but my second marriage has remained authentic, interesting, powerful and loving because of the power of prayer in our lives. There are so many struggles, pain and challenges in this life that we simply don’t know what to do with.  So we go to a higher power: God. For the past fourteen Jack and I get up each morning to meet for time of reading the bible together and the spending time in prayer. I personally believe this has been the most beautiful and powerful aspect of our marriage.

Jack and I both believe that everything God makes is very good. “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31 NIV). We both believe that, when we allow God to teach us how to have a good marriage, we will find the JOY we are looking for.

You will find more information on second marriages in Chapter 6 in my book SAND TO PEARLS: Making Bold Choices to Enrich Your Life.

 

UNLEASHING THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE-Being a Wife is not for Sissies

Posted in Beauty from the Inside Out, Beauty through Boldness, Beauty Unleashed, Communication, Encouragement, Finding Truth, Good Marriage, Hope, Intimacy, Making Wise Choices, messes, Overcoming Struggles, Pain Pleasure, Prayer, Self-Control, SEX, Understanding each other on May 31, 2012 by hmclaughlin

The last 2 months I have had many conversations with women all across our wonderful nation of Canada. Whenever I speak at conferences on the topic of relationships, many women take the opportunity to talk to me about their marriages. I confess that right now my heart is just about breaking with the horrific reasons for so many recent divorces. It is not easy being a wife when husbands have so much liberal free access to pornography on the internet. It’s a free drug accessible 24 hours a day and it is breaking up marriages. Many men actually go one step further and have affairs.

 What wife can measure up to the air brushed women that are paid to act seductively? It makes me angry that so many wives feel they have to harness this ugly secret so that no shame will fall on their children and families. What woman should have to carry that kind of burden? This is a rampant disease that is affecting many marriages but I believe it is especially difficult for Christian wives to carry this burden because so many of them feel they have nowhere to turn. After doing extensive research on this topic, here is what I feel the women need to do.

 Do your own research on his topic so that you can take the shame off your shoulders and recognize that it is not your fault. The seed for this need in your husband probably happened when he was very young and it has turned into a full blown addiction.

  1. The revealing of feeling is the first step to healing. Talk frankly and openly to your husband/or significant other about this.
  2. Get help. Both of you need counseling. The woman needs it so that she can release her own shame; but also to know how to help her husband.
  3. There may be accountability courses offered right in your own church or community as this is becoming a well known and rampant problem. Ask your pastor, goggle information or talk to a close friend.
  4. This will probably take a long time.
  5. If your husband will not get help and he will not change, you will have to decide if you can survive under these circumstances. You know by now that I am a solid advocate for marriage, but not if it will destroy your soul and your families.

When the official Nehemiah was helping the people in Jerusalem rebuild their broken down city walls, and they got tired and discouraged, he said to them; “Don’t be afraid! Remember your God is great and glorious. Fight for your friends, your families and your homes” (Nehemiah 4:14 NLT).

Those are words of encouragement to you. It’s not always easy being a wife, but let me encourage you to take some bold steps to rebuild your marriage by bringing back some much needed honest and open communication. Build on your marriage so that it can flourish…and not die a slow, unexpected and unnecessary death.