Wednesday, February 10, 2010

soul food: truly, madly, deeply stuck (chemistry)

Are you ready for what I believe will be the last installment in the three part series on being truly, madly, deeply stuck in marriage? I suspect you are. Because last night, I did a monthly check on my statistics meter and I had more visits yesterday than I have had over the past year.

Now why could that possibly be?

Is it because my husband was on national television for four point seven seconds on Friday, or is it because last week I indicated that this week, I was going to be writing about s-e-x?

Yep. That's what I thought.

Now pay close attention because ... It's Business Time.

I've been posting a lot of the scripture that is provided in our weekly outlines, but hopefully, these posts aren't coming across as "too churchy." That really isn't my intent. I'm posting these verses because I really think that they are very wise and extremely applicable to the topic.

There is no such thing as a soul mate. Because what if - WHAT IF - someone married the wrong person? Does that throw off the soul mate chain for everyone else in the world?

Love doesn't happen by chance - it happens by choice.

And there really IS a chemistry of love.

There's a whole lot more to this, but in essence, when we fall in love, our brain produces the chemical dopamine. The transmitters in our brain are stimulated so that colors are more vibrant. Flavors are more intense. Adrenalin surges through our body. Our hearts beat faster and our core temperatures are warmer.

But after a while - anywhere from 18 months to four years - our brains shift from making dopamine to making oxytocin which stimulates us to make attachments and bond.

Unfortunately, a lot of people have a very difficult time when this shift occurs. The love that they once had isn't quite as vibrant or exciting anymore. They don't feel the same surge of excitement as they once did. They might think there is something wrong with the relationship and they go off seeking a new relationship, which will induce that same surge of excitement.

Good chemistry is deliberate - not predetermined.
Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. She is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love. Proverbs 5:18-19 (NLT)
It's difficult for a woman to comprehend just how important a good sex life is for a man.

But consider this: the sex center in a man's brain is twice as large as in a woman's.

Did you know that every brain begins as a female brain?

According to Doctor Louann Brizendine,
It [the female brain] only becomes male eight weeks after conception, when excess testosterone shrinks the communications center, reduces the hearing cortex, and makes the part of the brain that processes sex twice as large.
What science CLEARLY shows is that men can't hear as well, can't communicate as well, and they want at least twice as much sex as women. According to Dr. Brizendine - thoughts about sex enter a woman's brain once every few days (or months), but enter a man's brain once every minute.

Once Every Minute.



Men have a one track mind = physical.

Women have a two track mind = emotional and physical.

Let's say there's an argument. The man might be thinking, "I'm mad, but she's forgiven because LOOK! She's naked!" While the woman might be thinking, "OK. This love dance might happen. But first, did we put out the trash? Is there gas in the car? Do we have milk for breakfast?!

Chemistry is either productive or destructive.

Adultery is like an earthquake, and the epicenter is in the offender's heart. The destruction from their action, their choice - radiates outward damaging friends and family around them.
A man who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so destroys himself. Proverbs 6:32 (NIV) (And his family and his friendships and his reputation and if he's Tiger Woods ... a large number of his endorsers.)

Can a man scoop a flame into his lap and not have his clothes catch fire? Can he walk on hot coals and not blister his feet? So it is with the man who sleeps with another man's wife. He who embraces her will not go unpunished. Proverbs 6:27-29 (NLT)

Here's how to create GREAT chemistry with your spouse:

1. Embrace God's Plan
How can a young person live a clean life? By carefully reading the map of your Word. I'm single-minded in pursuit of you; don't let me miss the road signs you've posted. I've banked your promises in the vault of my heart so I won't sin myself bankrupt. Psalm 119:9-11

Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband. God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex. Hebrews 13:4
What this ultimately says is don't have premarital sex. Now, I don't have much to say about this except Charlie and I lived together for two years before we were married. Of course we never slept together. We just shared an apartment to save on rent and groceries and - oh my goodness. Don't look now ... but I think that's Mike Wazowski?!


Would I want our children to live with their spouse(s) before they were married? Absolutely not. I will do my best to teach them that they should not (to quote my mother) enjoy the fruits of marriage without a license. And, I'd much prefer that they stay living at home with us until they are 35 and then, pursue their futures in the convent and/or monastery. As appropriate.

2. Reignite Romance

The primary reason for divorce is a hard heart.

Within a healthy marriage - there is a healthy sex life.There shouldn't be any feelings of shame or inhibition in your marriage. But if you're not in a good place in "this" department, because of things that have happened in your past, or confidence issues within yourself: seek help. Therapy is for you, first and foremost. But it is also for your family. Because when YOU are healthy, your family will be healthier (and happier), too.
Sexual drives are strong, but marriage is strong enough to contain them and provide for a balanced and fulfilling sexual life in a world of sexual disorder. The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality - the husband seeking to satisfy the wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to "stand up for your rights." Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out. 1 Corinthians 7:3-4
Yowzer. That spicy stuff is from the Bible?!

Your spouse cannot read your mind - so you might need to tell them what you want. It's like making a cup of coffee. I'd like a shot of espresso and two sugars. And while you're at it, take a shower before you come to bed.

I haven't read the book, but I've heard Sex Begins in the Kitchen: Because Love Is An All Day Affair is a great read. The concept, from what I understand, is that true intimacy is cultivated outside of the bedroom and not the moment the lights go off.

It's a universal truth, among parents, that life gets so crazy that if we don't MAKE THE TIME to sit down and enjoy our spouse's company, we will soon only be discussing the schedule and deadlines for the day and the stress bow that wraps it all up. Not surprisingly, very soon marriages are suffering because the component of intimacy is almost nonexistent.
Make the time, either before you start your day - or at the end of the day, to sit down and reconnect on topics that don't just involve your children.

To women: Men who have a healthy sex life, will take on their life with vim and vigor and they will appreciate you even more. Do your best to look for the little things that made you fall in love in the first place. And strive to create an atmosphere in your home that satisfies their manly souls. Oh, and stop nagging. If you have a tendency to do that.

To men: Women need a deep emotional attachment. They do not need someone to try and fix or solve their problems, but to listen to them without falling asleep. Women need to feel valued and cherished. Send them text messages to let them know you are thinking of them. Do all the leg work to set up a date night. It's the little things that you take care of ... the "chore play" that can lead to ... well, you know what.

3. Guard your Boundaries.

Do NOT talk to someone of the opposite sex about your marital problems. If you're fishing and playing the flirting game and you are married ... KNOCK IT OFF. You need to use the tools to move forward in your own marriage and make the conscious decision to change your behavior.
Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. James 1:15-15 (NLT)
That is SUCH truth: where sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. When have you ever done something absolutely wrong and it worked out well for you? And even if you got away with something bad - it is forever on your conscience.
Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God you with a high price. So must honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 (NLT)
A few weeks ago I overheard someone talking about a married couple and the husband had a terrible addiction to internet p0rnography. Apparently, the addiction was so bad, that the wife began taking the keyboard from their home computer with her to work, every day. Sure, it was humiliating for him that his computer keyboard was locked up in her vehicle ... but since he couldn't control his temptation, this was the best solution. The fact is: there is a big problem with porn in the world. Do not bring it in to your marriage. It's not just a physical act - it will effect your heart and soul.
...So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth. Malachi 2:15 (NLT)

But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. Matthew 5:28-30 (NIV)
An emotional affair always begins before a physical affair. Infidelity starts in the mind. But thankfully, people don't actually cut off their hands nor gouge out their eyes if they look at someone lustfully.

If they did, almost all of the men in the world would be blind and unable to clap.

4. Receive God's Love.

All of us must be rooted and grounded in love. In order to truly seek God's love in its fullness, we must in some way know and experience that love already exists in our lives.

In conclusion: By the time you read this, it will probably be Wednesday and ... a quick check of the TV Guide shows ... there's nothing really very good on television. Wink. Wink.

Charlie says that these posts are coming off as way too preachy. And I say no person who posts Flight of the Conchords "Business Time" alongside scripture could possibly be confused with a Bible Banger. What say you?


  1. Preachy or not, they are appreciated. I see them as coming from someone who knows the value and necessity of working to keep their marriage strong-even in the presence of children. And I, for one, Thank you for it. (Guess that puts me in the "not too preachy column")

  2. Jen~

    I could hear the bible banging as soon as I opened the post:) It dosen't bother me at all. I know what I'm getting when I come here (as it pertains to religion anyway). We all look at the world through different lenses, yours is Christian, mine is not. I have enjoyed the part of your religious journey that you have shared here. I think you have a genuine heart and a loving spirit, and that's really all that matters to me. I do imagine however, we could have some really interesting and in depth face to face conversations.

    Between us we have eight kids 5 and under, I'm sure we both have some free time to chat soon!

    As I recall you did not support prop 8 (I hope I'm remembering correctly), how would someone who is not legally allowed to marry follow rule #1? No sex before marriage, fine, but if marriage is not an opton what then? I know you had "traditional" marriage in mind when you wrote this post, but until all consenting adults can marry the partner of their choice *I* will continue to keep them in mind.


  3. I <3 Flight of the Conchords!

    Oh, and good post otherwise too. :-) There are some points there I could make more effort at applying to my own marriage.

  4. Karen - see that's what odd about this "journey" that we're on. I'm still conflicted on a number of issues. Writing down what I hear helps me to "vent" things out and think about them.

    Please keep in mind - these are not verses that I tracked down. These are verses that were provided in a handout at church, which was great because they are applicable to the topic(s) that we discussed.

    Regarding topic #1 - I don't want our kids to have sex before they are married. Because I'm their mother and I can see why holding out until you are married is the RIGHT thing to do.

    That being said, I still believe that people are born they way they are meant to be born and if they are gay - they have every right to be united in a civil ceremony that would grant them the same exact rights that any married couple would enjoy. The next time something like Prop 8 comes up again, you better believe, I'll have a sticker on my car and a sign in my yard touting EQUAL right for EVERYONE.

    I love so much of Christianity. I love, love, love the teachings. I love the philosophy, the principles, the simpleness of it all. The beautiful roadmap that it provides on how to live a GOOD life. But I don't love some of the incredible closed mindedness that I see at times. In the words of Ghandi, "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

    Poor me. I don't think I'll ever fit in with any group.

    So, I'm just chugging along. Quoting Bible verses and plugging gay rights. I'm an enigma wrapped in a mystery. Some would probably say, on my way to hell in a handbasket.

  5. I'm gonna go have sex with my husband right now...

    For real.

    My husband is a very, VERY satisfied man. And it helps our marriage a lot. Seriously. But I laugh out loud at the fact that all brains start as females. I tried to debate this once with him so its good to have proof. But first...time for some nookie. ;)