Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Are You Normal When It Comes to Married Couples and Sex?

posted by Linda Mintle

Jennifer came to therapy because she was not having sex with her husband. She wondered if this was normal. It isn’t. Then she asked a question so many people ask, “What is normal when it comes to sex in marriage?”

The answer to this question depends on a number of factors and is difficult to address in general. But we do know a few things from surveying couples. Here are a few interesting findings  from a large couple survey and other research recently reported in the Wall Street Journal:

1) When marital therapists talk about couples in a nonsexual marriage, we usually mean a married couple who has sex less than 10 times a year.

2) Regardless of what media portrays, married couples have more sex than co-habitating or dating couples

3) Almost 80% of married couples have sex a few times a month or more.

4) 32% have sex two to three times a week or more.

5) 47% say they have sex a few times per month.

6) 80% of married couples schedule time to have sex.

More important than the numbers and frequency of sex, is how satisfied couples are with their married sex lives. Dissatisfaction and disconnection can lead to problems and should be discussed. Sexual difficulties can be triggered by physical, emotional or even stress problems. Thus, getting to the root of dissatisfaction is important. Things like busyness, boredom, childhood trauma, stress reactions, aging and a host of other issues can lead to sexual problems. And couples are not good at talking about this subject with each other.

So start talking, sleeping in the same bed together, showing physical affection to each other during nonsexual times and making time for intimacy.

If you find yourself unable to make changes or even have a conversation about your sex life, consider getting professional help from a Christian therapist who specializes in sex therapy. Doing nothing only continues the dissatisfied and puts the marriage at risk.

 

Is Profanity on TV Harmless?

posted by Linda Mintle

Steven Tyler gets bleeped repeatedly on American Idol. Howard Stern, known for his use of profanity, is a judge on America’s Got Talent. I could make lists of people who are constantly bleeped on television due to their language. I find it completely unnecessary and a real lack of imagination when it comes to the English language.

My kids and I have this on-going conversation regarding profanity. They think TV reflects the way people talk in real life. I say TV has purposely increased its use of profanity and gives license to this behavior.  I don’t hear this amount profanity in the general public– not at my job, among my neighbors, in public places or with friends. This may be a generational shift because I didn’t grow up hearing profanity on so much media.

The increase in the use of profanity on TV is not my imagination. The Parents Television Council did a study in 2011 and found  that the amount and gravity of profanity on television is higher than ever. One reason had to do with a FCC ruling in July of 2010. Basically, a panel of judges allowed broadcasters to freely use expletives in the late night hours when challenged in court. Networks pressured the FCC to stop enforcing its decency laws. One result, is more language during the prime time hours. The study showed that the use of profanity is deliberate and pervasive.

My question is why? What’s the point of this? To teach our kids to be potty-mouthed? To what end?

Is this another attempt to desensitize the culture to rudeness?

People are influenced by what they hear and see on television, especially teens. Due to media influence, swearing has moved  from a language of restraint to one of license. It has becomes part of the normal landscape of television. And I believe this has something to do with the lack of civility that we continue to see in our culture.

So does P.M. Forni, co-founder of the Civility Project at Johns Hopkins University. When it comes to cursing, he says it is “Still the language of aggression… the precursor to violence. Very often, rudeness and cursing are the beginning of an escalation toward violence.  Words, our words, are like our hands.  They can soothe and heal, but they can also strike, which means they can hurt.”

Furthermore,  a study in Pediatrics linked profanity to increased violence.  Researchers found that exposure to profanity is moderately associated with acceptance and use. Both influence physical and relational aggression.

Bottom line, profanity is not harmless. If the end result can be less civility and more aggression, why do we want this and why are writers and media executives so bent on injecting profanity in so much media?

And scripture is not silent about the use of our tongue. Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

The question is, Do we want to tear down or edify with our speech?  Seems like the choice is an easy one.

 

Try A Technology Cleanse

posted by Linda Mintle

You are at dinner in a nice restaurant with your wife and you find yourself checking your email before the salad arrives. Or your family sits down to eat and people are looking at screens rather than each other.Or maybe your family is in all in the house but dispersed by screens. No one is talking. Everyone is in their own little technology world.

It may be time for a technology cleanse. Be warned. It won’t be easy.

Try this: For one week, fore go all screens. Computers and other devices can only be used for work or homework. This means no texting, Facebook, on-line videos, DVDs, email, etc. Are you up for the challenge? If you take it, I’ll see you in a week. Let me know how it went.

Need motivation? A 2010 Neilsen survey found the following. These are percentages of what we engage in on-line. If you do it all, that is about 50% of your time.

23.4% of time was spent on social networks/blogs

9.8% was spent on video games

7.5% was spent on email

4.1% on portals

4.0% on videos/movies

And of course, the concern is that when you are on a screen, you aren’t interacting with others. Technology can be a distraction from family, friends and much needed exercise.

 

10 Signs of Relationship Trouble

posted by Linda Mintle

Robert and Sarah had been together for five years. They had their share of fights, but one night, Sarah looked at Robert and said, “I’m done here. It is over!”

Shocked, Robert knew things were a little rocky in the relationship for the past few years, but end the relationship? Honestly, he didn’t see it coming.

Did he miss the signs?

Yes, here is what he overlooked:

1) Sarah had checked out emotionally.

2) Sarah and Robert spent a lot of time distracting themselves from each other versus spending time together.

3) When conflict came up, they didn’t discuss it.

4) They didn’t address the lost love they were feeling until it was too late.

5) They never considered going to a couple therapist to see if they could work on the emotional bond.

6) One partner was completely unaware of how deeply upset the other was–they were out of touch with their emotional lives.

7) They never talked about the future.

8) Needs were not communicated and not being met.

9) Fighting led to bad feelings that never were repaired.

10) Both felt emotionally distant but didn’t address it.

Don’t overlook the signs of relationship trouble. Talk to your partner and ask how things are going. If you need help, seek couple therapy. It works when people are willing to address their issues.

 

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