Valentine's Day is approaching and with it can come a host of emotions and responses, depending on one’s love life.
There’s the, “I LOVE Valentine’s Day!” women who always seem to get chocolates, flowers and dates.
There’s the, “I HATE Valentine’s Day” women who never get chocolates, flowers or dates.
There’s the neutral response, “It’s just another day” women who may have gotten chocolates, flowers or dates in the past and may or may not this year, but it’s really not their thing.
And then, there’s the rest of us. The, “I would like Valentines day but….” women. So we hate it, out of spite. And jealousy. And resentment. And more spite.
Generally, I have tried to put up a Valentine’s Day wall. Even as a young girl, the classroom logistics on who gets what Valentine, who signed theirs “love” and who got candy kisses with theirs was emotionally-taxing. Unlike what the television shows us, Valentine’s Day is not for people looking for love, it’s for those who have already found it.
The rest of us, well, we have to figure out how to handle it.
"But I’m married! Why does Valentine’s Day still suck?"
Marriage, though we wish it was, is not often the partnership we hoped it would be. This is true whether someone has an addiction or not. From misplaced expectations to unspoken “rules” on how the marriage is supposed to be, we can struggle to find our balance.
There are plenty of unhappy marriages, thus the increasing divorce rate world-wide.
In the USA, the divorce rate is currently sitting around 53%, which is over half of all marriages. In Spain, Hungary, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic it’s sitting around 60% and the poor Belgians! Their divorce rate is 70%! [Source]
My brother is getting married to a lovely Belgian girl next spring. Watch for pics, we will be there! (Maybe say some prayers for them too! LOL)
An unhappy marriage is obviously too statistically high to be dependent on addiction because 53% of people (in the USA) do not battle addiction. So, looking at it positively then, there’s no reason a marriage in recovery from addiction cannot be as happy as the other 47%!
Where to begin, then?
It starts with sex.
Yep. If your relationship is in recovery, it’s time for bedroom recovery 101.
Step one, check your libido.
Study after study shows that men's sex drives are not only stronger than women's but much more straightforward. The sources of women's libidos, by contrast, are much harder to pin down.
It's common wisdom that women place more value on emotional connection as a spark of sexual desire. But women also appear to be heavily influenced by social and cultural factors as well. "Sexual desire in women is extremely sensitive to environment and context," says Edward O. Laumann, PhD. [Source]
The "environmental and contextual circumstances" in our case would be related to trust, emotional connection, vulnerability and forgiveness.
I’m working with Sheila Wray Gregoire from To, Love Honor and Vacuum this Valentine’s Day to help you bring healing into the bedroom of your relationship. She has a 10-module course she’s released called, “Boost your Libido” to help you take your relationship “from blah to blazing”!
I understand that it might be difficult to find a sexual connection in or out of the bedroom after addiction but one of the best ways to start is to boost your sex drive!
If you’re feeling all "hot and bothered" you’re going to be much more likely to want to be intimate. More sex means a happier husband. A happy husband with a happy wife- it can only bring you closer together. Don't underestimate the power of the bedroom connection.
When all is said and done, what’s a marriage without intimacy? The other 53%, that’s what.
But here’s a secret, you can boost your libido, even if you don’t think you want to have sex with them.
(then suddenly, you’re going to want to because it's going to be more fun and feel good! See how this works?!)
Why sex is so important for healing?
We tend to think women are emotional and men are not but the truth is, sex is still intimate for a man. He may not need long talks and massages to get his libido going but it doesn’t mean that sex is any more meaningless to him. Having a good bedroom relationship will help you both because sex leads to intimacy and it’s that intimacy that will ultimately lead to healing.
I can't say it enough, don’t let this one go- sex is very important in marriage restoration.
Battle Satan from the bedroom, ladies.
God gave us the gift of our bodies for a reason. Those men, they fall in love with us all over again the second we take off our clothes.
But there are things that stop us from going there and although it can be because of the past or the wounds we have from their addictions, porn especially, it’s also about the way we view ourselves.
Sheila’s course addresses the way we view our libido, our body image, hormones, what to do when sex is boring and of course, real intimacy (amongst other things! She’s also got some great sex tips in there!).
She even has a fun little way to announce to your husband that you’re taking the course with sneaky little graphics you can send him to say, “Hey… guess what I did today…”.
*"how you doin'?"
This Valentine’s Day, I encourage you to try a different approach to finding healing for your relationship in recovery. All the counseling in the world isn’t going to help if that sizzle can’t come back! So please check out the ‘Boost Your Libido’ course and let my friend, Sheila give you the best Valentine’s Day you’ve ever had.
Bonus! You don’t have to finish the course to benefit from it. It will help right away (just in time for the big V-day! If you're lucky, maybe you'll have some big O's for the big V).
Live. Be free. Let go and be a little wild. Learn to enjoy your sex life.
Still not convinced? Here’s my theory (ready for this?! LOL):
God make sex necessary for procreation. In other words- the entire human race would DIE without it.
God made the feeling of sex as good, high, addictive, euphoric as any man-made drug (and clearly, we all know how very addictive an addiction can be).
Sex is super healthy for us and helps to keep us young (what?! It's like MAGIC!).
Having more sex will help to bring healing to your marriage far beyond the depths of counseling (ain't no counsellor gonna go there)
Enjoying sex is part of God’s gift to us within marriage- so we should not allow addiction to steal that gift from us! (Take THAT Satan!)
Check out the ‘Boost your Libido” course, get excited (yes! Like that!) and battle Satan from the bedroom.
There. Valentine’s Day. Handled like a boss lady.
(Warning: please read below before you go)
WARNING: This course is NOT for you if…
If your marriage isn’t in recovery or you’re one of the 20%-30% of women whose sex drive is higher than her husbands, this isn’t the right course for you.
Healing in the bedroom should not be attempted while your loved one is actively addicted.
Whether they’re addicted to porn, gambling, drinking, it doesn’t matter- this course is for the after.
I don’t want to lead you astray or promote things to you that I don’t think will actually help. This course is a wonderful resource for those who are ready to move into the next season of their marriage, even after porn addiction, but not for the during.
If your libido is higher than your husband’s, I’ll let you know when that course comes out! Sheila has plenty of resources on her website about it for you in the meantime. There are more but you can start reading here, “Libido Differences: When HE Has the Lower Sex Drive”.
For those of you whose spouses are not in recovery, I would encourage you to check out my Bible study, The Be Still Series instead and learn how to let Jesus be your boyfriend (that's a real lesson from the study!). It says in scripture that it's "permissible" for spouses to take time apart when they're seeking God and in this case, that's the better option even though, in my opinion, an addiction can be spiritually related to idol worship and adultery. Under which, you are not obligated in any way to "perform" wifely duties [Read: The Biggest Lie About Addiction].