A coffee chat: Wife or Mom?

Hi friends! Every so often I so, so wish that I could pull you across my computer screen and sit and drink coffee with you and ask you questions. I so wish I could meet you all face-to-face! I know you have experiences and wisdom I need. So, I do the next best thing. I ask you to make some coffee (or tea, or hot chocolate, or even just a cup of water) and sit with me and help me ponder a question, and maybe glean some wisdom in the process.

Will you join me? I would make scones, but I am fasting sugar for Lent (and yes, it’s really hard). So instead I will invite you to have a cracker with me. And probably some cheese. And maybe an apple for good measure.

So here is my question:
I have recently been pondering my life’s priorities, and realizing that my “mom” role is far, far, far outweighing my “wife” role. In fact, the “mom” hat on my head feels fairly stuck. I do have two children – one who is just figuring out how to talk and the other who can’t even crawl. So suffice it to say I am in the thick of things where being a mom is concerned. I know that some of this is simply seasonal. However, I really am at a loss for how to do better, right where I am at, in putting my husband where he belongs. The last thing I need to do is make him a “third child” (and I believe that viewing him that way is disrespectful and wrong).

So I would love your thoughts. How do you make sure that your husband knows he is your second most-important priority? How do you wrench the “mom” hat off your head? I would love to share your battle stories and your wisdom.

So come make a cuppa and let’s chat.

Annabel

A Coffee Chat : Sexual connections

Good morning, sisters! I have said this before, but I truly mean it. I write because I would rather talk. If I could do anything, amazing friends, I would pull you through my computer into my (messy) living room to share a cup of coffee. I would probably try to bake something with pumpkin (again). And fail (again). We would eat it anyway. We would talk for a long time about our God-given husbands and how to serve and love them better. We would share our heart’s stories. We would cry together, and laugh.
Since that is not possible, I try to host these “coffee chats” where we can all come and talk. I pray it is as life-giving to you as it is to me, and hope you will choose to engage. 

A reader asked a question a few days ago that got me thinking. Here is what she asked:

A question for you ladies, when you initiate, are you ready to go straight to intercourse after a short amount of time (5-10 minutes) or do you need longer amounts of foreplay as if your husband was initiating? I am slightly higher drive but husband feels like I should take the reins more regarding my pleasure when I desire intimacy sooner. I desire the physical and emotional connection of being intimate but am not necessarily already aroused when I want to initiate. It’s been a struggle explaining this to hubs and figuring out a solution that keeps us both happy. Any suggestions of helping him understand that my desire isn’t solely for intercourse but for the full connection of sex with my spouse?

The last part of that question just jumped out at me – so lets talk about it!

First, as a higher-drive wife do you still need “warming up”? (Trusting you amazing women to not get too graphic here – I love you, but I don’t really want to picture you in bed with your  man ;))
Second, is there something in sex that helps you to feel connected? Orgasm? Foreplay? Looking into each others eyes?
Finally, does your husband understand your need for connection in sex? Have you communicated to him the need for the full connection? If so, how? If not, any ideas on how you would word it?

Go make a big pot of coffee and let’s talk – cannot wait to hear your thoughts on this one 🙂

Annabel

A coffee chat : the wife’s orgasm

Several weeks ago a dear reader friend asked a very important question that got me seriously rabbit-trailing into my own theology of sex (and Pt. III). Which I encourage you to read if you haven’t yet, just as a precursor to this conversation. But I am ready to get back to the question now, and I hope you will join me. As I so often state, I write here because we can’t talk face to face. The whole reason I get up early in the morning before the babies wake is because I want to use this space to communicate my heart and find a way to hear yours. I hope you will do me the honor today of fixing a cup of coffee and coming to talk at this table of beautiful women who love the Lord & their husbands, and who are fighting for their marriages.

So here is the question I invite you to “sit in” with me today:

I do have a question though that may be a little off topic of your original post…how important do you think it is for most women to reach orgasm during sexual intimacy with their husbands? I mean I find that when I get close but it doesn’t happen or my husband climaxes first, I feel very let down, especially knowing that it may be days or a week before we make love again.
When I was first really struggling with reaching orgasm I would try to tell myself it didn’t matter if I climaxed each time and it shouldn’t be the “goal” of our lovemaking, and my husband too would say that. We even read an article in a magazine written by a man who claimed that orgasm shouldn’t be the ultimate goal for women during sex if it is something hard for them to achieve…they should just enjoy the closeness and then if an orgasm occurs that’s a bonus. Easy for a man to say.

Reality is, I love reaching orgasm during our lovemaking and I think it’s okay to work towards it and achieve it when possible. It not only feels good, but it helps relieve tension and makes for a good night’s sleep.;) But having said that, I don’t want to put so much emphasis on climaxing that I lose sight of being close to my husband and maybe becoming selfish during sex, know what I mean?
So just curious if reaching orgasm should be important to us women and something we strive for during lovemaking especially when it’s harder to reach for some, instead of maybe blowing it off and thinking it doesn’t really matter?

This is such a wonderful question, and something I have been pondering a lot over the last few weeks. I cannot say I have the answer, but here are a few of my thoughts.

First, I think that it is really important to know why you have sex in marriage. As I stated in my theology of sex, I believe it’s to glorify God, proclaim and protect the covenant of marriage, and bring unity. It’s also how children are created, and that is of course incredibly central and important. There is nothing in any of these purposes that explicitly point to the importance of the wife’s orgasm, but I also think that our physical makeup gives insight into this. When our Creator formed us, He gave us the clitoris. This is a very special and unique organ made for one purpose: pleasure. God states something pretty spectacular by giving us this organ – we were made to experience pleasure. He could have easily allowed us to orgasm using the body parts that we already had, but no, He specifically gave us a body part that is for nothing but pleasure. And it’s also important to note that when orgasm happens, a hormone called oxytocin is released. This is what is known as the “bonding hormone” – it creates a feeling of connectedness. Endorphins are also released, giving us a feeling of happiness and well-being. When you put all of this together, it seems that God made orgasms to be something that all women experience as a positive, life-giving part of their marriage bed.

So what about reaching orgasm every time? It is important? Should we aim for it? I think the answer is yes, quickly followed by maybe. Yes, orgasm is important. It bonds us to our husbands, it creates the sense of connectedness and well-being. It points to a God who created, understands and is concerned with our happiness. C.S. Lewis says this so well in his Screwtape Letters: “Never forget that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form, we are, in a sense, on the Enemy’s (God’s) ground…He [God] made the pleasure: all our research so far has not enabled us to produce one.” God made pleasure, and I think that the benefits of orgasm make it more important than the work it might take to achieve, or the laundry waiting for you, or the time it takes to “get there”. So there is my yes.

Here is my maybe: I do not think the goal or purpose of sex is or should be explicitly to orgasm. God, in His infinite wisdom, created men to experience orgasm and ejaculation simultaneously (at least most of the time). I don’t know why this is. I have no idea why orgasm “comes easily” for men and is work and effort for women. But I do believe that God knew what He was doing. As I stated earlier, the purpose of sex is not orgasm, per se. And whenever we began to want orgasm more than unity, pleasure more than sacrificial love, and that rush of endorphins more than healthy communication – we are in danger of making an idol out of orgasms. This is dangerous ground, and must be avoided. Of course, only you & God know where your heart stands on your desires, so please know that I cannot and am not judging your hearts in this. Just presenting a question for you to ask yourself and the Lord.

To summarize, I think that in a healthy marriage a wife would experience orgasm every time she and her husband had sex unless they were both in agreement that her doing without was okay. This might be for a quickie, or if she was tired but he was needing, or one of many various situations. However, in a healthy relationship I do believe that a wife would reach orgasm almost every time.

That being said, I realize that many of us are not in these relationships. And I think that this is where we learn to hope and pray and give our desires to the Father. There are many situations that are right and good that are not currently active in our lives. This may be one of them. If so, then I pray for you today – I pray that you would have the words to share your heart with your husband. I pray he would have ears to hear. I pray that you would learn to cast your cares upon Christ, and to allow Him to use this (yes, even this) to mold and shape your heart into looking more like Him.

So, what about you? Pull up a chair and lets share our thoughts. Fix a cup of coffee with me and lets chat.
Do you think it’s important to aim for orgasm during sexual encounters? What weight do you think an orgasm should have? Do you agree with my thoughts or do you think I missed something?

I can’t wait to talk.
Annabel

A coffee chat : low expectations

The world of blogging is wonderful and strange. I began my writing journey because I was lonely, in desperate need of a higher-drive voice that was female. So I chose to become that voice. But my journey is still taking place, and is full of its own struggles and imperfections.

I have said this before, but I truly mean it. I write because I would rather talk. If I could do anything, amazing friends, I would pull you through my computer into my (messy) living room to share a cup of coffee. And blueberry muffins that I am baking. We would talk for a long time about our God-given husbands and how to serve and love them better. We would share our heart’s stories. We would cry together, and laugh.
Since that is not possible, I thought I would try to do something today and see how it goes. I want to have a conversation with you.

Have you ever heard anyone say anything like this – “Keep expectations low. Low expectations keep you content with life and surprised by good.” The first time I heard this everything in me said, “NO!” It felt like giving up somehow to say that I would set my expectations low. However, I have found that having low expectations in some areas of life allow me to be grateful and defer frustration and disappointment.
Here is a case in point. My husband works constantly changing shifts. Sometimes he is scheduled for long shifts, other times they are short. Days off are random, and there is no real “pattern” to the way he is scheduled. So if I don’t expect him home for dinner, or home to help get the kids to bed, then I am pleasantly surprised if he can be available for these events. On the flip side, if I do expect him home and he doesn’t come, I find myself aggravated and sad that he is, once again, missing out on our family life. So here is a place where low expectations actually serve me well.

So perhaps there is a difference between low expectations and hope? Our hope lies in the Lord – in both His glorious return and His bringing truth, healing, and grace into our todays. Is it possible to keep low expectations on my husband and our marriage bed, while maintaining hope in our marriage becoming more like it was truly created to be?

I would be honored today to talk about these thoughts with you. Would you be willing to engage with me and give me your thoughts on these questions –

Is there any truth to keeping our expectations low?
Do expectations of our spouse and our marriage bed just set us up for disappointment and frustration?
Would we do better to have low expectations and find ourselves happy and grateful when things turn out well? Or are low expectations a “self-fulfilling” prophecy, or a dishonor to our marriage beds?
Is there a difference between expectations and hope?
If so, how do we have low expectations and still cling to hope?

Talk to me, friend. I covet your input on this.

Annabel

P.S. Not in the mood to talk today? That’s okay – if you just need to listen then here are a few one-sided conversations 🙂
Go low – serving & pursuing your lower-drive husband
Keeping pure within marriage – how a higher-drive wife avoids temptation (and here is Pt. II)