My Best Advice on Sex, Relationships, and Marriage
Sex is easy. My dog can have sex. Sexual Intimacy is hard, but everything meaningful is hard.
I just read another CRAZY article about couples giving permission to have sex with another person outside of marriage. As if it’s a new idea! We’ve been getting married and having affairs for thousands of years. Society has lost its mind on relationships and the horrific collateral damage has made many young people feel like a healthy relationship is out of reach. I have talked with hundreds of young men and women that feel like their ability to find a partner for life has been taken from them in a cruel change of the rules. Enough! I want to propose a part plan to introduce healthy relationship and marriage skills to a desperate culture. This is my best advice on sex, relationships, and marriage.
Recently, the cheater website Ashley Madison was hacked. Dr. Daniel Amen, neuroscientist, and M.D., wrote the effects on the brain of those affected, both the cheaters and their families. There are real brain differences in cheaters. Their families have real trauma associated with finding out their husband/father is a cheater. A lot of “experts” think we need to just change our societal norms and allow cheating. The article above tries to say that it is the lying that is causing the emotional damage. Real research says you can’t change your brain to accept cheating as a new norm. Oh, many will keep trying, but I want to change the conversation to creating hope for those who want a lifetime relationship.
Fast food is quick, tastes pretty good, and is very efficient. You really like it until you have a 5-star meal by a world class chef. Relationships work the same way. We have become a culture that settles for fast food relationships when the tools and information for a 5-star marriage are more accessible than ever! What happened? Well, in our quest to be “free” from the shackles of our past, we have created emotionally driven relationships that are unsatisfying.
A 5-star marriage is possible
What if you knew a 5-star marriage for life was not only possible but normal? How much would you pay for an expert to give you the tools to have one? Would you skip a few trips to the fast food relationships joint if you knew a 5-star marriage required it? I’m guessing you would, you just need the plan to have one. Here it is!
The 5-star marriage plan
Step 1 – Put real committed love before sex. Period.
We argue a lot about morality. The Bible has concluded that sex before marriage is not a good thing. When did that change? Why does the Bible come to that conclusion? The easy thing to say is because God said so. I believe that but I don’t think that answer works very well in culture, so let’s add another reason – Sex before committed love doesn’t work.
Humans are jealous creatures. Sex is a jealous sport. When we make sex about physical desire and short-term entertainment, we miss the real depth of its purpose. Sex is creation. Sex creates new pathways in the brain. While we have learned that visual and emotional stimulation arouses us, we are just now learning how significantly sexual activity changes the brain. The University of Chicago’s long-running study on marriage shows that the fewer sex partners you have the more likely your marriage will last. And here is another one from the University of Denver. You can spin the evidence (like some in the UD article do), but EVERY major study on marriage shows that couples who have fewer sex partners are the happiest in their marriage.
Step #2 – Plan on 50 years of marriage.
You get what you plan for. People who make plans are significantly more likely to be successful. Yet, I know people who can plan a start-up, run a company, or lead 500 people who think relationships ought to be magic. They aren’t. A great relationship takes a long term plan.
It doesn’t mean don’t take a risk. Love will always require risk, but if you fail to plan for the difficult times and the needs that change over a lifetime, you will most likely fail.
When I met my wife, she was 18. I married her at 19. I remember one person asking me if that was risky. I knew she was still young (as was I – 22), but I knew her spunk. She was determined to have a successful marriage and was willing to do whatever it took to make it work. I remember telling my friend, yes, it was risky, but it was worth the risk. That was nearly 29 years ago. I think I was right!
Step #3 – Have a great role model.
I can ask a struggling couple one question and with 90% accuracy guess whether they will get a divorce or not. The question is – Who have you gone to for advice about what to do with your struggling marriage? If the answer is someone who is divorced – 90% chance you will get one. If it is a person who has stayed in a marriage and made it work – 90% will stay married and work it out.
The model you choose to follow in your marriage REALLY makes a huge difference.
It also tells me your heart. You go looking for the advice you want to hear. If you really want to be committed – then promise each other you will only seek advice from those who have stayed together.
Step #4 – RELAX!
Many of the “problems” we encounter in relationships are not that important. When we go looking for the “perfect” relationship we subvert the benefits of a healthy relationship.
Look at yourself. You are messed up! You have issues and quirks. You have funny habits and a messed up family. I know this because I have all of these. So does my wife. When you recognize that you don’t deserve your partner, you actually make your marriage better. I don’t deserve my great wife, so I appreciate her just for staying with me for 28 years!
Step #5 – Get Help!
“Pride comes before a fall.” is a shortened Bible verse from Proverbs. We are embarrassed to admit we need help. We think something will change. I have been blindsided by friends and family who suddenly announce they are divorcing.
75% of divorces are filed by women. The research indicates that women, who are more naturally relational, have tried to work on the relationship, but the man doesn’t see the problem and won’t get help. When she finally gives up on the relationship by filing for divorce, he often wakes up. It’s too late. She has emotionally checked out and the prospect of her regaining the desire to work on their relationship is very small.
The solution is for the couple to be open about areas they need to work on. Trust me, you need to work on your relationship. When you work on it often you deal with little problems before they become big ones. When you get good coaching you can develop positive relationship habits that lead to a very satisfying relationship.
Well-maintained cars don’t break down. Well-maintained marriages don’t get divorced.
I suggest you get some relationship coaching to help you maintain your relationship. I offer relationship coaching to a limited amount of couples. You can find my no-commitment coaching sign-up here.
So, there you have it. 5 steps to ensure a life long relationship that is healthy and happy. You can have the relationship of your dreams if you follow the key steps to prepare and nurture it along the way.
So get out there and-
Make YOUR Relationships GREAT!
Would you like me to help you personally improve your relationship? Schedule a LIVE relationship coaching session HERE!