30 day challenge update

WARNING AS IS SAID ON SOME EPISODES OF FOCUS ON THE FAMILY THIS POST “MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR YOUNG CHILDREN, YOU MAY WANT TO OCCUPY THEM” WHILE READING THIS POST. OH AND IT’S A REALLY LONG POST TOO.

-----------------
well, we’ve completed 20 days of our 30 day challenge so far. today is our 21st day of the challenge. i have to say (in typical male response fashion), how awesome*!

i will say that there have been some interesting things that deb and i have learned about each other via the accompanying discussion guide. and i’ve also, personally, had insights into how i perceive/understand sex.

on a practical level here’s some things you should know; for any couples thinking about taking up the challenge. speaking primarily entirely from the guy’s perspective; it’s not going to be what you have been fantasizing expect it to be. not every time would be included in a top ten of “steamy love scenes” list. sometimes one or both of us are actually tired from the day and the only reason we did it was because of the challenge. in fact there were actually two days so far that we did “miss”; but, we did make it up the next day by putting in double duty. ;-)

another interesting thing is that whenever disagreements have arisen during the day, we are both much more likely to try not to dwell on those feelings instead trying to resolve the issue. because we both know that come bedtime the challenge will be on our minds so we’d better not be mad at each other when sun goes down.

which brings me to my next point. it’s pretty well known that guys think about sex a lot! so as such for a married guy it’s a reoccurring thought throughout the day whether he and his spouse will have sex that day. i used to constantly try to do good things in effect to “earn brownie points” with deb and have a better chance of getting lucky that evening. and then i would be so disappointed when things seemed to be going well in the day, in our relationship, gaining ‘points’ with all my niceness; and then putting the kids to bed would erupt into a big deal or point of frustration. deb (or i) would get totally frazzled with trying to deal with a child and by the time we got back to some peace and quiet without the kids we were just not in the mood anymore.

now though i don’t have to guess “if” we will have sex or not, so thus i’ve noticed that (in addition to trying to resolve conflict) i try to serve and make sure i connect with deb because my needs have been met on a consistent basis.

it’s kinda a vicious cycle: guys feel that sex is the ultimate act of love and then feel loving toward their spouse afterward. and gals don’t want to have sex until they feel like they have been loved by their spouse. so in many marriages where sex is lacking on a consistent basis the guy doesn’t feel like being loving towards his wife because they haven’t had sex and thus the wife doesn’t feel loved so she doesn’t feel like having sex.

through this challenge deb and i have begun to realize how blessed we are to have each other and such a great marriage. during the marriage conference we went to 3 weeks ago they mentioned some statistics. of all the couples that get married only 50% (that number is shrinking too) don’t end in divorce. they said that 30% don’t really like their marriage, 10% are okay but it’s not what they thought it would be, and only 10% of couples that get married feel that their marriages are flourishing and loving it. i’m blessed to have you deb.

i think deb and i are one of those 10%. some of the questions in the discussion guide seem to be addressing real issues that some couples have problems with but aren’t really an issue in our marriage.**

i mentioned in the initial post on this subject i suggested that our church also promote this to the congregation. after thinking about it a while i wondered if this was actually a good idea. my thinking was that perhaps sex would be a “magnifier” like money is. let me explain . . . money is neither good nor evil in someone’s life, its simply magnifies whatever character you already have. so if you’re not not very successful with your money now, more money is not going to solve your problem. but if you are successful with money now then more money would only increase your success. so i thought that the same may be with sex . . . if it’s a sore spot in your marriage now, more won’t make it any better; but a good marriage will only benefit from more sex.

i think though that if a couple is working through the discussion guide as well as simply trying to have sex 30 days in a row that it will benefit any marriage. as i said the discussion guide is a big part of it, but it also breaks the vicious cycle that i referred to earlier.

so all in all, i’m looking forward to doing the challenge again in our marriage. i suggested to deb that we should repeat it every six months. (i didn’t hear any opposition to the idea) primarily because we see the benefits it’s had for our marriage. but also because i think it will be a totally different experience when deb isn’t 8 months pregnant!

well that’s the update.

----------------------------
// today i'm thankful for:
1. spring break in 2 weeks
2. time with my kids tonight
3. 5mb wi-fi
4. episodes of season 4 of “the Office” online
5. and the other seasons available on netflix

----------------------------
* when i think of how to say “awesome”; in my mind it’s the same way that Kevin from “the Office” says it. if you watch the Office that just made you smile, if not then it won’t make much sense, but here’s an audio clip of him saying it to the right. -->
** we really do answer every question, and i wouldn’t recommend other couples to just dismiss the discussion guide or particular days. even when it doesn’t seem to apply to us on the surface we try to be more transparent and honest and probe a little deeper into our relationship to make it even better